Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 7 Dec 2017

Reference number



21,920 - 25,529


Executive Officer
Pay band 4

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability
Health and Safety

Working pattern

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


42 (including lunch breaks)

Number of posts



Cefas, The Nothe, Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB

About the job

Job description

Cefas is looking to appoint a person to the Pathology team to provide specialist technical support in the processing of fish and shellfish tissues for histological examination within the Aquatic Animal Health thematic area. You will work with the pathology laboratory manager to deliver high quality services for describing aquatic animal diseases.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
You will undertake all aspects of histology within the pathology team for the diagnosis of aquatic animal diseases. You will also work on a combination of research and statutory contracts to provide work to a consistently high level.
You will undertake histological techniques (tissue processing, embedding, microtomy and staining) and prioritise their workload to ensure deadlines are met, whilst ensuring ISO17025 accredited systems and work processes are adhered to.
You will undertake the role of deputy technical/laboratory manager, assisting in the maintenance of ISO17025 accredited and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) systems and processes. You should be able to demonstrate competence in core histological techniques. You will develop competences (through in-house training, as appropriate) in the interpretation of OIE listed bivalve mollusc diseases and report results in line with laboratory service level agreements. This position will also require further development in the interpretation of pathological changes in fish and shellfish tissues.
Other laboratory tasks will include: compliance with health and safety procedures and guidance; preparation and review of/adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), COSHH and Risk Assessments; troubleshooting faulty laboratory equipment where appropriate; maintaining laboratory consumable stocks; general laboratory housekeeping; ensuring safe storage and disposal of chemicals/samples/consumables.
In addition, you should possess the following skills:
A good understanding and demonstrable experience using histological techniques for the identification of aquatic animal disease.
To be compliant with health and safety requirements in the laboratory environment, whilst carrying out laboratory work in accordance with COSHH and Risk Assessments
To maintain a high quality of service by following all relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
To carry out miscellaneous duties associated with working in a laboratory environment
Experience of health and safety, quality control systems, laboratory equipment and laboratory facilities would be advantageous.

Person specification

Please give full details of how you meet the criteria written in the job description.


A minimum of a BSc degree or equivalent in a scientific subject area.

The ability to undertake estuarine and offshore fieldwork where appropriate.
The ability to work under pressure.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Confident working autonomously, independently and as part of a team.
Experience in the interpretation of pathological changes in fish and shellfish would be advantageous.
A collaborative approach engendering links across the laboratory and externally.

There may be opportunities to travel nationally or internationally for contract work and participate in offshore field sampling events.


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

  • Making effective decisions
  • Delivering at pace
  • Science and Engineering - Securing, Maintaining and Developing Relevant Technical Expertise
  • Science and Engineering - Applying Scientific and Technical Knowledge
  • Science and Engineering - Sustaining and Developing the Profession

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

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.

Selection process details

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Sift/interview dates and location

Interview dates to be confirmed.

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