DNA Scientific Officer

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 30th July 2024

 

Details

Reference number

359002

Salary

£28,000 - £29,400
Successful candidate will be eligible for an annual RRA of £5,000.

Job grade

Executive Officer

Contract type

Permanent

Business area

HO - STARS - Forensic Information Databases Service (FINDS)

Type of role

Science

Working pattern

Full-time

Number of jobs available

1

Contents

Solihull

Job summary

The Home Office has one of the most challenging and critical jobs in Whitehall: to keep Britain safe and secure. We operate at the heart of the Government's agenda, leading on immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime policy, counter-extremism and counter-terrorism and work to ensure visible, responsive, and accountable policing in the UK. The challenges the Department faces are significant and can change rapidly in the global environment in which we operate, making this one of the most exciting and stimulating Government Departments in which to work.

The Forensic Information Databases Service (FINDS) operates and administers national systems that identify links between forensic evidence found at scenes of crime and arrestees (and on occasion other individuals such as vulnerable persons and missing persons).  The unit ensures the integrity of records held on national biometric databases, including the National DNA Database (NDNAD), IDENT1 (National Fingerprint Collections), and the National Footwear Database (NFD).

The DNA Scientific Officer contributes to maintaining the integrity of the NDNAD by supporting the NDNAD Performance Management Framework of the whole NDNAD supply chain.  

This is a critical role for maintaining public confidence in the NDNAD in supporting policing in reducing crime, maintaining order, and bringing criminals to justice. 

Job description

The role holder will work alongside the Proficiency Testing Manager to run the laboratory and deliver FINDS Quality Assurance and Proficiency Testing (PT) schemes. They will be responsible for designing specific tests, preparing relevant exhibits and materials, tracking progress, evaluating results, and monitoring trends and unexpected results. They will continuously review and improve the schemes to meet participant needs and forensic science regulatory requirements. 

Due to the nature of this role, it is full time and office-based only.  The successful candidate will be required to work from the Solihull office Monday-Friday (5 days per week).

Responsibilities

  • Deliver the Quality Assurance and PT schemes for NDNAD
  • Design and set-up specific Proficiency Tests to defined service levels to maintain the FINDS’s accreditation to the international standard ISO17043
  • Prepare relevant exhibits and materials, submit to participants and track progress
  • Log and analyse results data, monitor trends and report back to participants
  • Initiate investigations into unexpected results and escalate to the relevant manager for review
  • Maintain up-to-date scientific knowledge relevant to body fluid examination, forensic DNA processing and the wider NDNAD supply chain
  • Collaborate with PT Manager to design future PT schemes
  • Carry out regular reviews of the schemes and initiate improvements to ensure continual enhancement of the PT schemes to meet participant needs and forensic science regulatory requirements
  • Responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the ‘DNA-clean’ laboratory including Risk and COSHH assessments and the maintenance activities, and record keeping in adherence to international standard ISO 17043
  • Donor stock management
  • Conduct the administration of procurement, review of service providers and other tasks which supports the running of the PT scheme
  • Oversee the administration of budgeting, expenditure, and income collection
  • Maintain effective working relationships with HO colleagues, Law enforcement agencies in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scottish Police Association, Forensic Service Providers, UKAS and other PT specialist groups and commercial providers supporting the PT and laboratory operations

Note: An employee may be required to carry out other duties within the scope of the grade and within the limits of their skill, competence and training. 

Recruitment and Retention Allowance (RRA)

Successful candidate will be eligible for an annual RRA of £5,000. This allowance is subject to review and Head of Profession approval, and could be reduced or withdrawn at any time.

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • You should currently hold, or be willing to undertake, NPPV 3 vetting (including financial checks). This is essential for this role.
  • Understands and has experience working in a ‘DNA-clean’ ISO 17025 laboratory
  • An awareness of health and safety in a biological laboratory (including COSHH, risk assessments, good laboratory practic
  • A minimum of ‘A’ Levels in a scientific discipline or equivalent relevant experience
  • Experience of forensic DNA profiling and interpretation
  • Experience in the examination of items for DNA or body fluids, or knowledge of such methods, for items submitted in relation to forensic examinations
  • Experience and understanding of managing data integrity within the policing and criminal justice sector.
  • Experience working within a performance management system for DNA
  • Experience in data analysis of trends within the DNA supply chain
  • Experience in relationship management
  • IT competent in the Microsoft Office suite

Desirable criteria

  • Experience in delivering a performance management system for DNA, including supporting and setting up of PT schemes to the international standard ISO17043
  • Experience of working to a regulated environment, possibly involving forensic science or within law enforcement agencies
  • Understanding the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulators code of practice
  • Understanding and experience in quality management, supplier, and procurement management
  • Experience analysing data, potentially with some statistical analysis, to draw conclusions and make recommendations
  • Knowledge or experience in the activities of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)

Behaviours

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

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Changing and Improving
  • Seeing the Big Picture

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

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • GSE: Knowledge and Experience: DNA Profiling and Interpretation
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • A 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, Experience and Technical skills.

This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete: 

  • a CV detailing job history/qualifications/skills
  • a Statement of Suitability (personal statement) (maximum 750 words) 
  • provide evidence of two Behaviours - Managing a Quality Service and Delivering at Pace (max 250 words each)

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

The Statement of Suitability should be aligned to demonstrate your skills and experience for the role and how you meet the essential criteria as detailed in the job description.

Your CV should consist of your career history, including any key achievements in each role, qualifications and skills/experience.

The sift will be held on the CV, Statement of Suitability and Behaviours.

If a large number of applications are received, an initial sift will be conducted on the CV and Statement of Suitability. Candidates who pass the initial sift will then be progressed to a full sift when the Behaviours will also be marked.

If you are successful at sift stage, you will be invited to an interview which will consist of Experience, Technical Skill and Behaviour-based questions on all the Behaviours and Technical Skill listed in the advert.  

You will also be required to prepare a short presentation to present at interview. Further details around what the presentation will entail will be provided before the interview.

For Technical Skill, please refer to Science & Engineering (GSE) Framework

Sift and Interview dates

Sift is expected to take place week commencing 5th August 2024.

Interviews are expected to take place week commencing 2nd September 2024.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert, however on occasions these dates may change. 

Interviews will be carried out via video. Candidates will be required to have access to:

  • A laptop (personal or work) with a working webcam
  • Good internet connection
  • Microsoft Teams

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints we may not be able to offer alternative interview date(s). It is therefore expected that candidates who are successful at sift stage will make themselves available during the above time frame given.

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

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.

A reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for 12 months. Should another role become available within that period you may be offered this position.  

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



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

Security

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
  • Email : HORCCampaignTeamCorporateEnablers@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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