We only accept applications for specific vacancies. If you are interested in working for us, please see the current vacancies page and apply for a role that interests you. Please note that because we abide by the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, we cannot accept speculative CVs or maintain a database of interested candidates. All vacancies are advertised both on the FCO website, on the Civil Service Jobs site, through JobCentre Plus and in the relevant online and print media.
The FCO in London does not recruit to specific overseas posts. Locally Engaged Staff employed by our Embassies and High Commissions in other countries are recruited directly by overseas posts. Please see our embassy finder in order to locate our embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic posts throughout the world, then check the ‘current vacancies’ webpage of the mission you are interested in.
Yes. In order to join the FCO and the Diplomatic Service, you must be a British citizen and have been resident in the UK for at least two out of the last ten years immediately prior to your application, at least one year of which must have been a consecutive 12-month period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty's Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents' or partner's Government employment.
If you hold dual nationality – i.e. you possess citizenship of both the United Kingdom and another country – this should not preclude you from joining the FCO. However, you must inform the FCO of this fact during your application process.
No. You do not require language skills to join the FCO, although they can be an advantage to your career within the office.
The only significant difference between the two cadres within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the Global Mobility Obligation. Members of staff who are part of the home civil service – staff who are based solely in the UK – are not required to work in our missions around the world. Members of the diplomatic service, on the other hand, are contractually obliged to work where the operational needs of the FCO require. The length, nature and location of overseas service varies between grades and job positions, but diplomatic service members must be prepared to work overseas where the job requires them.
The FCO only rarely enforces the Global Mobility Obligation.
To an extent. When you are due to be posted abroad you apply for positions from an internal list of available jobs. If you are successful in this internal competition, you take up the position. Do be aware, however, that members of the diplomatic service must be prepared to serve anywhere.
Postings vary in length, but you would generally be posted to a country for three to four years. You’d be expected to return to a position in the UK after every one or two overseas tours.
Occasionally, based strictly upon operational need, we take on temporary workers to fulfil vacant administrative roles.
The FCO is currently tendering for a new provider of all UK temporary staff. Check back here soon for further details.
Note that all of our temporary workers must be cleared to at least Security Check (SC) level prior to starting.
FCO Services is a government trading fund which delivers a unique combination of secure business-to-business services to the FCO in the UK and overseas, as well as to other UK government departments and public bodies, friendly foreign governments and private sector organisations. They employ staff in many different positions such as IT, Construction and Logistics (including the Diplomatic Courier Service) and they regularly advertise vacancies for these roles. Forfurther information please see the FCO Services website.
The FCO is responsible for assisting eight Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs). We appoint qualified and experienced members of the public to the boards of these bodies. Interested individuals should contact these NDPBs directly.
For more details see public appointments explained on DirectGov.
Our appeals procedure is as open and transparent as the recruitment process itself. You have the right to appeal any recruitment decision made by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) or any other agency or organisation operating on our behalf. If you would like to appeal against a recruitment decision, or would like to make a recruitment-related complaint, please write to - Recruitment Liaison Officer, Recruitment Section, Old Admiralty Building, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2PA. If you are not satisfied withour response, you may seek an independent investigation from the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) at the following address:
Office of the Civil Service Commission,
35 Great Smith Street,
Please note that this procedure applies to recruitment issues only and you should, in the first instance, contact the FCO before contacting the OCSC.