Diplomatic and Development Economics Fast Stream 2023 - Civil Service Jobs (2023)


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  • About the job
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  • Things you need to know
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London followed by subsequent opportunities overseas

About the job

Job summary

The heart of development, global macroeconomic policy and international relations

Job description

The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) pursues our national interests and projects the UK as a force for good in the world. It promotes the interests of British citizens, safeguards the UK’s security, defends UK values, reduces poverty and tackles global challenges with international partners. Assistant Economists have an exciting career ahead of them in FCDO, a truly global organisation with 280 posts worldwide.

Economics is central to the work of the FCDO and economists are at the heart of our decision-making on policy, partnerships, diplomacy and aid spending. Economic analysis matters, giving Ministers fresh ideas about complex issues and deep insights into policy options.

Economics improves policy and programming by:

Diagnosing and prioritising challenges
Designing solutions with rigorous evidence, considering trade-offs and incentives and assessing cost-effectiveness of alternatives.
Influencing and implementing policy with metrics to measure success.
Influencing others through credible data-driven, evidence-based arguments.

Diplomatic & Development Economists work on some of the most diverse and rewarding projects in government. As a Diplomatic & Development Economist Fast Streamer your work will allow you to focus on both country specific projects as well as thematic projects that look across international borders. This will place you at the heart of development, global macroeconomic policy and international relations.

Diplomatic & Development Economists will start their career with three varied and high profile roles within FCDO. Generally, the first two years are spent in UK based roles before having the option to apply for roles overseas. All UK based roles involve working with a range of key stakeholders including other government departments, consultancies, international organisations and academia. This provides invaluable experience and training ahead of applying for development and diplomatic economist postings overseas. Diplomatic & Development Economics Fast Streamers are placed in a wide range of roles with the primary purpose of making sure development and foreign policy is underpinned by sound economic analysis. No two Diplomatic & Development Economists will share the same career path and you can choose to spend a large part of your career overseas. The unique benefit of this scheme is that the training it provides allows Diplomatic & Development Economists to apply for both analytical economics roles and policy roles later in their career, both within FCDO or in other government departments. Allowing a great range of career pathways.

Ensuring non-economists understand the implications of economic analysis is vital, and members of the Diplomatic and Development Economist Fast Stream play an important role in building this understanding and capability throughout the FCDO Office.

All Diplomatic & Development Economist Fast Streamers must be granted ‘Developed Vetting’ (DV) security clearance before starting. For DV clearance, you need to have lived in the UK for 5 of the last 10 years, including a consecutive 12-month period. Security clearance relies on assurance checks that can only be carried out in the UK - which is why a sufficient UK footprint is a mandatory requirement.

Person specification

  • You must be a British citizen (those with dual nationality may apply)
  • Resided in the UK for at least 5 of the previous 10 years, including a consecutive 12-month period.
  • You need, or expect to have, a 2:1 degree, degree apprenticeship or higher or a post-graduate degree in an economic subject.
  • For mixed degrees, at least 50% should be in economics.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Developing Self and Others


You will have a unique chance to work on international issues that really matter, from alleviating poverty to ensuring security and prosperity for the UK. The programme provides an excellent platform for promotion and long-term progression in both the FCDO and the wider civil service.

Other benefits include the Civil Service Pension Scheme, recognised language qualifications, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, childcare assistance, diversity support/networks/forums and more.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours.

Apply through the FS Website. There are several phases in the application process. Some of these assessments are multimedia in that they present information in video, audio, graphical or visual formats as well as text. The Online Tests consist of Work Style Questionnaires and multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaires (SJQ). These are multiple-choice assessments. The Work Based Scenarios consist of an online Case Study and Learning Assessments. Both use multimedia and both are multiple choice as well. Additional Information applies for selected schemes only and, depending on the specific schemes you have chosen, there may be additional information to be completed, an intermediate sift process, or a numerical test to take . If you pass these stages then you will be invited to attend a half day Assessment Centre. This will be conducted virtually on line.

The Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) reflects some of the key elements of a Fast Stream role and will consist of a leadership scenario, a team scenario exercise and and a written scenario. Information will be presented via an app that you will be able to access remotely. Most schemes will then require a final selection stage (with the exception of the Generalist, Human Resources, Cyber Security and Finance schemes). We will ask you to attend this final assessment if you reach the required standard at the assessment centre

Please note there are no roles available in Northern Ireland

Further Information

Any move to Cabinet Office 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 https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service/Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email Info@disclosurescotland.co.uk

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting.See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : faststream.applicationsupport@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
  • Email : faststream.applicationsupport@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email : faststream.applicationsupport@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

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