The policy skills framework is built around the principle that successful policy depends on:
- the development and use of a sound evidence base
- understanding and managing the political context
- planning from the outset for how the policy will be delivered.
The policy maker must bring together these three elements to deliver a successful outcome. The policy skills framework sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours you will need in order to achieve this.
Structure of the Policy Skills Framework
The summary at the first page of the framework sets out the twelve skills that are required at each level of performance. These skills have been grouped into four distinct areas:
- understanding the context
- developing the options
- getting to a decision
- making it happen.
You will see that the themes of evidence, politics and delivery run through each of these groups.
Underpinning the summary table you will find four pages for each level of performance which provide a range of examples of how each skill could be demonstrated. You don’t necessarily need to demonstrate all of these, but they will help you to think about the work you could be doing and experiences you could be gaining in order to develop and demonstrate the relevant skill.
The policy skills framework isn’t directly linked to grades, but instead is shown as four levels. This reflects the fact that policy work often requires the same skills to be used at all levels, applied to issues of different degrees of scale, complexity and ambiguity. We hope it will also help you to use the framework to help you develop your skills and performance irrespective of your current grade. In practice, we expect certain grades (or their equivalents) broadly to equate to certain levels of performance as a minimum:
- EO – Level 1
- HEO and SEO – Level 2
- Grades 6 & 7 – Level 3
- SCS – Level 4
The Policy Skills Framework updates the existing Professional Skills for Government (PSG) policy delivery skills. It fits into the wider PSG framework which sets out the core skills that all civil servants need irrespective of their profession, including leadership, people management, financial and project management skills. Find out more about the PSG framework
Policy Skills Framework
- Summary table of the Policy Skills Framework [PDF, 91kb]
- Full Policy Skills Framework [PDF, 215kb]
- Level 1 – Executive Officer (EO) [PDF, 101kb]
- Level 2 – Higher and Senior Executive Officer (HEO/SEO) [PDF, 103kb]
- Level 3 – Grades 6 and 7 [PDF, 105kb]
- Level 4 – Senior Civil Service [PDF, 110kb]
- Policy Skills Framework – text only version [Word, 123kb ]