Our 2018 winners

Congratulations to all the 2018 winners.

Chris Martin Policy Award - Race Disparity Unit

Race Disparity Unit

Cabinet Office |

The Race Disparity Audit is one of the defining domestic policy achievements of this Government. Announced by the Prime Minister a month into her tenure, the project has involved looking critically and comprehensively at the outcomes of people of different ethnicities across all public services – something no other country has done before. Due to the tenacity,  brilliance and sheer hard work of this small unit, the Audit was widely lauded when it was first published in October 2017. This same hard work, with No.10, the wider Cabinet Office and numerous Government departments, has also created a strong pipeline of policy announcements in response. In doing so, they have also become a knowledge hub in Government  for a wide range of issues relating to ethnicity, data, transparency and behaviour change.

Collaboration Awards- Scottish General Medical Services

Scottish General Medical Services Contract Negotiation Team

Scottish Government |

The first entirely Scottish GP contract came into effect on 1 April 2018. The £900 million contract covers 950 GP practices providing around 25 million healthcare interactions every year. This complex and critical contract was negotiated over three years by a small team of Scottish Government (SG) civil servants and seconded professional advisers, working with a small team of British Medical Association negotiators.

The contract was not only negotiated in a uniquely collaborative way but for the first time it empowers all of Scotland’s 4500 GPs to work collaboratively across statutory and third sectors to improve the health of Scotland’s population.

The SG team approached the negotiations in a distinctively non-adversarial and collaborative way that broke down long-standing barriers.The teams successfully identified their joint
interest in solving the fundamental, structural problems affecting healthcare in Scotland and committed to work together to deliver. The negotiations were a success, which has been
widely acknowledged, with the lessons on negotiation and policy skills already being spread to good effect across the Scottish Government and wider public sector.

Commercial Award - Commercial team people and locations programme

Commercial Team, People and Locations Programme

Department for Work and Pensions |

The People and Locations Programme was a pioneering Programme that simultaneously exited a 20-year PFI contract; delivered over 650 new leases and six commercial contracts; delivering fundamental changes to the DWP Estate. The Programme will generate savings of £1.4bn to the exchequer, yet the service to society’s most vulnerable people was neither disrupted nor compromised. The commercial part of the Programme was led by Irene Masterton. Irene developed and introduced a new, innovative yet commercially advantageous Estates Target Operating Model. Working closely with stakeholders to develop the strategy, she procured new suppliers and managed the new model transition. The challenge of moving from a single PFI supplier to an integrated management supplier chain with an overarching management contract was both complex and complicated. That it was delivered to time with no major operational issues at the contract cut-over is testament to the diligence of the team.

Communication Award - prison officer recruitment

Prison Officer Recruitment Team

Ministry of Justice |

In November 2016 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) committed to recruiting 2,500 additional prison officers by December 2018. In April 2017, MoJ implemented a new recruitment campaign approach, based on data and insight.

Feedback from applicants showed they knew about the job’s challenging nature but not about the diversity of the prison service or the rewards of the role – pride, professionalism, variety, training, teamwork. These themes therefore underpinned new imagery/messaging across web, radio, search, social, and PR.

• Target exceeded seven months early, with a 22% reduction in 2018/19 comms budget.
• Delivered applicant diversity greater than local population.
• Improved reputation of role – PR activity reached 1.9 million people in 6-month period; support for friend/family becoming an officer increased from 58% (July 2017) to 75% (April 2018).

Gerry Reardon - Winner

Gerry Reardon

Department for Work and Pensions |

Gerry Reardon is truly inspirational in his dedication to customer service and making sure things are put right for the customer with impartiality. Gerry leads the team specialising in  Universal Credit (UC) complaints/official correspondence. He has personally dealt with some very complex cases. He provides a unique service to customers, he takes the time to  explore the issues and contacts the customer to seek confirmation of their complaint and provide reassurance. Invariably these cases need an urgent resolution, usually within 24  hours, Gerry works at real pace to make things happen. He liaises with operational colleagues to gain a full insight into the history of a case and works collaboratively to put things right. He always goes the extra mile; if he uncovers further, or systemic, issues he proactively ensures these are fully addressed. His team follow his example and he is an exceptional role model and ambassador for DWP.

Dame Leslie Strathie- GOV.UK Notify Team

GOV.UK Notify team

Government Digital Service |

GOV.UK Notify is a small diverse team of civil servants challenging established ways of doing things to rapidly deliver a product benefitting millions of people, whilst saving taxpayers
millions. Notify is a simple, self-service platform for sending text messages, emails, and letters at a fraction of the traditional cost. It makes it easy for service teams to instantly communicate with their users.

There are already more than 300 service teams sending messages using Notify from over 100 public sector organisations right across the UK. In the next 5 years it’s projected that Notify will save the UK public sector over £120m.

David Award- MOT reminder service

MOT Reminder Service

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency 

 The DVSA MOT digital project team are responsible for facilitating the national MOT scheme, supporting the agency’s vision of “safer vehicles and safer journeys for all”.

Underpinning DVLA’s online car tax service, DVSA provides key data (MOT results) to enable the collection of £6.5 billion in car tax. DVSA provide a digital service for entering MOT results; used by 23,000 garages, supporting 42 million MOT tests per year, generating over £1 billion for the economy.

Data analysis identified non-compliance with the annual MOT policy, with up to 25% of motorists being late. The team introduced two free services supporting greater compliance with
policy and strategic objectives; the MOT history and the MOT reminder services are seen as an exemplar by GDS, utilising agile at-scale, and blended in-house and vendor delivery teams, across the UK and EU.

The Diversity and Inclusion Awards- Charlotte Dring

Charlotte Dring

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government |

The impact of Charlotte’s leadership was shown in the growth of the Cross Government Social Mobility Network from zero to 130 members and 10 new social mobility networks in Departments, in just over a year. Charlotte exudes passion for social mobility, and as a volunteer, has worked incredibly hard to build a sustainable network which she handed over to a new lead, and continues to mentor her successor.

Under Charlotte’s leadership, a northern hub of the Cross Government Social Mobility Network was created called Nexus, to join together social mobility networks in the north and recognise the importance of not being London centric. This is a triumph to Charlotte’s leadership and the volunteers she worked with.

Health and Wellbeing Award - 2018

A to Z to Better Wellbeing Team

Various | 

Team Chaffinch, is made up of eight civil servants and aspiring junior leaders across government departments who met in June 2017 at CS Local ESEL Junior Leadership Academy as part of a year-long programme. Their aim is to support the vision to be ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’, making it a great place to work with a commitment to Health and Wellbeing. Wellbeing is valued by senior leaders and colleagues alike and this is why the team researched, designed and delivered a toolkit that brings together the latest information on wellbeing and can be accessed in one simple and easy click.

This project was undertaken alongside the team’s day jobs and involved working across departments. The toolkit is used by individuals and teams to help improve wellbeing

Innovation Award- Going forward into employment project team

Going Forward into Employment Project Team

Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and Civil Service Commission |

The Going Forward into Employment project is a collaborative project jointly led by the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice, working with the Civil Service Commission, with the aim of encouraging the employment of ex-offenders into the civil service. The pilot project began in October 2017, focussed in the North West of England, working with three low security prisons to match ex-offenders on their release with suitable vacancies in civil service offices in the area.

As of today, ten candidates are deployed, in six departments. A diverse range of roles have been identified, and controlled matching is used to ensure candidates are placed into roles closely aligned to their skill sets.

Feedback from individuals selected and also the employing departments has been excellent (and some very moving testimonies), and the pilot is currently being evaluated with the aim of expanding further into other areas.

Inspirational Leadership Award- Marina Pettigrew

Marina Pettigrew

Foreign and Commonwealth Office |

The FCO’s Central Correspondence Unit (CCU) would like to nominate our Head of Unit, Marina Pettigrew, for this award in recognition of her development of the CCU from scratch into a successful, inclusive and diverse team where remote and flexible working is championed. At the start of the new initiative to centralise correspondence there were many in the FCO who were skeptical. Two years later thanks to Marina’s inspirational leadership CCU is thriving and its reputation, including among Ministerial offices, is very positive.

Project Delivery Award- Monarch Repatriation operation team

Monarch Repatriation Operation Team

Department for Transport |

This nomination is for the project led by the DfT and Civil Aviation Authority, to revolutionise the way Government handles airline insolvencies. It resulted in the succesful delivery of the largest peace-time repatriation of UK citizens, following the sudden collapse of Monarch Airlines. A truly innovative project saw the CAA and DfT working with industry around the clock – and around the world – to bring people safely home on time. It avoided thousands of UK citizens being stranded overseas without accommodation or the means to get home.

The operation effectively created the UK’s fifth largest airline from scratch, hiring a fleet of over 60 planes to fly to over 30 destinations with the capacity to repatriate over 100,000 people. As a result of the well planned and executed programme, over 98% of passengers arrived back in the UK within hours of their original schedule. The operation received widespread praise from industry and passengers alike (including letters of thanks from the public). In addition a large number of those who lost their jobs at Monarch successfully found new employment with other airlines. The Prime Minister wrote to the Secretary of State to praise the work of all the people involved across Whitehall.

The Skills Award- International Trade Profession Team

International Trade Profession Team

Department for International Trade |


In eight short months – from initial concept design, product development and launch of the new International Trade Profession, the 28th Civil Service Profession, the team has delivered:

• A profession with 2500 members from almost 25 departments and ALBs, including HMA and HMTC teams;
• 12 Heads of Profession in departments who are championing embedding good practices on trade capability across HM Government;
• A range of Profession Products designed to invest in our people now and for the future, including a new Trade Curriculum, bringing together trade policy & negotiations and trade promotion L&D; Professional Standards; Career Profiles design to inspire and assist staff in mapping their trade development and trade careers; and a Networking Programme
designed to embed future talent.


Use of Evidence Awards- Fergus McBean

Fergus McBean

Department for International Development |

In 2017 Yemen experienced the world’s worst cholera outbreak in a single year. By February 2018, over one million suspected cholera cases had been recorded since the end of April 2017.

A resurgence of the disease has been expected in 2018 during rainy season. Cholera is preventable and treatable if it is identified early. In response to this risk, Fergus McBean has led a ground breaking piece of work to use weather modelling to better inform cholera prevention in Yemen.

He facilitated the provision of critical early warnings in the form of weekly rainfall forecasting and a monthly cholera risk assessment. This is the first time in the world that these types of products have been used together in real time to tackle the spread of cholera providing more advanced notice of potential disease spikes. He secured predictive models combining NASA satellite data (measuring temperature, water storage, rainfall and topography) from the University of West Virginia, University of Maryland and weather forecasts from the UK Met Office to enable UN partners to respond faster and earlier to prevent outbreaks.

Volunteering Award- Catherine Ramsay

Catherine Ramsay

Home Office |

Catherine has offered an excellent level of support in her role as Autism Champion. Catherine was responsible for suggesting and establishing the Autism Buddy Support Group for staff. The group provides staff with the opportunity to be able to talk to each other informally in a confidential and non-judgemental atmosphere and the group has the support of all Senior Managers across Liverpool estate. The group also has staff members from other government departments attending including DWP and HMRC and Catherine co-hosts the group each month and has provided support and advice to people on the spectrum themselves, parents and managers alike. Catherine has offered advice on different methods of support that are available to carers in addition to increasing general awareness. Feedback from attendees has been positive and many parents have said that meeting Catherine and seeing how Catherine has succeeded in gaining employment and living independently, has given them hope for their own children.