A Diplomatic Services operational officer protects and promotes UK interests throughout the world in a variety of ways. Operational entrants (grade B3) specialise in the practical side of diplomatic work, but also have the opportunity to influence international and diplomatic development.
Following an initial period of at least three years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) , usually at two separate postings, entrants take an overseas posting in a British embassy, high commission, mission or consulate.
Individual roles vary and may include consular work, immigration work, and political and commercial projects. They can also provide support and advice to ministers responsible for developing UK foreign policy.
At operational entry level, new employees may work in managerial roles as geographic desk officers, in human resources (HR), or in the consular service within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Most new entrants are placed in one of the FCO's main departments in London. The range of tasks undertaken varies according to the department. For example, in a geographical section, you will be collating country profiles and disseminating this information, while in the human resources (HR) department, you will deal with recruitment, training and a broad range of HR work.
Typical work activities may include:
Overseas, the role may involve similar activities to those listed above, in addition to:
These initial postings are decided on the basis of candidates' experience and skills at entry. For later postings, post holders apply internally and go through a selection process.
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