Food Standards Agency
About the job Summary
The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”. Our primary goal is to continue to protect public health and UK consumers’ wider interest in food. As we have now exited the EU the FSA faces a significant period of change and activity.
Our ability to succeed at this time comes down to the effectiveness of our organisation: how smoothly and efficiently it runs. We are always seeking to improve, and the administrative movements of the Agency have continuously proven to be a vital part of ensuring we remain a successful and productive organisation.
Personal Secretaries play a big role, then – enabling senior civil servants to do their best work by ensuring the smooth running of their Office and supporting them in a multitude of ways. This means that the role of Personal Secretary is a rich and varied one. Though it can be demanding and involve tight deadlines the work is always interesting, challenging and engaging. Personal Secretaries sit deep in the centre of the FSA and are often actively involved with work that touches every corner of the Agency.
Communication is key to the Personal Secretary role – working to support the Head of Operational Assurance and Transformation, the successful candidate will need to develop good working relationships with members of the executive and non-executive teams within the FSA, as well as with the other Personal Secretaries.
This is a role that will require candidates to have good judgement and strong analytical skills, as well as exceptional organisational skills. Alongside arranging meetings, recommending cost effective travel and accommodation arrangements and liaising with colleagues and external stakeholders alike, the role will require draft responses, minute taking and the arranging and agreeing of agendas, amongst other tasks. No two days as a Personal Secretary are the same, and this role is well-suited for anyone who is keen to put their skills to a varied and challenging role that will make a positive impact upon the work of a government department.
The successful candidate will be a diligent and self-motivated worker who can keep an eye on the big picture even as they juggle a number of tasks and competing priorities. You’ll need to be confident in your ability to make effective decisions, and able to communicate effectively to ensure the Head of Operational Assurance and Transformation is able to make the most of their time. If you believe you are a good fit for this role and are excited by the challenge presented by such a high-profile and dynamic position, we’ll eagerly anticipate your application.
Please read the attached Candidate Pack to discover further details about the role, our organisation, who we are looking for and the criteria we will assess against during the selection process. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you every success.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.
Things you need to know Security
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.
Selection process details
This vacancy is using Success Profiles , and will assess your Behaviours, Ability and Experience.
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of shortlisting against the essential and desirable person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of a behaviours-based interview.
In the event of receiving a large number of applications an initial sift may take place on just the identified lead criteria indicated below:
• Proven experience of communicating to a high standard both verbally and in writing, including producing responses on behalf of senior staff
We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under-represented within our organisation at this level. All appointments are made on merit.
We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.
Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached terms and conditions statement.
A reserve list will be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.
Sift: from 21 April 2021
Interview: week commencing 3 May 2021 – to be conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
Further information on nationality requirements
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles .
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name : Helen Griffiths Email : Recruitment team : Email : Further information
If you wish to raise a complaint then please email in the first instance.
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