Senior Risk Assessor – Genetic Technologies

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 26th September 2021


Reference number



£37,350 (National) per annum £40,350 (London) per annum


Senior Executive Officer
SSO (Senior Scientific Officer - equivalent to SEO Grade)

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

FTA / Loan (Temporary) for up to 12 months (with a possibility of an extension)

Business area

FSA - Science, Evidence & Research - Regulated Products Team, Risk Assessment Unit

Type of role

Health and Safety

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Homeworking

Number of posts



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

About the job


The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”. Our primary goal is to continue to protect public health and consumers’ wider interest in food. As we have now exited the EU the FSA faces a significant period of change and activity.

Throughout this time, our ability to respond to food safety issues remains a key priority. The FSA works hard to build on the hard-earned trust the public has in its work. This means maintaining the high regulatory standards we have in place whilst reacting and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the global food industry.

Genetic technologies continue to play an important role in the future of our food, and play a role in areas that the public might not even consider, such as the feed that we give the animals within our food systems. The Senior Risk Assessor for Genetic Technologies will deliver work around GM technology in partnership with the independent scientists who advise the FSA on new foods entering the market.

This post is advertised as a fixed term or Loan appointment for up to 12 months (with a possibility of an extension). Candidates that are already established Civil Servants will come to the FSA on a Loan basis and will need to request permission from their Home Department for the Loan prior to applying for this job.

Job description

The successful candidate will need to be able to present and convey scientific issues and ideas to non-scientific audiences, working to ensure that decisions made in response to findings and recommendations will serve the public need and consumer health as a whole. From presenting these ideas to leading a small team of risk assessors, the post-holder will have strong people skills and be an excellent communicator. As the demand for genetic technology work grows, they will also be available to provide support and insight across a range of other risk assessment areas as needed by the Agency.

The food landscape never stops moving, and there are always new products, new technologies and new ideas that need to be assessed. Candidates should be able to grasp the big picture that this industry presents, working closely with colleagues from across the Agency to ensure that we can keep food safe, and what it says it is. If you are excited to be a part of this important mission, and can deliver efficiently and at pace, apply for this role today.


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:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing


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.
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 shortlisting against the essential and desirable person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of an experience/technical/behaviours-based interview.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications an initial sift may take place on just the identified lead criteria indicated below:
• Having a practical understanding of Genetic Modification and Genome Editing technologies.

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 up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.

Please note that we are also advertising for two Risk Assessor – Genetic Technologies (HSO) posts on a permanent basis and we would welcome your application.

Sift: W/C 27 September 2021
Interviews: W/C 11 October 2021

Interviews will be held remotely via MS Teams.

Please note that the interview date maybe subject to change.

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 :  Donal Griffin
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

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

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