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Civil Service Awards 2014 – nominations now open

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I am thoroughly delighted to announce that nominations for the Civil Service Awards 2014 are now open. Across the country Civil Servants deliver excellent services and I think it is really important that their outstanding achievements are recognised and celebrated. The Awards, now in their ninth year, are a fantastic opportunity to do this.

This year, there are 16 awards:

  •  The Policy Award
  •  The Analysis and Use of Evidence Award
  •  The Digital Award
  •  The Project and Programme Management Award
  •  The Commercial Award
  •  The Dame Lesley Strathie Operational Excellence Award
  •  The Communication Award
  •  The Diversity and Equality Award
  •  The Skills Award
  •  The Professional of the Year Award
  •  The Leadership Award
  •  The Excellence in Civil Service Reform Award
  •  The International Award
  •  The Supporting Enterprise and Growth Award
  •  The Volunteering Award
  •  The Innovation Award

Full details of each award category and criteria can be found on the Civil Service Awards website.

Presenting the Head of the Civil Service Award to the State Pension Reform Team at the 2013 Awards
Presenting the Head of the Civil Service Award to the State Pension Reform Team at the 2013 Awards

Excellence in Civil Service Reform

An Award particularly close to my heart is the Excellence in Civil Service Reform award. Last year’s winners were the State Pension Reform Team. The team did this by using a cross-team and cross-Government approach to help reform the state pension system. This year’s award will again go to the team that has best embodied the spirit of Civil Service Reform. I look forward to hearing about your achievements through your nominations.


Una O’Brien presenting the Employee Engagement award to Paul Gerrard on behalf of the Benefits and Credits Operations team at HMRC last year.
Una O’Brien presenting the Leadership award to Paul Foweather, Governor of Full Sutton Prison at the 2013 Civil Service Awards

It’s a great feeling to win one of these awards and to be recognised nationally for something you or your team has done to make a difference.


We do so much important work to make life better for people in Britain and for others around the world that it’s good to see this celebrated: I would encourage everyone to ask ‘what are we most proud of’ in our work and to get involved in nominating people for awards.

              -Una O’Brien - Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health and Civil Service Awards Champion

Key information

Any Civil Servant can nominate themselves or a colleague before the 25 July 2014 so there is no excuse not to enter. I am hoping there will be nominations from a range of different departments and teams from around the country.

The short list will be announced in October on the Civil Service Awards website and in Civil Service World. The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at Lancaster House in November 2014. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

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  1. Comment by Phantom posted on

    Dear bob, I have deliberately refrained from commenting on any of the recent blogs for two reasons! Firstly I don't think you or any other "senior" managers really give a damn about what the average cs thinks or feels, and will carry on regardless, the recent posts regarding PMR are witness to that! Secondly, after my last post I was quietly told by a senior manager that using my name and the dept name was unacceptable and a career limiting move! It seems that the freedom of speech many people in this country fought to uphold does not exist in this modern cs. It is no wonder comments are few and far between.

    • Replies to Phantom>

      Comment by David S posted on

      RE: the second part.

      Absolutely appalling behaviour. Said senior manager should be put straight into the Whistleblowing box for inappropriate behaviour at the very least, or taken through grievance for issuing veiled threats against your career progression.

    • Replies to Phantom>

      Comment by Matt posted on

      This is why I for one only post to this blog from non work systems using a pseudonym hidden behind a separate email and refuse to post on internal blogs (ie. those accessed on CS networks and requiring your CS emails to post)

      It's bad enough that I personally have lost a 5 figure sum in lost salary over the last 5 years due to pay freezes, the enforced removal of progression and enforced changes to pensions and TACOS. Bad enough that I'm subjected to a PMR system which every year is taking longer and longer to complete while saying less and less about if and how capable I am of actually doing my job despite a working environment not fit for purpose with its decrepit buildings and decade old IT systems. Bad enough that every year my department is having to do more with less because we're losing good hardworking people to retirement or worse the private sector and nothing is being done to either bring in new people, train existing staff to fill in the skill gaps or pay skilled staff a salary commensurate with their skill sets so they don't jump ship the first chance they get.

      But on top of all that if I or anyone else dare to speak out publicly about any of it with our name and department on it we run the risk of a man (or woman - E&D after all) in a grey suit coming along and effectively ending what little remains of our careers. Small wonder that I keep reading comments on the various blogs of individuals who are now only going through the motions and doing the absolute minimum necessary to survive while getting everything they can to try and help them escape. I hope the architects of this situation are proud of what they have created here.

  2. Comment by John posted on

    I'm impressed by the long list of awards above Sir Bob, but I have noticed an omission.
    The only award missing again this year appears to be the "Realistic Pay Award".
    I'm sure if you were to announce this one, then staff would feel recognised for the excellence of service they provide, and the differences they make to peoples lives on a daily basis.

  3. Comment by Miles Nelson posted on

    I've posted a number of comments here under my own name (my views, my signature) and so far no-one in a grey suit has bothered me yet. I would not want to be associated with anyone who is going through the motions in their job, though I can understand that there will no doubt be some who are sufficiently disillusioned to respond in that way. My experience is that people who have been marked down continue to take a pride in their work and are upset because they care about their work, not just about getting a tick in the right box. Part of my story is struggling to keep up standards despite the demotivating effect of PMR.

    As we appear to be in the awards system, how about introducing an equivalent of the Razzies, the "Oscars" for worst actor, film, etc? I have some nominations, for Worst Management System and for Most Expensive Way To Say Use Your Common Sense.