Animal Health Officer Dover

Animal and Plant Health Agency

Animal Health Officer Dover


Animal and Plant Health Agency, Dover

  • Full time
  • Temporary
  • Remote working

Posted 1 week ago, 15 May | Get your application in now before you miss out!

Closing date: Closing date not specified

job Ref: 621185e9d1c94089b87786dc10e95deb

Full Job Description

APHA is a brilliant place to work where our people feel valued, have a voice and can be their authentic selves. We value difference and diversity, not only because we believe it is the right thing to do, but because it will help us be more innovative and make better decisions.
Are you passionate about working with animals and care for their welfare?
Are you caring, conscientious and an excellent team worker?
Do you enjoy working outside?
If so, we would like to hear from you!, We’re seeking four motivated Portal Officer Animal Health Officer (AHO) to join our technical delivery team. In this role, you’ll play a crucial part in safeguarding animal health and welfare during transport, ensuring public health, and facilitating compliant International Trade.
You’ll be based primarily in the Ports of Dover and Coquelles (France), also undertaking activities in the Ports of Newhaven, Harwich, and Calais (France).
Our team is actively engaged in high-profile work, including tackling the illegal trade in pets, conducting inspections on commercial cat and dog imports under the Approved Importer Scheme.
As a Portal Animal Health Officer, your key responsibilities will include:
1. Conducting import controls on live animals as per UK legislation, including documentary, identity, and physical checks.
2. Inspecting animals, records, and vehicles for compliance and taking appropriate regulatory action when necessary.
3. Engaging with importers and transporters to facilitate import checks.
4. Managing follow-up actions when non-compliance is detected to ensure animal welfare and UK biosecurity, including supporting investigations of potential illegal activities.
5. Documenting the assessment, decision, and outcome of inspections in detailed reports.
6. Collaborating closely with commercial carriers and various regulatory bodies such as His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, UK Border Force, Port Health and Local Authorities
7. Assisting in the response to exotic notifiable disease outbreaks, such as Avian Influenza and Bluetongue, which may involve working at various locations and in various outbreak roles.
In this exciting role:
1. You’ll operate in shifts, accommodating our core hours from 0830 to 2200 on weekdays. Operational needs and live animal import schedules necessitate a degree of flexibility.
2. Weekend duties are a regular part of the job, with activities planned and communicated in advance.
3. The position is largely outdoors, requiring you to spend extended periods at ports in all types of weather.
4. As a regulatory role, expect to engage in report writing and evidence gathering, requiring the use of computers, smart phone applications and notebooks.
5. Regular travel to Coquelles, France for Eurotunnel border controls is integral to the role. Be prepared for occasional delays in return journeys due to cancellations.
6. The role demands on-site work; hybrid home working is not an option.
7. Occasionally, overnight stays may be required for meetings and training., Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the personal statement only. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.
Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.
If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your behaviours, technical skills, and strengths
A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.
For the purposes of the selection process, the Lead Behaviour will be Communicating and Influencing.
Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made., Where the location is ‘National’ the successful appointee should discuss and agree an appropriate contractual location in line with both Defra’s location policy and site capacity, prior to proceeding with pre-employment processes.
Successful applicants currently employed by the hiring Defra organisation for this post may choose to remain in their current contractual location or may choose to change contractual location to one of those listed above. This should be discussed and agreed prior to proceeding with pre-employment processes.
The agreed amount of time spent at a workplace for this post will reflect the requirement for Civil Servants to spend at least 60% of their working time in an organisation workplace with the option to work the remaining time flexibly from home. Working time spent at a workplace may include time spent at other organisational locations including field-based operational locations, together with supplier, customer or partner locations. This is a non-contractual agreement which is consistent with common Civil Service expectations.
Travel costs to non-contractual workplaces will be subject to departmental travel and subsistence policies. Travel costs to contractual workplaces are the responsibility of the employee.
The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.
Defra includes the core department, APHA, RPA, Cefas and VMD.
Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.
Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes., Please be aware the levels of national security clearance are changing which may impact on the level needed for this role by the time of appointment. All efforts will be made to keep candidates informed of any changes and what that will mean in terms of vetting criteria. For more information please See our vetting charter.
Loan and Fixed Term Appointments
Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.
This is a Fixed-term Appointment as an Animal Health Officer on the Border Controls Team because the post is not permanent. It is time-limited due to a fixed funding period or as part of a specific project.
Your responsibilities will include those shown on the Responsibilities section of the advert. This post will therefore begin from the agreed start date and end on 31/03/2025 & 01/04/2025
Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check (opens in a new window).See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks., + UK nationals
+ nationals of the Republic of Ireland
+ nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
+ nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
+ nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
+ individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
+ Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Diversity and Inclusion
The Civil Service is committed to attract, retain and invest in talent wherever it is found. To learn more please see the Civil Service People Plan (opens in a new window) and the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (opens in a new window).

Apply and further information
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

+ Experience working with a variety of animals, including horses, small animals (e.g., cats, dogs, fish, birds), and farmed animals (e.g., cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry). This experience could be gained through education, paid work, or voluntary work.
+ High standards of written and spoken English, with the ability to effectively communicate about animal health topics with a range of stakeholders, including customers, service users, and colleagues.
+ Knowledge of basic Health and Safety principles, and an understanding of safe practices when working with animals.
+ The ability to work independently or as part of a team, take responsibility, and maintain a positive and focused attitude in the face of challenges.
+ Experience working within an auditable system of procedures and processes, with a commitment to maintaining quality and excellent record-keeping.
+ Flexibility in working hours, with the ability to start earlier or later than routine shift times to undertake targeted activities.
+ Knowledge of animal welfare and biosecurity principles.
Learning and Development, A full UK driving license with access to a vehicle with sufficient business insurance, We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
+ Communicating and Influencing
+ Working Together

Technical skills
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
+ Knowledge of assessing animal welfare
+ Understanding disease control / biosecurity principles

Everyone in APHA is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. When you join the Directorate, you will be welcomed into your new team through an induction programme that will provide you with helpful information on the civil service, our work and our policies. Your line manager will also work with you to establish your priorities for the year, developing a performance, learning and development plan tailored to you and your role.
In return for your dedication, we will support your ongoing personal development through appropriate training. Inclusion, support and the development of our people matter to us. We aim to support the career and personal wellbeing of everyone in APHA.

Alongside your salary of £27,470, Animal and Plant Health Agency contributes £7,416 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
Further benefits offered also include:
+ A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.
+ An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities tailored to your role.
+ Access to a range of retail, travel and lifestyle employee discounts.
+ Staff bonuses and recognition, salary sacrifice benefit options, and an employee discount scheme.
+ Making it work for you - With so many flexible options, most people can find a work schedule to suit their circumstances.
These are just a few of our benefits we offer. To find out the full range of what we offer refer to the Information Pack attached for more detail.