Higher Technical Surveillance Officer

HM Revenue and Customs

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 28th September 2023



Reference number



£35,092 - £37,725
Plus a Flexibility Payment
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

HMRC - CCG - Fraud Investigation Service - Covert Operations, Digital Exploitation

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed Hours, Part Year

Number of jobs available



Gillingham (Kent)

Job summary

HMRC is the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority and we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and helps provide families and individuals with targeted financial support.

Covert Operations, Digital Exploitation (CODE) sits within HMRC’s wider Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) responsible for the department’s civil and criminal investigation work. FIS ensures that HMRC has an effective approach to taking on the most serious tax evasion and fraud.

Working across Law Enforcement and government, CODE provides investigative tools and covert techniques to front-line investigations. CODE works with key partners to develop and provide access to new technology and systems which enable investigators to respond to serious and complex tax evasion and crime.

See what it’s like to work at HMRC: find out more about us or ask our colleagues a question. Questions relating to an individual application must be emailed as detailed later in this advert.

Job description

This role sits within a CODE Unit called the Tactical Surveillance Group (TSG).

TSG’s primary responsibility is to deliver tactical or technical surveillance solutions in scenarios where conventional surveillance methods or techniques cannot be deployed or would fail. TSG’s work is diverse, challenging and frequently involves deploying into high risk environments.

The team comprises of surveillance professionals with a diverse range of skill sets. The two primary roles on the team are Rural Surveillance Officers and Technical Surveillance Officers - this vacancy is for the latter. 

The vacancy may be filled in our Gillingham (Kent) location or Leeds site in Yorkshire. Regular travel between both locations will be required.

This role is for individuals with established skills in tactical, technical and intrusive surveillance techniques to join an expanding work area. You will be responsible for delivering covert services and tactics across HMRC Organised Crime Investigations on a national level.  

Person specification

Duties will include;

  • The assembly, repair and installation of covert audio/video equipment, tracking equipment. 
  • Covert duties in relation to Targeted Equipment Interference (TEI) and sensitive collection.
  • Property interference and other intrusive techniques.
  • Designing and fabricating bespoke solutions to technical surveillance challenges. This may include working with a range of materials alongside using heavy machinery, welding and cutting equipment (training will be provided).
  • Working with electronics, electrical systems, IT and networks.
  • General technical support to specialist equipment and vehicles. 
  • The role will involve frequent close working with other Law Enforcement partners such as the National Crime Agency and Police forces. 
  • Other aspects of the roles may involve representing the Department at national specialist user groups/forums or other duties at the direction of the SIO.  
  • The role involves supporting HMRC operations nationally, which will require regular travel and nights away. The role necessitates working unsocial hours, being on-call, frequent short notice duty changes and additional hours, for which a Level 2 Flexibility Payment is paid.  

Please note that this is a role where the successful candidate will be expected to attend the workplace daily; opportunities to work from home are very limited and at management discretion.
You should also be aware that the role may involve working at heights or in hostile urban/rural environments.

Applicants will already have experience working with tactical, technical or intrusive surveillance techniques in either a Law Enforcement or Military setting.  

Essential Criteria.

This role is for a candidate with a demonstrable technical / engineering background

We are looking for candidates with knowledge and experience of the following; 

  • The technologies behind asset tracking systems including RFDF and GPS.  
  • Voice and data systems (wired and wireless). 
  • Audio & video equipment. (Transmission, reception, recording and presentation).  
  • Transmission systems, including GSM, GPRS, 3/4G LTE, Wi-Fi, microwave and wired systems.  
  • General knowledge of 12v and 24v vehicle electrics and electronic systems.  
  • Knowledge of IP networking and associated systems/devices (hardware and software).  
  • A proven technical ability to develop, deploy, maintain and repair the above technologies in accordance with legislation and operational Codes of Practice 
  • Excellent teamworking and communication skills.
  • The ability to work under pressure, deliver against tight deadlines and work with minimal supervision.   
  • Hold or be able to obtain National Security Vetting of SC or above. 

Desirable Criteria;

  • Experience working in a Technical Surveillance Unit, or similar capacity in HM Armed Forces.
  • College of Policing D6 qualification in ‘Tactics for Techs’ or similar/ equivalent Rural Surveillance (RSO) qualification.  
  • College of Policing D7 qualification in ‘TS Core skills’. 
  • College of Policing E1, E2, E3 specialist qualifications.  
  • Experience in installing intrusive Covert Audio and/or Video.  
  • An electronics or engineering qualification.  
  • Developed Vetting security clearance.

Proof of qualifications stated in the application will be required.


Hold a full UK driving Licence


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

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Presentation
Alongside your salary of £35,092, HM Revenue and Customs contributes £9,474 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • This post attracts Level 2 Flexibility Payment (FP) that is paid monthly with salary. 

This FP allows HMRC flexibility to change your work pattern, at short notice, to meet business needs. You will be expected to undertake periods of On-Call. You will also be expected to work additional hours, at weekends and outside your normal working hours/days (including bank holidays).

In applying for a position and accepting the FP you agree that you can and will meet those attendance requirements.

FP levels are reviewed annually – on a business need and personal basis – and may be subject to change.

If you currently receive the Flexibility Payment, which may include Transition Protection and/or a Maintained Pension Value, moving to a new role may affect your payments.

Details of the Flexibility Payment can be found in the attached document.

Find more about HMRC benefits in 'Your little extras and big benefits handbook' for further information or visit Thinking of joining the Civil Service.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

All Criminal Record Checks applications are considered fairly in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice and the Recruitment of ex-offenders Policy.

As the application process you will be asked to complete;

  • A CV detailing your job history, qualifications, and experience.
  • A Personal Statement (maximum of 500 words) outlining how you meet the essential criteria detailed above and what you can bring to the role. Using the Situation, Task, Action and Results (STAR) model will help achieve a structured document.

The sift will be done against the CV Personal Statement.

We reserve the right to raise the score required at any stage of the process in order to manage numbers.

Those successful at sift stage will be invited to interview which may also involve a practical / technical assessment.  

Practical Assessment: Depending on the experience of the candidate we may assess your technical and fault-finding abilities with a short practical assessment. 

Interview: We will assess your experience together with evidence of the Behaviours Working Together and Making Effective Decisions and which will involve situational-based questions. You will also be asked some questions to test your technical knowledge, this may include a scenario based knowledge and technical application test.

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

Interviews may be held by video.

Sift and Interview will take place within 5 weeks of advert closing date.

Interview dates to be confirmed.

A reserve list may be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made for the same or similar roles – if this applies to you, we’ll let you know via your Civil Service Jobs account.

Please note that this vacancy consists of several linked adverts for the same roles but in different locations. The references of which are as follows:

313660 and 313662

If you apply for more than one of the linked adverts above, your test and interview scores from your first submitted application will be automatically carried across to any other applications you make. This means you will only be invited to attend one interview.
After interview, separate merit lists will be created for each advert (i.e. location) and appointments will be made in strict merit order. If you are successful and accept an offer, all other linked applications will be withdrawn.

This role requires security clearance to SC. Any job offer is conditional to the attainment of the security clearance to SC and thus, the security clearance is mandatory. Please be aware that those who do not attain one will not be allowed to carry on in this particular post. If you do not attain your security clearance subsequent to appointment, we will look to redeploy you to another role within HMRC.

Applicants who wish to work alternative working patterns are welcome to apply. The preferred working pattern may or may not be available, agreement will be subject to business need, and any request to work an alternative working pattern should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

Appointment will be conditional upon satisfactory conduct and discipline checks and security vetting.

Training Requirements

Training will depend on the any qualifications / experience already held. Please discuss with the vacancy holder.

You will be required to complete a 12 month TAP (Training & Assessment Period) - document attached.

You will be required to complete OST (Operational Safety Training) - document attached.

All applicants will be required to declare any past convictions, criminal findings, or police cautions, regardless of whether they are ‘spent’.  You must also declare any disciplinary proceedings relating to previous employments.  The disclosure of this information will not automatically disbar you from employment with FIS, but we need to be aware of any event or issue which could impinge on your credibility if questioned in court.

FIS may conduct background checks and any offer will be withdrawn if you fail to disclose any relevant material that causes conflict with you being able to complete the duties of the role.


To check that you are eligible to apply, review this eligibility information

Important information for existing HMRC contractual homeworkers:

Please note that this role is unsuitable for contractual homeworkers due to the nature and/or requirements of the role.

Reasonable Adjustments

We want to make sure no one is put at a disadvantage during our recruitment process because of a disability, condition, or impairment. To assist you with this, we will reduce or remove any barriers where possible and provide additional support where appropriate. 

If you need a reasonable adjustment or a change to be made so that you can make your application, review this information on reasonable adjustments, and contact hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible.

Diversity and Inclusion

At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues and creating an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.

Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role. We’re committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues here at HMRC. We want everyone to feel valued and supported to achieve their potential at HMRC.

For more information on how we make this happen, review this information on our culture and values

Applications received from candidates with a criminal record are considered fairly in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice and the Recruitment of ex-offenders Policy.

We welcome applications from those who need to work a more flexible arrangement and will agree to requests where possible after considering operational and customer service needs. We can’t guarantee that we can meet all requests to work flexibly, as agreement will be subject to business ability to accommodate, and any request to work a more flexible arrangement should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement, this will be tested as part of the selection process. 

The Civil Service runs a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy. 


HMRC has a presence in every region of the UK. For more information on where you might be working, review this information on our locations. 

Security Update

For more information on the level of security checks we will carry out, review this information on security checks 

Additional Security Information

Please note: in addition to the standard pre-employment checks for appointment into the Civil Service, all candidates must also obtain National Security Vetting at Security Check (SC) clearance level for this vacancy. You will normally need to meet the minimum UK residency period as determined by the level of vetting being undertaken, which for SC is 5 years UK residency prior to your vetting application. If you have any questions about this residency requirement, please speak to the vacancy holder for this post.

Further Information

The Civil Service values honesty and integrity and expects all candidates to abide by these principles. The evidence you provide in your application must relate to your own experiences.

Any instances of plagiarism or other forms of cheating will be investigated and, if proven, the relevant application/s will be withdrawn from the process. 

Duplicate applications for the same vacancy will also be withdrawn.

Transferring into HMRC from Civil Service If you are currently working for an ‘Other Government Department’ (OGD) and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Combined T&C and OGD Pay English”, found at the bottom of this advert. Further information on staff transfers can be found on gov.uk

Problems during the application process 

If you experience accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section. 

If you think you’ve made a mistake on a short application form (e.g. you’ve ticked the incorrect eligibility box), please contact hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk at least two working days before the vacancy closes. After this, we won’t be able to reopen your application.   

Please use the subject line to insert appropriate wording e.g. Please re-open my application - 313660 - and vacancy closing date 28/09/2023. Please note that we cannot amend or re-open your application if you have submitted your full application in the interests of fair and open recruitment.

For reasonable adjustments queries or requests, please see details within reasonable adjustments section above.

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
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 : Matt Suart SIO
  • Email : matt.suart@hmrc.gov.uk
  • Telephone : 03000 582 735

Recruitment team

  • Email : hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the Recruitment Principles. In the first instance, you should raise the matter directly with the department concerned via complaints.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here

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