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Loans and Secondments

Secondments 1

This page provides information for anyone in the GSS considering a loan or secondment as part of their career development. Loan and secondment opportunities will be advertised as they arise, but you can also arrange your own secondment.

What are loans and secondments?

Loans and secondments are work placements in another organisation. They can last a few weeks, months, a year or more, and might be to another government department, a charity, or the private sector. We define loans and secondments as follows:

Loan: This occurs when an individual transfers to a different post in another department within the Civil Service for an agreed period of time. If moving to another department the member of staff transfers over to the host department’s payroll and terms and conditions.

Secondment: Similar to a loan but instead of moving to another department an employee would move to an organisation outside of the Civil Service. The member of staff remains on their home department’s payroll and the host department is invoiced to recover the costs. In some circumstances (for example when going on secondment to a charity), the home department would continue to pay the individual’s salary for the duration of the secondment.

We use the term secondment throughout these pages to refer to both loans and secondments.


Why go on secondment?

A good secondment benefits everyone. The host organisation values the skills and experience brought by the secondee. The secondee gains new skills and experience which they may not have been able to get in their own organisation – which in turn benefits their organisation when the secondee returns. The links built across the organisations can also be valuable.


How do I organise a secondment?

Some opportunities are advertised on these pages, or you might identify an opportunity yourself that matches your development needs. More advice on how to set up a secondment is available.


What if I want to do a shorter placement?

If you don’t have time to arrange or undertake a secondment, you might like to consider the Analytical Volunteer Program instead. This scheme arranges short placements (up to 5 days) for statisticians, social researchers, operational researchers, and economists to provide analytical support to voluntary sector organisations.


Case studies

If you would like to find out more about other people’s secondment experiences, please have a look at our case studies.

If you have organised your own secondment we would really like to share your story on this website. Please contact us to tell us about it.