1949 Handbook for the New Civil Servant

by ukcivilservant

I am hugely grateful to the IfG’s Tim Durrant for letting me publish a copy of his civil servant father’s 1949 induction handbook. Astonishingly (or maybe not), a very high proportion of it could just as well have been written in 2018.  Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite.

This first excerpt  is equally valid today, I think, except for the unfortunate reminder that the post-war civil service was very male dominated:-


This is definitely good advice:-


Most of these attributes are equally important today, although I fear they seldom feature in annual reports:-


And here is a reminder that women’s equality was some way in the future:-


Follow this link to read the whole handbook – It’s only 21 pages.

The Understanding the Civil Service online library contains a large number of other interesting documents.

It also contains a fascinating history of women in the civil service, together with some inspiring stories of ground breaking female civil servants.


Martin Stanley

Editor:  Understand the Civil Service  and  Understanding Regulation .