Administrative officers and administrative assistants in the civil service work in a wide range of departments and agencies that deliver services to the public and develop government policies.
Your main tasks at administrative officer (AO) or administrative assistant (AA) grade would be to deal with customers, update records and carry out routine clerical duties. Your day-to-day work would depend on which department or agency you worked for, but might include:
- handling enquiries from the public in person, by telephone or by letter
- updating computerised and paper-based records
- processing benefit payments
- researching information
- filing, photocopying and other administrative tasks.
With experience, you could deal with more complex enquiries or complaints, or take on more specialist work related to your department.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
Each department and agency organises its own recruitment and sets its own entry requirements.
You do not need formal qualifications for many jobs. Instead, you would take an aptitude test to prove your ability in areas like teamwork, communication and number skills. However, some departments may ask for five GCSEs (A-C) or similar qualifications for certain jobs.
You must also meet the nationality requirement. All jobs are open to British nationals and around 75% are also open to Commonwealth citizens or European Union nationals. See the Civil Service website for more information.
- Civil Service â€“ Nationality Requirements
What further training and development can I do?
YouÂ willÂ have severalÂ weeks of in-depthÂ training when you start your job, and also learn on the job from experienced staff.
You may get the chance to take nationally recognised work-based qualifications relevant to your particular job, such as:
- NVQ levels 1-4 in Business and Administration (or the newÂ NVQ Award, Certificate and Diploma in Business and Administration at levels 1-4, available fromÂ August 2010)
- NVQ levels 2-4 in Customer Service (NVQ Certificate in Customer Service at levels 1 and 2, and NVQ Diploma in Customer Service at levels 3 and 4 from August 2010)
- NVQ levels 1-2 in Contact Centre Operations.
The civil service is committed to training and you would have access toÂ in-house training and developmentÂ throughout your career.