Senior Hydrographic Specialist

UK Hydrographic Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 19th December 2021


Reference number



plus compensation for additional hours worked which are over your standard contracted hours (37hrs per week for full-time staff.)


Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

UKHO - Operations Content

Type of role

Operational Delivery
Operational Research

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts




About the job


The Bathymetry Team sits within the wider Scientific Analysis Group. The team is made up of hydrographic specialists with different levels of experience from a range of Defence and Commercial backgrounds, including team members who have “grown” as specialists whilst at the UKHO.

The team has 5 key areas of responsibility:
› Verification of bathymetric data (including multibeam and Lidar) received by the UKHO from the Royal Navy (RN) for use in Defence specific products and services. DV (Developed Vetting) security clearance is required to handle this data.
› Verification of commercial bathymetric data (including multibeam and Lidar) received by the UKHO for use in a wide range of UKHO products and services.
› Planning and delivery or oversight of bathymetric surveys as part of overseas marine capability building programmes.
› Providing Subject Matter Expertise (SME) support, training and consultancy to external organisations.
› Development of new initiatives within bathymetry data collection and processing.

The remit of the team is evolving, and we are building our capability to support current and emerging requirements for hydrographic and bathymetric expertise at the UK Hydrographic Office. To this end, whilst Senior Hydrographic Specialists will primarily focus on the first area listed above, they will also have the opportunity to undertake the other activities described, and emerging activities, dependent on business need.

About UKHO:
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a world leading centre for hydrography, specialising in marine geospatial data to support safe, secure and thriving oceans.
As a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence, we Support defence, safe maritime navigation and marine development around the UK and worldwide. Working with a wide range of partners. We source, process and provide access to data ranging from seabed to surface. We make this data available through our ADMIRATLY Maritime Data Solutions – a portfolio of world leading charts, publications and data sets, found on over 90% of ships trading internationally.
Everything we do is underpinned by our core values: together, responsibility, excellence and discovery. These are the guiding principles that help us work together to achieve our goals.

Job description

Post holders in the SA Group are required to be capable of performing all of the activities below. The time spent on each will vary depending on business needs.

Task may include:
• Verifying and peer review of incoming acoustic, and remotely collected bathymetric datasets including seabed texture datasets.
• Lead on the development of future initiatives within the bathymetric team as required including, but not limited to; use of autonomous platforms to support lower carbon data collect and the development of new processes in line with industry best practice.
• Provide technical advice, operating procedures, and training for internal and external use.
• Undertake analysis, peer review and complete routine resurvey analysis reports.
• Support the Bathymetric Technical Advisor in the testing of new software, systems and data sources and processes. E.g. CSB (Crowd Sourced Bathymetry), machine learning, improve efficiency of Lidar processing and variable resolution.
• Ensure archiving of datasets and associated metadata are completed accurately and that they are fit for purpose.
• Preparing text and graphics for reports feeding back to data suppliers; being involved in discussions with other government bodies and foreign governments in respect to bathymetry.
• Assist Survey Party Chief or Senior Bathymetric Advisor in the conduct of hydrographic surveys and training.
• Assist Survey Managers (IHP & CHP) in the Tender, Planning, Fieldwork and Client Representation of hydrographic surveys.
• Represent the UKHO at relevant external forums.
• Fulfil Data Steward responsibilities for Bathymetry.



The UKHO receives large but fluctuating quantities of bathymetric data throughout the year. It is important that the quality of this data is verified before it is incorporated into Caris BathyDataBASE or the Defence specific database, and passed to the charting areas. Being mindful of timescales and the different pressures of both internal and external demands, the post holder is required to be capable of skilled verification and peer review of data prior to entry into the bathymetric database and to provide advice on all aspects of survey processing matters.

Provide SME Support and Training:

The post holder is required to support the RN and the UKHOs Data Acquisition Team by undertaking, leading, or assisting in the Client Representation of UKHO commissioned and contracted surveys, provision of consultancy and training to external organisations and UKHO visitors.

Data Governance:

To act as Bathymetry Data Steward in accordance with the Scientific Analysis Group Data governance responsibilities.

Future Initiatives:

The bathymetric team are key Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the development of new initiatives within bathymetry data collection and processing. Depending on experience, the postholder will be expected to play a key role in one or more, of the following work strands:

- Development of new survey data collection methods and emerging Defence customer requirements
- RN survey instruction specification development and client representation
- Client representation for Civil Hydrographic Programme
- Support the UKHOs ambitions to reduce its carbon footprint and investigate alternative technologies for data collection
- Support the development of the Primary Charting Areas (PCA) plan
- Support the development and roll-out of survey data cleansing technology

Person Specification

This is a highly analytical role that requires the postholder to be able to examine and verify large quantities of hydrographic data, of varying density and quality. We are looking for applicants with practical experience of bathymetry collection along with competency in the use of a range of bathy processing and archiving software and tools. Adaptability and a willingness to undertake and potentially lead surveying in the field, or lead on development work/projects as and when the opportunity arises are also key requirements for the role.

You will be “forward looking”, with an interest in emerging technologies relating to bathymetric collection and uses of bathymetric data – and the ability to identify where these developments could benefit the work of the team and wider UKHO.

Most importantly you will be a team player: post holders will be expected to support each other in achieving outputs and in coaching and mentoring less experience staff within, and outside of the team; sharing their skills and knowledge of Bathy Data Processing and the wider aspects of Bathymetry as a science.

Full brief of the Behaviours, knowledge, skills and experience required

Civil Service Behaviours Level 3

Changing and Improving
Making Effective Decisions
Communicating and Influencing
Working Together
Developing Self and Others
Delivering at Pace

Specific Technical/Functional Skills and Experience

› Degree or post graduate qualification in Hydrographic Surveying or equivalent.

› Hydrographic survey field experience Preferably +2 years as a hydrographic surveyor with demonstrable knowledge of the main principles of hydrographic surveying.

› Experience of processing survey data using Caris HIPS and SIPS and/or other bathymetric processing tools.

› Experience and capability to plan the acquisition, processing and verification of multibeam, swathe or LIDAR bathymetric surveys.

› Ability to manipulate large data sets & methodical approach to handling large numbers of data files.

› Understanding of software development and testing.

› Experience of training and mentoring.


› Willingness to travel abroad and spend time at sea.

› There will be a requirement to undertake Developed Vetting (DV)

Things you need to know

• Security – successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check and gain a Security Clearance.
• This position is a permanent non-reserved post which is open to full time, part time and job share candidates. The role will be contractually based at our Head Office in Taunton. We are trialling hybrid working model whereby you will be able to balance your work location between working remotely and in the office. You must be able to travel to the office as and when required.


External applicants:
New Entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join at the salary minimum of the grade for which they applied. If an applicant at the offer stage wishes to negotiate higher starting pay, they will be required to submit a case with supporting evidence; UKHO will consider the case against several factors, including our total reward and benefits offering, the difficulty of recruiting the role and scarcity of skills. Higher starting pay will only be considered if the salary range (i.e. the minimum and maximum) for the role, and/ or specific allowance, has been advertised.

Internal Staff
Those who are successful for a level graded role will retain their current salary.
Those who are successful for a higher graded role will have their promotion salary calculated.
Further information can be found in the attached document “Additional Pay Information”

Existing civil servants from other government departments (OGDs): are subject to UKHO’s internal pay policies. Further information can be found in the attached Document “ Additional Pay Information”.

Reserved – DV
This is a Ministry of Defence Reserved post open to UK nationals only, successful applicants will require a Developed Vetting (DV) clearance and therefore will need to have resided in the UK for a minimum of 24 consecutive months within the last 10 years

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.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

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

  • Experience of planning, data acquisition, processing, and verification of multibeam, swathe or LIDAR bathymetric surveys.
  • Hydrographic survey field experience. Preferably +2 years as a hydrographic surveyor with demonstrable knowledge of the main principles of hydrographic surveying
  • Experience of working on working on new initiatives and change process/governance.
  • Extensive experience of processing survey data using Caris HIPS and SIPS and/or other bathymetric processing tools.


We offer a range of benefits to support your lifestyle, including generous leave allowances, flexible working hours, a lift-share scheme, enrolment in the Civil Service Pension scheme, and regular training and development opportunities.

We operate from a brand new state of the art, award-winning building with an onsite gym, cafeteria, and state of the art meeting rooms; a Chaplaincy service; and an Employee Assistance Programme. We have several internal networks available for you to join, including: Mental Health Group, STEM Ambassadors, Woman’s Network, Pride Network and Disabilities group. Travelling to UKHO onsite parking, electric car charging ports, and cycle-to-work scheme are available.

Full-time employees receive 26.5 days annual leave per year, increasing to 31.5 days annual leave after five years’ service (pro-rata for part-time employees).

We offer many flexible working options. These include: a flexible working hours scheme with up to two days per month Flexi leave, remote working, part-time working, job sharing, paid special leave, career breaks, and unpaid leave. We want you to feel part of something bigger and we encourage team-spirit and a community feel in our workplace.

Parents with children will be supported to enable you to manage work and family responsibilities. We offer an on-site independently run nursery with discounted prices for children of UKHO employees.

Any voluntary move to UKHO, from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. However, you may be eligible for other government schemes including Tax Free Childcare. You can determine your eligibility at

With regards to maternity, adoption, and/or shared parental leave the flexibility to have up to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid leave. Paternity leave of up to two weeks is available with full pay, subject to certain qualifying criteria.

We offer at least 5 days’ learning and development to each employee per year, with professional membership subscriptions, mentoring, and Civil Service-Learning available to all.

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 developed vetting.

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, Experience and Technical skills.
This vacancy is using success profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, experience and technical skills. The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment will include:

• An interview
• A presentation

Short-list Criteria

When you click "apply now" you will be asked to complete a CV including your job history, qualifications and previous skills and experience. You will also be asked to complete a Statement of Suitability of a maximum of 750 words. These will be used to mark you against the below criteria, so please make sure to cover the following:

› Experience of planning, data acquisition, processing, and verification of multibeam, swathe or LIDAR bathymetric surveys.
› Experience of working on working on new initiatives and change process/governance.
› Hydrographic survey field experience. Preferably +2 years as a hydrographic surveyor with demonstrable knowledge of the main principles of hydrographic surveying.
› Extensive experience of processing survey data using Caris HIPS and SIPS and/or other bathymetric processing tools.

Interview Criteria

Your interview will include a presentation. You will be given the topic on the day of interview and asked to prepare a short presentation.
The presentation topic will focus on exploring your hydrographic survey knowledge and field experience.

Your presentation, combined with the answers given in your interview will be used to assess the following criteria:

Technical knowledge and experience:
› Experience of planning, data acquisition, processing, and verification of multibeam, swathe or LIDAR bathymetric surveys.
› Experience of working on working on new initiatives and change process/governance.
› Hydrographic survey field experience. Preferably +2 years as a hydrographic surveyor with demonstrable knowledge of the main principles of hydrographic surveying.
› Extensive experience of processing survey data using Caris HIPS and SIPS and/or other bathymetric processing tools

Civil Service Behaviours (Level 3)
› Making Effective Decisions
› Changing and Improving
› Communicating and Influencing

Further Information
We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

We may hold a merit (reserve) list for up to 12 months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post.

It is likely we will be able to start your employment with BPSS clearance (your clean DBS certificate and satisfactory references that we will obtain) before your SC/DV clearance is successful – this is called a conditional offer.

You will be presented with an unconditional offer only once you have obtained the necessary level of clearance for the role.

If your fail to gain SC/DV clearance, whichever is appropriate for the role you have applied for, your employment with UKHO will be terminated immediately.

Our ability to start employment on a conditional basis is subject to the specific requirements of the role and cannot be guaranteed; please contact our recruitment team if you would like further information:

Please note, if you have not been resident in the UK for the last 5 years (for SC clearance) or for the last 10 years (for DV clearance) then you may be requested to supply the information below:

• Evidence of your actual overseas residence (bills or rental agreements confirming addresses etc)
• Police Certificate providing confirmation that no criminal record is held in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of employment from an employer in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of residence or travel from friends, companions or fellow travellers that have knowledge of or have been in the company of you, when resident outside of the UK.
• Reference from a UK based organisation maintaining contract with a sponsorship of you, while residing overseas

Disability Confident – Guaranteed Interview

UKHO embraces diversity and promotes inclusion and equality of opportunity. We are a Disability Confident employer, which includes offering a guaranteed interview to candidates with disabilities, providing they meet the minimum selection criteria.

By ‘minimum selection criteria’ we mean that the evidence you provide in your application must demonstrate that you meet the minimum pass mark, set by the short-list panel, for each criteria listed in the ‘short-list’ section, above. The short-list panel will not be made aware of any disability you may choose to declare; this information will be processed solely by HR, in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

If you are a disabled candidate, please ensure you complete the Equality and Diversity form or inform our HR department, at, if you wish to be considered under the Disability Confident guaranteed interview scheme.

Civil Service Recruitment

From 01/10/2020, UKHO’s HR Department is to provide a Fair Processing Notice (FPN) to all new applicants after they have been successful at interview.
These candidates will be informed that, as one aspect of pre-employment screening, their personal details – name, NINO and date of birth - will be checked against the Civil Service Resourcing Extract Internal Fraud Database (IFD) and that anyone included on the IFD will be refused employment unless they can show exceptional circumstances.

UKHO’s HR Department will also include the FPN wording advising of the check against the extract IFD in the advert for employment for the pilot departments.

UKHO’s HR Department will, on behalf of the vacancy holder, inform applicants when they are refused employment because of their inclusion in the IFD.

Civil Service Commission
Recruitment into the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission which has two key functions.
- To maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
- To promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code which sets out the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it. More detailed information can be found at on the Civil Service Commission website:

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

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 :
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

The Department’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the requirement of selection for appointment based on merit, open and fair competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, details of which can be found at If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the UKHO’s Recruitment Team, Human Resources, Admiralty Way, Taunton, Somerset TA1 2DN or email , in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can further contact the Civil Service Commission at: Email: or in writing to: Civil Service Commission, Room G/8, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ

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