Principal Inspector - Security and Emergency Measures Direction (SEMD)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 30th January 2022


Reference number



£52,289 - £60,188
For details of our pay on appointment policy, please see below under the heading ‘Salary'.


Grade 7
Principal Inspector

Contract type


Business area

DEFRA - Environment Rural and Marine Environmental Quality and Water - Drinking Water Inspectorate

Type of role

Operational Delivery
Risk Management

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of posts



This role will be contractually based in London. However we support flexible working, including home working.

About the job


The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the technical regulator for the water industry in England and Wales, delivering water quality regulation, Network and Information Systems (NIS) regulation and the regulatory functions of the Security and Emergency Measures Direction (SEMD), where the Inspectorate will be acting for and on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The DWI is seeking an engineer, applied scientist or specialist in the design and application of physical, personnel and cyber protective security measures with significant water industry experience, to protect assets and operations against malicious attacks. You will provide technical support on matters relating to emergencies and national security in the water sector. Joining a team of Principal Inspectors ensuring safe, secure and high-quality water supplies across England and Wales.

On an interpersonal level, candidates should have an enquiring mind and be motivated and dedicated to improving the approach by companies in producing a wholesome product and protecting public health.

Job description

The post holder should be aware of current technical standards and maintain a knowledge of the priorities and issues affecting today’s water industry. Using their technical experience, they will work with Defra policy colleagues and external stakeholders including the regulated water companies on matters relating to SEMD.

The Principal Inspector (SEMD) will develop initiatives that require a technical input and provide technical advice on issues. They will be expected to be proactively involved in developing and delivery of policies and initiatives and to help improve the security and infrastructure capabilities of the water industry.

Candidates are required to be a specialist in water engineering or have a civil engineering background with significant experience in the water industry. It is a requirement to have attained, be working towards or willing to work towards chartership of a professional body, for instance the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Water, the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Managers or other relevant body. Or registered as a security engineer or specialist or working towards this registration.

The successful candidate will have good IT skills and be well organised. As travelling is an integral part of the job, often to areas not served by public transport, the successful candidate should have a valid driving licence.


The key responsibilities will be:

• Monitoring measures taken within the requirements of SEMD to undertakers and licensees (‘companies’).
• Assessment of compliance of companies with the Direction, including assessment of the companies’ self-assessments, and any required audit or investigations.
• Review companies' Price Review (PR) Enhancement Plans in line with their SEMD performance and feedback in time for the company to submit their PR bid to Ofwat.
• Enforcement, including issuing notices and penalties.
• SEMD Incident Assessment.
• Advising on a wide range of other security issues that affect the water industry.
• Development of and participation in exercises to test water company and Defra’s emergency plans.


Valid UK driving licence.


Candidates are required to be a specialist in water engineering or have a civil engineering background with a tertiary level qualification in a subject related to engineering, applied science or cyber security.


It is a requirement to have attained, be working towards or willing to work towards chartership of your professional body, for instance the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Water, the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Managers or other relevant body. Or registered as a security engineer or specialist or working towards this registration.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Short technical exercise related to the role.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

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 counter-terrorist 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, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.
Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement and behaviour statements.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Seeing the Big Picture.

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to an interview where you will be assessed on behaviours, strengths, experience and technical ability.

Candidates will be asked to prove their technical ability for the posts in the form of a short exercise.

Interviews will take place online.

Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band. The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest.

Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

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

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading .

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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.

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 :  Brenda Eastwood
Email :
Telephone :  03000686400
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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