Management of Defence - The MoD's Civilian Staff - Armed Forces


The three uniformed services are supported by the civilian staff of the MoD. On 1 April 2011 there were approximately 85,000 civilian personnel employed by the MoD. This figure has fallen from 316,700 civilian personnel in 1980 and is a reduction of over 20 per cent since April 2004

During early 2011 MoD civilian staff were employed in the following budgetary areas:

Navy (Fleet)


Army (Land Forces)


RAF (Air Command)


Defence Equipment & Support



19,800 (1)

Locally Engaged Civilians Overseas

10,200 (2)

Unallocated to Budgetary Areas

100 (approx)

(1) Includes CJO, CSIT, DE and Trading Funds (DSTL, Meteorological Office, Hydrographic Office, DSG).
(2) The overwhelming majority of this figure are locally entered civilians supporting BFG (British Forces Germany).

Earlier in the decade the UK MoD stated that, "The Department remains committed to a process of civilianisation. Increasingly, it makes no sense to employ expensively trained and highly professional military personnel in jobs which civilians could do equally well. Civilians are generally cheaper than their military counterparts and as they often remain longer in post, can provide greater continuity. For these reasons, it is our long-standing policy to civilianise posts and so release valuable military resources to the front line whenever it makes operational and economic sense to do so".

In general, MoD Civil Servants work in a parallel stream with their respective uniformed counterparts. There are some ‘stand alone’ civilian agencies of which the QinetiQ is probably the largest.