Profession-wide training

Once or twice a year we will bring in courses for all civil servant user researchers. For example, in autumn 2023 we brought in a specialist to train us in "Self care in user research". Keep an eye on the #user_research DfE Slack channel (opens in a new tab) for annoucements.

DfE Domain Knowledge learning programme

DfE has a Domain Knowledge learning programme (DfE users only), giving knowledge and understanding of the department's purpose, policies, organisation and wider objectives.

This programme is available to all DfE civil servants.

Other training

For non-UR specialist training, in related topics like leadership, strategy, workshop facilitation, presentation and storytelling skills, etc, there are good options on Civil Service Learning. Also look out for emails from the department's central learning and development team with training courses.

If you have identified a commercial training course you'd like to take (using the user researcher capability framework to identify your development needs, and with the support of your line manager, profession manager, or mentor) then speak to your line manager about how to get funding for this.

Introduction to User Research in Government course

This course for civil servant user researchers is a good introduction to conducting user research in the context of government.

If you are new to user research, or new to government, you should take this course. This course is open to civil servants already in a user research role.

There is a waiting list for the course. Sign up to join the waiting list here (opens in new tab)

Become a facilitator on the Introduction to User Research in Government course

Build your own skills and gain experience at training the next generation of government user researchers. We need user researchers to deliver the course in DfE, and to URs from other departments. You can do this as a civil servant or contractor.

To find out more about being a course facilitator, Contact Annaliese Lamb in DfE Slack (opens in a new tab).

Reading list

Our user research community has crowd-sourced some articles, books and podcasts that we've found interesting and useful:



Planning research


Research methods

Research Ops

How we're developing our training offer

In the future, we plan to develop a cross-profession training strategy, with a mix of in-house training courses and recommended third-party training. See our profession roadmap.