Empowering Civil Service with AI: CDDO’s Generative AI Courses

CDDO offers online courses on generative AI for civil servants, enhancing digital competencies and promoting ethical AI integration in government operations.

The UK Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) has recently launched a series of online courses on generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) designed to enhance the digital competencies of civil servants. These courses are available through the Government Campus via Civil Service Learning and are open to an unlimited number of learners. The initiative is part of a broader strategy to integrate generative AI into government services efficiently and ethically, aligning with the government’s digital strategy.

The curriculum of the courses covers a wide range of topics related to generative AI. It includes an introduction to generative AI, its applications and limitations, risks and ethics, practical tools and applications, prompt engineering, and strategies for effective AI governance. This diverse curriculum aims to provide a comprehensive learning experience for participants at various proficiency levels, addressing specific learning needs identified by CDDO’s research. The courses are self-paced and use a mix of articles, videos, and optional tasks. Additionally, CDDO and the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit are developing a new Artificial Intelligence page on Prospectus Online to offer more specific courses on generative AI and the wider field of AI.

Alongside the online courses, the CDDO has also published new guidance for civil servants on the use of generative AI. This guidance includes a list of no-go areas for the technology due to its current limitations, emphasizing areas such as fully automated decision-making in critical sectors and situations requiring rapid responses. The guidance also includes 10 principles to guide the safe, responsible, and effective use of generative AI in government organizations.

These initiatives by the CDDO represent a significant step towards enhancing digital literacy within the civil service, equipping civil servants with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate and contribute to the government’s evolving digital landscape. The CDDO’s approach highlights a commitment to harnessing the potential of AI while acknowledging and mitigating its risks​​​​​​.

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