International Challenges and Perspectives
Edited by Jeffrey A. Raffel, Peter Leisink and Anthony E. Middlebrooks
Chapter 19: Evaluation of Leadership Development and Training in the British Senior Civil Service: The Search for the Holy Grail?
Sylvia Horton Evaluation is the assessment of the total value of a training system, training course or program in social as well as financial terms. Evaluation differs from validation in that it attempts to measure the overall cost-benefit of the course or program and not just the achievement of its laid down objectives. (Manpower Services Commission 1981) INTRODUCTION The British Senior Civil Service (SCS), created in 1996, consists of around 3800 specialist and generalist managers filling the top three levels of the service. They head government departments and agencies and are responsible for advising governments on policy, implementing policy and managing the performance of central government organizations involved in the delivery of government services. Most are career civil servants but around 20 percent are recruited externally. Managing and leading this complex organization (some 150 administrative units and around 590,000 civil servants) makes great demands on these senior officials. The SCS is in the vanguard of the transformation of the state, which has been in process since the 1980s. Traditionally leaders emerged in the civil service largely through internal talent spotting and planned experience. Although merit was always a key factor in promotion to senior posts, seniority was equally important. The idea of leadership training and development can be traced back to the 1980s when major reforms began. Influenced by the Management Charter Initiative1 and its National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) framework for managers, and working with outside consultants, Price Waterhouse, the new Civil Service College (CSC) developed a competency-based training...
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