Diplomatic Service officer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university course
working towards this role
a graduate training scheme
You could take a degree before applying to join a graduate training scheme. Most subjects are accepted.
You'll usually need at least 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
If you already work in the Civil Service, you can apply to join the Diplomatic Service, depending on your skills and experience. It'll help if you have some relevant work and life experience, like a proven interest in other countries and culture, international relations or a foreign language.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers a number of work experience schemes for people from different backgrounds who may be interested in joining them.
You can apply directly to employers if you have some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this role.
To join as a diplomatic administrative officer you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C). If you apply to become an operational or policy officer, you'll usually need A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
If you're a graduate with at least a 2.2 degree, you can apply to the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream programme, which leads to senior management posts in the service.
You can also apply through the Government Economic Service Fast Stream to join the Diplomatic Service as an economist. You'll need a 2.1 degree in an economics-related subject to do this.
Diplomatic Service officer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- administration skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- knowledge of English language
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to:
meet the Civil Service nationality requirements
pass enhanced background checks
pass security checks
Diplomatic Service officer apprenticeships - what you'll do
Your day-to-day duties will depend on your role. You may:
- monitor and analyse overseas events
- develop policies and strategies towards different countries
- deal with press and communications at home and abroad
- promote overseas investment into the UK
- give consular support to UK citizens abroad
- process visa applications for people looking to visit, study or work in the UK
- handle queries and give advice face to face, using email or in written form
- write and check reports and official documents
- give admin support to other embassy staff
You could work in an office or be based overseas.
Career path and progression - Diplomatic Service officer apprenticeships
You'll have access to a wide range of Civil Service training, designed to prepare you for your first overseas posting. This includes foreign language training.
You'll be encouraged to identify your own training needs as part of an appraisal and staff development programme.
After 2 years, you can apply to join the Fast Stream programme if your manager thinks you have the potential for senior management.