Senior Toxicological Risk Assessor

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Wednesday 19th April 2023



Reference number



Salary will be pro rata for part time working or as part of a job share partnership. If applying on a job-share basis, the expectation is that you are already in an established job-share partnership.

Job grade

Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

FSA - Information and Science - SERD

Type of role


Working pattern

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

Number of jobs available



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

Job summary

The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1400 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

The Agency’s mission to protect consumers often calls for scientific research that can provide clarity and direction to our work. Toxicological study is an area that provides broad swathes of the FSA with valuable insight on the chemical hazards that may be present in food.

Whether they are naturally occurring toxins, unwanted contaminants or food additives, there are plenty of ways that chemicals can present hazards in our food. The FSA frequently is called upon to respond to all of these, whether it’s providing policy guidance regarding the introduction of a new additive, or rapid assessments in the wake of a food-related incident. Our ability to respond and react effectively relies on the work of our toxicological risk assessors, who provide a wealth of evidence-based analysis and guidance to teams across the Agency.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Toxicological Risk Assessor to join the Science Evidence and Research Division. Leading on a wide range of projects, from detailed reports to incident response risk assessments, the successful candidate will engage in varied and fascinating work that will support not only the mission of the FSA but also the health of the wider public.

The post holder will work closely with colleagues from across the Agency, as well as other government departments, consumer representatives and scientists within our external partners’ organisations. Using their experience in scientific analysis, they will provide the insight and guidance that will drive the FSA’s response to chemical hazards that present a risk to UK consumers.

The successful candidate will need to be able to present and convey scientific issues and ideas to non-scientific audiences, working to ensure that decisions made in response to findings and recommendations will serve the public need and consumer health. From presenting these ideas to leading a small team of risk assessors, the post-holder will have strong people skills and be an excellent communicator.

The work requires flexibility, as well as the ability to deliver results at pace when necessary. If you are as comfortable working in a close-knit team as you are settling down to work on a longer project under your own initiative and are driven by a desire to deliver excellent scientific research and analysis, do not hesitate to apply.

Person specification

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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • Technical Criteria: Please provide information on your scientific degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry, Toxicology etc.) and/or equivalent understanding of the scientific issues, and additional experience of working within toxicol
Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), 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 an application shortlisting against the essential person specification criteria stated.

Lead Criteria

An initial sift may take place on just the identified Lead Criteria indicated below:

  • Extensive experience of both conducting and peer reviewing chemical/toxicological risk assessments to international standards (e.g. CODEX) (Lead Criteria).

In the event that 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.

If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to a final interview in which we will assess you against the following Experience requirements of the role and Civil Service Behaviours (Level 3 ).


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together

Experience Presentation: Extensive experience of both conducting and peer reviewing chemical/toxicological risk assessments to international standards (e.g. CODEX)


Advert closes: Wednesday 19th April 2023

Sift: Expected to take place 25th or 28th April 2023

Final panel interview: Expected to take place W/C2nd May 2023

Interviews will be held remotely via MS Teams. (If you do not have the Microsoft Teams application installed on your computer, you can join on the web without installing the application.)

Please note that indicated dates may be subject to change.

We will be holding virtual Eventbrite sessions and would love you to join us whilst we discuss the vacancy further and answer any questions you may have regarding this recruitment. Please note these sessions will also be covering our other opportunity – Senior Regulated Products Risk Assessor (275694)

Monday 20th March 2023 – 14:00 – 15:00 - 

Friday 24th March 2023 – 11:00 – 12:00 -

Thursday 30th March – 12:30 – 13:30 -

 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.

Childcare Vouchers

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

Reserve List

A reserve list will be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.

Candidates that do not pass the interview, but have demonstrated an acceptable standard may be considered for similar roles at a lower grade.

Visa Sponsorship

Please note that the FSA does not hold a licence to sponsor any visa applications.

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

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) (opens in a new window)
  • 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 (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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 (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
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 : Claire Potter
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

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

Share this page