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Prior to 1977, Assistant Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries in the Civil Service were represented by a small ad-hoc group, membership of which varied from time to time. The earliest recorded documents charting the activities of this group date from 1951. However, The Association of Assistant Secretaries & Higher Grades was formed at a meeting held in the Shelbourne Hotel on 12 December, 1977. The first Executive Committee comprised representatives of a number of Government Departments, including Environment, Labour, Foreign Affairs, Revenue, Tourism & Transport and Posts & Telegraphs.

A copy of the inaugural Constitution of the AASHG can be viewed here.

The Association has always been a non-unionised body and has never had any full-time staff or permanent offices. In its early years, however, it did have an arrangement with the then Association of Higher Civil Servants who provided support services in return for an annual financial contribution.

In 2014, The Association decided at its AGM to change its name to the Senior Civil Service Association and to adopt a more formal status as an incorporated company.

The SCSA was formally incorporated on 9th February, 2015.