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Public Sector

We give public bodies flexible access to specialist HR support delivered by a team with a proven track record in the sector.


We have demonstrable experience in a wide range of specialist HR areas in a public sector context. Drawing on this experience we provide ongoing advice and support to organisations both large and small, flexibly as and when they need it.

Our clients access specialist expertise which might not exist internally. Or pull in additional resources at short notice because of short-term resourcing issues, or sometimes to meet the demands of a one-off project.

We provide an external view when objectivity is particularly important; or where there's value in demonstrating an independent input to a decision-making process.

We always ask for feedback from formal tenders, which confirms that our submissions are clearly set out for ease of marking, and include methodologies that are specifically designed to meet the requirements of each individual tender. They include contract management plans which promote transparency and accountability and effectively manage assignment risk. 

Policy development and review

We use our current knowledge across hundreds of organisations to help our clients ensure their internal policies are up to date, legally compliant and in line with best practice. We can review and update existing policies or draft new policies where that's more cost effective.

We have years of hands-on experience of managing staff within policy frameworks and we understand that they can become overly cumbersome and awkward to follow. When we're reviewing policies we always make sure that whilst they're fully compliant, they're also streamlined and workable. We ensure they're in proportion to the scale of the organisation and its resources, and what would reasonably be expected of it.

If badly implemented, new policies can be highly disruptive and can expose an organisation to the risk that proper process is not followed. We can support you throughout the entire process from development and sign-off, to engaging with staff, and right through to ensuring that managers are trained and fully equipped to operate the new policies.


" Access to limited internal resources sometimes requires the Board to seek specialist, external expertise. In their work with us on people related issues, the consultants from Headstogether have always impressed us with their ability to strike exactly the right balance between professionalism, and understanding and respect for individuals. "


Effective training for your team

We give managers the tools and the confidence to effectively manage processes and deal with difficult situations. Areas that are particularly popular with our public sector clients are discipline & grievance, dignity at work, dealing with capability issues and recruitment & selection. All of our training is based on our wide-ranging consulting experience and it's developed around real life examples and insights. That makes it interesting and engaging and also practical and effective in the skills and capabilities it builds.

We recently trained line managers in a non-departmental public body on carrying out workplace investigations. The managers were inexperienced and the aim was to develop their skills and confidence so that the role of HR could be re-framed back to assisting and advising in the background. We provided a trainer who is a seasoned investigator and is experienced at providing expert witness testimony at employment tribunal.

Our feedback was that the content was real and relevant and that a number of misconceptions had been dealt with. The module which had increased delegates' confidence most was a practical one on dealing with challenging interviewee behaviours.  


Best practice recruitment

We're highly experienced in supporting public sector recruitment up to the most senior levels and in addressing the particular expectations placed on the public sector in the way it complies with statutory requirements and guidance. We can facilitate the entire process from end to end; or alternatively provide support at critical stages, for example preparing job descriptions, shortlisting, advising on scoring and documenting decisions.

As experienced and impartial observers we're positioned to ensure that the process is robust and compliant with statutory requirements and best practice, and to minimise the vulnerability of the process to challenge.

A non-departmental public body asked us to design and support a process for the recruitment of a new CEO. Because of the organisation's high public profile it was vital that the process was seen to be rigorous, transparent and properly recorded. We designed an executive in-tray exercise, an unseen presentation and competency-based interview including questions, model responses and a scoring system. We provided guidance and support throughout the process which ran smoothly without challenge, and concluded with a successful appointment. 

We’re established leaders in managing disciplinary and grievance matters in the public sector, up to the most senior levels.

We support and advise internal panels and investigating officers on compliance with policy and procedure, effective case management and dealing with trade union involvement. Often we step into the role of investigator or panel member on behalf of the organisation where a situation is complex or there are internal resourcing constraints, or a potential conflict of interest.

Our consultants are highly experienced and bring a depth of expertise and gravitas to the process. As investigators we produce reports which are comprehensive and clear in support of our findings and conclusions, and which provide a robust basis for the organisation’s decision making.

Case Studies

Public Sector Northern Ireland Policing Board

Securing access to senior-level HR support in a complex and high profile environment, as and when it's needed.

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Public Sector Probation Board

Quickly, seamlessly and cost effectively flexing up the short-term capacity of the HR department.

Find out more

Public Sector NICIE

A public body with an important but challenging mission, making the most of its resources by outsourcing HR.

Find out more

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