See job eligibility requirements: Inspector - Risk Assessment (Drinking Water Safety Plans)

U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

London, UK 🇬🇧


The Drinking Water Inspectorate is based in Central London. Currently all staff are employed on the basis of working in the London office, but a certain amount of flexibility including homeworking can be allowed within the system as long as both business and team needs are met.

About the job


We are searching for an Inspector – Risk Assessment with a passion for Drinking Water Safety Plans (DWSPs), enthusiasm for protecting and improving water quality and drive to work in an organisation serving the public, to work in our growing Risk Assessment Team at the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

Drinking Water Safety Plans are essential tools to strategically manage and mitigate risk to drinking water quality. They are statutory requirements for English and Welsh regulated water companies under the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (or 2018 for Wales).

Job description

The job holders would be joining the DWI at an exciting time in the evolution of DWSP regulation. There is much to do, embedding and raising standards across water companies in England and Wales, as well as developing smarter ways of analysing, interpreting, and improving the large data set that we hold on DWSPs. The job holders would be central to creation and evolution of this strategically important work stream.

Inspectors work in teams under the direction of a Principal Inspector, however, there is a high degree of autonomy of decision making.

Candidates should be aware that there is a requirement for:
• Specialist knowledge of DWSPs in the water industry, ideally including multiple companies and governance and involvement at all levels within companies
• Technical knowledge of engineering, biology and chemistry related to drinking water quality
• Knowledge of effective governance of risk assessment and mitigation systems
• Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with a range of stakeholders and colleagues
• Ability and desire to analyse and interpret large sets of data and use associated software (e.g. Excel, Power BI)


The responsibilities for the role would include:

• Managing the audit process of water company DWSPs, from conducting desktop or face to face audits and site visits, through to making recommendations for improvement and following up with statutory enforcement where necessary
• Adding to existing DWSP standards
• Develop and maintain effective audit plans
• Contribute to development of policies and initiatives that drive improvement in DWSPs and associated regulatory reporting across the industry
• Contribute to guidance documents to drive improved consistency and raised standards across the industry
• Reviewing the large data set that we hold on DWSPs to identify issues that may require additional regulatory input; following up on these issues to make recommendations for improvement or enforcement if necessary
• Become specialists in DWSPs, with a full understanding of the landscape of DWSPs across the England and Wales water industry that would provide a specialist resource for the industry, regulators, and Ministers, as well as other internal and external stakeholders
• Collaborate within DWI and externally with other regulators, water industry representative groups and international stakeholders to bring wider strategic learning to DWI, as well as offer specialist knowledge and advice
• Contribute to the DWIs various reporting requirements, such as the annual and quarterly Chief Inspector’s Reports, identifying key messages and case studies to drive industry improvement.


As travelling is an integral part of the job, often to areas not served by public transport, candidates should have a valid driving licence.


The role requires the candidate to have a degree or equivalent qualification in a subject related to water supply or water quality.


Successful candidates will be expected to hold, or be working towards, chartership with a relevant professional body.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Candidates selected to attend an interview will be invited to complete a short technical written exercise related to the role.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

See our vetting charter.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, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement and behaviour statements.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Managing a Quality Service. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates as well as the interview location to be confirmed.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your strengths, behaviours, technical skills and your experience.

A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.

Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band. The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest.

Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

– Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
– Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading .

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Childcare Vouchers Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

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 : Suzanne Calmels
Email : [email protected]
Telephone : 07585988028
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development