Our culture

    Our work is unique, and we like to think we offer a culture to match.

    We offer both the competitive drive of a commercial organisation and the stability and service ethos of the public sector. We give our people greater responsibility, we support their development, and we listen to their ideas.

    What’s more, ours is an inclusive environment where people from all disciplines and backgrounds work as one. We have a keen focus on the work/life balance of everyone here. And we offer the satisfaction that comes with supporting and delivering work of immense importance around the world.

    The result? We’re a place where people stay and grow – developing rewarding careers that last.

    Work/life balance

    Flexible, family-friendly working patterns
    We do everything we can to accommodate varying lifestyles. In particular, we focus on flexible working. We’re open to varying start and finish times, term-time working and compressed hours (working the same number of contracted hours in fewer days).

    We also have a generous paid leave allowance plus a number of additional public and privilege days initially totalling 34 with an increase after 5 years’ service. And we’re happy to consider special unpaid leave or career breaks when needed.

    On-site Nursery
    It’s easier to balance work and family here. At Hanslope Park, we have an OFSTED-registered Nursery that caters for children aged between three months and five years. Many of our staff spend their lunchtimes with their children.

    For London-based staff, the nearby FCO Nursery may be an option for your early-years childcare.

    Health and Welfare
    Our commitment to the wellbeing of our people has seen us hold health-screening days, cholesterol tests and well man/well woman clinics and support those that travel overseas.

    Sporting and other onsite facilities
    Our on-site restaurants in Hanslope Park and London offer tempting menus for all tastes and appetites - from simple snacks, salads and smoothies to full course lunches. You can also grab something from our sandwich bar and coffee shop, where sandwiches are made to order.

    Both sites also have gym facilities and a number of sporting teams who meet and compete regularly. There’s also bicycle storage and parking at both sites, and we even offer loans for the purchase of a bicycle.

    Diversity & inclusion

    To deliver for our customers, we need to work as one cohesive team wherever we are in the world. Our open and inclusive environment ensures that we can.

    Our culture both values and actively promotes diversity and inclusion. We aim to attract and retain the best talent from the widest pool, and we encourage everyone here to fulfil their potential. Our approach to recruitment and selection is fair, open and based purely on merit. Our approach to discrimination is one of zero tolerance.

    It’s clear to see that our commitment is working. We have achieved Gold Standard from the Business Disability Forum, we’re a Stonewall Champion, and we’re proud to be members of Employers for Carers. We’re also proud of the amount of our people who work different patterns to suit their circumstances.

    Learning & development

    As you would expect from accredited Investors in People, our learning and development provision is outstanding. We recognise it is essential to our success. The critical nature of our work means that it has to be delivered by well-informed and well-trained people performing to their best.

    Our ongoing investment gives all our people access to recognised industry-standard training. We deliver skills training across every area of our work, from Oracle modules for our financial teams to accredited technical training for our installation teams. We also recognise the importance of strong management capability with a host of management and other core training.

    All of this means that you’ll have every opportunity to gain new technical and professional skills – helping you achieve our business objectives and, of course, your own career aims.

    Benefits & rewards

    Our work is important and our people work hard. So we think it’s only fair that we offer some excellent benefits in return. For a start, we have a commercial culture of paying for performance, and our employees share the success of the business and are recognised through payments linked to both individual contribution and overall business performance. These payments are in line with Civil Service wide policies and guidance on pay. And there are many other benefits too.

    Our reward package includes:

    • Location Allowances
    • A salary-related pension scheme. Full details of Civil Service Pensions can be obtained at www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk
    • 25 days annual leave rising to 30 days after five years, plus nine public and privilege days
    • Leave trading
    • Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave (subject to meeting specified conditions)
    • Paid sick leave (subject to meeting specified conditions)
    • Flexible working
    • Salary sacrifice scheme (including Childcare vouchers)
    • Staff recognition scheme (cash and non-cash (voucher) reward for one-off or team achievements)
    • Staff Discount scheme
    • A genuine commitment to investing in personal development

    We also offer a wide range of benefits related to health, welfare and the work/life balance.

    More about Our Culture>

    Eligibility & vetting

    Our work routinely exposes us to sensitive information, and government-level customers need to be able to trust us completely. We have to ensure that our people are reliable – which is why we have a security clearance process for all new recruits.

    Eligibility
    You will be eligible for appointment at FCO Services only if:

    • You are a British citizen or hold dual nationality, and
    • You have been a resident in the UK for at least two of the last 10 years.

    Please note that these are the minimum requirements. For further information, visit; www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

    Security Vetting
    Everyone who works at FCO Services is security cleared, the majority to the very highest level. When you join us you will have completed a comprehensive vetting process. This is vital to keep FCO Services secure. We call this the 'Developed Vetting' or 'DV' process. This takes, on average, about 3 months but can take up to 6 months according to the individual case.

    One of our Investigating Officers will meet you and conduct a detailed interview concerning your character, family history and personal circumstances. They will also contact your professional and personal referees. During the vetting process much of the work goes on behind the scenes, so you may not hear very much from us during that time.

    Vetting information is not required when you first apply to FCO Services. However, if you’re selected for appointment, you’ll be asked to complete an online Developed Vetting application form, and then the vetting process will begin.

    Corporate & social responsibility

    We’re acutely aware of the role we play in our local community and in the wider world. Here are just a few of the steps we take to ensure that our responsibilities are met.

    Sustainability
    We work tirelessly to support and comply with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s sustainability policies. So we ensure that all aspects of our domestic and overseas work are managed sustainably, and that environmental considerations remain at the heart of it all.

    We’re taking strides to reduce our global carbon footprint, and we’re continuously reducing our waste, our emissions and our water consumption. At the same time, we’re driving up our energy efficiency and recycling. We also actively sustain the natural biodiversity of all our sites.

    These steps have been put into action through joint initiatives with the FCO, and they’ve seen us achieve international quality standards. And we’re always looking to do more.

    Community involvement
    Alongside the globally focused work mentioned above, we run many initiatives designed to make an impact much closer to home.

    Our staff actively participate in community engagement projects with schools and colleges in Milton Keynes and London. These projects raise expectations in young people and improve their employability skills.

    We also participate in Equal Choices – Fresh Minds, a groundbreaking initiative that addresses under-representation of disadvantaged groups within the local workplace. We invite local Year Nine students to Hanslope Park for a two-day interactive event that includes presentations, workshops and problem solving challenges. Our staff mentor them, helping them gain important employability skills in areas such as communication, business and customer awareness. The event proves consistently popular with the students, and it’s led to high levels of interest in our apprenticeship scheme.

    Opportunities for Women is another initiative of which we are proud to be a part. It takes place in London and focuses on women who are studying Science, Technical Engineering and Maths subjects. The aim is to encourage them to continue their path into an engineering career. It’s a valuable and effective initiative, and we’re proud to say that one of our female engineers has become a STEM ambassador.