Senior Microbiological Scientific Risk Assessor and Senior Scientific Risk Assessor

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 10th July 2022



Reference number



£ 37,350 (National) per annum £ 40,350 (London) per annum-pro-rata for part-time working


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

FSA - Science, Evidence & Research

Type of role

International Trade
Risk Management

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of posts



Multi-location from one of our FSA Offices (Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, 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 occasional basis, possibly with overnight stays.


The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people. Having left the EU, we play a critical role in protecting public health and consumers’ wider interests in food across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our vision is an important one - to drive change, delivering “food you can trust” and working towards a healthier and more sustainable food system.

Job description

Do you want a job that makes a real, tangible difference to the wellbeing of the nation?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is looking for two Senior Trade Risk Assessors to help ensure that the food eaten across the country every day is safe, what it says it is, and increasingly healthy and sustainable. We are seeking both a senior microbiological risk assessor and a senior risk assessor.

When we eat our breakfast each morning or enjoy a snack on the way home from work, we rarely stop to think about whether the product we’re holding is safe for us. That’s because the FSA and its partners work hard to ensure that consumers don’t have to worry about their food. Our robust risk assessments allow people across the UK to have confidence in what they eat.

The post of senior microbiological risk assessor sits within the Trade Risk Assessment Team of the Risk Assessment Unit. This Team consists of both senior and higher microbiological and chemical risk assessors. The Trade Risk Assessment Team responds to requests from Risk Managers to provide risk assessment advice relating to the safety of imported food from current and potential trading partners. The nature of these requests require the input from either chemical or biological risk assessors.

The other post is for a senior assessor and sit within the Regulated Products Risk Assessment Team of the Risk Assessment Unit. This Team leads on the risk assessment of products that require a pre-market safety assessment such as novel foods, GM foods and animal feed additives. This post is responsible for overseeing novel food dossiers and developing the approach for assessment for food innovations such as alternative proteins and is the Lead Secretariat for the Advisory Committee of Novel Foods & Processes (ACNFP), the independent group of scientists that advise the Agency on new foods entering the market.

You’ll be a strong communicator who can work to build effective relationships with a range of stakeholders whilst developing your own profile as a respected voice in your field. If you can convey complex scientific ideas to non-scientific audiences, you’ll be able to help the FSA effectively deliver risk assessments that make a difference.

You will also seek to develop the assessment tools and strategies that support our work. Working collaboratively with a range of experts and non-experts, you’ll look to both ensure that food is safe, and that the way we assess the risks future foods might present will continue to support our remit.

These roles require flexible and inquisitive minds who are keen to collaborate in order to build connections and strengthen our risk assessment capabilities. If you are excited to use your scientific analysis skills to protect the public and help to ensure the wellbeing of the nation, apply for this fantastic and fascinating role in the FSA 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.

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 will be running virtual open events which will give you a chance to meet the hiring manager, find out more information on the selection process and role and the benefits of working at the FSA. Please click the links below and sign up through Eventbrite.

14th June 2022 – 5 – 6pm
Click here to sign up for June 14th event

21st June 2022 – 10 – 11am
Click here to sign up for June 21st June event

28th June 2022 – 12:30 – 13:30
Click here to sign up for June 28th event


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

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

Technical skills

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

  • Please provide information on your degree in your scientific discipline or a food production discipline or equivalent experience (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Toxicology etc.), describing your skills and knowledge in that area
Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.


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.
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of shortlisting against the essential person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of a behaviours interview and seen presentation against Communicating and Influencing.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications an initial sift may take place on just the identified lead criteria indicated below:

• Experience of conducting and peer reviewing relevant risk assessments to international standards (e.g. CODEX or OIE).

• Degree in your scientific discipline or a food production discipline (e.g. Chemistry Biochemistry, Microbiology, toxicology etc.) or equivalent experience in a related field.

Lead Criteria: In the event we receive a large number of applications, the minimum pass mark for the Lead Criteria may be raised at shortlisting stage. Candidates who apply under the DCS, GPTW or RIS schemes and meet the minimum requirements will be unaffected by the pass mark raise.

Sift: W/C 11th July 2022
Interviews: W/C 18th July 2022
Interviews will be held remotely via MS Teams.
Please note that the interview date may be subject to change.

If applying on a job-share basis, the expectation would be that you are already in an established job-share partnership.
Part Time (Minimum 30 hours)

As part of the interview process, you will be asked to prepare a seen presentation. Further information will be provided in your invite to interview email

The FSA is dedicated to a policy of equal opportunity for all. Being truly reflective of our society and building a culture where everyone can perform at their best is critical to the work of the FSA. We are looking to recruit from the widest possible talent pool and encourage candidates to apply from a diverse range of backgrounds. We are proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities employer and are committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment and selection process and beyond. All appointments are made on merit.

Please be assured that diversity or socio–economic information requested during the course of your application plays absolutely no part in our selection processes and is not seen by anyone assessing applications. Any information provided is anonymised and used for statistical purposes only.

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

Please note – regrettably we are unable to refund travel costs if candidates attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.

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.
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 initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
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 : James Donarski
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

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

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