Professional Support to the Chief Forester

Scottish Forestry

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 18th May 2021


Reference number



£35,684 - £38,453


Higher Executive Officer
Pay Band 4

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

12-18 months with possibility of extension or permanence.

Business area

SF - Executive Office

Type of role

Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time

Number of posts




About the job


The role of Chief Forester is a statutory requirement and is a non-regulated ministerial appointment with hours equivalent to 1.5 days per week. In order to deliver the wide range of commitments required of this role, the Chief Forester requires the support of an experienced and knowledgeable forestry professional.

The Operational Support post will be responsible for undertaking a number of activities in support of and on occasion on behalf of the Chief Forester. It will be based within Scottish Forestry, the Scottish Government Agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations.

This is a full time post (37 hours per week), however applications from people wishing to work an alternative working pattern will be considered.

Applicants claiming a guaranteed interview will be invited for further assessment should they meet the minimum essential criteria listed below.

Job description

• Provision of professional advice to senior staff and Scottish Ministers
• Promoting and maintaining professional standards in SF, FLS and the wider public sector
• Promotion of forestry in the wider sector
• As part of the Scottish Forestry Improvement Programme, facilitating more effective skills development and provision for forestry staff


  • Provide clear advice and recommendations on key issues for consideration and approval by the Chief Forester;
  • In the absence of the Chief Forester and where applicable, use professional forestry knowledge to provide advice and knowledge to senior staff within Scottish Forestry and externally to stakeholders such as Scottish Government;
  • Liaise with Scottish Forestry staff as required to revise the UK Forestry Standard;
  • Support the Chief Forester and Head of Operational Development in the development and implementation of a plan to build capacity and capability within Scottish Forestry and Forestry and Land Scotland. This will require liaison with Learning and Development Service Providers. The focus will be on delivering effective support and development for new entrants in a) the short term. i.e. over next 18 months and b) over the next 3-5 years;
  • Assist with the development of a framework to place Professional Forestry Skills Development on a consistent and sustainable footing within SF and FLS as well as enabling continuing professional development in general;
  • Assist the Chief Forester, in collaboration with representatives from Confor, ICF and Lantra, with the development and implementation of a plan to improve the professional skills and capacity for key priority activity areas within the private sector;
  • Assist with project management of demonstration project of Scotland’s use of timber in the green recovery;
  • Take a lead role in working groups and projects representing the Chief Forester on areas such as promoting and maintaining professional standards and promoting forestry; being responsible for owning and delivering actions that come from these projects; and working alongside other internal and external stakeholders to ensure progress in these areas;
  • Undertake research to form the basis of recommendations and briefing papers for the Chief Forester;
  • Identifying gaps in knowledge and suggesting options to obtain the necessary information;
  • Undertaking analysis of often complex issues and draft briefing papers for the Chief Forester giving clear advice and guidance and on occasion providing recommendations for decisions;
  • Advising the Chief Forester on the practical implications of any proposed lines of action;
  • Acting as a point of contact for queries from internal external staff;
  • Exercising judgement to provide advice and guidance and know when to refer queries on to the Chief Forester.
  • Monitoring progress in the key work areas and identify barriers to progress;
  • Contribute to work within the Improvement Programme, focusing on projects related to skills development for forestry staff within SF;
  • Support and promote the roll out of forestry skills development within SF, and within the wider sector.

    Person Specification



    The post-holder will be required to have a sound knowledge and understanding of:
  • matters relating to forestry across the industry, gained from practical experience in a forestry role
  • the application of regulations, practice, procedures and professional standards


  • Significant, demonstrable experience of operational forestry, Grants & Regulation or Learning & Development.

    Technical Skills


  • Professional qualification (at least an HND) in forestry or related land management or environmental topic or equivalent experience in a related role;
  • Competent user of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and Teams.


  • Professional membership of the ICF or Hons degree in forestry or related land management or environmental topic
  • Behaviours

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

    • Communicating and Influencing
    • Making Effective Decisions
    • Working Together
    • Delivering at Pace

    Technical skills

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

    • Please refer to the Technical Skills section in the job advert


    If successful you will be entitled to a large range of benefits.

    This includes:

    • An annual leave allowance of 25 days, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. In addition, there are currently 11.5 days of public and privilege holidays, dates of which are set annually.
    • A competitive contributory pension scheme you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension.
    • We recognise the importance of enabling employees to achieve a healthy work / life balance by offering flexi-time arrangements in areas of the business where it is appropriate to do so.
    • Reimbursement of professional membership fees directly relevant to your job.
    • Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers.
    • Occupational sick pay.
    Happy to talk flexible working

    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, Experience and Technical skills.
    In the event of a high number of applicants, candidates will be selected for interview based on the lead criteria which is Experience and the Lead Behaviour "Communicating and Influencing".

    The sift is due to take place on w/c 17th May 2021. Interviews are expected to take place on w/c 24th May and 31st May 2021 via Microsoft Teams.

    For more information about applying for a role and working at Scottish Forestry, please visit

    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 (or eligible for) status under 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 :
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