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Inside our Surge and Rapid Response team

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Surge team working in customs

Created in 2015 in response to a challenge by CS People Board to improve operational resilience across the civil service the SRRT’s purpose is to support any central Government department or agency manage forecasted and unexpected peaks in demand or respond to national crises within the scope of the Operational Delivery Profession (ODP). SRRT operates out of 10 hubs in HMRC offices and delivers wide-ranging customer service support to departments such as National Crime Agency, FCDO, and Government Office for Science.

While the team is based within HMRC, SRRT supports any central government department or agency to manage predictable annual peaks in demand, and to respond to unexpected crises.

Our SRRT prides itself on doing work that really makes a difference to people’s lives and doing it well. The team works across government and is adaptable, skilled and flexible.

We went behind the scenes and spoke to Michelle, a team leader within SRRT to find out about her experiences.

image of MichelleWhat’s your proudest achievement?

Supporting the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the crisis in Afghanistan. While I had some very upsetting and challenging conversations with British nationals who were desperate to leave the country, it was also the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.

Our daily brief was dynamic as the situation in Kabul changed. People were desperate, yet despite this, they managed to be so courteous and grateful for any help we could offer.

The most rewarding situation for me was to hear that a family I’d been speaking with had managed to make it back to the UK. I’d lost contact with them when the bomb went off. I knew they were on the way to the airport and had made it as far as the entrance gates. This was the last time I spoke with them. Then silence. That evening I could not settle. I watched the news which made me feel worse and so helpless.

Fortunately, the following day I received word that the family had made it onto a flight and were safely back in the UK. I shed tears of joy for them!

What’s a typical day like for you?

I am based in the UK and respond to crisis situations across the Civil Service. Every day is different. I’m responsible for managing 10 colleagues from our hub for their HR needs such as health and wellbeing, absence and performance management and apprenticeship support.

As a team leader, I also manage Surge colleagues who are deployed to other government departments.

What are the challenges?

My aim is to make sure my deployment team offers a brilliant service to our host department. However, I’m still required to make sure I’m available for my HR team. This involves constant monitoring and remaining prepared for a new task at a moment’s notice.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I get to work with some amazing people. If you want to gain experience in different government departments and you like variety, Surge and Rapid Response is a great team to work in.

Come work for us!

We’re currently recruiting for our Surge and Rapid Response team across 10 of our UK locations. If you’re interested, check out Civil Service Jobs for more information. Applications close on 10th December 2021





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