Port Health Support Assistant

Job Type:
Job Sector:
Public Sector
South East
£12.27 to £15.29 per hour
Kenyon Block Consultants
Job Ref:
KBC 2751 T

Ashford Borough Council

Job Description
Job Title: Port Health Support Assistant
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 assist those undertaking a range of official controls at the Ashford BCP 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 assist those checking organic food, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, animal composites and other relevant controlled goods.
To work under the direct supervision of Official Veterinarians / Port Health Officers as required.
To carry out documentary checks as well as assist in physical inspections as required.
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 assist, under the supervision of relevant officers, 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 assist in 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 assist maintaining sample dispatch records and disposal of samples no longer required.
4. To assist in the maintenance of 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 destruction of unsatisfactory consignments ensuring that goods are destroyed at the correct waste facility.
7. To assist in any necessary enforcement activity commensurate with the role and where necessary to provide evidence in court.
8. To carry out relevant database and administrative functions including use of Information Management Systems such as PHILIS, IPAFFS and FSA risk-likelihood dashboard.
9. To provide appropriate support to other relevant stakeholder including customers, agents and importers as required.
10. To provide advice and guidance to other enforcement agencies operating within the BCP and other staff involved with the operation Inland Border Facility as required
11. To respond to complaints and requests for advice in accordance with standard operating procedures.
12. To maintain knowledge of relevant legislative requirements in order to undertake the above duties.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. To act in accordance with the council and service policies and procedures.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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 3 qualification e.g., BTEC Environmental Health, or 2 A levels, NVQ3 or equivalent in relevant subject(s)
Knowledge of council services and/or other regulatory services
Previous experience working in industries associated with food, food safety, import/export sector or closely related fields
Previous experience within an enforcement or other regulatory field

Skills & Knowledge

Able to demonstrate competency in the use of email, word processing and spreadsheets
Good level of numeracy and literacy
Able to demonstrate a commitment to the delivery of first-class customer service
Able to demonstrate skills in solving problems
Able to prioritise work and respond to varying caseloads
Aware of EU/UK food law
Aware of health & safety risks and controls
Database skills

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.

This is a temporary role for an initial six months

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

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