Senior Civil Servants at the Department for Transport play a crucial role in ensuring that all our services and responsibilities to the public are met. Employees of DfT rely on Senior Civil Servants to set a clear overall direction for the department, and to make sure all professions within the organisation work effectively and harmoniously.

What we look for in Senior Civil Servants

To be a Senior Civil Servant within the Department for Transport requires someone with outstanding leadership. We look to SCS to help set the strategic direction of the department, develop new policy, and deliver operational responses. We rely on SCS to use multiple sources of data and analysis provided by our analysts to inform those decisions that influence ministers and affect change for the better of our transport system.

The Civil Service is an organisation that values its people and we work hard to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff to grow and perform to the best of their ability. If you have a strong track record of leadership, have the resilience to operate in a high profile and often high scrutiny environment, can communicate and influence effectively and are able to see the big picture, then we look forward to hearing from you.

We particularly welcome applications from ethnic minority, LGBT+ candidates and candidates with other protected characteristics.

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What DfT can offer you as a Senior Civil Servant

Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a really successful career with the Department and wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you’ll  benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits.

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    The Civil Service values and supports all its employees. We have strong and pro-active staff networks, special leave policies for hospital appointments, reasonable adjustments put in place for those who need them, and diversity talent programmes to help everyone irrespective of background, to achieve their potential.

  • Pension

    Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package.

    A competitive contributory pension scheme that you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension; where your contributions come out of your salary before any tax is taken; and where your pension will continue to provide valuable benefits for you and your family if you are too ill to continue to work or die before you retire. Visit Civil Service Pension Scheme for more details.

  • Generous Annual Leave and Bank Holiday Allowance

    25 days annual leave on entry, increasing,  on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’

    service. This is in addition to 8 public holidays. This will be complimented by one further day paid privilege entitlement to mark the Queen’s Birthday.

  • Staff Wellbeing

    • Flexible working including part-time or time-term working and access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours.
    • Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers.
    • Childcare benefits: Any move to the Department for Transport from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at
    • Onsite facilities: Opportunity to use onsite facilities including staff canteens (where applicable).
  • Season Ticket and Bicycle Loan

    Interest-free loans allowing you to spread the cost of an annual travel season ticket or a new bicycle.

Supporting our Senior Civil Servants

Civil Service Learning

You will have access to the Civil Service Learning Portal. This is home to a suite of tools, training materials and virtual classrooms that will help support your development in an SCS role and develop your leadership skills further. All materials are available as and when you’re ready to use them, and can be scheduled around your calendar.

Civil Service Leadership Academy

The Civil Service Leadership Academy (CSLA) offers three core programmes for the Senior Civil Service (SCS) and open events to support the development of leadership skills within the Civil Service. Leaders joining one of these programmes join a cohort of participants alongside whom they develop and grow with as leaders through the programme.

Starting out as a Senior Civil Servant in DfT, you will also be able to talk to people you work with to fill in some of the gaps, and your line manager and buddy will be able to offer ongoing advice and guidance. Your colleagues will help you to identify the right people to talk to, and where to find out what you need to know. They will also explain the organisational abbreviations, acronyms or unfamiliar words which may get in the way of you getting on with your work.

How to become a Senior Civil Servant at DfT

As with all roles in the Civil Service, vacancies for DfT’s SCS positions are advertised on the Civil Service Jobs website. However, the selection process you’ll follow once you’ve submitted your application does vary.

Selection Process

  • Shortlist

    You will receive an acknowledgement of your application through the online process. A panel, including the hiring manager, will access your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria set out in the ‘Person Specification’ section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application. A decision is to be expect to be made within 2 weeks of the application closing date, individual campaigns will provide a loose timeline.

  • Assessments

    Shortlisted candidates may be asked to take part in one or more different assessments including Staff Engagement Exercise (SEE) and Individual Leadership Assessment (ILA).

  • Staff Engagement Exercise

    SEE panels are chaired by an Occupational Psychologist and made up by staff members from the Department. Candidates will be asked to prepare a five-minute presentation on a pre-agreed topic. A question and answer session will then follow in order for the panel to understand the candidates’ leadership style.

  • Individual Leadership Assessments

    ILA’s include two online assessments including Work Strengths and Numerical Reasoning. The Work Strength assessment explores a person’s talents within a work context and roughly takes 20 minutes to complete, more information can be found here. Numerical Reasoning tests evaluate candidates’ ability to evaluate numerical data. The test takes roughly 25 minutes to complete and practice tests can be found here.

  • Interview

    You will be asked to attend a panel interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the criteria set out in the Person Specification.  Full details of the assessment process will be made available to shortlisted candidates.

  • Outcome

    All candidates will be notified as soon as possible after the final interviews, regardless of the outcome. Feedback is available on request.

What our Senior Civil Servants say about working for DfT

Lucy Bird, Director of Transport Security, DfT

Lucy Bird, Director Transport Security, Resilience & Response

“No two days are ever the same. My teams are dealing with a variety of issues at any one time: responding to an event that has…”

Haroona Chughtai, Deputy Director Future EU Roads Relationships, DfT.

Haroona Chughtai, Deputy Director Future EU Roads Relationships, DfT

“I have found the Civil Service to be a great place to work – it encourages diversity, respects your work life balance and…”

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