Director of Operations

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 6th December 2021


Reference number





SCS Pay Band 2

Contract type


Business area

FSA - Operational delivery

Type of role

Operational Delivery
Senior leadership

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share

Number of posts



Multi-location from one of our FSA Offices (Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, London or York), Please be aware that this role can only be worked within the UK and not overseas. Travel across the UK will be required on a regular, possibly with overnight stays.

About the job


The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people, with a big vision - “food you can trust”. Our primary goal is to protect public health and consumers’ interests in food. Food matters to everyone, every day, and our work is vital to the food industry and to consumers.

The scope of the FSA’s operational work is significant. From abattoirs to vineyards, our teams work closely with food businesses to make sure that people can have faith that their food is safe, and that it is what it says it is. We inspect hundreds of food businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and are quick to respond to emerging food incidents and emergencies, as well as food crimes.

Job description

The FSA is looking for a new Director of Operations. This role will suit a candidate with a successful track record in operational delivery and/or delivering change across a large organization, and experience in working with diverse internal and external stakeholders on work that matters.

As part of the FSA’s Executive Management Team, you will lead all the FSA’s operational work: around 700 staff in field operations, the National Food Crime Unit, the incidents team, and the Operational Assurance and Transformation team. You will also oversee the FSA’s most significant contract with a service delivery partner, who themselves provide a further 500 contractors carrying out vital front-line work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You will be the Senior Responsible Officer of a transformation process which will improve the way we prioritise resources to higher risk work and will modernize and digitize our processes. You will lead efforts to ensure these services are effective and efficient and offer value for money whilst ensuring food safety for all. You will also have a passion for creating a great place to work, where all feel included, whatever their background, circumstances, or identity.

If you are excited by this opportunity, and believe you have the skills, experience, and ambition to make a lasting impact on the work of the FSA and the mission of food you can trust, then please apply.


Please read the attached Candidate Pack to discover further details about the role, our organisation, who we are looking for and the criteria we will assess against during the selection process. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you every success.


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

  • Leadership
  • Changing and Improving
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Managing a Quality Service


Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of longlisting and/or shortlisting against the essential and desirable person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to take part in a staff engagement exercise and a mock incident media exercise, before going on to attend a panel interview which will include a short presentation, you will have time to prepare in advance.
The panel may request two work-based references to be taken for shortlisted candidates prior to the final panel interview.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications you may be invited to a longlist meeting to enable a further sift.

Security Clearance
Appointment will be subject to the candidate having, or being able to achieve, National Security Vetting at Security Check level as a minimum and would ideally be able to achieve Developed Vetting security clearance. full details on the requirement and processes for National Security Vetting, copy and paste this URL into your browser or click on the link in the candidate pack:

Please note that candidates need to be resident in the UK for a minimum of 5 years to be eligible to apply for SC Clearance and a minimum of 10 years to be eligible to apply for DV Clearance.

The FSA is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. All appointments are made on merit.

We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.

Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached terms and conditions statement.

Any move to the Food Standards Agency from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare.
Determine your eligibility at

A reserve list will be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.

If applying on a job-share basis, the expectation would be that you are already in an established job-share partnership.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

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 equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

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 :  Nicola Jenkins
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you wish to raise a complaint then please email in the first instance.

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