Senior Port Health Officer

Job Type:
Job Sector:
Public Sector
South East
£34,134 to £36,528 per annum
Kenyon Block Consultants
Job Ref:
KBC 2749 P

Ashford Borough Council

Job Description

Job Title: Senior Port Health 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 make an effective contribution to the development and achievement of the Ashford Border BCP health protection and business objectives.
To direct the work and activities of the Senior Port Health Support Officers, Port Health Support Officers and the Port Health Support Assistants.
To deputise for the Principal Port Health Officers in their absence and as required. (Senior Port Health Support Officers).
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 etc. checks of products of animal origin (POAO) and high risks food not of animal origin (HRFNAO) in order to ensure that only products that are safe to eat enter the food chain.
3. To carry out the role of Official Fish Inspector (OFI).
4. To perform physical etc. checks of other controlled products as required.
5. To undertake food sampling of high-risk food products as required by the control legislation or as a result of a risk assessment carried out in respect of relevant products. To liaise with a public analyst or microbiologist in regard to formal samples.
6. To undertake any additional checks relevant to national monitoring schemes or local sampling programmes.
7. To assist other staff in the performance of port health duties as required including physical checks and sampling.
8. To assist in the training of other staff and stakeholders as required.
9. To ensure the destruction of unsatisfactory consignments ensuring that goods are destroyed at the correct waste facility.
10. To undertake specific enforcement, investigative, educational and advisory duties associated with the role. To include service of legal notices relevant to re-export, destruction, remedial action or use of a consignment for another purpose in permitted cases.
11. To compile inspection reports, legal notices and take further legal actions as necessary including seizure, detention, and prosecution.
12. To prepare collect evidence and prepare reports as necessary relevant to the required enforcement activity including provide evidence in court and to public inquiries.
13. To inform and liaise with other relevant inspection bodies of any finding relevant to the protection of public health.
14. To carry out relevant database and administrative functions including the operation of Information Management Systems such as the use of PHILIS, IPAFFS and FSA risk-likelihood dashboard
15. To provide advice and guidance to stakeholders including customers, agents and importers on specific import requirements, regulations, policies and procedures.
16. To provide advice and guidance, and where appropriate support to other relevant stakeholder including other enforcement agencies operating within the BCP and other staff involved with the operation Inland Border Facility.
17. To respond to complaints and requests for advice in accordance with standard operating procedures.
18. To maintain knowledge of relevant legislative requirements in order to undertake the above duties.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. To act in accordance with the council and service policies and procedures.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. Additional Duties
To undertake any additional duties of a similar level of responsibility as may be required from time to time. Port Health Officer
28. Duties as detailed above
Progression through the grade from SCP 36-39 to MG8
dependent on experience gained.
Typically, progression with be via normal increments applied based on performance and dependant on start date.
Progression will be from SCP 36 to SCP 37 to MG8.1 and will take approximately 18 to 24 months.

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

Job Title: Senior Port Health Officer

Education & Training / Qualifications

Suitable qualification(s) to undertake import controls at Border Control Posts as defined by the FSA Food Law Code of Practice and the accompanying Practice Guidance. This will normally be a MSc, Degree or Diploma in Environmental Health and Certificate of Registration with the Environmental Health Registration Board EHRB (CIEH)
Able to demonstrate continual professional development
Specialist port health training / qualification
APHA/CIEH member
Management qualification
Able to operate as an
Official Fish Inspector


Experience in food control work
Enforcement experience relevant to food control work
Experience using databases
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
Management experience

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
Able to demonstrate specialist skills and knowledge relevant to port health functions

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

Contact Details:
Kenyon Block Consultants
Tel: 020 8360 7289
Contact: Phyllis Kenyon

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