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Public Sector

The UK public sector is a major component of the total UK economy. According to Open University research, public expenditure in 2008/09 amounted to £618bn and constituted 48% of GDP. The public sector employs just under 6 million personnel (approx. 19% of total UK workforce) and is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of public services including: pensions and benefits (28%), health (18%), emergency services, law enforcement, and education (13%).

According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the UK voluntary sector contributes £11.7 billion to the UK economy, and employs approximately 765,000 (2.7%) of the total 27.9million UK workforce.

CPD in the Public Sector

In the public sector, the aim of CPD is to ensure that those who work in the field develop and maintain the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to work effectively towards improving overall objectives. The public sector has always been expected to demonstrate value for money and improved efficiency while delivering a high quality service across all areas of responsibility. 

The increase of prevalence of CPD in society has been driven by a mantra for accountability and business performance, and in many contexts to raise quality standards. The pressures of globalisation, and the need for public sector transparency have shaped governmental direction towards the structured provision of CPD. The continuing interdependence of public and private sector has driven an increased demand for public CPD programs to reflect the standards seen in other professional service sectors.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) require all members to complete 120 hours of CPD activities over a three-year period with a minimum of 20 hours CPD in each year.

The FDA is the professional association and union for the UK’s senior public servants and professionals. The FDA has membership of more than 18,000 senior managers, policy advisors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, prosecutors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS. The FDA is committed to helping promote and facilitating the Continuing Professional Development of managers and professionals in the public service.

Professional Bodies

  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA)
  • Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE)
  • Public Service People Managers Association
  • Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA)
  • Institute for Volunteering Research

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