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About the Civil Service

Summary Title

The Civil Service helps the Government of the day to develop and deliver its policies as effectively as possible.

The Civil Service incorporates three types of organisations – departments, agencies, and non-departmental government bodies (NDPBs). We work in a wide range of areas that touch on everyone’s day-to-day lives, such as education, health and policing.

Because our organisations deal with so many different aspects of government, civil servants work in an enormous variety of roles. We employ 479,000 civil servants, almost three-quarters of whom work outside London and the south-east.

Civil servants are politically impartial. Our workforce includes people who deliver crucial services direct to the public across the UK, such as Jobcentre Plus staff and coastguards. We also have staff working on policy development and implementation, including analysts, project managers, lawyers and economists.

How many civil servants?

There are currently 479,000 civil servants on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis and 515,000 on a headcount basis. FTE is a measure that counts staff according to the proportion of full-time hours that they work.


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