How Does Whitehall Really Work (Online)

Whitehall and its makeup of multiple departments, agencies and arm’s length bodies when first looked at can seem complicated, especially when adding external stakeholders and parliament to the mix. This course aims to demystify how Whitehall works and is designed to allow delegates to be able to better navigate the Whitehall environment.

Learn about the information and format nature of working in Whitehall, and get tips on working with and around policymaker. This course is suitable for those who are working in Whitehall and would like a more comprehensive overview of what to expect, how to navigate and would like to understand how the government and civil service work.

How Does Whitehall Really Work is a trending online course from our Policy Skills series. At the Civil Service College, we tailor our courses to each attendee’s role and organisations, ensuring that each delegate gets the most out of the training. Our courses and trainers are continuously updated and evaluated to ensure that we are always delivering the best service possible.

Key Training Feature

Who Can Attend

Civil Service College Bookstore

Key Training Features:

  • Introduction to the Civil Service and the Departmental structure  
  • Understanding the machinery of government
  • Decision-making processes in government
  • Formal and informal workings in the civil service
  • Ministers and ministerial private office
  • Engagement between government and parliament and where civil servants fit in

Who Can Attend:

This virtual course is designed for civil servants and public sector staff who are new to the civil service or those who would like to engage the civil service better.

Visit the CSC Bookstore in partnership with award-winning publisher Kogan Page, offering materials in print books, eBooks and accredited soft skills eLearning courses. SAVE 15% on all Kogan Page books and ‘Creating Success’ eLearning Courses with KPCSC15. We also offer institutional savings too, just get in touch!



10:00 - 16:00


£495 + VAT


Zoom or MS Teams

Face to Face

5 October 2021 Book8

7 December 2021 Book8

In-House Option

This course is available In-House and can be tailored to meet your individual training requirements.


Lead Trainer

Jo Clift

Jo Clift

Jo Clift has 20 years of experience working at a senior level in the UK Government including the Cabinet Office. She currently helps organisations work with Government and Parliament.

Read Bio
Jo Clift

Jo Clift

Jo started her career as a communications professional and subsequently worked at the heart of government for over 20 years, mainly at the Cabinet Office. She has worked closely with many ministers over the years, including Lord Peter Mandelson and Sir Oliver Letwin. She also worked at Number 10 in the Prime Minister's Press Office.

She has delivered a wide range of policies and advised on multiple complex communications issues. Jo has also worked across a wide range of issues including strategy, Ministerial PR and high-level Board appointments, with the common challenge being making things happen across very large and complex organisations.

Jo Clift's government roles have included leading the Coalition government's ICT strategy, Head of Communications for the BSE Inquiry and creating a new model for corporate shared services across Whitehall. Jo also gained private sector experience as a senior change consultant at Deloitte Consulting. This enabled her to gain a great set of change skills and valuable insight into the private sector.

In addition, she is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a published writer on the Civil Service and Brexit.

Tailored in-house training

Civil Service College can deliver In-House training within your organisation that is exactly tailored to meet your individual training requirements.

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