Specialist skills

Explore the specialist skills you need to grow professional expertise - part of the Government Campus learning curriculum


Everyone in the Civil Service should be a member of at least one profession. Government professions develop the capability of a group of people with specialist skills, knowledge and expertise. For example, finance or operational delivery. They also define the awareness level learning that creates the essential capabilities every civil servant needs.

You can also explore other parts of the learning curriculum:

Specialist skills

Professions work across government on behalf of departments, agencies and functions and an individual can belong to more than one government profession. For example, a HR professional might also be part of the project delivery profession. Professions develop specialist skills and knowledge in people, set standards and define career pathways. This includes:

  • Developing members of a profession to progress from entry into the profession to deep specialist - through accredited routes as well as continuous professional development.
  • Supporting members of one profession to build interdisciplinary range through another profession.
  • Defining the awareness level learning that creates the essential capabilities every civil servant needs.

To find out more about this learning, please read our specialist skills guide below.

Specialist skills guide - March 2023 (PDF, 32.5 MB, 68 pages)

Please contact gscu.comms@cabinetoffice.gov.uk for an accessible version of this document.

Cross-government Professions

There are 27 recognised cross-government professions. Some professions sit within a government function.

The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) provides guidance to the 27 recognised cross-government professions as well as those communities wishing to establish a cross-government profession through our Professions Best Practice Framework.

GSCU supports professions and functions by leading two networks that bring together capability, talent and learning leads from across the professions.  The People Peer Group (PPG) is a community of senior leaders from cross-government professions with responsibility for the delivery of Professional Capability. The Professions and Functions L&D Forum is a community of learning and talent development leads from the cross-government professions who meet bi-monthly. For more information on either of these groups please contact us here

To find out more about developing a profession and the work required to support members, please read our professions best practice framework below.

Professions Best Practice Framework (July 2023) (PDF, 15.2 MB, 38 pages)

The recognised cross-government professions are:

Analysis (including Government Economic Service, Operational Research Profession, Government Statistical Service, Social Research Profession)

Commercial (including Grants)


Corporate Finance

Counter Fraud

Digital, Data and Technology

Finance (including Risk management)

Human Resources

Intelligence Analysis

Internal Audit

International Trade

Knowledge and Information Management



Occupational Psychology

Operational Delivery


Planning Inspectorate


Project Delivery


Science and Engineering




Government Skills and Curriculum Unit