The key issue, in the authors mind at least, is that todays civil service seems heavily weighted in favour of developing generalist desk officers, and not deep specialists. In the MOD at least career structures are theoretically built around four broad bands, listed below as an example of the career structures in place:
Grade B2 – B2: Seen by some as the first point of ‘senior management’, but perhaps better described as the funnel between the mainstream grades and the senior civil service. Promotion to this grade is via complex assessment process held over several months. The level at which individuals are leading teams, running major projects, or acting as senior civil servant overseeing wide range of functions, particularly at some major bases. Salary range is roughly £45,000 - £55,000 for a B2, and £58,000 – almost £70,000 for a B1. There were roughly 1800 B2 and 700 B1 posts in 2011, but again, numbers are dropping considerably.
Senior Civil Service (Grade 1-4, analogous to the 1-4* system): Entry is by competitive selection through long assessment process over several months. At this point individuals sit within a much wider pan government plot, and are expected to provide leadership of wide ranging areas, run directorates, budgets and business areas. They would typically lead large teams with multiple smaller assistant heads. At the most senior levels (Grade 3 or 4) they occupy roles of strategic leadership. The MOD PUS is an SCS Grade 4. In 2011 there were 270 SCS, and this number will fall considerably.