What is required of the information profession in the UK Government?
: Views from the profession

  • Samantha Milton

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


This dissertation considered what was required of the information profession in the UK Government, from the perspective of professionals themselves. It surveyed published work on the information-management profession from academic and business sources. The literature suggested three overarching areas meriting investigation: responding to the changing environment; the relationship with the rest of the organisation; and skills and continuing professional development. A self-completion questionnaire, issued to information professionals in Government, addressed these areas and related sub-topics. 88 responses offered thought-provoking findings. As well as establishing a profile of the respondents, such as their job-role, grade and so on, the questionnaire solicited their opinions on where information-management functions should be located in departments; whether demands on the profession had changed; skills and attributes that were important to the profession; and its biggest challenges and how to respond. Solutions often focused on better service provision, rather than promoting the profession in and for itself. A significant consensus emerged around the need to communicate the benefits of information management. Social-media skills were rated as unimportant by respondents but highlighted as the opposite by some literature. This merits further research. Another area of interest is professional bodies: establishing if they are valued as little by the profession as responses to the questionnaire would suggest. Finally, qualifications, learning, and continuing professional development require further consideration since the findings of this dissertation were somewhat contradictory in these areas. In response to some questions they did not appear strongly valued but they were presented by many as potential solutions to the challenges facing the profession. In particular, more work should identify whether the emphasis is best placed on the professionals themselves or enhancing the general information-management skills needed by colleagues across organisation
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

Cite this