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Professional Skills for Government

What is the PSG competency framework?

The Professional Skills for Government (PSG) competency framework is used for jobs and careers in the Civil Service. It sets out the skills that staff in the Civil Service need to do their job well, at all levels and no matter where they work.

PSG has been developed collaboratively since 2003 by employers, staff, professions and wider stakeholders in central government.

PSG sets out the common skills requirements for:



  • leadership

  • core skills

  • professional skills (specific to your profession and role).

 Who the PSG framework is for

The PSG competency framework applies to all Civil Service jobs, at all grades. Traditionally the skills requirements have been divided into these groupings:

  • Director-General (SCS pay band 3)

  • Deputy Director (SCS pay band 1)

  • grades 6 and 7

  • SEO, HEO, EO, AO, AA and equivalent grades.

If you are a civil servant and at SEO grade or below, currently your department determines how the framework applies to you in line with its own skills needs.

Using the PSG framework

Whether you’re applying for a job in the Civil Service, or a civil servant already, the PSG framework can help you identify:

  • the mix of skills and experience you should have in your current or prospective job
  • what skills you might need to gain to change role or seek promotion.

You can seek opportunities to develop your skills at any time, but it makes sense to think about the framework in line with your appraisal cycle. Mid-year reviews, end-of-year appraisals and discussions of your objectives are all good opportunities to look at what skills you have and what skills you need.

The framework is a valuable tool as you plan your Civil Service career. In the future, your opportunities will depend increasingly on your ability to demonstrate your skills. For example, by 2012, to enter the SCS, you must be able to demonstrate that you have gained broader experience during your career which allows you to understand how the delivery chain works.

More information about the PSG framework is available from departmental HR teams.