Graduate Development Programme: candidate guide 2023

Guidance for candidates applying to the 2023 Scottish Government Graduate Development Programme.

Working at the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government’s work impacts on every aspect of society and the everyday lives of the people of Scotland. We cover areas like health, education, the economy, social security, culture, rural affairs and transport.

We collaborate to deliver the commitments made in the Programme for Government and measure our impact with the National Performance Framework.

It is our mission to work together to improve the lives of the people of Scotland.

We employ over 8,000 people, at locations across Scotland in a diverse mix of roles and professions. We strongly believe in diversity and inclusion, and we aim to recruit a workforce that is reflective of our diverse population.

We are proud to be a Disability Confident Leader, Stonewall Diversity Champion, and holder of a Gold Healthy Working Lives Award and an Investors in People accreditation.

Our vision and values

The Scottish Government has a vision and set of values which are shared by all staff and underpin all of the work we deliver.

Our vision:

We put the people we serve at the heart of everything we do. We use digital thinking and approaches to strengthen our work and provide a better service for everyone. We are driven by our values, always searching for new ways to learn and improve. All in the service of Scotland.

Our values:

  • we act with integrity
  • we are inclusive
  • we are collaborative
  • we are innovative
  • we are kind

Joining the Civil Service

The Scottish Government is a devolved administration of the UK. Staff in all of the devolved administrations of the UK work for the same organisation, known as the Civil Service.

As Civil Servants we are politically impartial and serve the government of the day in line with the Civil Service Code core values:

  • integrity – putting the obligations of public service above personal interests
  • honesty – being truthful and open
  • objectivity – basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
  • impartiality – acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties equally well

The Scottish Parliament

We are separate from The Scottish Parliament and cannot provide work placements at the Parliament as part of the graduate programme.

The Scottish Parliament is made up of all elected members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and is the law making body for devolved matters. It considers any proposed legislation and scrutinises the activities and policies of the Scottish Government through debates, parliamentary questions and the work of committees.


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