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Civil Service

The ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’ Awards turn one

John Manzoni, Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive of the Civil Service

This month sees the first birthday of the 'A Brilliant Civil Service' Awards. Since the launch of the monthly awards, last January, we have had over one thousand entries from across the Civil Service, showcasing brilliant work in all parts of the UK.

Alongside our annual Civil Service Awards, these monthly awards recognise the achievement of teams and individuals committed to the core vision of A Brilliant Civil Service: one that delivers Improved Outcomes for the public, through Effective Leaders and Skilled People, in a Great Place to Work.

Group of men and women standing in an office space
The DVLA Fitness to Drive programme team, winners of the May 'ABCS' award

Our 2017 award winners have included:

  • January, ‘Improved Outcomes’ award: the HMP Ford Reducing Re-offending team, which is expanding the educational opportunities for prisoners and improving the delivery of educational and vocational qualifications to those on day-release in the community
  • March, ‘Skilled People’ award: the Met Office in-house digital team, who trained their staff in animation skills, improving digital capability, reducing the amount spent on outsourcing, and producing effective animations to communicate important weather information
  • May, ‘Improved Outcomes’: the team responsible for the DVLA Fitness to Drive Programme, which makes it easier for members of the public to declare medical conditions on driving licence applications
  • October, ‘Effective Leaders’ award: Sonia Preston and Sean Mulgrew, DWP Operations Excellence Directorate, Change & Learning Division, who supported Dundee Service Centre’s transition to a Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS) site
Man and woman holding framed award certificate
Sonia Preston and Sean Mulgrew of DWP, winners of the October 'ABCS' award

These examples, the other winners, all the commended entries – and countless others we’ve seen over the last 12 months – reflect the unparalleled range and excellence of what you do as civil servants. And they demonstrate an unswerving commitment to improving the services that people depend on.

I want to thank everyone who has submitted an entry to date, and would urge colleagues in every department, devolved administration, agency and public body to take the opportunity to highlight the great work they are doing.

Logo for 'A Brilliant Civil Service'For updates on the monthly scheme, details about how to enter, and a link to submit an entry, refer to your local departmental intranet.

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  1. Comment by Gareth Marklew posted on

    I've got to agree with Micheala's comments, above. I've submitted nominations a couple of times, we never get so much as an acknowledgement of receipt, and rarely if ever hear who's won. I do like the idea of using these awards to celebrate and share the work we do, but it's a bit discouraging when nominations are submitted and never heard of again.

    I note the reference to Departmental intranets for more information, but I think it's fair to say that can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack - and Departments aren't necessarily consistent about how prominently/regularly the information is provided. Wouldn't it make more sense to have updates and details about the Brilliant Civil Service awards actually on the central Brilliant Civil Service site, to make it as accessible as possible to as wide a range of colleagues as possible?

  2. Comment by Michaela Briggs posted on

    Is there anywhere you can see a bit about the nominees each month or who has won each month. The nominations seem to go into a black hole and people may get more engaged if they can see the good work being celebrated.

  3. Comment by Karen Topping posted on

    Happy Birthday ABCS Awards! In Operational Delivery Profession (the largest profession in the civil service) we run monthly campaigns aligned with the ABCS Awards... Find out more on our website: