Serwah Adusei

Serwah Adusei

I am a Capability Officer in the Department for International Trade. I work on delivering an investment-specific L&D programme. I have also previously held HR/L&D roles in the Cabinet Office and FCO.

Location United Kingdom


  • Hi @MatthewTravis Officers are not required to do other work as they typically have 3 or 4 hours of lessons 5 days per week and on each of these days they need to do about 4 hours of home study, so the training is really intensive. FTLT is given to FCO officers who were appointed to an overseas job where speaking the language to high standards is a core...

  • Hi @LavandulaLavender To receive a certificate of achievement, you will be required to unlock the test by either upgrading this course or buy Unlimited. Learners are able complete the whole course without doing these tests.

  • Hi @ChrisRG - Each job specification will highlight the level of language needed, if necessary, for a job. It is essential to reach the required level for the posting, however those who do not have existing expertise have the opportunity to undergo language training. You can find out more about this in step 2.7.

  • Hi @JamesSanderson - As well as full time language training, the FCO also offer developmental languages classes to help staff learn a new language or maintain a language

  • Thanks Rachel, those are great tips

  • Hi @JoshWaley, if you would like to know more about the FCO crisis response, you may be interested in some recent blogs by several ambassadors published here:

  • Welcome to the course @NifoOnesemo-Simaika and welcome to the FCO! I hope you will find this course useful and please feel free to use this space to share your experiences as a new starter and any tips you may have.

  • Hi @FinleyGrimble I would say people come from a really diverse range of backgrounds, through a number of routes. One of the more widely known avenues being the Fast Stream. Congratulations on your place in the Commercial stream, the FCO participates in this also. The skills needed vary for each position. You can find a PDF from the bottom of step 1.8, which...

  • Hi Carl, interesting question. The majority of our consular staff are local staff. This means they are employed on a local contract by the Embassy/High Commission in the country where they work. The consular directorate has responsibility for both UK and Local Staff in the delivery of consular services

  • Hi Rachel - FCO Historians as you have noted are very important as they provide a long-term, policy-relevant perspective on international issues, and contribute to the collective knowledge and understanding of British foreign policy. You may find the FCO Historians blog page of interest...

  • That's a shame you are unable to view the video. You may find it useful to try and view the video from another device. If you are still unable to, we have a transcript in the downloads section and you can also get a glimpse of King Charles Street and select Embassies in Step 1.10.

  • Hi Linda. A Consulate is a secondary FCO office (after the Embassy or High Commission) in a country. For example in the USA, there are a number of consulates after the British Embassy Washington e.g. British Consulate General - New York.

  • Welcome to the course Anna!

  • Hi Maral, thank you for joining. It's great to hear that you are exploring joining our locally engaged team in the British Consulate General LA. You can find out more specifically about local staff during week 2. Do also keep an eye on local vacancies here if your interested:

  • Great to have you with us Tanya, hope you find this course a useful introduction to the work of the FCO!

  • Hello everyone. I am really looking forward to engaging with you all throughout this course! I joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2019 as a Projects Officer in the Diplomatic Academy. This has included work in communications and digital projects such as this online course and our learning and development platform app FCO GLO. I am now working on...

  • Hi Nayme, Step 1.3 introduces a few key acronyms and you can also find Dr William Brown's fuller guide here

  • Hi Michelle, you raise an interesting point, particularity as two thirds of our workforce are based overseas. Local staff can also record their ethnicity, disability status, flexible working patterns etc. on a voluntary basis. However, recording rates are currently too low to allow us to capture and report on data other than for gender. You can find out more...

  • @ElenaKaracharova Hi Elena, many thanks for signposting to the FCO Virtual Embassy. This is another great opportunity to learn about the variety of work FCO staff do.

  • Hi Andrew - There are no set quotas for any protected characteristic/background. The drive for diversity which is supported by our Board and led by HR and staff associations e.g. BAME Network and Foreground have gone a long way in demystifying the FCO (and Civil Service generally) in communities that previously lacked representation within the FCO.

  • Hi Sharon - an envoy in this context is a senior role created to advocate for a specific priority issue. For example, Joanna Roper is our Special Envoy for Gender Equality and her role includes working with Whitehall departments, civil society, academics and Governments overseas to support the FCO's work on gender equality issues.

  • Hi Sukhpreet - the previously mentioned recruitment avenues are just some of the ways people can enter in the FCO. We have people who are often seconded or loaned to the FCO to work on a specific issue from other government departments. Or, you can apply directly to the FCO for advertised roles. You can find further information here regarding recruitment:...

  • Thank you Victoria for sharing your experiences. This advice is definitely transferable for those moving to work in a mission overseas.

  • Congratulations Megan! Hopefully this course will give you an insight into what to expect and some of the opportunities available to you when you join.

  • Hi Joe - If you would like to know more about entry pathways into the FCO, please see the attached Summary of FCO and Wider Civil Service Recruitment Pathways in the downloads section. The Graduate Internship Programme or the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream may be of interest to you.

  • Good morning everyone, I am really looking forward to engaging with you all throughout this course! I joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2019 as a Projects Officer in the Diplomatic Academy. I have a particular interest in the modern history of Africa and International Development. I would have to say my favourite thing about working in the FCO...