How does the PSG framework look?

The areas of the PSG framework are: leadership, core skills, professional skills and broader experience.

Last updated - 12th November 2009

How does the PSG framework look?

The PSG competency framework is divided into the four separate but supporting areas. You should seek to develop skills in each of these:

  • Leadership
  • Core skills
  • Professional skills
  • Broader experience


Civil Service leadership qualities sit at the centre of the framework. These are to:

  • provide direction for the organisation 
  • deliver results 
  • build capacity for the organisation to address current and future challenges 
  • act with integrity (and this lies at the very heart of leadership within the Civil Service)

To find out how these qualities apply to your role, ask your line manager or HR team.

Core skills

Every civil servant needs certain core skills to work effectively. At Grade 7 the four core skills are: 

  • people management 
  • financial management
  • analysis and use of evidence 
  • programme and project management

In addition to these skills, those in or aspiring to the SCS need to demonstrate skills in communications and marketing, and strategic thinking.

If you are below Grade 7, your department determines how the framework applies to you in line with its own skills needs. Government Skills, in partnership with departments, has developed a common core skills framework for below Grade 7. This framework, launched in July 2008, will be embedded in departmental frameworks by 2012.

Professional skills

Job-specific professional skills are related to the work you do. Everyone in the Civil Service requires some professional skills to do their job, whether they work in policy development, operational delivery or corporate services, or provide expert advice (for example, scientists, economists and communicators).

This area of the PSG competency framework is supported by Heads of Profession, who set standards for all professions in the Civil Service.

More information about professions is on the Government Skills website

Broader experience

For SCS members and those aspiring to the SCS, both depth and breadth of experience are important. Deep professional knowledge is valuable, but as you progress in your Civil Service career, breadth of experience becomes increasingly important. Heads of Profession are leading work to define what broader experience looks like in each professional context. This experience could be gained within your profession, within another part of the Civil Service or in other sectors.

If you want to know how gaining broader experience can benefit your career, take a look at case studies.

PSG skills identifier

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