Nearly two thirds of public sector HR professionals feel their department is insufficiently prepared to make changes.
Research by consultancy Penna found 96% of public sector HR professionals want to take personal responsibility for change programmes in the workplace, but 62% said their department is not equipped to manage changes properly.
Another three-quarters said they need to up-skill to properly handle challenges presented by change programmes.
Philip Webb, Penna's head of public sector, said it was worrying that HR professionals did not feel they had the necessary skills and resources to do their job properly.
"The pace of public sector change is demanding and unremitting and HR professionals are central to its success or failure," said Webb. "During these times of uncertainty and reform, it is crucial to address areas such as organisational development, leadership, employee engagement and talent management.
"HR must become more of a focus if the public sector is to keep changing for the better, while also becoming a viable competitor for the best talent," he added.
More than 160 senior public sector HR professionals were polled in the survey.