Policy Portal

Central government staff costs

This report examines departments’ progress in reducing staff costs and numbers, and how the centre of government is influencing the speed and direction of change.

Centre Forward - Effective Support for the Prime Minister at the Centre of Government

The aim of this report is two-fold: first, to understand how Number 10 – and the parts of the Cabinet Office that directly serve the prime minister – have evolved over the past three decades.

MINDSPACE - Influencing behaviour through public policy

Influencing people‟s behaviour is nothing new to Government, which has often used tools such as legislation, regulation or taxation to achieve desired policy outcomes.

A guide to making legislation - July 2015

This report covers the procedures to be followed in preparing primary legislation and taking it through Parliament. 

Horizon scanning review

Review of cross-government horizon scanning 

Adhocracy for an agile age

The agile organizational model gives primacy to action while improving the speed and quality of the decisions that matter most.

Showing your workings

Showing your workings: Assessing how government uses evidence to make policy 

Delivering major projects in government

Delivering major projects in government: a briefing for the Committee of Public Accounts

Collaboration Overload

Too much teamwork exhausts employees and saps productivity. Here's how to avoid it. 

Consultation Principles 2016

The Government's latest cross departmental consultation principles. 

The Role of Pilots in Policy Making

A Strategy Unit report reviewing best practice when using pilots as part of the policy making process. Contains many useful findings to advise anyone considering using a pilots study.

Policy Making in the Real World

The Institute for Governments’ report on the use of evidence and analysis in policy making

Cabinet Office: Strategy Survival Guide

A practical guide, designed to support policy makers. Although dated it still contains many useful resources and guidance for policy making.

The Passage of a Bill

Parliament.uk has put together a useful guide to see how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Behavioural Insight - EAST

Four simple principles which form the heart of a framework for applying behavioural insights.

The S Factors - Lessons Learned from the Institute for Government Policy Success Reunions

A review of successful policy making and guidance on the seven factors for policy success

UK Strategy and Policy - LinkedIn Group

Information, discussion and debate about policy making in the public and private sectors

Open Policy Making - LinkedIn Group

Information, discussion and debate about open policy making initiatives

The Australian and New Zealand School of Government

Research publications on various policy issues

Horizon Scanning Programme

The Civil Service is taking a new, joined-up approach to horizon scanning to help inform current policy making.

What Works Centres

Using evidence to make better decisions to improve public services.


The Cabinet Manual

Sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of government.

Policy Making in the Real World

Using evidence and analysis in policy making

Government Social Research Code

The professional standards for people and products. This ensures the research and the researchers working in this area are of the highest quality.

Tools for Policy Impact: A Handbook for Researchers - Daniel Start and Ingie Hovland, Overseas Development Institute

This handbook aims to help provide the researchers with the tools to contribute to more evidence-based and pro-poor policy.

Better Policy Making

Ofcom’s approach to Impact Assessments

The Use of Scientific and Engineering Advice in Policy Making

Official guide from the Government Chief Scientific Adviser

A Practical Guide to Policy Making

The guide examines many aspects of policy making specifically for policy makers in Northern Ireland but with relevance for anyone involved in the development of policies.

Consultation Principles

The government is improving the way it consults by adopting a more proportionate and targeted approach, so that the type and scale of engagement is proportional to the potential impacts of the prop

Impact Assessments

This collection brings together all guidance relating to impact assessments (IAs).

Devolution Guidance

Explaining the background to devolution and how the legislatures and administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland work.

Modernising the Policy Process: Making Policy Research More Significant?

An overview of the relationship between policy and research in the framework of three models of policy making.

Rethinking Public Strategy

This book provides a concise yet systematic overview of the achievements, downfalls and complexities of public strategy in today's globalized and often market-driven world.

How to be a Civil Servant

Advice, resources and guidance on being and working with UK Civil Servants

Being a Special Advisor

Mainly aimed at new Special Advisor but advice and guidance on how to work with and get the best from Special Advisors

How to be a Minister

The contrasting and comparable views of a former Secretary of State and a Permanent Secretary

Institute for Government

An independent charity and think tank promoting more effective government.


Regulatory Policy Committee

The Committee was put in place to scrutinise Impact Assessments at the stage when they were released publically for consultation.

Regulatory Reform Committee

The Committee examines proposals for amendments to primary legislation

Public Accounts Committee

The Committee focuses on value-for-money criteria which are based on economy, effectiveness and efficiency.

National Audit Office

The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament. Their audits of central government have two main aims.

Treasury Magenta Book

HM Treasury guidance on what to consider when designing an evaluation.

The Treasury Green Book

HM Treasury guidance for public sector bodies on how to appraise proposals before committing funds to a policy, programme or project.

Spending Review 2010

The Chancellor presented the government’s Spending Review on 20 October 2010, which fixes spending budgets for each Government department up to 2014-15.

Coalition Mid-Term Report

The follow-up report to the agreement giving the state of play on policy initiatives

Coalition Agreement

The current administration's programme for government.

Policy Profession Skills Framework

The Civil Service Policy Skills Framework sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that people need in policy roles.