Veterinary Investigation Officer APHA Starcross – (SD21/308) – Job Share

Grade: SEO

Reference: 173928

Salary: £35,895 to £40,613 Salary is pro-rata

Closing Date: 04 Feb 2022

This post is part of Job Share and the current vacant days are Monday & Tuesday (14.8 hours). Alternative working patterns may be considered (please contact vacancy holder to discuss further

The overarching purpose of the role is to provide veterinary surveillance and disease investigation in order to safeguard animal health and welfare, public health, protect the economy and enhance food security, in support of GB Governments’ policies. In this role you will contribute to a diagnostic service investigating animal diseases and welfare primarily in farmed livestock and wildlife. The role aims to detect notifiable disease, new and re-emerging threats, food safety incidents and zoonotic disease. You will carry out postmortem examinations and assign relevant laboratory tests interpreting and reporting findings and giving relevant advice to private veterinarians. Farm visits may also be required. Being able to communicate effectively with famers, private veterinarians, stakeholders and policy makers is essential in this role. You will be expected to work to quality standards and observe stringent health and safety requirements. Full training will be given and you will be encouraged to develop your expertise.


Job description

To carry out any duties commensurate with the grade and purpose of the post including, but not limited to, the following:

Disease Investigation, Welfare and Diagnostics
To investigate animal diseases and welfare cases in primarily farmed livestock, wildlife and other species in order to detect notifiable disease, new and re-emerging threats, food safety incidents and zoonotic disease, and to provide a diagnostic and investigative service. This will be achieved within the quality system by:
• Conducting post-mortem examinations.
• Humanely euthanasing animals where necessary.
• Commissioning appropriate laboratory tests.
• Interpreting results.
• Reporting conclusions.
• Carrying out on-farm and field investigations.

Gathering of information, data and intelligence to enable understanding of the patterns and trends of endemic diseases and the timely detection and characterisation of new and re-emerging animal-related threats, including, but not limited to, the following:
• Collecting relevant information and data.
• Identifying (and where relevant, report and escalate) incidents which may represent statutory, new, re-emerging or changing disease patterns.
• Collating, interpreting and reporting surveillance information and data.
• Work collaboratively to deliver leading edge veterinary research, surveillance, consultancy and laboratory testing services through a series of integrated science programmes.

Stakeholder Engagement
• Actively engaging with private veterinary surgeons, farmers and others to ensure the gathering and sharing of data, information and intelligence to enable understanding of the patterns and trends of endemic diseases and the timely detection of new and re-emerging animal-related threats.
• To develop effective and sustainable working relationships with end-users of APHA services, representing and promoting the interests of GB Governments to deliver agreed policy outcomes.
• To engage with animal keepers, wider industry, the veterinary profession and other operational partners to gather data, information and intelligence, educate, influence and provide feedback to improve the standards of animal health and welfare.
• Arrange and/or attend relevant veterinary and other meetings to participate, present and contribute to knowledge exchange.

Incident and Disease Outbreak Response
• To contribute to and participate in Delivery Area and National Contingency Planning and exercises as required.
• To ensure that professional skills are developed and maintained to undertake any allocated role(s) during incidents and emergency activities with an expectation that the roles in which individuals are specifically trained will be called upon first during outbreaks and provision of veterinary leadership and direction in the field during an emergency situation

Learning and Development
• To maintain appropriate veterinary expertise by undertaking and recording Continuing Professional Development.
• To undertake personal learning and development and contribute to organisational learning, supporting continuous improvement. This will include all relevant mandatory training and participation in training/teaching of colleagues and other staff as appropriate.

Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHaW)
• To implement APHA SHaW policy and procedures as relevant to the role including compliance with Occupational Health policies essential for delivery of the role such as screening and prophylactic/preventive programmes.
• To carry out appropriate risk assessments when carrying out veterinary duties escalating risks as required.
Compliance and Enforcement
• To represent the Agency, engaging with animal keepers, wider industry and operational partners to gather intelligence, and educate and influence to improve the level of understanding, compliance and safe behaviour.
• To demonstrate an understanding and application of legislation in line with policy and best regulatory practice in order to positively influence behaviours while minimising burdens on industry.
• To use veterinary expertise to support interventions as necessary, including the gathering, interpretation and presentation of evidence, appearing as a witness of fact or as a professional witness when required, and on occasions providing expert witness testimony if appropriately qualified.

Duty and Out-of-Hours Rotas
• In an emergency situation to participate in veterinary, and where applicable, management duty rotas, and out-of-hours rotas as required. An allowance is payable for this work.

• To assist the Head of Department and Quality Managers in maintaining an efficient and effective quality management system meeting the requirements of third-party accreditation and certification (e.g. ISO 17025, ISO 9001).
• Work to agreed quality standards and comply with instructions in the Veterinary Surveillance Instructions (VISIs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


• A good understanding of the UK farming industry, including a sound knowledge of significant diseases and diagnostic processes across the species.
• A knowledge and experience in pathology is desirable.
• Good written and oral communication skills. The post holder will have to be comfortable with communicating across people and groups with a range of scientific knowledge.
• Well-developed interpersonal, decision making skills.
• Evidence of collaborative working with different teams of people.
• Able to maintain and assure appropriate levels of quality assurance for scientific evidence and advice.
• Highly motivated, corporate, self-aware with high inner resilience and calm under pressure.
• Able to maintain a customer delivery focus at all times.
• Knowledge of Government scanning surveillance and threat detection, and an understanding of how data are gathered to provide surveillance intelligence, including sources of threat data and information
• A strategic thinker with diagnostic, analytical and creative problem-solving abilities.

Key Relationships
• Veterinary and science colleagues
• Private veterinary practices
• APHA species expert group leads
• APHA Disease and Test Consultants
• Defra and devolved administrations


Valid Full UK Driving Licence


Degree in Veterinary Medicine that is recognised in the UK


Membership Registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons