Senior Veterinary Inspector Galashiels


To provide veterinary operational services to safeguard animal health and welfare and public health, protect the economy and enhance food security through inspection, surveillance, regulation, enforcement and where applicable research, through the application of state veterinary medicine in the delivery of GB Governments’ policies.

You will have well-honed interpersonal skills with the ability to provide authoritative advice, sometimes under difficult circumstances to a wide range of stakeholders. You will often be required to work and make decisions alone, and therefore need logical and methodological thought processes. You will need to have the ability to absorb rapidly changing policy decisions, often under pressure and be aware of the implications of decisions that can have far reaching consequences. Your fact-finding ability and analytical skills will assist you in your role and in addition you will need to show initiative, originality and creativity especially when faced with various challenging situations.

Job description

Key tasks

To carry out any duties commensurate with the grade and purpose of the post including, but not limited to, the following:

Incident and Disease Outbreak Response:

•To contribute to and participate in Delivery Area and National Contingency Planning and exercises as required

•To ensure that professional skills are developed and maintained to undertake any allocated role(s) during incidents and emergency activities with an expectation that the roles in which individuals are specifically trained will be called upon first during outbreaks and provision of veterinary leadership and direction in the field during an emergency situation

•To respond flexibly to incidents and outbreaks of notifiable animal disease including (with reasonable notice) undertaking periods of detached duty and delivering other veterinary roles and tasks as required by the business. Standard equality and diversity rules apply

•To provide veterinary advice and make effective decisions at the individual / premises level in a disease emergency situation, using sound veterinary judgement and adhering to standard guidance and operating procedures where applicable.

For veterinary field roles:

To investigate animal diseases in farm livestock by undertaking on-farm and field investigations by:

•Examining and inspecting farmed animals, to support differential diagnosis of disease

•Conducting in field post mortem examinations when appropriate

•Collecting and submitting appropriate samples for laboratory testing

•Collecting and interpreting relevant data; Reporting findings and recommendations Maintaining competence in this role

Disease Investigation and Welfare

•To investigate individual animals and herds for the presence of notifiable disease, new and re-emerging threats and other food safety incidents and zoonotic disease. Activities to be undertaken through quality assured inspection, examination, history taking, post mortem examination, sampling and differential diagnosis to allow assessment of likely causes and potential consequences in a timely and effective manner.

•To carry out euthanasia of animals were necessary in accordance with appropriate policies, or to supervise this activity where others (e.g. knackermen) are involved to ensure the welfare at time of killing is observed.

•To carry out physical examinations of animals, records, premises, equipment and vehicles when a veterinary investigation, opinion, decision and or witness statement is required.

•To contribute to the diagnosing of notifiable diseases and control disease in liaison with senior veterinary staff.

•To ensure personal decisions, advice and actions are based on evidence, take account of the policy and legal frameworks and Operation Manual Instructions are clearly and appropriately communicated.

•To document and record actions taken and recommendation by producing quality reports in a timeous manner as required.

•For veterinary surveillance roles, to monitor trends in endemic disease to provide baseline data as part of diagnostic service and to contribute to the detection of new and re-emerging disease through investigation

Inspection, Approval and Audit:

•To carry out physical examinations of animals, premises, equipment and vehicles when a veterinary opinion/certification is required. In certain circumstances the post holder will be expected to undertake such activities outside of conditioned hours, appropriate allowances or supplementary payments will be made

•To carry out import controls on animals and animal products as required by EU/UK legislation, including investigation of possible illegal activity and signing off relevant documents

•To undertake liaison and audit work in relation to Official Veterinarian procedures, and follow-up activity, including application of sanctions, as required

Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHaW):

•To undertake essential training and display leadership by establishing and championing high health and safety standards and acting as a role model

•To carry out appropriate risk assessments when carrying out veterinary duties escalating risks as required

•To contribute to risk assessments for veterinary health and safety

•To implement APHA SHaW policy and procedures as relevant to the role including compliance with Occupational Health policies essential for delivery of the role such as screening and prophylactic/preventive programmes

•To support staff to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities including the identification of necessary training and providing this to their line manager

•To undertake necessary assurance activities in accordance with the APHA plan for such

Compliance and Enforcement:

•To use veterinary expertise to provide appropriate and relevant advice at the individual, premises level and to organisations and stakeholders in relation to GB Government Animal Health and Welfare policies

•To use veterinary expertise to support interventions as necessary, including the gathering, interpretation and presentation of evidence, appearing as a witness of fact or as a professional witness when required, and on occasions providing expert witness testimony if appropriately qualified

•To demonstrate an understanding and application of legislation in line with policy and best regulatory practice in order to positively influence behaviours while minimising burdens on industry. This should include EU law and other international standards as well as the UK policy

•To represent the Agency, engaging with animal keepers, wider industry and operational partners to gather intelligence, and educate and influence to improve the level of understanding, compliance and safe behaviour

Stakeholder Engagement:

•To develop effective working relationships with end users of APHA services, providing specialist advice and representing and promoting the interests of GB Governments to deliver agreed policies outcomes

•To engage with animal keepers, wider industry, the veterinary profession and other operational partners to gather intelligence, educate, influence and provide feedback to improve the standards of animal health and welfare. You will need to manage customer expectations while working through difficult situations

•Develop effective working relationships with colleagues in Defra, and where appropriate, other Government Departments

Duty and Out-of-Hours Rotas:

•Be part of a veterinary and where applicable management duty and out-of-hours rota(s), including nights, weekends and public holidays, to ensure where required provision of a 24 hour, 7 day capability to provide telephone advice and immediate response to incidents and emergencies as required by the business. An allowance is payable for this work

Learning & Development:

•To maintain appropriate veterinary expertise by undertaking and recording Continuing Professional Development

•To undertake personal learning and development and contribute to organisational learning, supporting continuous improvement. This will include all relevant mandatory training

•To maintain a record of competence and relevant training for RCVS, and APHA purposes

Operational Delivery Networks and Projects:

•To participate in APHA projects, groups, networks and fora that contribute to APHA’s agreed programme of work


•As well as general mentoring or coaching, more experienced staff will be expected to take a lead responsibility for a work or subject area in their locality this would involve providing technical and scientific advice to other Veterinary professionals in their team

•Acting as an ambassador for APHA when communicating GB policy requirements for Animal Health and Welfare to livestock keepers or industry representatives in their area

•Supporting local and delivery area line management in prioritising, coordinating and allocating project work to support local delivery and providing input to the national ODN.

•Mentoring and or coaching of veterinary, technical and administrative colleagues.

•Teaching to undergraduate students when required.



•Professional credibility with sound written and verbal communication skills sufficient to represent APHA as necessary

•High standard of interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team

•Ability to display leadership by supporting agreed changes and displaying behaviours that align with Civil Service and organisational values

•Ability to use and communicate veterinary knowledge within and external to APHA in a way that promotes understanding by the target audience(s), including production of succinct and accurate reports to meet specified requirements

•Ability to work within an auditable system of procedures and processes maintaining appropriate levels of quality assurance and control, including excellent standards of record keeping.

•Ability to work in a flexible and agile way to support development and to make use of current technology.

•All candidates must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English to enable effective communication about veterinary topics with customers and colleagues, to include drafting witness statements where needed

•Practical experience in as many aspects of veterinary work as possible; including the handling of farmed animals, proficiency in routine techniques, and evidence of first-hand relevant experience, skills and competencies which will enable them to develop as State Veterinarians.


Valid UK driving licence


Minimum of Bachelor of Veterinary Science or equivalent.

A Member or Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Driving licence valid in the UK




We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Practical experience in as many aspects of veterinary work as possible.



• Learning and development tailored to your role

• An environment with flexible working options

• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

• A Civil Service pension

How to apply: 

Apply online


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Sift and interview dates as well as the interview location to be confirmed.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants are expected to start on the minimum pay band.

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.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email:

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :   Martin Gordon, Delivery Team Leader 07990 510135
Email :
Telephone :   07990 510135
Recruitment team :
Email :


Closing date: 
Sunday, March 8, 2020
Government Animal and Plant Health Agency
Animal and Plant Health Agency
xxxx xxx
United Kingdom
Contract type: 
Full time