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Civil Service Live Online 2020

About The Event

This year, Civil Service Live moved online for the first time on 14 and 15 July 2020. Over 30,000 civil servants and public sector staff joined the virtual event to hear live from senior leaders from across government, pose questions and comments, and access a tailored selection of learning and development webinars.

Civil servants and public sector staff can access all of the sessions from this year's event by registering or logging in and viewing them in our Content Library from 23 July. 

  • Our event offered a range of activities including:
  • Keynote addresses from the Cabinet Secretary, Civil Service Chief Operating Officer, Permanent Secretaries and senior leaders
  • One-to-one spot mentoring sessions with Senior Civil Servants
  • Q&A opportunities with Senior Civil Servants
  • One-to-one networking sessions across departments
  • Sessions from the largest professions across government 
  • Workshops and webinars aimed at all grades and professions
  • An opportunity to hear from inspiring people sharing their experiences, knowledge and expertise.

Content for the events was designed to: 

  • EDUCATE civil servants by sharing information and new ideas that change thinking and allow attendees to learn new skills.
  • ENGAGE civil servants by making them feel part of A Brilliant Civil Service, demonstrating excellent cross-departmental working and building networks of civil servants who can support each other to improve outcomes.
  • INSPIRE civil servants to adopt the vision and demonstrate leadership, learn new skills and improve their office environment to provide better public services.

Content Themes

Content for Service Live Online 2020 is focused on the themes of the Civil Service vision, A Brilliant Civil Service.

A brilliant Civil Service that helps to keep the United Kingdom prosperous and secure, supporting the governments we serve in implementing their commitments and delivering high quality services for the public.

To make the vision a reality we will deliver improved outcomes for the country, from effective leaders, leading skilled people in a great place to work.

United by our strong sense of public service, we continue to live by the enduring values – integrity, honesty, impartiality and objectivity - that run through all that we do.

Civil Service Live Online is your opportunity to delve deeper into these four themes, learn from your colleagues, hear about best practice and be inspired to do things differently. Alongside the four pillars of the vision, Civil Service Live Online also plays host to a fifth theme, exploring the international context of Her Majesty’s Government’s work.

Improved Outcomes

This theme focuses on how we can build trust and deliver the best results for the country through efficient services that are designed around user need. Sessions will look at best practice in public service delivery, and the skills and approaches required to work across boundaries to improve lives and society.

Effective Leaders

Great leadership is one of the keys to a more effective and efficient Civil Service. This theme will provide opportunities for civil servants to explore and share experiences and expectations of leaders in the multi-disciplinary and changing environment of Government. It will draw on the recently launched Leadership in Action work, led by Clare Moriarty.

Skilled People

This theme will demonstrate how the Civil Service is investing in its people to ensure they are high performing, adaptable and take personal responsibility. There will be focussed sessions looking at career development, how staff can continue to develop the skills they need to meet the demands of a modern Civil Service, and how we can best develop our talent.

A Great Place To Work

The Civil Service needs to be a great place to work. This means that it will be inclusive, flexible, modern and connected, sitting at the heart of a wider public service. Reflecting our need to encourage openness, challenge, innovation and excellence, by exploring social mobility, how we are becoming a more diverse workforce, operational delivery and our customer focus.

Global Britain

This theme will provide an insight into the international context Her Majesty’s Government is operating within, and prompt civil servants to consider the implications of our international activities on their own role and responsibilities.
This year, we're asking you to join us in renewing this vision for a rapidly changing world.

With a new government, a new Chief Operating Officer and facing new challenges, we will be using Civil Service Live Online to start an interactive discussion with the wider Civil Service about how we take the vision forward.


Please click on the links below to view the sessions delivered on Day 1, Tuesday 14 July or Day 2, Wednesday 15 July.

To view further detail on each session, click the + symbol next to the session title to expand the text. Click the - symbol to minimise this.

09:15 - 10:00
In the opening address, Sir Mark Sedwill, Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary and Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, will give an overview of their views on what the future holds for the Civil Service.
They will reflect on lessons learnt from the Covid response and how this will impact on our ways of working going forwards. You’ll get to hear how we’ve approached EU exit, and a new perspective on the vision of A Brilliant Civil Service: one that helps to keep the United Kingdom prosperous and secure, supporting the governments we serve in implementing their commitments and delivering high-quality services for the public.

You’ll also get to hear about plans to reform and modernise the Civil Service, looking at areas such better delivery and building our capability. You’ll get to pose your questions during this live session and hear more about how there is a role for every civil servant in helping to deliver these changes.
10:30 - 11:15
This session will discuss the case for Improved Outcomes, and explore the progress towards and challenges faced by the Civil Service in scoping and achieving the 'Art of the Possible'.

The session is designed for delegates of all grades and backgrounds, endeavouring to leave them feeling enthused and inspired to confront the challenges they face at work and at home on a day to day basis.

The discussion will explore how the Public Sector has tackled contemporary issues such as ‘levelling up’ and embraced creative, innovative solutions to challenges such as data and AI to deliver better outcomes for UK citizens.

Through Senior Civil Servants and citizens themselves, the session will harness personal stories to bring to life the impact that a shift in mindset or approach by the public sector can have on an individual’s life.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and DHSC Chief Scientific Adviser
* Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted
* Shona Dunn, Second Permanent Secretary, Home Office
* Jo Farrar, Chief Executive Officer, HM Prison & Probation Service
* Chief Constable Simon Bailey, Norfolk Constabulary
* Justin Placide, Assistant Director of Business, Investment & Growth Team at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Co-Chair of the FAME Network
11:30 - 12:15
At the heart of system leadership is improving outcomes for service users.
This session will show how system leadership provides the infrastructure which enables us to do this.

We will be featuring eminent system leaders and specialists with proven experience of building relationships and connectivity - collaborating across organisations and the wider public service. They will demonstrate the need to think about outcomes for citizens and the country - using a ‘systems leadership’ approach.

The session will provide practical tools and advice on effective collaboration with insight on the drivers behind successful system leadership. There will be examples of system leadership in action on local, regional and national levels, demonstrating the benefits of leading together and collaborating within and across organisational boundaries to deliver better results.

We will show how to collaborate, co-create solutions, and align interests to achieve desired outcomes – as referenced in the Strategic Framework.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary, Welsh Government
* Steve Oldfield, Chief Commercial Officer, Department for Health and Social Care
* Emran Mian, Director General, Decentralisation and Growth, MHCLG
* Debbie Sorkin, National Director of Systems Leadership at The Leadership Centre
* Prathiba Ramsingh OBE, District Operations Manager at DWP
* Stephen Alambritis, Leader of the Council, London Borough of Merton
* JP Marks, Director General, Work and Health Services
12:30 - 13:15
Come along to this session to hear from a range of civil servants who will share their personal career journeys and aspirations, their experiences of overcoming barriers, creating opportunities and building resilience.

The session will focus on how you take charge of your career journey, using the Civil Service career pathways, progression and maximising opportunities within your current role.
Our speakers will start by sharing their experiences. This will then be followed by a Q&A of questions both received in advance and asked online during the session by you.  

This session will inspire and motivate you to invest in yourself, providing examples of how others have achieved their goals. The aim is to get you thinking about what you want from your career and how to develop a pathway. 

Speakers for this session are:

* Sarah Healey, Permanent Secretary, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
* Jaee Samant, Director General Market Frameworks
* Liz Barnes, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Staffordshire University
* Godfrey Atuahene Junior, Private Secretary for Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Department for Transport
* Justin Placide, Assistant Director – Business, Investment & Growth & Co-Chair of the FAME Network
13:30 - 14:15
The Civil Service is a force for good in our society. To inspire and motivate us, the Civil Service needs to be a great place to work regardless of who we are, where we are or what we do. This session explores what makes a great place to work, how we want to treat each other at work and the values that reflect that, the evolving concept of place, and the passion for our work that binds us.

2020 is the Year of Inclusion. What does that mean in the current context? Are we doing enough? At our plenary session, civil servants from diverse backgrounds, in different roles and locations, will share their insights and thoughts. Panellists will include Alex Chisholm, Tamara Finkelstein, Selvin Brown, Rena Lalgie, and Angela MacDonald. We also want to hear from you about what we can do better, and we will be using technology so you can share your views and ask questions.

Speakers for this session will be:

* Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer of the Civil Service
* Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary, Defra
* Elizabeth Honer, Chief Executive, Government Internal Audit Agency and Senior Responsible Owner, GPTW
* Selvin Brown, Director, PPE Policy & Engagement, DHSC
* Rena Lalgie, Director, Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, HMT
* Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services, HMRC
14:30 - 15:15
Join our Global Britain plenary session where we will showcase how the UK is taking a leading role in tackling the recent pandemic, hearing from speakers including the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, FCO senior leaders, and Permanent Secretaries from DfID, DIT and HMT. We will look at how the UK galvanised efforts by countries, international organisations and corporations in the international community to tackle the Coronavirus.

This session is an opportunity to hear the first-hand experiences from those delivering this monumental effort for the UK and the world, investing in vaccines, supporting the most vulnerable countries, and promoting international cooperation.  Our panel will also explore what might come next in the UK’s role globally in economic recovery.

Our diverse range of senior leaders will host a discussion on the approach the UK took, collaboration with other countries, sharing our best practice, and learning from the experiences of others. 

You will have the opportunity to pose your questions to our panel during this live session which will leave you with a positive view of Britain’s future role in the world, as well as an understanding of the global challenges we face.

Expect to understand how your role will contribute to the future of a truly Global Britain and why a Global Britain is good for UK citizens.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of Government Science and Engineering Profession
* Tom Scholar, Permanent Secretary, HMT
* Nick Dyer, Acting Permanent Secretary, DFID
* Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade
* Menna Rawlings, Director General, Economic and Global Issues, FCO
15:30 - 16:15
Change is a new constant for all of us. As Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer Civil Service says “the times we live in are constantly changing around us and the magnitude of the challenges is very significant [so] the Civil Service has got to take another leap forward."

With new opportunities and challenges ahead we want your views on how we can continually improve the Civil Service, how it serves citizens effectively, and what that means for each of you, and us collectively.

This is an interactive session, open to all civil servants, of all grades, professions and departments, and it’s your chance to get creative. Hear from a Permanent Secretary, share your expertise, where you see the opportunities and what matters to you. We’ll use your feedback to help shape the next iteration of the vision for a Civil Service.

Hear from Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, share your expertise, where you see the opportunities and what matters to you. We’ll use your feedback to help shape the next iteration of the vision for a Civil Service.
09:00 - 09:45
Do you have a question you want to pose to the most senior leaders in government? Come along to this Live Q&A with Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary and Sir Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Civil Service Race Champion and Civil Service Awards Champion. They’ll be taking your questions and having a frank and open discussion, sharing their views on a range of topics that affect the Civil Service.
10:00 - 11:00
Do you want to experience first-hand the discussions that go on at Wednesday Morning Colleagues meetings? Permanent Secretaries get together on a weekly basis to discuss key topics affecting HM Government. At Civil Service Live Online, we’ll be inviting delegates to listen in on these discussions. Whilst participation in the discussions won’t be an option for delegates joining the session, it will offer unique insight into this key senior leadership meeting which we hope would give you an enhanced understanding of decision-making at the highest levels of HMG.
11:30 - 12:15
Alex Chisholm, Civil Service Chief Operating Officer and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary will host this session, and invite you to share your views on how the Civil Service needs to change and adapt to meet the demands of government and UK citizens.

You’ll have a chance to hear more about Alex's background, his priorities change and pose any questions you have to help inform plans for how we make reform a reality.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, will also share ministers’ views on political ambitions for improved capability in the Civil Service, and the government’s appetite for change.

Speakers for this session are:

* Alex Chisholm, Civil Service Chief Operating Officer and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary
* Michael Gove, The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
* Cat Little, Director General, Public Spending, HM Treasury.
11:30 - 12:15
The launch of success profiles in 2019 was a significant change to recruitment and selection in the Civil Service, making it fairer and more inclusive across departments. We moved away from a competency-only based approach to a system where we are now able to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical or professional skills of candidates against the skills required for different roles. It gives candidates a better opportunity to demonstrate their suitability, opens up Civil Service recruitment by making it more inclusive and gives us the best chance of finding the best person for the job.

This session will offer all staff from AA to G7 an overview of success profiles, practical advice on writing strong CVs and personal statements as well as tips on how to perform well at virtual interviews. Hear from HR professionals on how they have led the way in implementing success profiles across government departments.
12:30 - 13:15
The commercial function is playing a vital role in ensuring key services are delivered in these difficult times. We are working to ensure front line workers get the equipment they need, when they need it, using a huge number of expert buyers from across government.

Central government spends circa £50 billion every year on goods and services The way we source, buy, manage and dispose of goods and services helps deliver policy objectives. Capability of commercial and contract management staff is at the heart of everything we do.
Our ambitious Functional Strategy sets out the opportunities and challenges as we deliver the reforms required to deliver functional excellence across UK regions.

In this session you can find out about what we do and the career opportunities within the Government commercial functions. We will highlight our regional initiatives, underpinned by world class learning and development and supporting diversity and inclusion within the function.

Speakers for this session include:

* Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Profession, Cabinet Office
* Melinda Johnson, Commercial Director, DHSC
* David Taylor, Commercial Director, Home Office
* Coleen Andrews, Director, Markets and Suppliers, Cabinet Office
* Marco Salzedo, Director, Commercial Capability and Contract Management, Cabinet Office
* Justin Placide, Assistant Director of Business, Investment & Growth at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Co-Chair of the FAME Network and Co-Chair of The Civil Service Race Forum
12:30 - 13:15
Today’s highly demanding world is having a measurable impact on leadership, team work and wellness. Physical Intelligence unlocks the secret to thriving in that demanding environment. Hundreds of chemicals racing through our bloodstreams and nervous systems dictate how we think, feel, speak and behave: Physical Intelligence enables us to actively manage the impact of those chemicals in order to achieve more, stress less and live more happily.

Workshop leader, Claire Dale is co-author of the best-selling book on Physical Intelligence, winner of the Business Book of the Year award 2020 in the personal development category.
Come and learn about this highly successful strategy for raising your performance at work and home.

Participants will:

* explore their perceived comfort zones - taking away tangible and useful physical intelligence techniques.
* learn strategies for developing emotional and mental strength, flexibility, resilience and endurance in leadership – applicable in and out of work.

This will be both an active and an interactive session for all grades – with live Q&A and chat streams.
12:30 - 13:15
Do you know what skills a modern civil servant will need in the future? What did we learn from Brexit preparations and Covid-19 about skills across the Civil Service?

As automation transforms how we operate, how do we adapt our skills? How will we take advantage of Smarter Working? Are you armed with skills needed for the future of the Civil Service?

In this session, an expert panel will share insights from data on skills, discuss the key skills gaps identified over the past year and share their views on how best to future proof the Civil Service by upskilling in the right areas.

You won't want to miss this, come and share a glimpse into a future where skills and opportunities await you. This session is suitable for grades AA-G6.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Gerri Clement, Programme Director for Relocation Programme
* Matthew Davies, Deputy Director for Civil Service Employee Policy
* Katie Rhodes, Senior Policy Advisor, Government Automation
* Julie Aldgate, Strategic Cabinet Office Estates lead
* Dominic Arthur, Director, Pensions, Government Recruitment Service
12:30 - 13:15
This session will focus on how data and analysis provide insight and drive better decisions. Delegates will hear from senior leaders, who will discuss how a cross-government approach to gathering and analysing data has been successfully used to tackle recent challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

High quality analysis underpins evidence-based decision-making, essential for delivering improved outcomes for society. Many of the UK’s current and future challenges cut across departments and professions, so it is important to build capability and enable a truly cross-government approach to analysis.

The session will be relevant to those of all grades, and to analysts and non-analysts alike. Delegates will learn how they can better collaborate with analytical professionals and how analysis can add value to their work. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of some of the Civil Service’s most senior analytical leaders.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Professor Sir Ian Diamond, UK National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority
* Amanda Rowlatt, CBE, Chief Analyst and Strategy Director at Department for Transport
* Matt Gurden, Actuarial Director (Clients, Growth and Development), Government Actuary Department
* Julie Stanborough, Deputy Director for Best Practice and Impact, ONS
* Stephen Aldridge CB, Chief Analyst, MHCLG
12:30 - 13:15
Join us for a session of lightning talks offering insight into the variety of projects Civil Servants are working to deliver internationally and more recently their response to the COVID19 crisis. You may discover that your role contributes to, or is supported by, these fascinating international assignments.

Peter Jones, Chief Operating Officer, FCO, will introduce speakers from an array of professions and grades who will share personal experiences and case studies of working on global projects. You’ll receive a unique look into the international context HMG operates within, how departments collaborate to improve impact, how international projects are started and how challenges across a global stage are navigated.

This session is an opportunity to hear first-hand experiences of those delivering globally on behalf of the Civil Service, how their work supports wider Civil Service work and how the UK continues to be an influential power on the international stage.
13:30 - 14:15
This session will explore the true extent of criminal exploitation. You will find out more about how gangs and criminal networks set up their drug-dealing operations.

'County Lines' is the term used to describe a form of criminal exploitation that uses children or vulnerable people to transport and sell illegal drugs. We will shine a spotlight on the victims, looking at how interventions can protect them.

You will be able to understand better the signs that someone may be vulnerable to becoming a victim of County Lines and the role you can play in supporting the police in tackling this nationwide problem.

Delivered by a senior police officer who has responsibility for tackling County Lines, the session is relevant to all civil and public servants at all grades, but particularly those working in frontline roles with disadvantaged citizens.

Speakers for this session will include:

* DCI Stuart Liddell and DI Duncan Evans, Norfolk Constabulary.
13:30 - 14:15
This workshop will take an active look at allyship, particularly in relation to race. Allyship means using a position of relative privilege to actively support and raise the voices of those who have less. We will begin by guiding participants in private self reflection. We will then look as a group at practical ways in which we can move up the ladder of allyship.

This workshop will be active and practical. It will provide a safe space for private reflection, as well as being designed to challenge. Individuals will come away better informed and equipped to be a good ally, and we will also gather the collective intelligence and experiences of the group for sharing with the wider Civil Service.

This session is aimed at all civil servants. It may be of particular interest to those who recognise that they have some degree of privilege and want to push themselves to be better allies, and to those who would like to share their ideas and experiences of good allyship.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport
* Rachel Bruce, Senior Policy Lead, Policy Lab at Cabinet Office (co-host)
* Lianne Dillsworth, Behaviour change and engagement lead, Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion team (co-host)
13:30 - 14:15
We face dozens of complex problems every day, from global climate change to social care for an ageing population. Our lives are impacted by patterns of behaviour and interactions beyond our control.

These complex problems are defined by their ambiguity, the lack of one root cause and their dynamic, ever-shifting nature. Traditional views of individualistic leadership are not suited to addressing these challenges.

This session will explore the stance – the qualities and perspective - of a successful leader facing complexity and ambiguity. Participants will be guided through an experiential process to create their own living map of a systemic challenge they face, helping them to reveal new information and ‘see the whole’.

Sophie Tidman is a coach and facilitator working with complex systems using techniques from human centred design to improv theatre to martial arts and yoga. She has a background as a public policy specialist in both the UK and in Africa.

This sessions is aimed at all grades. It will be both an active and an interactive session – with live Q&A and chat streams.
13:30 - 14:15
Jonathan Slater, the new head of the Policy profession, will lead this session sharing a new vision for the profession as he aims to gather views and reflections from across the UK.

You’ll hear about:

* How the profession is evolving to meet major changes, such as Covid-19 with different ways of developing and delivering policy emerging.
* How we are refocusing policy-making to meet the demands of the future ranging from a desire to work across boundaries/sectors through to how we adapt to technological advances such as data and AI.
* A new, clearer identity for the profession and policy professionals.
* How we’re supporting capability at different levels.

Open to any civil servants of any grade, and of any profession. Come along to this session if you want to understand how the future of policy making will impact on you and your team's work.
13:30 - 14:15
When you are at your best – what are you doing? What comes easily and naturally to you? How can you turn a mishap at work into a success? What have you learnt from the past few months that will help you in the future?

Knowing your strengths and using them daily is an effective way to unlock your potential, boost your energy and self-confidence – and who wouldn’t want to do that?! Dealing with a crisis or making a mistake never feels great – but the silver lining is that they can actually help facilitate both self-improvement and career advancement.

This session will:

* help you understand the difference between a strength, unrealised strength and a weakness
* introduce you to the Civil Service Strengths Dictionary
* hear from others about how they turned a crisis into a success in their own career
Speakers for this session will include:
* Suzanne Morris, Chief of Staff for Director General, Corporate Services, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
* Rupert McNeil, Civil Service Chief People Officer, Cabinet Office
* Sarah Harrison, Director General Corporate Services, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14:30 - 15:15
It is so important to look after our wellbeing, particularly at times like these. We are all experiencing and working through personal challenges presented by COVID-19, so we all need to take time to look after ourselves, find ways to adjust and replenish.

The Civil Service Wellbeing Check-In is being hosted by Jonathan Jones, Permanent Secretary of the Government Legal Department and facilitated by Louise Wheeler, Head of Leadership Programmes at the Civil Service Leadership Academy, and Joshua French, CEO and Co-Founder of Bailey & French.

This session uses the PERMA model of wellbeing to make sense of what's going on around and for us. The PERMA model looks at: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments.

The session is practical too - by using an interactive platform through your phone or laptop, we will take a pulse-check of how everyone is feeling on the day about the five areas of wellbeing. These will help you develop your personal wellbeing actions through a range of individual activities. We hope these strategies and actions will help you to:

* support yourself and others you work with,
* support the wellbeing of staff working remotely, and
* maintain a work-life balance.

This session will benefit civil servants of all grades in all departments. We will learn together how we can best support ourselves and others through challenges within and beyond work. We have found that taking time for meaningful reflection during the Civil Service Wellbeing Check-In often leads to a significant uplift in our participants' sense of optimism, which is strongly linked to positive mental and physical wellbeing. We hope that you will also have this experience.
14:30 - 15:15
With the National Performance Framework (NPF) at its heart, Scotland has what the OECD describes as 'the most developed outcomes-based approach adopted by government, in the world'.

The NPF helps us translate complex issues into joined-up, sustainable and preventative policy and services – and make a real difference to the wellbeing of the people of Scotland. In this session, Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government, Leslie Evans, will outline how Scotland is creating a sustainable, person-centred system with the NPF as our ‘north star’, guiding our approach.

We’ll go on to explore our outcomes approach in more detail, with studies of the ‘NPF in action’ supporting policy development and service delivery – drawing on the perspective of colleagues who have embedded the NPF in their work.

The session is designed for delegates of all grades and backgrounds. There will be an opportunity at the end of the session to comment and/or ask questions.
14:30 - 15:15
A series of short presentations from the heart of the project delivery function offering a perspective on what COVID19 means for the Government’s Major Project Portfolio, from the perspective of central government, the departments and ALBs.

You will take away some key learnings on the impact of the pandemic, and reflections on what this means for our future ways of working on major projects. Come armed with your questions for Nick Smallwood, Infrastructure and Projects Authority Chief Executive and Head of the Project.

This sessions will include presentations from 

* Nick Smallwood, Infrastructure and Projects Authority Chief Executive and Head of the Project Delivery Function
* Richard Gleave, Chief Operating Officer for Public Health England
* Stella Okeahialam MBE, Deputy Director, Operations, Defence and Security Organisation, Department for International Trade
14:30 - 15:15
In this session, open to all civil servants, you will learn about the pivotal role of science in the Covid-19 response.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance and a panel of senior leaders in science and policy, will talk you through how advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) informed the government response and how we have mobilised our government science community.

As well as helping us react to emergencies, science is also crucial to more general policy-making. Our panel will discuss the complex relationship between science and policy and share advice on how to successfully integrate science into your policy making.

This session is open to all as an opportunity to learn about how science expertise is used to inform government decision-making.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
* Jonathan Marron, Director General for PPE and Public Health
* Professor Brooke Rogers OBE, Professor of Behavioural Science and Security in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and Chair of Home Office Science Advisory Council
* Professor Dame Angela McLean, Deputy Government Chief Scientific Adviser/MOD Chief Scientific Adviser
14:30 - 15:15
Join our Global Britain discussion session where we will showcase the best of Britain internationally and how the UK’s role as a global leader in taking climate action, as part of the wider Global Britain vision. The panel will discuss how the UK is galvanising efforts by countries and corporations in the international community to tackle climate change and support delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (the Global Goals).

As well as a close look at the international work of the Met Office, the permanent secretaries for DEFRA and BEIS and experts from DfID and the COP26 unit will host a discussion on the strategic vision for Global Britain. We will focus on HMG’s work on climate change and our approach to influencing global action through COP26 in 2021. This is an opportunity to hear the first-hand experiences from those delivering what promises to be a monumental event for the UK and the world.

The insightful and timely session will leave you with a positive view of Britain’s future role on the world’s stage, as well as an understanding of the global challenges we face from climate change. Expect to understand how your role will contribute to the future of a truly Global Britain.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Penny Endersby, Chief Executive, Met Office
* Alison Campbell, Deputy COP26 Envoy and Head of International Engagement, COP26 Unit
* Richard Clarke, Director General for Policy, Research and Humanitarian at DFID
* Sam Beckett, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
* Vel Gnanendran, Climate and Environment Director, DfID
* David Hill, Director General for Environment, Rural and Marine, DEFRA
15:30 - 16:30
This workshop is for managers and leaders at all levels who want to support teams to be resilient, well and motivated in the current virtual working context.

As a Civil Service Teaming workshop, it focuses on how we can have virtual ‘teaming’ conversations. ‘Teaming’ means coming together as a team and working towards a common goal, and effective teaming strengthens relationships and supports performance and wellbeing.

The workshop will help you:

* Understand high level elements of positive psychology, particularly the PERMA (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement) model as a framework to support individuals and teams thrive
* Identify ways to be an inclusive and empowering leader despite virtual barriers
* Consider how we can maximise connections at this time to build positive trusted relationships within the team.

Speakers for this session will include:

* Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office
* Louise Wheeler, Head of Leadership Programmes, Civil Service Leadership Academy
* Alex Bailey, CEO and Co-founder, Bailey & French
* Joshua French, Lead Consultant & Co-Founder, Bailey & French
15:30 - 16:15
Operational Delivery Profession (ODP) is the largest profession in government with more than 250,000 civil servants in public facing roles, providing services to support or protect citizens in the UK and abroad.

In this session we’ll provide an overview of the Profession and show you the significant role it plays in the running of the country, how it supports the UK government, how it contributes to the achievement of A Brilliant Civil Service and how our people make a positive difference to UK citizens’ lives.

Our people are the driving force behind ODP’s success. You’ll hear inspirational stories from colleagues across the Profession, including examples of the excellent work carried out by our Surge and Rapid Response Team.

Aimed at staff of all grades the session will be delivered by:

* Peter Schofield, Operational Delivery Head of Profession and Permanent Secretary, DWP
* Angela MacDonald, Director General, Customer Services Group, HMRC.
15:30 - 16:15
We may be in lockdown, but what better opportunity to take time out and get to know more about your pension benefits? No matter your stage of life - starting your career, taking stock at midlife or ready for retirement - we’ll help you polish your pension savvy. If you’ve ever wondered just what your benefits provide, look no further.

Our whistlestop session will give you the facts you need to make sure you’re on top of your pension. We’ll also share with you the things you should consider about:

* your benefits as a whole
* ways to boost your pension
* what you need to know when life events happen
* your journey to retirement
* the latest news on what’s topical, including the McCloud judgment.

We’ll get you up to speed with your entitlements so you can be savvy with your savings. Power to the people!
15:30 - 16:15
COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function in government. Digital has enabled government to change the way we work, and altered the way we interact with citizens.

A panel of leaders across government will discuss:

* The role of the DDaT Function and the future vision for digital in government
* How digital tools and policies have informed and enabled government’s response to COVID-19
* How innovation, data and AI will continue to change the way that public services are delivered for citizens
* The skills and capability needed for all civil servants to transform government. This session will be especially beneficial to those in the DDaT Profession and anyone interested in the digital transformation of government (any grade).

Speakers for this session will include:

* Alison Pritchard, Director General, GDS
* John Fitzpatrick, Director for Digital Engagement, MOD
* Paul Maltby, Chief Digital Officer, MHCLG
* Lorna Gratton, Director for Digital and Tech Policy, DCMS
15:30 - 16:15
In rising to the challenge of COVID-19, we need to work towards a strong and sustainable economic recovery that creates jobs and improves quality of life. The crisis presents an enormous opportunity to build back better: to entrench our commitment to Net Zero; advance the ambitious 25 Year Environment Plan goals which will restore our natural environment, open up access to green spaces and improve public health; and unlock new opportunities for green finance. This session will bring together leaders from the Civil Service, local government and private sector to explore how we can build new partnerships that will drive a clean and resilient recovery in all parts of the UK.

Speakers will include:

* Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary, Defra
* Emma Howard Boyd, Chairman, Environment Agency
* Liv Garfield, Chair, Council for Sustainable Business & Chief Executive Severn Trent
* Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive, L&G
* Richard Walker, Managing Director, Iceland
* Jeremy Pocklington, Permanent Secretary, MHCLG
* Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief Executive of West Midlands Combined Authority
16:30 - 17:00
Our senior speaker will explore the challenges and opportunities for Intelligence and National Security post Covid, and will explore the need for accelerated and imaginative innovation in science and technology in the National Security world. They will explore the impact of the tectonic shifts in geopolitics and why British values give us an overt and covert edge. They will give a short presentation and then take questions.
16:30 - 17:00
This session will focus on how to have open and honest conversations on mental health and mental illness in the workplace, and what to do next after these conversations have taken place. This is particularly important in the context of COVID-19, looking at its long-term impact on mental health.

The session will have interactive elements, will provide suggestions of practical tools to use and will allow plenty of time to ask questions and share insights. This session is suitable for colleagues from all departments and of all grades.
The session will be led by Cecilia Da Forno, Mental Health Lead for the Fast Stream programme and a Mental Health First Aid instructor. Cecilia has lived experience of mental illness and is looking forward to answering your challenging questions.


Please find below further details on some of our most senior speakers. A list of speakers for each session can be found on the individual session descriptions on the Agenda page.

Content Library

You’ll find all of our presentations from Civil Service Live Online on this page, along with slides and any post-session reading. Session transcripts and versions of the slides with subtitles will be available from 23 July.  
The following sessions only used title slides so these have not been published: 
  • Opening Address: What's next for the Civil Service? 
  • Wednesday Morning Colleagues: Permanent Secretaries' Weekly Meeting 
  • Modernising the Civil Service: Priority Actions
  • Improving Outcomes: The Art of the Possible
  • How to Take Charge of Your Future
  • The UK's Global Role in Tackling Covid-19
  • Future Proof Yourself
  • Pension Power - Brush up on your benefits
  • Covid-19: Science at the Heart of Policy-making
  • Day in the life of an international civil servant 
  • Threats and opportunities at a time of Covid-19
  • Live Q&A with the Head of the Civil Service and Chief Operating Officer and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary and Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary


Join our discussion threads, share your views, read what others have to say or start your own discussion. We’d love to hear from you.

Any posts you make will be shown under the name you registered with.

These discussion threads will be downloaded and used to help inform plans for future events and pieces of work across the Civil Service.



What is Civil Service Live Online?

Civil Service Live Online is a virtual event to hear live from senior leaders from across government, pose your questions and comments, and access a tailored selection of learning and development webinars. It is open to all those in the Civil Service and wider Public Service and is free to attend.  

Who organises Civil Service Live Online?

Civil Service Live Online is organised by the Cabinet Office.

When can I register for Civil Service Live Online?

Registration for Civil Service Live 2020 will open on 23 June 2020 here. It will be open to all civil servants and public sector workers.

How much does it cost to attend Civil Service Live Online?

The event is FREE to attend for all civil servants and those who work for local authorities and the wider public service.

Is there a limit on attendance per department?

No, there are no limits on attendance at the online sessions.

Do I have to attend all of the sessions?

No, you can pick which sessions you want to attend during registration which your confirmation email will outline to you once you submit your registration. Please keep your confirmation email as a reminder.

Will I be able to ask questions and share my views on sessions?

Yes, each session will allow you to post questions, up-vote other people’s questions that you want to hear answers to, answer polls and chat about the topic. Questions can be submitted anonymously, or in your name.

You’ll also be able to join discussions on our forum threads, or post your own discussion topic to encourage others to share their views with you. Contributions will always appear under your name. 

Will the presentations from Civil Service Live Online be available after the event?

Yes - you will be able to access them on the Content Library page tab for three months after the event, which will go live after the live event. 

Does my attendance at Civil Service Live Online count towards my one of my five learning days a year?

Yes, attendance at the virtual event counts towards your learning and development allocation.

Will my data be shared, if so, who with?

Your data will be processed and stored in accordance with our privacy notice.

What if I need to cancel my place at the event after I’ve registered?

Please log back into the registration site using the details created at registration to cancel your place. If you wish for a colleague to take your place you will still need to cancel your registration, with your colleague creating a new one for themselves.

I can’t access the live stream - what do I do?

For details on technical support, please read our guide by clicking here. Alternatively you can email [email protected]

My work laptop won’t let me view videos - how can I access the content?

You will be able to access the videos from any personal device (laptop, desktop, tablet or phone) as long as you log in with the details you have registered with.

On the day of the event, login to this website and select the ‘Live Stream’ tab. The stream will start 30 minutes before the first session.

We recommend that you use headphones for the best viewing experience and have a stable connection. You can test your ability to watch live-streamed content by viewing a similar content stream such as YouTube live.

Why aren’t you having virtual stalls or exhibitors this year?

Due to the cost of developing this element of the virtual event, and the fact that we had a short period of time to turn the event from a face-to-face conference to a virtual event, we took the decision that we couldn’t offer a virtual exhibition hall at our first all virtual event. We’ll be having an exhibition again at the face-to-face events in June and July 2021 and hope to be able to offer a virtual exhibition hall too for those who want to join remotely.

I can’t see spotmentoring on the programme - how do I get involved?

During the registration process you would have been asked if you wanted to be mentored or offer mentoring as part of the event. We’ll match you with a suitable partner and email you both to encourage you to set up a session outside of the event to suit both of your availability.

What if I have forgotten my password, cannot find it, or would like to update it?

If you are unable to locate your password, please click "Log in/Create an account" in the top right-hand corner of the website and then click "Forgotten password" on the next page. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password.

The registration will not accept my email address - who do I contact?

Please complete and send the following email to [email protected], who will be able to advise further.  

Subject line: Email not recognised

I would like to register for Civil Service Live Online 2020, however the system does not recognise my email address. Please find my details below: 

First name:
Job title:

Is the event accessible?

We've done our upmost to make sure that the event is accessible to all. Our programme has been structured to: 

* be short (each session is one hour or less)    
* allow 15 minute breaks between each session    
* allow delegates to choose which sessions they want to attend, as opposed to requiring staff to attend the full event
* mute speakers and delegates who aren't speaking to allow clear audio for participants    
* include hosts/MCs to ensure speakers speak in turn and reduce the risk of people speaking over one another    
* allow participants to share their views via chat, Q&A and on forum discussion groups    
* agree in advance what will be broadcast to delegates to ensure we focus on the speaking presenter, and allow those who lip-read and use non verbal clues the best chance to participate    
* allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of each session and the event as a whole to allow us to learn and improve the event based on this feedback

What happens if I require a workplace/reasonable adjustment?

At the point of registration, you would have been asked to let us know about any accessibility requirements you may have. We will then review these to try and accommodate these. These could include: 

* providing live captioning for the content (on request)    
* providing access to the content post-event with subtitles (for a period of 3 months)    
* providing transcripts of all event content post-event (for a period of 3 months)    
* providing access to non civil servants/public sector workers for the purposes of supporting staff with accessibility requirements (eg interpreters)    
* providing slides in advance of the event (on request)    
* other requests which we will try to accommodate. 

Further information is available in our supplier's Accessibility Statement. If you have any queries, please contact [email protected]

Hosted By

Cabinet Office

Event Dates

14 July 2020 - 15 July 2020

Get in touch with the host

This email address is no longer in use

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