Explosives Specialist Inspector-Defence Sector (CEMHD Band 3/SEO)

Health and Safety Executive

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 4th September 2022



Reference number



£50,394 - £54,935


Senior Executive Officer
Band 3

Contract type


Business area

HSE - Chemical Explosives & Microbiological Hazards Division (CEMHD)

Type of role

Health and Safety

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



East Midlands (England), East of England, North East England, North West England, Scotland, South East England, South West England, Wales, West Midlands (England), Yorkshire and the Humber


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 look forward to receiving your application.

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.

At HSE, we work with one goal in mind – to help keep Britain’s workforce safe and healthy. Our work touches virtually every sector of Great Britain’s industry. Combining specialists from numerous fields, we strive to keep people and their working environments safe.

We don’t just inspect workplaces and implement the law, we campaign for better H&S practice, we craft and review guidance and regulations, we provide specialist products and services, and we produce crucial research and statistics.

Job description

Our Explosives Safety specialists ensure employers across Great Britain – a whole range of essential industries with thousands of workers - to work safely. In this role, you can utilise your considerable technical knowledge and practical experience to influence not only individual employers but whole industry sectors.

A career with HSE gives you a rare opportunity to visit and interact with different and diverse employers and work activities, one day you could be engaging with a large multi-national munitions manufacturer and the next a small fireworks store.

You’ll work alongside other HSE technical and regulatory specialists to ensure work activities are operating within the legislative framework by various regulatory interventions including inspecting, investigating and providing advice.

Your work will make the most of your experience – whether that’s inspecting an explosive processing plant, helping an employer understand the right controls to have in place, or contributing to the development of industry standards and guidelines. The balance of an individual’s key responsibilities will depend on their role within the Unit. As you can see this role will broaden your knowledge and your professional credibility like no other role can.

Together with the widest range of health and safety specialists in Britain, you’ll be helping to protect thousands of people, whilst working in an inclusive environment where all our people can thrive and be themselves.

From day one, you will be supported by your manager and colleagues to understand your role in HSE, develop your skills and support you in your continuing professional development. All of the locations include specialist and regulatory colleagues providing a wider support network. For the legal requirements of the role, you will receive appropriate training and complete the Regulators Training Programme (RTP), providing you with an accredited Diploma in Health and Safety.

Given that HSE regulates sites across the whole of GB you will be expected to spend periods working away from home, typically 2 to 3 days every fortnight. HSE is flexible on how this expectation is delivered and recognises individuals’ personal commitments.


Key responsibilities include:

• Advising and engaging on explosives safety matters in support of legislative compliance, to HSE colleagues, other government departments and regulatory agencies, professional bodies and trade associations such as the British Standards Institute, the Institute of Explosives Engineers and the Explosives Industry Group of the CBI;
• Inspecting a variety of workplaces, either on your own or with a specialist team, to make sure that risks are managed appropriately, deciding whether conditions meet minimum legal requirements and relevant good practice, driving improvements and gaining commitment to align with the law.
• Forensically analysing explosives safety related concerns, accidents and reportable incidents to identify the root cause and where necessary, lead the technical aspect of the investigation, calling in other specialist support and supporting legal action to prevent a recurrence;
• Providing specialist opinion in reports to guide legal decisions;
• Appearing as specialist witness at tribunals, inquests and prosecutions;
• Undertaking permissioning activities on the licensing of explosives storage and manufacturing sites and on the classification of explosives for transport;
• Securing intelligence and sharing information to inform policy, research, and guidance to benefit other Government departments, the public, industry, professional bodies and trade associations.
• Contributing as a member of the Explosives Safety Unit to promote Health and Safety improvements to national and international standards at various fora, and at relevant conferences.

Essential Criteria

You must be able to demonstrate:

• A breadth of knowledge and practical experience of the facilities used for the manufacture, storage and/or handling of explosives and associated energetic materials including experience of controlling explosives risks;
• Experience and practical understanding of applying the principles of explosives safety to the manufacture, storage and/or handling of explosives and associated energetic materials e.g. protective measures used to provide mitigation of an explosion event;
• A practical understanding of the design and/or operation of explosives processes, plant and/or equipment, including in-depth knowledge and experience of applying scientific/engineering principles to operations and activities within the defence explosives sector;
• Good communication skills
• Good analytical and planning skills

A full driving license that enables you to drive in the UK is desirable.

We value people who embrace and enable inclusivity, work well in a team and can build robust relationships with employers and other partners.


A degree or equivalent in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, or a similar related subject.


Chartered Membership or Chartered Fellowship of a relevant professional institution e.g. the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemistry – or the academic and professional qualifications to apply and achieve Chartered status.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Secure, maintain and develop relevant technical expertise
  • Understanding and complying with legal requirements, key technical standards and work systems that ensure safety in their current role
  • Apply Scientific/Technical Knowledge
• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

We invest in our people with;
• Competitive rates of pay
• Access to the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme to which HSE contribute 27.9%, far more than in the private sector
• Family friendly policies and working hours to help balance your home life and career
• 25 days annual holiday increasing to 30 days after 5 years' service, plus bank holidays and 1-day Civil Service privilege leave
• Parental leave benefits: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay


This post is eligible for Excess Fares Allowance. A successful internal candidate currently based at another office may be entitled to Excess Fares Allowance in line with HSE policy (http://intranet/finance/expenses/excess-fares-allowance-policy.htm)


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 security check.

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.

Please submit a CV that displays your career history, skills, experience and qualifications. You will also be asked to submit a Statement of Suitability of 500 words that demonstrates how you meet the essential skills and criteria outlined above. Please also include evidence that displays your level of responsibility, demonstrating the breadth and depth of your experience and the technical quality and standard of your work.

At sift, we will assess you on your CV and Statement of Suitability.

At interview, we will assess you against the following two behaviours and technical skills. As part of your interview, you will be required to deliver a 10 minute presentation. Further details of this will be sent out with your interview invite, if successful at sift.

The closing date of applications is Sunday 4th September at 23.55pm

The sift will take place during the week commencing 5th September 2022.

The interviews will take place during the week commencing 19th and 26th September 2022.

These dates are subject to change depending on panel availability.


It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful in their application. For a summary of HSE terms and conditions as part of Civil Service Reform, please see the attached document.

Any move across the Civil Service on or after 4 October 2018 may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

If you have a disability and you need an application form in an alternative format or you would like to know more about our recruitment process, please contact: hr.resourcing-team@hse.gov.uk

A reserve list for this role will be held for 12 months.

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 : Dave Adams
  • Email : dave.adams@hse.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email : hr.resourcing-team@hse.gov.uk

Further information

If you believe that Civil Service Commission principles of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of Fair and Open competition have not been met you can raise a complaint by emailing: HR.Resourcing-Team@hse.gov.uk or by writing to HSE at the following address: HSE Resourcing Team, 2.3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 7HS. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact Civil Service Commissioners: https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/code/civilservicecodecomplaints/

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