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Civil Service

This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Civil Service Live: What's on and what to expect

Civil Service Live, 2016 when a delegate asked a question

Civil Service Live is just around the corner with six dates spanning five cities in June and July 2022. Lorraine McBride’s here with a run-down on what’s on.

After two years online, Civil Service Live (CSL) is back with an impressive live bill that promises something for everybody. Over the last year, the Civil Service has been at the heart of the global pandemic, helping to handle the evacuation of civilians when Afghanistan’s government collapsed, and recently, welcomed refugees fleeing the bombardment in Ukraine. The learning and discovery event enables civil servants to get together with colleagues from every grade and background across the organisation. 

First class lineup

Event organiser Alexandra Whiteley has curated a first-class lineup of speakers. Topics span everything from mentoring to management, comms, collaboration, comedy and digital data to diversity, with more than 600 content sessions, hundreds of expert speakers, one-to-one mentoring sessions and even a chance to quiz senior leaders during the open sessions. With no shortage of inspirational talks to engage, educate and empower, tickets are being snapped up fast.

Edinburgh International Conference Centre at night

Edinburgh International Conference Centre - 15 June

The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE

Head of the Civil Service Simon Case and Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government JP Marks top the bill at CSL’s Scottish date, giving the Opening Address providing a progress check on their vision to deliver A Modern Civil Service. In Succeeding Under Challenging Circumstances, you’ll feel inspired listening to the conversation with Anoushe Husain, award-winning paraclimber.

Staff working collaboratively around a laptop at Civil Service Live 2015: EdinburghKeen to hone your written skills? Check out How to Improve your Writing (aimed at EOs to Grade 7s) which takes a look at some of the core communication skills you need to write for your audiences, improve the impact of your writing and get the results you need. Elsewhere, you can get your head around the challenges facing national security (Working together to keep the UK safe), gain insight into Delivering Net Zero, or drop in on A Civil Service Fit for the Digital Age.

On the bill in the afternoon, the Crown Commercial Service steers you in how to add Power to your Procurement, squeeze every penny from every pound and channel resources where they’re needed most.

City Hall, Cardiff - 21 June

King Edward VII Ave, Cardiff, CF10 3ND

Cardiff City Centre

Since 1906, City Hall has served as the home of local government. Now, you can mark summer solstice with a day out at CSL in the Welsh capital with an eclectic bill, whatever your grade. In How to build, manage and lead a high-performing team you’ll learn teamwork’s mantra is more about “less me and more we”, exploring the key hallmarks of successful top teams.

Civil Service Live

Aimed at EOs to Grade 7s, it gives you the practical tools to ramp up your team’s performance. In Delivering Net Zero, you’ll learn how departments across the UK are working together on climate change, turning ambitions into practical actions. 

Winter Gardens, Blackpool - 28 June

97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

Winter Gardens, BlackpoolCivil Service Live moves to the iconic Grade II-listed entertainment mecca on 28 June. If you fancy yourself as a policy pundit, The Armchair Analyst allows you to “choose your own adventure session”. ‘Jen’ has a burning policy issue to solve and needs your help, pronto. In this interactive session, you’ll steer Jen’s journey through the world of government analysis. Where should you start, then what will you do… but which path will you choose - decisions… decisions!

Alex Chisholm addresses CSLIn Leadership That Delivers with headline act Alex Chisholm [right], this taster session will arm you with practical leadership tips debating the skills, knowledge and networks that each of us need to deliver for the country. Succeeding in Challenging Circumstances acknowledges that we all get things wrong sometimes, but the trick is to learn and move forward. Listen to leaders open up as they recall the time something went wrong - and the valuable lessons learned.

Northumbria University, Newcastle

Northumbria University, Newcastle - 30 June

Sutherland Building, 2 Ellison Pl, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST

If you’re an entrepreneurial type who wants to write amazing business cases and deliver amazing policy, the session led by the Evaluation Task Force is right up your street. Data demons should check out the Civil Service Data Challenge to wise up on how we can make better use of data in government, improving outcomes for citizens and driving efficiency. Or, if you have ambitions to Build a digital service in 45 minutes, the Government Digital Service will be on hand to teach you how to improve your service by switching from PDF forms to an online digital form in mere minutes. 

ExCeL, London - 5-6 July

Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL

CSL goes out with a bang at London’s ExCeL over two days at the 100-acre exhibition and international convention centre. In Unconference: your agenda, your discussions, you, the delegates, set the agenda and shape the talks.

If you fancy a break from the talks, there are 20-minute speed mentoring sessions to give you insight into what a mentoring relationship is all about, and how it just might develop your career. And if you have aspirations to shoot to the very top of the career service, you’ll want to experience first-hand the discussions that go on at Wednesday Morning Colleagues meetings, where you can be a fly on the wall as they gather to discuss key topics affecting government. Tickets have all been snapped up, but fear not! You can watch the recording after the event.

Sign up for CSL tickets 

Woman asks a question at Civil Service Live in Glasgow

The doors to our popular learning and discovery event are open and we’re ready to welcome you to our venues across the country. Events offer thought-provoking sessions led by inspirational speakers. Senior leaders will share their experiences and knowledge, and take questions. We still have availability for sessions in Edinburgh on 15 June and London on 5 and 6 July.◼︎

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  1. Comment by Dawn Fallon posted on

    I used to be a civil servant (during 80s/90s) but sadly had to leave under the first cutbacks when the Civil Service was downsized in 1995. I always enjoyed working for the Civil Service, and found it a safe and good place to work.

    I recently wrote about my experiences (the lockdowns gifting me time to write a book!) about my experiences as a VAT Control Officer working for the then HM Customs & Excise, and it's interesting all these years later to catch up and see how the Civil Service has moved on and evolved - my interest in the Civil Service being rekindled having caught up with former colleagues and Civil Service groups on LinkedIn etc. I'm now in my 60s - so can't come back, though would if I could!