DIO - Senior Ecologist

Ministry of Defence

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 21st June 2021


Reference number



+ substantial pension and benefits


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

MOD - Defence Infrastructure Organisation - COO - Technical Services - Environmental & Protection Services

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Compressed Hours

Number of posts



Tilshead, Wiltshire - SP3 4RS

About the job


Join the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and have a future that matters: Be proud; Be challenged; Be unique.

DIO is passionate about ensuring that we are a top performing organisation and a great place to work. We host a diverse range of talent where everyone feels valued and supported enabling our people to flourish, bring greater creativity and innovation to achieve higher organisational performance. We are committed to be an equal opportunities employer and creating a culture where everyone can bring their whole self to work and individuality is truly appreciated.

We promote and support a range of flexible working patterns enabling staff to balance home and work responsibilities.

This culture of inclusion is underpinned by our 6 staff networks covering Disability, Faith and Belief, Gender Equality, LGBTQI+, Race, Social Mobility and 3 networks dealing with employee wellbeing and support: Speak Safe Volunteers, Mental Health First Aiders and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisers.

Our staff, future and current will be guided by the 4 Cs and we encourage you to be curious and continuously strive for improvement, collaborative in an inclusive culture, bold and resilient and committed to Defence, empowered and able to challenge so you can play a key part in shaping the direction of our organisation.

DIO commits to offer its employees the following experience:
• Meaningful, purposeful work
• The ability to learn and grow
• The right opportunities and resources
• To care about your wellbeing
• To feel valued and included

About DIO
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is the estate expert for Defence, supporting the armed forces to enable military capability by planning, building, maintaining, and servicing infrastructure.

Our responsibilities include:
• Plan and deliver major capital projects and lifecycle refurbishment
• Provide utilities services
• Manage soft facilities management (i.e. cleaning and catering)
• Provide a safe place to train
• Allocate Service Families Accommodation
• Procure and manage routine maintenance and reactive repair
• Provide a central register of asset information to advise infrastructure planning
• Act as steward of the Defence estate
• Provide the unarmed guarding service

We employ approximately 4,900 staff from a very diverse range of professions, and we work across the world; in Germany, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands, Norway, Poland, Kenya, Belize, Nepal and Oman.

You can view our YouTube video to see more about our work

Job description

The Challenge

As part of the MOD’s Ecology and Natural Capital Team, the DIO Senior Ecologist will lead on biodiversity and natural environment issues in the South East of England (and other regions, subject to requirement and capacity); and on ecological aspects of major development and disposal programmes and projects across the MOD’s built estate; and overseas tasks as required. The postholder will work closely with the other DIO Senior Ecologists, MOD stakeholders, regulators, consultants and contractors and will line manage a specialist subteam of three ecologists. The South East region includes ~10,000ha of highly designated lowland heathland, scrub, woodland and coastal training areas, and a similar area of undesignated land including barracks, airfields, fuel and munition depots, naval bases and communications sites. Current built estate development and disposal programmes include major port and harbour works in Portsmouth, Plymouth and the Clyde; the nationwide Defence Estate Optimisation Programme and Accommodation Optimisation Programme; Estate Management Plans and Project Prometheus (large scale roll-out of solar photovoltaic installations across the UK defence estate).

Tilshead, Wiltshire - SP3 4RS. Other DIO locations in the South East and South West may be considered, subject to availability and business need. Discussions to take place at interview or Offer stage


Main Responsibilities

Leadership and Management
• MOD ecology lead for SE region, built estate and coastal development
• Line manager for three Ecologists
• Promote strong working relationships both within the Ecology and Natural Capital team and with other teams across DIO and MOD
Policy, Guidance, Advocacy and Assurance
• Supporting development, review and advocacy of MOD policy and guidance on ecology and the natural environment
• Advising MOD stakeholders on compliance
• Co-ordinating and undertaking assurance monitoring

Estate Stewardship Plans
• Reviewing and updating MOD Integrated Rural Management Plans (IRMPs) and Grounds Maintenance Plans in the region
• Representing the MOD as a Competent Authority in leading assessment and approval of IRMPs under the UK Habitats Regulations

Estate Stewardship Delivery
• Developing, maintaining and delivering a costed and prioritised programme of required works to improve and maintain MOD SSSIs and other biodiversity assets in the region

Ecology Casework
• Advising on and, where appropriate, undertaking ecology survey, Ecological Impact Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and approvals for major built estate development and disposals programmes, particularly port and harbour developments and dredging, defence estate optimisation and disposals
• Advising on ecology survey, impact assessment and approvals for regional development projects, as well as proposed changes to military training and operational activities, and supporting infrastructure

Stakeholder Communications and Management
• Supporting natural environment communications and PR including input to Sanctuary Magazine and Awards.
• Giving presentations and briefings within the MOD and to external stakeholders to raise awareness of nature conservation responsibilities and achievements

Environmental Factors / Hazards Associated with the Post
The post will require outdoor working in remote locations across the UK and potentially overseas

Essential Experience, Licence and Memberships

• Essential Experience:
1. Co-ordinating and undertaking Ecological Surveys, Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessments for terrestrial and/or coastal developments or activities
2. Protected Species casework
3. Assenting / Consenting processes for activities affecting SSSIs
4. Designing and/or reviewing habitat management plans and SSSI management plans for sites

• Essential Driving Licence:
This role covers a large number of often very remote rural establishments across the UK (and potentially overseas), usually with no public transport, and the postholder will need to reach and self-drive around these sites to undertake scoping and assurance surveys of the habitats, species and landscapes

• Essential Membership:
Full Membership of CIEEM, or able to demonstrate equivalent combination of relevant specialist qualifications and experience
(see here for further information: https://cieem.net/i-am/membership/membership-grades/)
This is a highly specialist technical role and candidates with less than a relevant degree and at least five years specialist experience (or equivalent combination) will not be suitable. Full Membership of CIEEM is a recognised minimum standard within the sector for this grade.


Essential - Full Driving Licence


Essential - Associate Membership of CIEEM, or able to demonstrate equivalent combination of relevant specialist qualifications and experience


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

  • Leadership
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Making Effective Decisions

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

  • Leadership

Technical skills

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

  • Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Framework - Environmental Assessment - A2 - Habitats Regulations Assessment, Appropriate Assessment/Natura Impact Statement (Accomplished)
  • Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Framework - Environmental Assessment - A4 Ecological Assessment including Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, Impact Assessment and the use of biodiversity metric (Accomplished)
  • Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Framework - Environmental Management: M2 (Capable)

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

  • Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Framework - Environmental Assessment - A2 - Habitats Regulations Assessment, Appropriate Assessment/Natura Impact Statement (Accomplished)


We enable our people to work at the right place, with the right people, at the right time.

We believe that if we look after our people, they will be passionate about delivering great things for our customers.

We understand the importance of life outside of work and our industry leading flexible working practices, digital technology and modern workspaces will give you the opportunity to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.

The MOD Discover My Benefits page lists the full set of benefits. Some of the many benefits you will receive include:

• Highly competitive Pension Scheme
• Flexi-time scheme
• Alternative working practices such as working from home
• 25 days annual leave rising (1 day per year) to 30 days upon completion of 5 years’ service
• Ability to roll over up to 10 days annual leave per year
• In addition to 8 public holidays per year you will also receive leave for HM The Queen’s birthday
• Minimum of 15 Days Special Leave in a rolling 12-month period to for volunteer military or emergency service reserve commitments
• Special Paid Leave for volunteering up to 6 days a year
• Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave
• Employee Assistance Programme to support your wellbeing
• Most sites have good travel links with free car parking; many also have other facilities such as a Sports & Social Club, Gym and / or site shops

Learning & Development
• Professional and Personal Development of skills
• Access to thousands of training courses through Civil Service Learning, some free or paid by DIO
• Ability to obtain industry recognised qualifications supported by DIO

Employment Hours
The post advertised is for 37 hours net, however the Ministry of Defence offers a range of flexibilities to enable a better work-life balance for employees. Flexible working and Compressed Hours will be considered.

This post does not offer any assistance with relocation allowances.

Please be advised that the Department is conducting a review of all pay related allowances which could impact on those allowances that the post currently being advertised attracts

Things you need to know


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.
As a result of the changes to the UK immigration rules which came into effect on 1 January 2021, the Ministry of Defence will only offer sponsorship for a skilled worker visa under the points-based system, where a role has been deemed to be business critical.

The role currently being advertised has not been assessed as business critical and is therefore NOT open to applications from those who will require sponsorship under the points-based system. Should you apply for this role and be found to require sponsorship, your application will be rejected, and any provisional offer of employment withdrawn.

Please ensure that at the application and interview stages of the campaign you review the Success Profiles Framework to assist you in the demonstration of your skills and experience.

Your suitability for the role will be assessed using the Success Profile elements that have been chosen for this campaign. Each element will be scored accordingly, and the successful candidate will be appointed on merit.

Applications will be sifted on all Success Profiles, but in the event of a significant number of applications, an initial sift will be conducted on Experience (CV and Personal Statement).

In this instance the remaining elements will be tested at interview.

At application you will be assessed against the following:

• Leadership

• CV - including Job History and Full Qualification Details

• Personal Statement - in no more than 750 words detailing the following Essential Experience:
Summarise your experience against each of the following:
1. Co-ordinating and undertaking Ecological Surveys, Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessments for terrestrial and/or coastal developments or activities
2. Protected Species casework
3. Assenting / Consenting processes for activities affecting SSSIs
4. Designing and/or reviewing habitat management plans and SSSI management plans for sites

Technical: Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Competency Framework
• Environmental Assessment- A2 - Habitats Regulations Assessment, Appropriate Assessment/Natura Impact Statement (Accomplished)

At interview you will be assessed against the above along with the following:

• Managing a Quality Service
• Making Effective Decisions

Technical: Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) Competency Framework
• Environmental Assessment - A4 - Ecological assessment including Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and Ecological Impact Assessment and the use of biodiversity metrics (Accomplished)
• Environmental Management - M2 (Capable)

Application sifting is scheduled to take place on week commencing: 21st June 2021 following closure

Interviews are currently taking place remotely and will be conducted week commencing: 5th July 2021

A minimum of 2 full working days’ notice will be provided for interviews. We endeavour to stick to these dates, but these are subject to change around business needs.

To assist with your application please find the link below:

1. Chartered Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM)


For help and support with your application check out our

Civil Service Careers Homepage and the How to apply section

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 (or eligible for) status under 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 :  Dr Stuart Otway
Email :  stuart.otway629@mod.gov.uk
Telephone :  07715 296 073
Recruitment team :
Email :  DBSCivPers-DIOResourcing@mod.gov.uk

Further information

Applicants should monitor their Civil Service Jobs application centre regularly for updates.

Some of MoD’s Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) changed from 3 February 2014. Those TACOS changes applied to Broader Banded and Skill Zone staff who were new recruits to MoD or who were appointed to a post on substantive promotion, progression or advancement. On the same basis, the TACOS for Departmental Retained Grades changed with effect from 01 September 2014. The document attached to this advertisement provides more information.

All employees joining MOD who are new to the Civil Service will be subject to a 6-month probation period (unless otherwise advised) effective from the employment start date.

Any move to Ministry of Defence 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 www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

If you need to contact Defence Business Services (DBS) regarding this vacancy, please contact the DIO Enhanced Recruitment Team on DBSCivPers-DIOResourcing@mod.gov.uk


Please be aware that the selection and interviewing of applicants is the responsibility of the Recruiting Line Manager (RLM) and not the Defence Business Services (DBS) Resourcing team. DBS do not play any part in the selection and interview process.

Therefore, if you wish to discuss your feedback, or you are dissatisfied with your markings, you should in the first instance raise this with the Recruiting Line Manager of the vacancy.

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received from DBS, or believe that DBS has failed to follow the recruitment process in line with the Civil Service Commission principles of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of Fair and Open competition, you can raise a formal complaint. by writing to DBS at the following address:

Defence Business Services, Scanning Hub, PO Box 38, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 7NU

If after raising your complaint with DBS you remain dissatisfied you can complain directly to the Civil Service Commission at the following address:

Civil Service commission, Room G/8, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ

Or by email: info@csc.gov.uk

Cabinet Office Fraud Checks

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 whose details are found to be held on the IFD will be refused employment

Civil Service Recruitment Principles

Please see the link below for the civil service recruitment principles.


To find out a bit more about what it’s like working for MOD, visit the Civil Service Careers Website


Please see the MOD Privacy Notice link below which describes how we will use your personal data, explains your rights and gives you information you are entitled to under Data Protection legislation.


Travel Costs

There will be no reimbursement for any travel expenses for the interview.

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