Scottish Government Head Veterinarian


The Head Veterinarian provides technical leadership for FSS colleagues and stakeholders and will be the source of definitive advice on meat Official Controls in FSS and reports to the Head of Operational Delivery.

The Head Veterinarian will engage with external veterinary stakeholders including Chief Veterinary Officers, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Institute of Food Science and Technology, SG policy, FSA and various academic institutions and will lead the continuous improvement of FSS veterinary competence working closely with FSS policy leads.

Job description

• Build meaningful strategic stakeholder relationships across the sector to maintain support for FSS policies in relation to the delivery of Meat Official Controls. This will include UK veterinary schools, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, and senior SG Officials in animal health and welfare

• Provide direction, support and definitive veterinary technical advice to colleagues and stakeholders as required and line manage a B3 Senior Veterinary Advisor.

• Develop and deliver learning and development opportunities to ensure that AOs have the knowledge, skills and appropriate training in order to perform their duties effectively.

• Ensure that AOs are appropriately qualified and undertake continuous professional development.

• Provide interpretation of management information and briefing in area of responsibility as required.

• Maintain own professional knowledge and ensure staff are updated on a timely basis of any changes to official controls/legislation relevant to their roles.

• Provide specialist professional input into FSS policy development

• Represent FSS in SG veterinary development initiatives such as the Veterinary Delivery Landscape Working Group and Scottish Livestock welfare Group

• Develop and deliver a recruitment outreach programme for FSS to ensure that FSS has access to a supply of AOs to meet future demand.

• Commission relevant veterinary research to address emerging meat related public health issues and contribute to the design and delivery of FSS meat hygiene research as part of the foodborne disease and surveillance strategies.

• Represent FSS as a member of Scottish Meat Industry Forum

• Manage cost centre in accordance with FSS financial processes. Estimated Budget £150k.

• As a member of the operational Management team provide definitive veterinary advice in support of any relevant operational initiatives or change programmes including audit of FBOs



1. Experience of the interpreting and applying food law related to meat Official Controls with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.

2. Strong self-management and people management skills including the ability to manage challenging workloads and competing deadlines.

3. Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build supportive and collaborative relationships with colleagues and stakeholders at all levels of seniority.

4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to work confidently to provide clear, competent and insightful advice.



• Learning and development tailored to your role

•An environment with flexible working options

• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

How to apply: 

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :   Sandy McDougall
Email :
Telephone :   07776172160
Recruitment team :
Email :

Apply at advertiser's site

Closing date: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Scottish Government
AB11 5RL
United Kingdom
£47,504 - £59,229
Contract type: 
Full time