FAQs

Is your online application system secure?

Yes, all registration, application and candidate account pages are accessed through a secure connection.

What should I do if I'm having difficulty applying online?

These FAQs should cover our most common issues. If you’re still experiencing difficulties please contact recruitment@gov.scot.

Why haven't I received my confirmation email?

Account activation emails are sent automatically. Please check your junk mail and spam folders if you don’t receive the email. If you’re still experiencing problems please contact recruitment@gov.scot.

What do I do if I've forgotten my password?

Please contact recruitment@gov.scot.

What is my user name?

Your user name is the email address that you registered with. You can edit personal information, such as name, address and email preferences through your Account Settings.

What are the nationality criteria for joining the Scottish Government?

As for all United Kingdom Civil Service recruitment, the Scottish Government requires candidates to meet certain nationality requirements. These are that candidates must be British or Commonwealth citizens, British protected persons, citizens of the Republic of Ireland or, in some circumstances, nationals of other European Community member states.

Would I need to provide a work permit?

Yes, if you’re successful and require a work permit to work in the UK. The HR Shared Service Centres Central Resourcing Unit will contact you to advise on this.

What qualifications do I need to join the Scottish Government?

To be eligible for consideration for the Graduate Development Programme you must have a degree (or equivalent) in any discipline at any grade.

Is there a probationary period?

All new employees are required to complete a probationary period of nine months.

Do you offer flexible working hours or can I apply to work part-time?

The normal working week is a five day week of 42 hours, including lunch breaks. We’re happy to talk about flexible working and you may have the scope to participate in the Scottish Government’s scheme. We’re also happy to consider applications for part-time and non-standard working patterns. If this is something that you would like to speak to some about before applying, email the team at gdp@gov.scot 

What will my terms and conditions be if I transfer from another government department?

Existing Civil Servants who apply externally may be able to transfer across and retain continuity of employment for purposes of pay, pension and annual leave entitlements.

I have a degree but it's not a recent qualification - can I still apply?

Yes. There’s no time limit attached to when you achieved your degree.

Why haven't I heard from you since submitting my application form?

All candidates should receive an email approximately three days after the closing date. If you haven’t heard by then please contact recruitment@gov.scot.

How long will the application process take?

There are a number of stages to the application process. At each stage in the process, we’ll inform candidates as to whether they’ve been successful or unsuccessful. For more information, please see our application process page

What arrangements are in place for disabled candidates?

The Scottish Government is an equal opportunities employer and has been awarded Disability Confident Employer status. This includes our Graduate Development Programme. This means that disabled applicants who meet the minimum qualifying criteria at the first stage of the process will be invited to the final stage of the Assessment Centre.

Can I request reasonable adjustments to the assessment process?

Yes. If you require reasonable adjustments to allow you to complete the assessment process, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate this when you apply. We can make a range of provisions, including modified PCs, special chairs, trained readers and adjustment of time for recruitment exercises.

Please note – all applicants must meet the necessary nationality, immigration and academic criteria to apply.

Any false declaration of disability to gain exemption from part of the assessment process will invalidate any subsequent offer of employment, and may preclude you from reapplying in a future year.

Can I apply to the externally-advertised competition if I'm already a Civil Servant?

Yes. There is no separate in-service option, and so you must apply via the externally-advertised competition. You will be subject to the same processes and assessments as other external applicants.

If I'm successful, when will I start work?

We aim to make offers to successful candidates in summer 2019. We’d expect successful candidates to begin in their posts around late-August 2019.

If I completed my degree outside the UK, am I still eligible?

We accept applications from candidates with overseas degrees, provided that they can supply evidence that their degree is at a comparable level to a UK degree. The onus (including any costs) of providing appropriate documentation is on the candidate. The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) provides information about the comparability of different international qualifications. We would not normally ask for such evidence until you’d been declared successful: it would then be required for our pre-appointment checks.

I'm going to be out of the country for some time during the next few months. Can I still apply?

Whilst we are as flexible as possible, we cannot guarantee to accommodate periods of candidate unavailability and can only offer alternative dates if the relevant assessment takes place at other times and there are places available on a different date.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the programme?

Yes. When you’re offered a place in the Graduate Development Programme at the Scottish Government, you’re appointed permanently to the Civil Service. So subject to satisfactory performance, attendance and conduct, you’ll be guaranteed a permanent job. Having invested in you, we obviously hope for a return on our investment. If you’re not an EEA national, please see the Nationality and Immigration guidance.

Can I defer entry if I'm successful?

We can only consider a short deferral for compassionate reasons. These include illness or temporary incapacity, bereavement of an immediate family member or the need to provide short-term care for an immediate family member.

What is the Civil Service code and what does it mean?

The Civil Service code outlines the Civil Service’s core values, and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants in upholding these values.

These values are:

  • integrity: putting the obligations of public service above personal interests
  • honesty: being truthful and open
  • objectivity: basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
  • impartiality: acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political: parties equally well.

Does Civil Service impartiality mean I can't apply if I've worked or volunteered for a political party or organisation?

No. It means that the public and Ministers must be confident in your ability to act and advise impartially irrespective of your personal political beliefs. The rules are there to help you maintain a balance and to uphold the Civil Service values.

As a Graduate entrant you will not be able to take part in national political activities and you will need permission to take part in local political activities. Such permission is normally given unless you’re employed in a particularly sensitive area. The obligation for political impartiality is laid out in the Civil Service Management Code, which you can find on the Civil Service website.

Can I apply if I expect to graduate by July 2019?

Yes, if you’re a final year student and on track to obtain your degree before July 2019 you can apply. If you’re successful in the programme’s selection process, an offer of a place will be made subject to you successfully graduating.