Trac proudly powers the recruitment for
UK Health Security Agency
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will be responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats, and providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. UKHSA will ensure the nation can respond quickly and at greater scale to deal with pandemics and future threats.
Closed for applications on: 9-Dec-2021 00:00
Vacancy status: Closed
Closed for applications on: 9-Dec-2021 00:00
- 61 Colindale Avenue
- NW9 5EQ
- Major / Minor Region
Contract type & working pattern
- 9 months (There are 4 fixed term roles available and 1 permanent role, the fixed Term roles will be until 30-Sep-2022.)
- Full time - 37.5 hours per week (Contribution to early and late shift work and weekends on a rotational basis)
- £32,331 - £39,691 per annum (pro rata)
- Salary period
- (Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO Inner))
- Main area
- Central Sequencing Laboratory
COVID-19 has reinforced the impact that threats to health can have on society and the economy and driven health security as a critical component of our national security architecture. The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is a system leader for health security; taking action internationally to strengthen global health security, providing trusted advice to government and the public and reducing inequalities in the way different communities experience and are impacted by infectious disease, environmental hazards, and other threats to health.
UKHSA’s remit, as an agency with a global-to-local reach, is to protect the health of the nation from infectious diseases and other external threats to health. As the nation’s expert national health security agency UKHSA will:
- Prevent: anticipate threats to health and help build the nation’s readiness, defences and health security
- Detect: use cutting edge environmental and biological surveillance to proactively detect and monitor infectious diseases and threats to health
- Analyse: use world-class science and data analytics to assess and continually monitor threats to health, identifying how best to control and mitigate the risks
- Respond: take rapid, collaborative and effective actions nationally and locally to mitigate threats to health when they materialise
- Lead: lead strong and sustainable global, national, regional and local partnerships designed to save lives, protect the nation from public health threats, and reduce inequalities
UKHSA’s immediate and most important priority is to continue the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the longer term, UKHSA will build on the legacy of the COVID-19 response to ensure resilient and scalable infrastructure to secure the UK in the strongest position to protect the public from future threats to health.
UKHSA mission is challenging, innovative and in the spotlight. To achieve our objectives effectively and fairly, we commit to representing modern Britain and all its diversity. UKHSA recognises that diversity of background and life experience brings different insights, creates challenge and encourages change and innovation. This in turn produces more accountable and trusted public services and better decisions; better because they are more attuned to the needs and interests of all our communities. Differences of thought and outlook are not only respected but expected. We want all our employees to feel that they can be themselves at work and that they are valued.
There are 4 fixed term roles available and 1 permanent role.
The post holder will be part of a team performing a range of tasks to undertake the execution of DNA sequencing (Next Generation Sequencing and Sanger) and Fragment Analysis Services in the UK Health Security Agency based at Colindale. Flexible working is required for this role. The post holder will be expected to maintain at all times the required high standards and quality to maintain an up to date knowledge of genomic sequencing technologies and current working practices within the unit.
- To follow agreed protocols and policies in accordance with the UK HSA policies and procedures.
- Perform manual and automated laboratory techniques following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), with expertise in sequence-based methods and techniques.
- To participate and support molecular routine service delivery within the remit of CSL.
- To understand and carry out all aspects of NGS and Sanger sequencing on Illumina and Applied Biosystems platforms using automated liquid handling procedures
Working for our organisation
UK Health Security Agency provides strategic leadership and vision for protecting and improving the nation’s health. Its ambition is to lead nationally and enable locally, a transformation in the health expectations of all people in England, regardless of where they live and the circumstance of their birth. It will achieve this through the application of research, knowledge, and skills. UKHSA is an executive agency of the Department of Health. It is a distinct delivery organisation with operational autonomy to advise and support the government, local authorities, and the NHS in a professionally independent manner.
Detailed job description and main responsibilities
- To run the service autonomously when required, including development and optimisation of services and organisation of workflows
- To ensure the smooth flow of samples through the laboratory, from receipt to testing.
- To carry out routine quality control procedures to ensure that samples are being prepared, processed, recorded and archived to a high standard.
- To maintain equipment, including routine monitoring, calibration and safety checks and maintain records of these.
- To facilitate the day to day running of the laboratory by ensuring the availability of stock and reagents.
- To encourage the development of a flexible team by supporting training, development and rotation
- To supervise and support EO and AO grade staff in the unit.
- To review and analyse data to ensure it is suitable for release to customers.
- To assist in the instruction and training of other staff and visitors, and to ensure compliance with safety and quality systems.
- To participate in formal staff appraisal
- To provide supervision for the work of staff or persons seconded to the unit
Any other duties within the framework of the job summary.
Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).
For further information, please view the job description and person specification document that has been listed under the attachments for this advert.
Applicants are strongly advised to use the criteria in the person specification (available online) as sub-headings in their application to make it clear how they meet each of the selection criteria. Please also see job description for competencies.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ
This is a Non Reserved post under the Civil Service Nationality Rules and is therefore open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members. For more information please refer to the supporting documents detailing the Civil Service Nationality Rules.
For posts on UKHSA Civil Service terms and conditions, salary on appointment is normally the minimum point (see salary range above). This will be dependent on the successful candidate’s current salary and terms and/or equivalent experience. The Civil Service pay structure and progression is different from NHS Agenda for Change, most local authority pay grades and other systems that have annual pay increments. Please see attached an information sheet explaining starting salaries and benefits when joining the UKHSA.
For AfC or Medical/Dental posts, you must have the correct professional registration to be appointed. The pay will follow the AfC or Medical & Dental terms & conditions. You may be asked to provide evidence of previous service whilst we are conducting pre-employment checks to determine your starting salary.
For Temporary Appointments: If you are not currently a civil servant, you will take up the post on a Fixed Term appointment. If you are an existing Civil Servant, based outside of the UKHSA, you will take up the post as a loan. If you are an existing UKHA member of staff, you will take up the post as either a level transfer or a temporary promotion as per the UKHSA’s Pay and Grading policy.
Given the nature of the work of the UKHSA, as a Category 1 responder under the Civil Contingencies Act, you may be required in an emergency, if deemed a necessity, to redeploy to another role at short notice. You may also be required to work at any other location, within reasonable travelling distance of your permanent home address, in line with the provisions set out in your contract of employment.
To be eligible for employment in the UK Civil Service applicants must meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules (CSNRs) which operate independently of and additionally to the Immigration Rules. Applicants must also meet necessary security and vetting requirements, along with any other relevant pre-employment checks.
As from 1 January 2021 broadly the following groups may be eligible to work in non-reserved posts within the Civil Service:
- UK nationals
- Nationals of Commonwealth countries
- Nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- EEA nationals with (or eligible for) status under the EUSS
- Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
- Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
- Certain family members of the relevant EU & Turkish nationals
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (attached as a supporting document).
Employees who feel they have been unfairly treated during a recruitment process can use the Civil Service Commission’s grievance procedure. External candidates should complain to the hiring manager handling their campaign. In addition both internal and external candidates have the right to complain to the Civil Service Commissioners.
If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.
Interview expenses will not be reimbursed.
The UKHSA is required to check employment and/or education history covering three consecutive years. Please ensure you give details of at least two different referees, even if you were employed in one company for three years or more.
If you are offered a job, information will also be transferred into the national NHS Electronic Staff Records system. Please note, all communication regarding your application will be made via email, please ensure you check your junk/spam folders as emails are sometimes filtered there.
Any move to the UK Health Security Agency 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/.
Benefits of working at UKHSA include:
Generous annual leave:
- 26 days for the first 5 years of continuous service
- 28 days after 5 years of continuous service
- 32 days after 10 years of continuous service,
- plus public holidays and one for the Queen’s birthday
We also promote flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours)
• Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with employer contributions.
• Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving
• Access to a retail discounts and cashback site
The UKHSA views flexible working as essential in enabling us to recruit and retain talented people, ensuring that they are able to enjoy a long-lasting career with us. All employees have the right to apply for flexible working and there are a range of options available including working from home, compressed hours and job sharing.
We also offer a generous maternity/ paternity and adoption leave package.
The postholder will have access to vulnerable people in the course of their normal duties and as such this post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service to check for any previous criminal convictions.
- Degree in a relevant biological science
- Relevant professional qualification i.e. registration with the health and care professional council (HCPC) as clinical scientist or Biomedical Scientist
Knowledge and experience
- Experience in running NGS Platforms and Applied Biosystems sequencing services without supervision
- Knowledge of automated liquid handling
- Knowledge and understanding of laboratory safety requirements and procedures
- Previously worked in a similar position within the public sector
- Basic knowledge of project principles
Skills and capabilities
- Skills for communication on complex information and administrative matters, requiring developed interpersonal and oral/ written communication skills
- Problem solving skills and ability to respond to sudden unexpected demands
- Advanced keyboard skills, use of a range of software
- Ability to work on own initiative and organise own workload with minimal supervision working to tight and often changing timescales
- Ability to pull together comprehensive draft reports, networking and persuasive skills
- Excellent time management skills with the ability to re-prioritise
Equality and Diversity
- An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems
- UKHSA_CSL_HEO_Job Description (PDF, 372.3KB)
- Functional Requirements (PDF, 400.2KB)
- Civil Service Recruitment Principles (PDF, 2.6MB)
- Civil Service Nationality Rules (PDF, 345.1KB)
- Application Form Guidance Notes (PDF, 77.3KB)
- Information Sheet - Starting salaries and benefits (PDF, 129.4KB)
- Information Sheet - Selection Process (PDF, 110.1KB)
- Working at UKHSA and your benefits (PDF, 219.2KB)
Further details / informal visits contact
- Jon Hubb
- Job title
- Unit Head Central Sequencing Laboratory
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Additional information