Few qualified accountants in Whitehall

Only 3% of senior civil servants hold professional qualifications in
accountancy, despite managing budgets in excess of £400bn, new research has

Overall, only one in three senior hold professional qualification the,
Institute of Public Policy Research has revealed in a study based on Cabinet
Office data.

Among a total of 3,893 senior servants 63 officials hold HR qualifications,
374 hold legal qualifications, 128 have engineering qualifications, 87 have
medical qualifications and 60 are qualified in teaching.

Nick Pearce, director of the IPPR, said: ‘We need a new professionalism in
Whitehall: one that recognises and rewards professional qualifications as well
as generalist skills.

‘Although Whitehall is improving, and there are many thousands of excellent
civil servants, the pace of change is painfully slow. Fundamental reform to the
way the service is governed is necessary if we are to make systemic and
sustained change.

‘The civil service will never achieve consistently high performance without
external public accountability and effective performance management.’

Related reading