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Civil Service

Never been to CSL? Here's why you should really go!

CS Live attendees writing on a banner
CS Live attendees writing on a banner

An event of learning and discovery, Civil Service Live 2022 is back with a six-date tour spanning five cities, bringing together civil servants for inspiring speaker sessions rich with opportunities.

Civil Service Live is one of Europe’s biggest corporate training events, unlike any other. It offers tailored learning and development created for civil servants by civil servants making it an unmissable event. For two years, it moved online when the live event fell victim to the pandemic. Now as we return to the workplace again, it’s back with a line-up curated by organisers that promises to be bigger and better than ever. 

Inspiring sessions

There will be keynote talks from Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, permanent secretaries and senior leaders plus many guest speakers. You can gain insight from the largest professions in government, as well as try one-to-one mentoring sessions, workshops and seminars. Expect a series of more than 60 inspiring sessions delving into the three themes of A Modern Civil Service: Skilled, Innovative and Ambitious.

Live locations

Woman asks a question at Civil Service Live in Glasgow

In June and July 2022, Civil Service Live takes place across five different venues spanning five cities. It starts in Edinburgh International Conference Centre (15 June), Cardiff City Hall (21 June), before taking in Winter Gardens, Blackpool (28 June), Northumbria University, Newcastle (30 June), and culminating in ExCel, London (5-6 July).

What to expect

Civil Service Live is an opportunity to engage with other civil servants and hear from thought-provoking speakers sharing their experiences, knowledge and expertise. You can expect to learn new facts, meet new people and join in interactive sessions. Look out for Developing Your Skill for Future Challenges, A Civil Service Fit for a Digital Age and Leading to Deliver - a taster session that aims to give practical leadership tips.

Steer Jen’s Journey

Curious minds might opt for The Armchair Analyst where a fictional ‘Jen’ has an important policy issue she needs to analyse and solve, and needs your help. You’ll steer Jen’s journey through the world of data analysis. There are different ways to crack this nut, but which will you choose? And if you’re short of inspiration, check out Smash the Glass Ceiling where staff share inspiring personal stories on how they carved their Civil Service careers despite obstacles they’ve faced along the way. 


Other top civil servants appearing at Civil Service Live include: Professor Chris Whitty, Jim Harra, Angela MacDonald, Head of the Fraud Profession Laura Eshelby, Tamara Finkelstein and Chief Commercial Officer Gareth Rhys Williams.

Organisers are also expecting a few ministers to make an appearance, with names being kept under wraps for now!

Speaker sessions

Flagship sessions include a live Q&A where you can quiz the Head of the Civil Service, Simon Case [left] and CS Chief Operating Officer, Alex Chisholm. You’ll even have the opportunity to witness first-hand the permanent secretaries’ weekly ‘Wednesday Morning Colleagues’ meeting when they get together to discuss key topics affecting the government. 

Rock ballads

Not all speakers are Senior Civil Servants; one of the most popular sessions is hosted by the pensions team. Last year, pensions presenter Andrew Jones set their high-octane session to classic rock ballads, which went down a storm. 

Exhibition halls in London and Edinburgh will host networking areas with hubs and activities from the Modernisation and Reform team at other locations. If you’ve got a project or piece of work you think other civil servants need to know about, why not apply for an exhibition stand

Exhibition hubs in all locations will host sessions from  some of the Civil Service’s major professions conveying their aims, objectives and work. The goal is to arm delegates with fresh insight across different parts of the Civil Service. 

Head of Civil Service Simon Case and Sharon Sawers at Civil Service Live 2021Ask Alex

Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary Alex Chisholm said: “What I like most about Civil Service Live is the chance to hear what is working well across the service and to network informally with colleagues. After two years of online conferences I am really looking forward to seeing people in person, reconnecting with old friends and getting to know new colleagues.”

“The line-up of speakers is great this year, and we have tried to make the event really interactive with on stage and audience interaction. Simon Case [pictured] and I are being interviewed by Sharon Sawers [pictured] and we will do our very best to answer any and all questions that come our way.”

Aims of CS Live 2022

Man's arm raised to ask question at conference
Questions from the audience at Civil Service Live Glasgow 2016

EDUCATE civil servants by sharing information and new ideas that change thinking and allow them to learn new skills and innovate. 

ENGAGE civil servants by demonstrating excellent cross departmental working and building networks to support the delivery of better outcomes.

EMPOWER civil servants to demonstrate leadership, learn new skills and improve their working environment to provide better public services.

Can’t make it?

Don’t worry, the speakers’ sessions will be recorded and available to watch on demand after the event.

Save the date

Registration is now open on the Civil Service Live website.

Volunteers at CSL - we need you!

We’re looking for volunteers to make CSL extra special. 

Our amazing volunteers give up their time to manage sessions and help every guest enjoy a smooth, glitch-free learning day. You’ll welcome colleagues to venues and help them find their way, accompany our speakers including Senior Civil Service leaders, oversee the sessions, manage attendees, and much more! 

As a volunteer, you must have a can-do, friendly and problem-solving attitude, be flexible, hard-working, and willing to pitch in. Civil servants with a smattering of Welsh are particularly welcome to support our Cardiff event! If you’re interested in volunteering at CSL, then register your interest now. 

You can find out more on the Civil Service Live website.

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  1. Comment by Darren Jaundrill posted on

    Though I am sure that the Commonwealth Games has been a factor in the decision, I do rather think there is an opportunity missed to not only showcase the Midlands but also to do a little testing too. Especially given the investment and commitment that the Civil Service has made into the region.

    For all the events, I do think having a hybrid approach would have been wise rather than recordings which people can only access 2 weeks after the final event. As the first event following the restrictions being lifted, this would be a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the positive lessons and innovations from the pandemic.

    • Replies to Darren Jaundrill>

      Comment by Darren Jaundrill posted on

      Perhaps someone could just check the comment "able to stand on your feet for hours". I entirely understand what is meant and that this is an informal tone but I'm not sure it quite demonstrates our value and culture of inclusivity?

  2. Comment by diaba posted on

    I would love to participate 🤗

  3. Comment by Callum posted on

    Real shame to see every picture is of an all white audience.

  4. Comment by John Kennedy posted on

    So much for a reducing environmental footprint! No Midlands venue! I for one will not be travelling to any of the 5 listed venues. Very disappointed.