Drugs & Firearms Licensing Compliance Officer

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Friday 2nd August 2024



Reference number



£38,350 - £41,035

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

HO - Public Safety Group

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share

Number of jobs available



Croydon - Lunar House

Job summary

The Home Office is here to make our country safer. As well as working to reduce crime and enforce the law, we also work to protect the most vulnerable and have a proud history of providing refuge to those who have been displaced or are seeking asylum. Whether it is fighting crime, protecting our borders, or combating slavery, the Home Office is at the forefront of public policy in this country and our work is some of the most challenging and rewarding in government. 

The role of the Public Safety Group is to keep the public safe by cutting crime (including by disrupting the highest harm criminals), tackling its drivers, bringing criminals to justice, and protecting the vulnerable. To deliver on our mission we operate locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

We are recruiting to this exciting and varied post; this role is operational and where you can make a real difference. The post holder will join a small team of Compliance Officers responsible for assessing Drug and Precursor Chemical Licence applications which are risk-based. This is a post with a significant technical casework element.

The Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) is part of the Crime Reduction Directorate in the Public Safety Group of the Home Office. It is responsible for enabling the licit use of controlled drugs, whilst preventing their diversion to the illicit market.

Job description

The unit is responsible for issuing licences for controlled drugs (import/export and domestic) and for prohibited firearms possessed by registered firearms dealers, freight companies, maritime armed guards, clubs, and museums. The drug and firearms licensing regimes operate under separate legislative frameworks, but there are clear operational synergies.

This role sits within the domestic controlled Drugs Licensing Team.

The role reports to a Senior Compliance Officer. It is a challenging and diverse role focusing on the operational delivery with responsibility for delivering an operational response to the drug strategy, including a licensing regime that enables the legitimate use of drugs and precursor chemicals, while preventing their diversion to the illicit market. The post-holder will join a team of up to 14 compliance officers and does not presently have any line management responsibility.

The role requires significant weekly domestic travel, with all travel and subsistence covered by the business area (in line with the appropriate policy). To undertake regulatory inspection visits throughout the UK and a requirement to take on a Duty Officer role, in the Croydon office, one week in three. During your training phase, which could last for up to six months, you should expect to be based in the Croydon office.

A typical working week will require you to undertake multiple visits which may include overnight stay(s) working away from home. When undertaking the Duty Officer role, one week in three, will see you in the Croydon office Monday to Wednesday and working from home Thursday and Friday.

This is a reputationally key role, interacting with varied stakeholder groups, some of whom can be challenging. The UK has a strong regulatory reputation in this field and the role is the public face of the ‘inspection regime’.

The unit is also responsible for the operational policy which governs licensing. It engages with a wide range of stakeholders including pharmaceutical companies, airlines, the National Crime Agency, the police, Regulatory bodies, and other Government departments.

Successful candidates will be expected to complete the ‘Bond Solon Advanced Professional Certificate in Investigatory Practice Qualification’ within their first 18 months of the role (DFLU will meet the cost of one cycle of assessments). Should candidates fail this assessment they will be required to meet the cost of any further lessons and/or assessments. Candidates should note that relevant policies relating to poor performance may apply where this qualification is not achieved.

Due to business requirements, this role is only available full-time.

Applications from job share candidates are welcome, but any job offer is conditional upon a viable job-sharing arrangement being available.

Person specification

  • Deliver robust, timely and proportionate licensing recommendations and undertaking professional inspection or compliance visits to licensees. ‘Business as usual’ delivery of technical licensing casework, including paper-based consideration of applications and ‘inspection’ visits to prospective licensees.
  • Effective management of caseload of around 50 cases. Ensuring tight management of all stages of the case, effective customer management, to reduce throughput times and to ensure the continuous improvement of customer service standards.
  • Triage and risk-assessment of applications. Ensuring applications meet minimum standards, are appropriately allocated, prioritising where necessary and high-risk applications immediately escalated.
  • Thematic licensing reviews to audit compliance in specific ‘high risk’ licensees- to audit licensing practices and policies as they apply to high-risk groups, ensure legislative compliance; build and develop information sharing and support networks to provide best value for the fee-paying public.
  • Deliver high-quality customer service ensuring correspondence, including that from licensees, Minister’s, and trade bodies, via email, post or telephone and dealt with in a timely and professional manner.
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with internal and external stakeholders ensuring the team works collaboratively and flexibly and liaises and shares information, where appropriate, with other Government Departments, other Competent Authorities or Regulatory Bodies.
  • Have a good understanding or an ability to gain an understanding of all relevant legislation, including Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) 1971 and associated Misuse of Drugs Regulations (MDR) 2001, European Precursor Chemical Regulations & International Conventions – including gaining an effective knowledge of licensees, their areas of business and working knowledge of licensing processes.

Essential Criteria:

You will have a demonstrable passion for delivery with the following skills or strong experience in:

  • A flexible and collaborative approach to managing individual and the wider unit caseloads with a focus of delivering a high-quality customer service.
  • The evidenced ability to overcome the challenges arising out of differing working locations, travel requirements and remote working as required by the post.
  • Strong planning and organisational skills with capability and experience to overcome challenges to deliver quality business outcomes.
  • The ability to critically evaluate complex, written information.
  • To have advanced organisational skills which includes logistical awareness and planning.
  • A Full UK (Car) Driving Licence Manual or Automatic.
  • A proficient use of the Microsoft packages competently - this includes Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • A GCSE grade C/level 4 or equivalent in GCSE English language or relevant demonstrable workplace experience.

Desirable Criteria:

For this role, the below experience would be beneficial, but is not essential.

  • Knowledge and understanding of interrogating reports.
  • Basic chemistry and/or pharmacology would be helpful to the job holder, but not essential.


A Full UK (Car) Driving Licence Manual or Automatic. A driving licence is essential for this role as sites are remotely located across the UK and its crown dependencies. Successful candidates may be subject to a risk assessment that will take account of any penalty points that they may have at the time of assessment. Successful candidates will be required to share their Driving Licence details at the pre-appointment stage and at least on a 12 monthly basis during their employment.


A GCSE grade C or equivalent in GCSE English language or demonstrable workplace experience.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace

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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working optionA culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Ability and Experience.

After submission of your application you will be invited to complete a Civil Service Verbal Test. 

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 2nd August 2024.

If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.

Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the Civil Service Jobs website.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and Statement of Suitability (of no more than 1000 words).

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

Please note your Statement of Suitability should be aligned to the Essential Criteria as set out in the job advertisement.

In addition, candidates will be required to provide evidence of the behaviour, 'Making Effective Decisions'.

The sift will be held on the Statement of suitability and lead behaviour example. 

Your CV should consist of your career history, qualifications, and any key achievements in each role. Your CV will not be scored, but instead will be used to provide further context on your Statement of Suitability, and support conversations at interview. 

In an event where a high volume of applications is received, an initial sift will take place using the lead behaviour 'Making Effective Decisions'. Candidates who pass the initial sift will be either progressed to a full sift or straight to interview.

Successful candidates shortlisted for interview will be assessed on a blend of Strength based questions and Behaviour based questions as outlined in the job advertisement.

In addition, at the start of the interview, candidates will be required to complete a written assessment to evaluate their written skills and use of IT to the required standard. (Details to be disclosed closer to the interviews). Candidates must pass both the written assessment and interview in order to be considered for a provisional offer of appointment to the role.

Sift and Interview Dates:

The sift will take place from 8th August 2024.

Interviews will take place week commencing 9th September 2024

Interviews will be conducted face to face at Lunar House, Croydon. Further details and instructions will be provided closer to the scheduled interview. We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert, however on occasions these dates may change.

Further Information:

For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years if the role requires CTC clearance, 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV.  A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice.

For further information on National Security Vetting please visit the following page https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/demystifying-vetting

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

We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need for them to go through a further selection process.

Please ensure that all examples provided in your application are taken directly from your own experience and that you describe the examples in your own words. All applications are screened for plagiarism and copying and generating of examples/answers from internet sources including Artificial Intelligence. If any is detected the application may be withdrawn from the process. Further action, including disciplinary action, may be considered in such cases involving civil servants. Providing false or misleading information would be contrary to the core values of honesty and integrity expected of all Civil Servants.

If you are successful in this position and choose to accept the provisional offer for this role, you will be removed from all other Home Office reserve lists at the same grade.

Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.

We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

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.

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.

Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.

Transfer Terms: Voluntary.

If you are invited to an interview you will be required to  bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.

Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.

Any move to the Home Office 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 https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

Reasonable Adjustments

If a person with disabilities is 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 HOrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 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.


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


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
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 the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
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.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Civil Service is committed to attract, retain and invest in talent wherever it is found. To learn more please see the Civil Service People Plan (opens in a new window) and the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (opens in a new window).
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
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 : Home Office Resourcing Centre - BICS, HSG, PSG
  • Email : horccampaignteamcpfgosctandsocg@homeoffice.gov.uk

Recruitment team

  • Email : HOrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment
principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance
HORecruitment.GRS@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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