What's in a grade?

An image taken from tv series Yes, Minister!

Jim Hacker:   So tell me who's here in the Department of Administrative Affairs?

Sir Humphrey:   Well, briefly, sir, I am the Permanent Undersecretary of State, known as the Permanent Secretary.  Wolley here is your Principal Private Secretary.  I, too, have a Principal Private Secretary and he is the Principal Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary.  Directly responsible to me are 10 Deputy Secretaries, 87 Under Secretaries and 219 Assistant Secretaries.  Directly responsible to the Principal Private Secretary are plain Private Secretaries.  The Prime Minister will be appointing two Parliamentary Under Secretaries and you'll be appointing your own Parliamentary Private Secretary.

Jim Hacker:   Do they all type?

Last updated - 1st February 2010

Civil Service grades aren't quite the same as they were in Sir Humphrey's day. Here's how they've changed:

Grading structure of the Civil Service
TitleOld titleVery old title
Cabinet SecretaryCabinet SecretaryCabinet Secretary
Permanent SecretaryPermanent SecretaryPermanent Secretary
Director GeneralGrade 2Deputy Secretary
DirectorGrade 3Under Secretary
Deputy DirectorGrade 5Assistant Secretary
Grade 6Grade 6Senior Principal
Team LeaderGrade 7Principal