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Head Veterinarian - Scotland

Food Standards Scotland
Salary of £49,420 - £61,617
Closing date
11 May 2021

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Animal Health, Government, Veterinary
Job Type
Veterinary Surgeon
Contract Type
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Job Details

MiriamWe are currently seeking applications for a Head Veterinarian within Operational Delivery at Food Standard Scotland based anywhere in Scotland.

Everyone who works for FSS plays their part in our shared aims – safe food and healthy eating. We employ food safety, food standards and nutrition experts including scientists, front line inspectors, enforcement and policy delivery teams and administrators.

We are an Equal Opportunities employer and we operate a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for people with disabilities who meet the minimum published criteria. We are a Disability Confident Employer and aim to treat everyone fairly and with respect.

We believe our workforce should reflect the people of Scotland. We treat all staff equally, irrespective of sex, marital status, age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, working pattern, gender identity or caring responsibility. We employ people on the basis of their merit – their skills, aptitudes and attitude.

FSS take pride in developing our employees, and there are numerous opportunities within Scottish Government, of which we are an Executive Agency.

The Role

The Operational delivery branch is responsible for the delivery of Official Controls in FSS approved slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments, the Scottish shellfish monitoring programme and issue of Export Health Certificates in meat plants and seafood certification hubs.

The Head Veterinarian (HV) provides technical leadership for FSS colleagues and stakeholders and is the source of definitive advice on Official Controls in FSS and reports to the Head of Operational Delivery.  The HV will engage with external veterinary stakeholders including Chief Veterinary Officers, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, SG policy, FSA and academic institutions. They will be Head of Profession for veterinarians employed by FSS and will ensure CPD of Authorised Officers (AOs) is maintained and that development plans are developed and delivered.

The HV will contribute to non-veterinary policy matters as required and will deliver timely reports to FSS management and the Board as required.

The HV will manage a cost centre ensuring accurate financial reporting and commission veterinary related research.  The HV will manage a range of technical portfolios, working closely with FSA and OGDs and lead publication of the Scottish Manual of Official Controls.

Successful Candidate

Qualifications Required

The minimum qualifications are: - must be member of RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) - must be qualified Official Veterinarian (Meat).

The above qualifications are required but Level 4 HACCP and Lead Auditor can be achieved after joining Food Standards Scotland.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

1. Experience of the interpreting and applying food law related to meat Official Controls with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
2. Strong self-management and people management skills including the ability to manage challenging workloads and competing deadlines.
3. Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build supportive and collaborative relationships with colleagues and stakeholders at all levels of seniority.
4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to work confidently to provide clear, competent and insightful advice.

The Package

Food Standards Scotland is a Non-Ministerial Office, which is part of the Scottish Administration, employing staff on Scottish Government main terms and conditions and pay arrangements.

To submit your application click the apply button.

For more information contact Sandy McDougall email telephone 07776 172160.

Reference: IRC87442E

Closing Date: 11 May 2021 midnight


Food Standards Scotland is involved all along the food chain to make sure the food you eat is safe, and is what it says it is. We're also here to give healthy eating advice based on the best available, trusted scientific evidence.

If you work in the food environment – whether it’s in production, manufacture, retail or catering – this section can help you produce safe food and meet your legal requirements too. You can also search our site for the latest food-related scientific research and for help if you're a teacher or work in childcare.

It is the responsibility of all food businesses to place safe food on the market, and in order to achieve this, a framework of food safety and hygiene legislation is in place within which businesses must operate. This includes the requirement that all food businesses (other than those involved in primary production, transport and storage) must have a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). 

While the general rules (such as the HACCP requirement) set out in Regulation (EC) 852/2004 apply to all businesses, additional specific requirements are in place for businesses handling higher risk products.

Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene requirements that must be implemented by food businesses handling food of animal origin at all stages of the food chain. It requires that Food Business Operators place products of animal origin on the market only if they have been prepared and handled exclusively in establishments:

  • that meet the relevant requirements of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004,
  • that are specifically approved by the competent authority (unless explicitly exempt -  read advice on registration and approval), and
  • that apply the specific controls set out by sector in Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

Exemptions from 853/2004 approval requirements

Decisions on whether or not businesses require to be either approved or registered  are based on the legal requirements set out in regulation 852/2004 and 853/2004.  Approval is not required in the following circumstances:

  • primary production for private domestic use,
  • the domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption,
  • the direct supply, by the producer, of small quantities of primary products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer,
  • the direct supply, by the producer, of small quantities of meat from poultry and lagomorphs slaughtered on the farm to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying such meat to the final consumer as fresh meat, or
  • hunters who supply small quantities of wild game or wild game meat directly to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.

We have produced guidance for all establishments requiring approval in our Approved Establishments Scottish National Protocol. Read further guidance for FSS approved establishments.

Further information

This section includes advice and guidance for businesses on how to comply with the regulations which apply to the production of red meat, pork, poultry and game, as well as requirements relating to minced meat, meat products, animal by-products and edible co-products.

If you have any other questions regarding the hygiene, production or regulatory requirements for meat, poultry and game which are not covered in the above sub-sections, please contact Businesses should in the first instance speak to their local enforcement authority.

  • If your local enforcement authority is FSS please contact us
  • If your local enforcement auhthority you must contact them
Find Us
01224 285100
4th Floor
Pilgrim House
Old Ford Rd
AB11 5RL
United Kingdom
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