Government Science and Engineering broadens access to the profession

Government Science and Engineering broadens access to the profession

BAS members at work

Membership of the Government Science and Engineering profession will be open to public sector organisations – and no longer restricted to civil servants.

This will bring thousands more Prospect members within the scope of the profession.

The Government Science and Engineering profession’s Board met for the first time in mid-December to kick start the move from strategy to action. So, it’s really pleasing to report the important decision to open up membership of the profession to public sector organisations.

The Board is made up of representatives from major science and engineering user organisations across government, including representatives from central government departments, devolved administrations and other government bodies.

Sir Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said every Board member had agreed to work up plans for how their department will contribute to implementing the strategy – see the GSE blog.

So, it’s now our opportunity to hold their feet to the fire. The more members who sign up to the GSE profession, the greater the influence we can have.

I’d suggest that arranging a meeting between Prospect representatives and your organisation’s head of profession would be a good place to start shaping what happens next.

Prospect is already tackling issues set out in the strategy so that we can contribute to building a stronger and more professional community – not just in one organisation, but across boundaries.

This goes with the grain of what civil service chief executive, John Manzoni, told Prospect’s civil service seminar in November. Manzoni shared concerns about existing structures holding back collaboration and spoke about his desire to create career paths for professionals.

This is a vision that Prospect championed back in 2012 in our publication ‘Government that can needs people who know how’.

I can’t think of a better time to refresh this thinking. Like the chief scientific adviser, we want to see a high-profile, proud and effective profession – but we also want to influence how we get there.

Read my earlier blog about the launch of the new GSE strategy.

Sue Ferns

Sue Ferns


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