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GSS > Careers > The Fast Stream

The Fast Stream

The Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated career path to leadership with supported development. It is centrally run scheme, managed by the Cabinet Office as part of its overall fast stream offering.

Being on one of the fast stream schemes allows you to skip some of the lower grades in your career progression, allowing you to get to leadership roles faster.

The Fast Stream schemes, the GSS and the government professions

There are a range of Fast Stream schemes available, most of which are based on the government profession you wish to progress through.

If you join the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Fast Stream you will automatically join the GSS and the Government Statistician Group (GSG) because you will have passed a badging exercise as part of your interview process.

Find out more about the GSS, the GSG and the other government professions.

Find out more about joining the GSG as a fast streamer.

Find out more about the Civil Service Fast Stream.

  • All Year 1 and 2 Fast Streamers to have access to online training for Admin Data, Data linkage, Data Visualisation and Statistical Disclosure Control, and can access this learning at their convenience during their first two years. (Please note that Statistical Disclosure Control and Admin Data will be available shortly, the others will be available for September 2019).
  • If further class room based training is required on the above subjects, this will be offered to year 2 Fast Streamers, subject to availability of trainers, number of potential attendees i.e. those requesting additional learning.
  • Intro to R and Intro to Python to be offered as class room based training in Year 2 (Fast steamers can also sign up to standard sessions in year 1 if they want to).
  • GSG Foundation course will also be offered as class room based training in Year 1.
  • Cohort days – sharing best practice and learning from peers, other cohorts and invited speakers.

In 2018 the GSS People Committee agreed to pilot the provision of a bursary (PDF, 298KB), in the sum of £1000 to all GSS Fast Streamers in the 2016/2017 cohorts, to be used for additional learning and development during year three and/or year four.

The full principles and process are set out on the GSS Fast Stream Bursary template (.docx, 308KB).

If you have any questions that cannot be answered by reading the full principles and process, please discuss with your Activity Manager in the first instance who can escalate your enquiry through the appropriate route, for example cohort leaders.

The Civil Service Fast Stream went through a revamp a few years ago. However, the new schemes did not affect those who were already on a scheme. Fast streamers who joined their scheme before September 2016 are known as “vintage fast streamers”. These fast streamers are managed by their department rather than the Cabinet Office.

This section contains information for vintage fast streamers looking for posts.

Looking for posts

Government departments are encouraged to advertise posts specifically for vintage statistical fast streamers through an informal Expression of Interest (EoI) system.

These are advertised through the newsletter for vintage statistical fast streamers and on the vacancies page of the GSS website.

If you have any questions or comments on the EoI system, or you would like to be on the mailing list for the newsletter, please email

Some tips if you can’t find a post you like:

See if a post can be adapted

Check out the jobs advertised on the vacancies page or the civil service jobs website. If one of them interests you it is worth emailing the recruiting manager to see if the post could be adapted for a fast streamer.

You may find that a post that interests you is advertised for a generalist rather than than a statistician. For example, an HEO or SEO post. These can still be useful placements so if one interests you, look into it.

Go to the Head of Profession (HoP)

Find out who the statistical HoP is in a government department that interests you and send them an email to see if they have any upcoming posts.

The Central Policy Secretariat can help you find out who the HoPs are in different departments.


Talk to other vintage fast streamers to see if you can swap posts.

Speak to the gss capability team

Email, explain your problem and outline what you are looking for.