About us

Occupational psychology is the government profession concerned with the performance of people at work and how individuals, groups and organisations behave.

Who we are

The Civil Service Occupational Psychology Profession comprises over 250 members across all the major government departments and many agencies and arms-length bodies. There are significant numbers of our profession in the Department for Work & Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence (including Defence Science & Technology Laboratory), and College of Policing. Across all our roles, we give decision-makers occupational psychology evidence-based advice and services to improve organisational effectiveness, employment experiences, public policy and the quality of public services people across the United Kingdom. We include in our profession anyone who holds a Psychology undergraduate degree (BSc) and intends to complete, is currently undertaking, or who has completed a postgraduate (MSc) qualification in occupational psychology (or similarly titled course).

Head of Profession for Occupational Psychology: Sonia Pawson

What we do

Occupational psychology is concerned with the performance of people at work and with how individuals, small groups and organisations behave and function. By applying the science of psychology to work, Occupational Psychologists aim to increase the effectiveness of the organisation, improve the job satisfaction of individuals and deliver for Ministers, citizens of the UK and the wellbeing of our people.

Our Board has agreed five strategic priorities for 2023:

  1. Increase visibility of the profession: connecting with closely aligned professions (e.g. HR and GSE) to set out the progress we have made as a profession, outlining how our skills, expertise, and current work packages link to the work of the Government People Function.

  2. Recruitment, promotion and retention: develop a clearly defined entry and progression standard for the profession. We have achieved this with our new skills and standards document, which will soon be on gov.uk. We will launch our employee value proposition in November.

  3. Career pathways: develop a career framework that aligns professional development with CS frameworks and that can be used in conjunction with other career pathways.

  4. Standards in selection and testing: development and promotion of a cross-government selection and testing policy. We are nearly ready to deliver this.

  5. Sharing best practice and maturing our community of practice: delivering a series of learning and networking events and sharing best practice and interacting with Knowledge Hub. We’ve held three learning events and our conference so far this year, including launching five cross-civil service projects for our trainees.

Corporate information

Jobs and contracts