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Civil servants are subject to rules on accepting new roles and appointments after leaving the service.

First published:
16 August 2016
Last updated:

These rules apply for either 1 or 2 years after leaving, depending on an individual's seniority.

The purpose of the rules is to avoid any:

  • suspicion that an appointment might be a reward for actions taken by employees in the course of their official duties
  • risk of an employer gaining improper advantage by appointing a former employee who holds information about its competitors or about impending government policy
  • risk of a former employee improperly exploiting privileged access to contacts in government.

Applications to take up new roles and appointments under the rules may be approved unconditionally or approved subject to certain conditions (e.g. that the former employee does not undertake certain activities with the new employer for a specified period of time).

We are required to publish information about the advice and decisions given to Directors and Deputy Directors and Special Advisers of equivalent standing who make an application, when they take up or announce their role/appointment.

The Advisory Committee on Public Appointments website provides information given to the First Minister and Permanent Secretary on applications from Directors General and more senior grades and special advisers of equivalent standing.