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Diagram listing the five elements of a Success ProfileAll our vacancies are evaluated using the Civil Service's Success Profiles recruitment framework. We recommend reading the information on this page before you begin your application.

Success Profiles aim to deliver a better fit between you as a candidate and the job you're applying for, while also allowing you to present all of your skills and experiences. This enables us to take a more rounded approach to decision making when evaluating candidates.

Success Profiles candidate overview (PDF 635KB)

You should ensure you read the job description carefully to see what elements are required for the specific job you apply for. Not all of the elements are relevant to every role and they may vary depending on the profession, level and type of role.

You'll be assessed against the Success Profile for the role at application and interview stage.

The five elements of our Success Profile

Click on the panels below to learn about each element of our Success Profile and how best you can display these to us.

You can learn more about each element and how to demonstrate specific requirements on the gov.uk website.

Ability
The aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard.

The Civil Service has a set of psychometric tests integrated with the Success Profiles Framework, which are used to assess people fairly and consistently. These include:

  1. Civil Service Verbal Test (CSVT) measures the ability to critically evaluate complex, written information.
  2. Civil Service Numerical Test (CSNT) measures the ability to evaluate numerical information critically, understand patterns and trends in data, and the ability to draw valid logical inferences from the information presented.
  3. Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT) measures judgement and decision making ability in relation to the Civil Service Behaviours. The candidate is presented with realistic work scenarios and action options and is asked to identify the most appropriate response.

The test will be designed to reflect the pay band that you are applying for. If you pass, your results will be ‘banked’ for 6 months and you will not have to complete the tests again during this period if applying for other roles.

More information on the Civil Service Online Tests

Technical
The demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications.

If there is a requirement for a particular qualification or membership of a professional body, you may be asked to provide evidence of your qualification(s) or membership.

Behaviours
The actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job.

Recruiting managers will choose a selection of behaviours which are best suited to the specific role. You will not be asked to demonstrate all behaviours.

When looking at behaviours, we want to get an understanding of the actions and activities that you have done (or would do) that result in effective performance in a job.

We strongly recommend using STAR to help you structure your behaviour statements:

Star technique is a structured step-by-step method used when applicants have been asked to provide examples of how they meet a job description or specification. Using this method allows employers to evaluate your examples in a structured and methodical way.

  • S – Situation or Context. Describe the situation by providing a background, set the scene for your statement.
  • T – Task or Target. Outline the task you had to complete and describe your responsibilities.
  • A – Action. What did you do? Explain the steps you took or the decisions you made (refer to the behaviour description to ensure it relates).
  • R – Result or Outcome. What was the outcome? Explain the outcomes of your actions, the results should be a positive one.

Make sure the statements are relevant to you and what is being asked.

Behaviour descriptors for our pay bands (PDF 1007.54 KB)

Strengths
The things we do regularly, do well and that motivate us.
Experience
The knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.

When looking at your experience, we are looking for examples of things you have previously achieved or your knowledge in a particular field which are relevant to the job role.

Sometimes experience can be transferable from a non-work context. Skills gained through voluntary work or a hobby, such as teamwork or communication, can demonstrate the experience required for the role.

Application stage 

Where a CV is being accepted for the vacancy, we have created a CV template for you to use with guidance on how to complete the template and the information we’d be looking for you to submit. 

Once your application has been submitted and the vacancy has closed, you’ll receive a notification via email confirming whether you’ve been selected for interview. 

Interview and on-boarding

Following an interview, you will be advised of the outcome via email or phone.

If you’re successful our HR Team will contact you to provide you with a copy of your offer letter, terms and conditions and a pre-employment pack.

All our appointment offers are subject to the satisfactory completion of the following:

  • Identity and right to work in the UK and Civil Service checks;
  • Security Clearance from Scottish Government;
  • Qualifications, certificates, licences and memberships that are essential for the post;
  • Employment and/or character references;
  • Medical questionnaire, conducted by the Agency Occupational Health provider;
  • Basic disclosure check;
  • Character enquiry (taking account of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Exceptions Order 1975 (amended in 1986), as appropriate).

At the start of your employment you’ll receive an induction that will not only introduce you to your new team but to our agency as a whole. You’ll also be placed on a probation period of up to 8 months where your new manager will assign you objectives to meet during this period and there will be regular check-ins to see how you’re getting on.

Reappointment

If you previous worked with us or the wider Civil Service, including the Northern Ireland Civil Service, you may apply to be considered for reappointment on a permanent or fixed term basis.

To be eligible for this you must have:

  • originally been recruited on the basis of merit through fair and open competition (including conversion to permanency as an exception to the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles);
  • clearly met the performance and attendance requirements of your previous post;
  • left the Civil Service within the past five years and left under acceptable circumstances.

Please note that there’s no automatic right to reappointment. Applications will only be considered if there is a vacant position and approval has been given to recruit this role externally.

For more information on the process, please contact our HR Team.

Get in touch

If you would like further information or have any questions, please contact our HR Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..