Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Why a career in the Diplomatic Service?
> Challenging work that often makes a difference
to people’s lives
> Very early responsibility
> Experience a great variety of work
> Excellent training and support
Who we are
> The lead government department handling
foreign affairs working in two key areas:
– Foreign policy
– Service delivery overseas
What we do
– We deal on a daily basis with:
• Climate change
• Human rights
• Helping British citizens abroad
• Conflict resolution
• Forced marriages
• Trade and investment
• Counter terrorism
and so much more…
Entry routes
> Policy Entrants
> Administrative Grade Recruitment
> Recruitment of specialists
Affect lives – work with Government
> The Diplomatic Service policy entrant - a
demanding graduate entry point into the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
> An opportunity to work directly with members
of the public and government ministers
> Could you make a difference to national life,
turn policy into reality?
Graduate Fast Stream
Seven options:
Diplomatic Service
European Fast Stream
Central Departments
Science & Engineering
House of Commons
Graduate Fast Stream
The Diplomatic Service Options:
> The Diplomatic Service*
> Economists
What you will do
> First two training years in London
– One year doing Policy delivery work
– One year doing Service delivery work
> Then abroad in one of 200 embassies, high
commissions or consulates around the globe
for two to three years mainly focusing on
Training and Career Development
A personal training programme
Mentoring and buddying
Coaching and e-learning
On-the-job training
Self study
National School of Government
> Starting salary from around £29,000
> Choice of pension costing a maximum of
3.5% of salary
> 25 days holiday, plus 10.5 public holidays
> Flexible working widely available
> Opportunities to work internationally
Entry Requirements
> A 2:2 degree in any discipline*
> All Diplomatic Service posts are open to UK
nationals only
Security Vetting
> All our permanent staff must pass Developed
> Tests you are not susceptible to pressure from
other organisations
> Your finances, criminal record and work and
residency history will be checked
> Strict no drugs policy
How the scheme works
> Online application between
September and November annually
– includes online verbal, numeric self-assessment
with feedback provided
> Online cognitive and non-cognitive tests
> Invigilated ½ day e-Tray exercise
> Two One-day Assessment Centres*
Assessment Centre
If you are successful in the online tests you’ll be invited
to our assessment centre in London:
– Group exercise
– Briefing exercise
– Policy Recommendation exercise
– Interview
It will be a stimulating experience and feedback is
What is being assessed?
Our assessment process is wholly competency based and
– Drive for results
– Learning and improving
– Decision-making
– Constructive thinking
– Building productive relationships
– Communicating with impact
> Please visit the web site
> There are profiles of current Fast Streamers
to read that will give you a flavour of the work
we do
> Remember, application is online - and it’s not
a good idea to go to the wire on the closing
Administrative Grades
> Administrative Assistants
> Executive Assistants
> Check
Specialist Recruitment
> Specialists provide invaluable knowledge and
expertise to a wide variety of FCO roles
> Recruitment dependent on business need,
> The range of skills they bring is extensive and
Research & analysis
Legal expertise
Accountancy & finance skills
Audit, compliance and risk analysis
Information technology
Work Experience
Visit our website
for details on the following:
> We participate in Cabinet Office’s Summer
Development and Placement Schemes
– For more details please go to
• Foreign and Commonwealth Office blogsite - Global
– Daily accounts of what it’s really like to work for us
– Bloggers include the Foreign Secretary,
Ambassadors, Operational Officers and many
Open to all
> Our recruitment policy is aimed at bringing in
a talented and diverse workforce that
represents the society that we serve.
> We actively seek applications from all
sections of society and offer positions to
suitably qualified individuals regardless of
ethnicity, religion, social/educational
background, age, disability or sexual
> Appointments at all levels of the FCO are
made on the basis of merit.
Any Questions?

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