The Fast Stream doesn’t consist only of people new to the Civil Service. A lot of them began their careers as mainstream civil servants. There are potential Fast Streamers all over the Civil Service and, naturally, we encourage them to apply so that they can fulfil that potential in a structured way.

The way to the top is open to every civil servant. But in the Fast Stream your development will be much more focused and benefit from the defined path described below. You'll apply alongside, and at the same time as, external candidates, and the selection process will be exactly the same, except that you do not need any academic qualification to be eligible. If you do not have a degree, you'll only be able to apply for the Central Departments and TiB options.

Central Departments

Essentially, Central Departments include all the major government departments except the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Our four-year programme is designed to make sure this happens. In your first two years you will take on a series of six month postings intended to give you a broad base of experience. During this time, you will experience at least four of the following:

 • operational delivery (providing front-line services direct to the public)
 • policy development (such as work in a Bill team, or in a minister’s private office)
 • corporate services (to help your department function efficiently as an organisation)
 • people management
 • commercial awareness
 • financial management
 • project and programme management
 
You’ll experience different departmental cultures, and one of your postings will probably be in a different part of the country. You can also expect a short secondment to the private sector, to a charity or to another public sector organisation. This frequent change of roles is an essential part of your personal development, since you will regularly face new challenges and learn from deliberately contrasting situations and objectives.

At the end of your first two years, you will undertake two longer postings. These longer postings will give you more depth of experience.

Careers in technology

The Technology in Business (TiB) In-Service Fast Stream is a development programme for high calibre Civil Servants who are motivated by a career in using technology to transform services and want to use their skills in central government.

As a TiB Fast Streamer, you’ll undertake a series of developmental placements, supporting or managing digital and technology projects and programmes, often worth large sums of money and with a high public profile. Working with digital and technology leaders across the public sector, the aim is for you to become a leader yourself, helping the government make the best use of the latest technology in its delivery of services for our users, and keeping us at the forefront of major IT-enabled business transformation.

Who should apply?

We’re committed to the development of people irrespective of gender, age, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Successful candidates come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Fast Streamers are technically graded Higher Executive Officer (Development). If you are a substantive civil servant at HEO level or equivalent and below, have successfully completed probation; and are not subject to disciplinary or poor performance measures, you will be exempt from the degree requirement. Civil servants on fixed term contracts, and casual or agency staff, are not eligible to claim this exemption and must apply as other members of the public. 

There is no longer a separate in-service entry route for the Central Departments Fast Stream. You will apply via the externally-advertised competition and go through the same processes and assessments as external applicants.  Be aware that if you are successful you might not remain in your current department.  Existing Civil Servants wishing to apply for the TiB scheme only should email TiBAdmin@HomeOffice.gsi.gov.uk before Friday 25th October 2013.  Please note that in-service applications can be made for either the GFS or TiB, but not both.

Find out more about the application process here.