Main Vacancy Details


Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Enforcement, Other Roles


South East

Contract Type



temp £17.74 PAYE, £22.10 umbrella per hour or perm £34,134 to £36,789 per annum

Senior Port Health Support Officer

Full Vacancy Description

Ashford Borough Council

Job Description

Job Title:                              Senior Port Health Support Officer

Service:                                Ashford Border Control Post (Bcp)

Responsible to                   Principal Port Health Officer

Job Summary:

To undertake a range of statutory duties to safeguard public health. To conduct official controls including carrying out checks on imports of products of animal origin and high-risk food not of animal origin in order to ensure that only products that are safe to eat enter the food chain.

To undertake checks of organic food, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, animal composites and other relevant controlled goods.

To work independently or under the supervision of Official Veterinarians / Port Health Officers as required.

To provide assistance, guidance and training to Port Health Support Officers as assigned.

To make an effective contribution to the development and achievement of the Ashford Border BCP health protection and business objectives.

Role Requirements:

1. To protect public health by applying port health controls on imports in accordance with relevant statutory provisions, rules and international trading standards.

2. To perform physical, identity, documentary and seal etc. checks as directed in order to ensure that only products that are safe to eat enter the food chain.

3. To be responsible for the storage and dispatch of statutory samples, ensuring that they are packaged correctly for safe transport under required conditions and are dispatch to the correct laboratory. To be responsible for maintaining sample dispatch records and disposal of samples no longer required.

4. To maintain stock levels and equipment availability for inspection.

5. To assist others in the performance of port health duties as required including undertaking physical checks and sampling as directed.

6. To assist in the training of other staff and stakeholders as required.

7. To assist in the destruction of unsatisfactory consignments ensuring that goods are destroyed at the correct waste facility.

8. To undertake specific enforcement, investigative, educational and advisory duties commensurate with the role.

9. To compile inspection reports, legal notices and take further legal actions as necessary and commensurate with the role.

10. To prepare collect evidence and prepare reports as necessary relevant to the required enforcement activity including provide evidence in court and to public inquiries, as necessary.

11. To inform and liaise with other relevant inspection bodies of any finding relevant to the protection of public health. To including contacting other authorities to ensure that specific consignments are delivered only to approved establishments.

12. To carry out relevant database and administrative functions including use of Information Management Systems such as PHILIS, IPAFFS and FSA risk-likelihood dashboard.

13. To provide advice and guidance to stakeholders including customers, agents and importers on specific import requirements, regulations, policies and procedures.

14. To provide advice and guidance, and where appropriate support to other relevant stakeholder including customers, agents and importers.

15. To provide advice and guidance to other enforcement agencies operating within the BCP and other staff involved with the operation Inland Border Facility.

16. To respond to complaints and requests for advice in accordance with standard operating procedures.

17. To maintain knowledge of relevant legislative requirements in order to undertake the above duties.

18. To be available to support other sections within the council as relevant to its responsibilities as a food authority when demand requires and in line with the post holders’ qualifications and experience. This extends to wider public health responsibilities and may involve temporary secondment.

19. To carry out any reasonable requests as may be made from line management and undertake such other relevant duties as may from time to time be required.

20. To act in accordance with the council and service policies and procedures.

21. Equal Opportunities

a) To promote equality of opportunity in employment and service provision, and eliminate unlawful discrimination.

b) To recognise that people have different abilities to contribute to the Council’s goals and performance and to take necessary action to give everyone a chance to contribute and compete on equal terms.

22. Emergency Planning

a) To participate as required in the Council’s Emergency Planning operations including undertaking training and exercising as directed

b) To participate in the response to an emergency which may involve duties outside your normal job description and at times outside your contracted hours.

c) To participate in the recovery stage following the emergency.

23. Business Continuity

In the event that an incident has occurred which disrupts the Council's ability to deliver its critical functions, to undertake duties within your competencies in other departments and/or at other locations.

24. Data Protection

To ensure that data quality and integrity is maintained, and that data is processed in accordance with Council policy, the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and other legislation.

25. Health and Safety

All employees have responsibilities under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. These responsibilities are laid out in the Council’s Health and Safety Policy, available on the Intranet or from Personnel.

26. Additional Duties

To undertake any additional duties of a similar level of responsibility as may be required from time to time.

Other Conditions:

Post holders will be required to handle and be exposed to food product allergens, for example, fish, peanuts, tree nuts etc.


This job description has been written at a time of significant organisational and legislative change and it will be subject to review and amendment as the demands of the role and the organisation evolve. Therefore, the post-holder will be required to be flexible, adaptable and aware that they may be asked to perform tasks, duties and responsibilities which are not specifically detailed in the job description, but which are commensurate with the role.

Person Specification

Education & Training / Qualifications

Level 5 qualification Higher Certificate in Food Control or equivalent (Food Law Code of Practice recognised qualification)

Able to demonstrate continual professional development

Specialist port health training / qualification

Associate member of relevant professional body e.g., CIEH

Able to operate as an Official Fish Inspector


Experience in food control work

Enforcement experience relevant to food control work

Experience using databases

Authorised with experience to undertake specific BCP responsibilities

Enforcement experience covering a wide range of food areas including inspection of premises, monitoring and food sampling plus prosecution experience.

Experience of an operational and/or technical lead role within a food related service

Direct experience in port health, import/export controls and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing provisions

Direct experience of port health database/systems such as the use of PHILIS, IPAFFS (or its predecessor) and FSA risk-likelihood dashboard

Skills & Knowledge

Able to demonstrate skills and knowledge relevant to food control, health and safety and public health functions

Able exercise a greater use of initiative and decision making, only referring more significant problems for advice/guidance

Able to use analytical and judgemental skills to interpret complex information or situations and to solve difficult problems

Able to interpret and analyse food safety, health & safety and public health legislation, statutory guidance, technical updates and good practice

Able to demonstrate effective relationship management and resolution of conflict situations and challenging behaviour

Able to demonstrate a commitment to the delivery of first-class customer service

Able to demonstrate competency in the use of email, word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software

Able to demonstrate skills in solving problems

Able to prioritise work and respond to varying caseloads

Comprehensive understanding of BCP services and procedures

Comprehensive knowledge of relevant UK and EU legislation and regulations

Comprehensive knowledge of relevant Health and Safety legislation and regulations

Other Requirements

Flexibility to meet the needs of the service and council

Full Driving Licence

Other Essential Requirements to Carry Out Post:

The post involves working a shift pattern over 24 hours/7 days per week/365 days per year.

Able to work remotely or within the Civic Centre as well as the Ashford BCP which will be the primary place of work i.e., when undertaking physical inspections.

Working in temperature-controlled environments and at height.

Physical fitness as lifting and other physical work will be necessary on a daily basis, particularly when sampling.

Sensory abilities e.g., ability to assess visual or olfactory evidence.

Exposure to food product allergens, in particular nuts (e.g., peanuts, tree nuts).

Working in other Council locations and other locations to meet the requirements of the position.

A commitment to own development and to supporting training and development initiatives.

Main Vacancy Details


Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Enforcement, Other Roles


South East

Contract Type



temp £17.74 PAYE, £22.10 umbrella per hour or perm £34,134 to £36,789 per annum

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