Assistant Private Secretary to the Chief Executive

Food Standards Agency

Closing date: 25 Apr 2018

Reference number



£25,503 - £29,795


Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

Private Office and Secretariats

Type of role

Administration / Corporate Support

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time


37 Hrs per week

Number of posts



London with some travel

About the job

Job description

The APS to the Chief Executive has responsibility for the management of the diaries, processing official correspondence and invitations. The APS will also assist in enhancing the profile of Private Office through active networking. The post holder will work closely with other members of the Private Office team including the Private Secretaries, Parliamentary Business and Correspondence Manager and Board and Executive Management Team Secretariat.

A key challenge for the APS will be to ensure that diary time is used effectively and that meeting requests are appropriately prioritised. The APS will ensure that requests for information from the Chief Executive’s Office are suitably and effectively followed up. The APS to the Chief Executive will work with the APS to the Chair and Deputy Chair to share diary information to avoid unnecessary duplication.

In conjunction with the Parliamentary Business and Correspondence Manager, the APS will help Private Office maintain a strong performance in meeting Whitehall correspondence targets.

The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial department of 1200 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”.

Thank you for your interest in joining the FSA's Private Office. It's a great time to be thinking of joining our team. Private Office sits right at the heart of our department as we tackle decisions that will transform the way we regulate, and shape our role as the UK leaves the EU. That's why we are investing in building an excellent Private Office team - we see it as keeping the FSA engine running smoothly. A great Private Office serves the whole department, not just the Chair and Chief Executive.

As our interface across three political administrations and several government departments, and with senior stakeholders in science, the food industry, international and consumer bodies, Private Office sets the tone and helps everyone here get our business done in the right way. We look forward to receiving your application and understanding the part you could play in our ambition to be regarded as an excellent modern regulator.

The APS will work from the London office but there is some scope for occasional home working.

Want to find out more? Please take a look at the attached job description which outlines the key responsibilities.

Person specification

With responsibility for official FSA correspondence, excellent written English and the ability to articulate clearly are essential skills for this role, together with good IT skills and a high level of planning and organisational skills. You will be able to work in a fast paced environment to tight deadlines, with attention to detail across all areas of your work.

You will have good interpersonal skills and the ability to build effective working relationships. Diplomatic skills and the ability to maintain confidentiality are therefore key to this role.

You will be able to develop and support team members and be committed to equal opportunities and cultural awareness.

Previous administrative experience is desirable.


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

  • Managing a quality service
  • Leading and communicating
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Delivering at pace
  • Making effective decisions
  • Collaborating and partnering

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


We offer excellent benefits, including a generous holiday entitlement, an attractive pension scheme, flexi-time and flexible working options.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Subject to the volume of responses we may conduct a preliminary sift based on the lead competencies of

•Managing a Quality Service
• Leading and Communicating

The selection process will consist of a competency based interview and a written test.

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

If you’d like to be considered, please also take a look through the additional documents attached which will help you put your application in. We look forward to hearing from you!

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.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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

Swati Singh

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift: w/c 30th April

Interviews: w/c 7th May

Further information

Candidates can claim travel costs if they attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.

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