Briefing

This is split into two parts. The first is normally five minute briefing session that you’ll give to an assessor. The next is ten minutes which the assessor uses to ask you questions about your brief.

Show how innovative you can be. This is the main exercise testing the Flexible Thinking competence. Don’t be afraid; be as crazy as you like to come up with a solution – this is what they are looking for. The current economy means the Government sometimes can’t afford to continue with current practices, but all these practices have already been streamlined and made more efficient over the years. Can you think a radical solution, within all the constraints of Government work? This is your chance to show you can. You will be tested on how robust your solution is though, and more importantly the thought you put into it. Innovative, bold solutions still need to be carefully considered. 

Address the consequences of all your proposals. A radical new theme park in Birmingham might bring tourism to the local area but what about it pulling tourists from those that visit Blackpool. It may ruin the whole of the north of England’s tourism, which actually depend on it, only to give tourism to a city with an economy that’s already stable and doesn’t have tourism as a main driver. You need to consider every consequence of every action you take. Geography, finance, environment, employment, human rights, and international relations are all key considerations, when making all your choices and recommendations.

Keep it brief. It’s called a briefing for a reason. You have a lot to consider and cover in only the five minutes you’ll be allotted. That means stay away from too much detail. In the five minutes you have to show how you have considered all the options, by bulleting all the key considerations, and inviting the assessor to ask about anything they want to know more about. The skill is to use the full fifteen minutes to show your skills against the competences, not try and squeeze it all into five minutes; if you try, you’ll over-run and miss out whole sections. This reflects how it may potentially be in your role as a Government desk officer, where you may have five minutes to give a brief to your Minister on their walk from their office to their car.