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Pru Orridge, a Customs Fraud Lead in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who lives in Cardiff, tells us about her involvement in the FDA Learn courses on ‘Success Profiles’.
Pru Orridge

Originally born in Tanzania, Pru came to Wales in 1996 and joined HMRC in 2005. A few years ago, Pru heard about the FDA Learn courses on ‘Success Profiles’ (the Civil Service recruitment framework). Jointly funded by WULF and her employer, the courses aim to improve opportunities for job progression by providing interview skills’ training, particularly focusing on ‘Behaviours’ and ‘Strengths’ which are two key parts of the interview process.

Pru originally joined HMRC as an administrative assistant in 2005. Helped by the training, she has been quickly promoted to more senior roles. In 2021, she became the Customs Fraud Lead in the Fraud Investigations Service (FIS), an area of the Civil Service where BAME workers are underrepresented.

“For me, it was absolutely amazing. I had the chance in the session to get engaged and understand how to answer strength-based questions… Lots of other members who have now attended…have said how successful it was.”

- Pru

Building confidence as a woman in a leadership position

Pru believes that the training courses have contributed to her success at work. “I have absolutely benefitted from doing this training…as a result of the sessions, my interview skills are my strongest area. Last time I did my interview it went really well, particularly on my strength-based question. Thanks to the training, I know what my employer is looking for.”

For Pru, the training is also a great opportunity to strengthen the confidence of underrepresented workers in the civil service, particularly for women in leadership positions.

 “As women we suffer from imposter syndrome…this continues once you are in a leadership position. Even when I started my new job last year, I thought this must be a mistake. I doubted myself…Once you have that confidence it makes such a difference…” - Pru

Increasing opportunities for BAME workers in the senior civil service

Pru is also the HMRC Race Network Lead in Wales. She sees training as a great opportunity to tackle the underrepresentation of BAME workers in senior civil service jobs. She has encouraged other members of the Race Network to attend the training to strengthen their interview skills.

Several members have now attended the sessions and have found them very useful. Pru explains: “The sessions have been a great boost to race network members here in Wales. They have given members the skills to progress their careers. I am confident that we can move towards equality in the civil service.”

Pru believes that having a BAME woman in such a senior role has contributed to increased representation in the FIS. Representation at Grade 7 has now reached reportable numbers for the first time.

Passing on her learning

Pru is now passing down what she has learnt to others. As the Race Network Lead in Wales, she has established mentoring and coaching schemes together with her employer to support the job progression of underrepresented groups.

She has also recently delivered her own session on Success Profiles to others at her work, with strong attendance from her own department and beyond.  

FDA event

FDA Learn is a professional development training programme run by the FDA union for civil servants and public service professionals. In Wales, FDA Learn is funded by the union and the Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF). The programme focuses on employment progression for people from diverse backgrounds.