Civil Service role - provisional offer

#1
Hi

I was looking for a bit of advice. I worked in Armed Forces/Public Sector for a number of years.

I was offered a role in a private firm. Stayed there for a year. Job didn't work out. I went in expecting it to be a technical role, whilst it was a customer focused role during a time of restructure (again, not mentioned). The boss admitted he hadn't been honest about this in the interview and we parted ways.

Everything was a bit up in the air and I did a Uni course. However the Uni specifically didn't put me on a pre loading course before hand which was offered to everyone apart from myself (no reason given) and then the tutor sent out an e-mail slagging off all the students to another colleague who then e-mailed me about something different but kept the original chain in. I put in a complaint about this and other aspects of the course. The Uni are saying it's unfortunate but this is a 'development time' for the tutor. Officially I deferred the course, so reading between the lines, the tutor will probably want me to do the course so I don't come back.

Now, I have to have 3 years checkable history. Aside from the 2 issues, I will have excellent references from previous history and my current agency role. The 1st role (private firm) said he would give me a good reference and as I left the Uni course under my own free will, in theory the 2nd reference will be okay and if there is an unfair reference she knows I will put in a challenge with this to the Uni (and as mentioned, in theory I will be coming back).

I have been given fantastic feedback from my interview. I can do this job standing on my head and it will give me security. However he wanted me to start now on the back of a provisional offer (and if there's issues, then I'll be out the door). Meantime references are going to be taken. Obviously I don't want to hand my notice in until I know what the references come back with.

The current boss - thinks I am doing a good job, but I have no idea what she will say I'm leaving. She'll either offer me a permanent job or get me out to get someone else in ASAP. She needs me but she's the type who doesn't like being given ultimatations.

What has this got to do with the army? Nothing, but I am ex forces - advice appreciated:

Option 1: Go for it. Hand my notice in. If bad references come back, challenge this through civil service policies and procedures, keeping my fingers crossed throughout, bearing in mind I have no employment rights and could well leave another job under a black cloud.

Option 2: Wait until I get references come back. The prospective boss thinks it's weird that I want a formal offer.

Current status:

'We'd like to make you a provisional job offer.

We're conducting some pre-employment checks before we make you a formal offer.

We'll contact you when we have finished these.'


There is a middle manager in-between myself and the big boss. He's going to do the reference, but frankly doesn't have a clue either how the big boss will take it.
 
#3
The most likely reason for withdrawal of a civil service provisional offer will be if the employing officer believes you told porkies in the selection stage. That apart, it's unusual in my experience for a provisional offer not to become firm.

Civil servants do sometimes struggle to understand why external applicants want an offer writ in stone. It's worth telling them that in the private sector a verbal offer is worth little. Giving your notice is a big step for which you want the reassurance of a firm offer, to cover your probationary period (normally 6 or 12 months) at least.

Good luck with it.
 
#4
What Dept/Grade are they offering at, and do you need a security clearance for the post?

Its common for provisional offers to be made, pending clearance to be completed, so that if for whatever reason clearance isn't granted (which can happen), they can withdraw the offer. My advice is wait till you get your security clearance confirmed then go from there.
 
#5
My mantra has always been Never quit until you have another job to go to..

---------------------
From gov.uk
Bad references
If the worker thinks they’ve been given an unfair or misleading reference, they may be able to claim damages in a court. The previous employer must be able to back up the reference, such as by supplying examples of warning letters.

Workers must be able to show that:
  • it’s misleading or inaccurate
  • they ‘suffered a loss’ - for example, a job offer was withdrawn
Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid.

------------------
 
#6
So what job/role is this within the Civil Service? I work in a part of it that recruits people to posts subject to passing various training courses along the way. Don't pass the training, get binned. Could that the 'provisional' nature of the offer you have?
 
#7
I don't see either of the two circumstances you mention being an issue. You weren't dismissed or expelled for inappropriate behaviour so there's no reason to expect a negative reference.

I would suggest you tell them you provisionally accept the offer and inform them that you won't be submitting your notice to your current employer until you have received the firm job offer.
 
#8
As jim30 has said, the process varies between Depts but the normal procedure is that you get a provisional offer which is dependent on 'employment checks'. This can be references or security clearance but it can be other more basic admin processes (e.g. criminal records, employment history etc). Once these are complete (the time for which varies) you will get a formal offer. Certainly in MoD you would not be allowed to start work until these are completed, even if your new boss wants you to and he/she wouldn't have the ability to put you on the payroll themselves. It may be different in other Depts but I would guess they all follow similar processes and have a central HR area that does all of the work-up admin rather than it being done by individual managers. I would always advise people to wait for the formal offer before doing anything in respect of their existing employment.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
Option 1: Go for it. Hand my notice in. If bad references come back, challenge this through civil service policies and procedures, keeping my fingers crossed throughout, bearing in mind I have no employment rights and could well leave another job under a black cloud.

Option 2: Wait until I get references come back. The prospective boss thinks it's weird that I want a formal offer.

Current status:

'We'd like to make you a provisional job offer.

We're conducting some pre-employment checks before we make you a formal offer.

We'll contact you when we have finished these.'

There is a middle manager in-between myself and the big boss. He's going to do the reference, but frankly doesn't have a clue either how the big boss will take it.
The only reference any employer will give is confirmation of the dates of your employment with them.
 
#10
Thanks all. It's working for DWP.

I appreciate it might sound a bit weird and pessimistic, but I'd be looking to take the role with an eye to having more security. As long as I pay the bills, I am happy.

In my current role, I'm getting paid £22k (including holiday pay) and the company is paying £45k (not including VAT). So agency making a fair bit of profit (I think when I calculated the additional costs there was a max £5k, to be added on).

The agency are making out they are my mates (I would be if I was making £20k profit) but I am under no illusion that I would get dropped ASAP to make way for another income generation monkey.
 
#11
I can't remember the last time I saw a reference come back with anything more than a confirmation of dates of employment.
Ditto.

It’s very uncommon these days to get in depth references. Most private firms will only provide the basics. Start dates, end dates, time off sicknand disciplanry
 
#12
@jim30 is Grade 6 considered to be a mid level role in the UK CS? There is a vacancy advertised which is interesting (and for which I am eligible to apply for, since now I am a UK perm resident), I am thinking of applying for. The pay range is between £62,519 - £70,859.

Also, apparently they use "Blind CV" type of recruitment, personal statement and something called "Civil Service Competency Framework."

These are all new to me. The deadline for applying is the 8th, so need to get everything sorted out in the next day or two.

How's life in the UK civ service anyways? Any tips etc. for applying?

I come from a U.S. background of things so wanted to know if you guys do thinks a bit different here.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#13
I can't remember the last time I saw a reference come back with anything more than a confirmation of dates of employment.
In 1986 my section 2IC at the Computer Centre took a handful of us (including a female civvy. The pair seemed remarkably close...) on a familiarisation visit to Exeter MRO. One records officer told us about a bad egg in an infantry battalion who was leaving. CO had to write a reference. It laid into the soldier. MRO sent it back. "You can't say stuff like that. Rewrite." CO rewrote it, marginally less vitriolic with a cover note saying he had nothing good to say. The document bounced back and forth. Ultimately it read, "This soldier served in my battalion. "

Fast forward another career and I remember my manager and friend telling me that company no longer allowed a first line manager to write a reference. Whoever did write it was, as you say, only allowed to confirm dates.

I think there is history of previous employers being sued for writing references which, though true, cost the employee a subsequent job for being less than glowing.
 
#14
@jim30 is Grade 6 considered to be a mid level role in the UK CS? There is a vacancy advertised which is interesting (and for which I am eligible to apply for, since now I am a UK perm resident), I am thinking of applying for. The pay range is between £62,519 - £70,859.

Also, apparently they use "Blind CV" type of recruitment, personal statement and something called "Civil Service Competency Framework."

These are all new to me. The deadline for applying is the 8th, so need to get everything sorted out in the next day or two.

How's life in the UK civ service anyways? Any tips etc. for applying?

I come from a U.S. background of things so wanted to know if you guys do thinks a bit different here.
Grade 6 is fairly high up, but how that stands in London etc it will be for @jim30 to say

In ‘management’ grades D/EO is the lowest manager, then C2/HEO C1/SEO
Then it’s grades with grade 7,6,5 etc

On ‘equivalence’ I’m a C2 and am not truely equivalent to a Major but can do the same level of desk work in appropriate SO2 roles

Grade 7 is equivalent to Colonel
Grade 5 equivalent to Brigadier
Grade 6 spans the gap inbetween
 
#15
Grade 6 depends on the Department in question. In some delivery departments it is a particularly senior role, where you will be responsible for running multiple sites and organisations and potentially several hundred - thousand plus staff. In other departments its a policy role where you will theoretically be senior on payscale, but have little direct responsibility or management - depends on where you are, what you do and how the job is constructed.

G6 is also the last level before the Senior Civil Service, the so-called '1*' and above level, which is an entirely different set of T&COS.
 
#16
Thanks for the advice guys. Just to confirm that today I got my 'all clear' job offer.

It's slightly sad that I am looking to amalgamate all my pensions as much as possible (well checking the benefits first).

Thanks again for all the comments.
 
#17
Grade 6 depends on the Department in question. In some delivery departments it is a particularly senior role, where you will be responsible for running multiple sites and organisations and potentially several hundred - thousand plus staff. In other departments its a policy role where you will theoretically be senior on payscale, but have little direct responsibility or management - depends on where you are, what you do and how the job is constructed.

G6 is also the last level before the Senior Civil Service, the so-called '1*' and above level, which is an entirely different set of T&COS.
@tommikka @jim30
Thanks guys for the info. This is for the dept. of transport. I think the post quoted a line management of 3 directly with several others indirectly.

https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1593289

I am not sure if I have enough "seniority" to get the role, but was thinking of applying anyways, just for the hell of it. I do have about 10yrs of experience in roles which match quite a few skills listed in the ad. Not sure, but figured why not?
 
#18
Hi lads, just joined up. Ex REME many years ago. I now work in the Rail Industry. If it’s any help to anyone who has an Engineering background and looking to get into Rail Industry drop a quick email to goliathrailsolutions@yahoo.com , its a close family member of mines. She has just started a recruitment agency helping ex military get into the Rail Industry . Her names Samantha and she will b more than happy to help with any queries etc, as will I. Good luck lads.
 

Latest Threads

Top