U.K./Commonwealth/E.E.A nationals: Deputy Chief Inspector (Grade 6) (Drinking Water Inspectorate)

U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
London, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Drinking Water Inspectorate is based in central London. Currently all staff are appointed 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 needs and team needs are met.

About the job


The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the independent regulator of drinking water quality in England and Wales. Established by Parliament in 1990, the strategic objective is to protect public health and maintain public confidence by securing safe and clean drinking water, now and for future generations.

The powers and duties under which DWI operates are established in legislation and are wide-ranging, covering all aspects of the quality and sufficiency of water together with duties in regard of network and information systems of public water supplies as delegated by the Secretary of State and Welsh ministers. Statutory duties in relation to private supplies for the provision of technical advice to local authorities and the authority of appeal are provided on behalf of the Secretary of State and Welsh ministers.

The Inspectorate produces its own independent reports for ministers in both England and Wales; reporting on the operational performance of the water companies that it regulates in both countries, and on the performance of local authorities in their duties with respect to private water supplies. These cover assessment of the results of monitoring of drinking water supplied by the water companies month by month; investigation of notified events; and site visits and meetings with companies to audit technical operating practices, procedures and policies for compliance with regulation and enforcement notices. In addition to the statutory function, further non-statutory functions are provided, including an evidence programme; consumer and media advice on information about drinking water safety and regulation as well as the running of an independent website.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate recovers its costs from the industry which it regulates, but operates as a business unit within Defra’s Floods and Water Directorate. The Directorate has formal responsibility for sponsoring the Inspectorate in Defra.

Job description

As part of the Senior Management Team, (SMT), you will be responsible to the Chief Inspector for developing and managing DWI resources in the delivery of its Vision and Strategic Objectives.

You will part of the strategic team delivering regulation on the quality, assurance, safety, security and sufficiency of drinking water supplied by the water industry and the local authorities which includes delivery of secure network and information systems by operators of essential supplies for water. You would be expected to communicate effectively with, and provide technical and scientific advice to, Ministers, officials of Defra and the Welsh Government and wider government departments. Engagement with stakeholders associated with the water sector such as Water UK, UKWIR, Public Health England and Wales, RAPID, as well as the wider regulatory landscape including the Environment Agency, the financial regulator Ofwat and CCW, requires a broad understanding of the complexities of the water sector.

The Deputy Chief Inspector leads and directs experienced professionals, with strong academic, technical, scientific, engineering and practical backgrounds in the water and allied industries. The Inspectorate’s technical and support staff includes experts in network and information systems, data management, information and knowledge management, and business administration. The work requires a high level of expertise in all aspects of drinking water supply; the interpretation of law, fair and proportionate enforcement of legal requirements, and the provision of sound advice.

The role requires someone who combines strong leadership, technical expertise and managerial skills with the judgement and flexibility necessary to operate in what can be a demanding environment. Working within the context of the respective Government policies is also critical.


• Deliver DWI’s overall business and strategic objectives encompassing short and longer-term requirements;
• Establish and maintain effective and appropriate professional relationships with the regulated water companies and local authorities;
• Manage resources efficiently and effectively, constantly seeking improved methods of working, ensuring that there are transparent and well-understood;
• Ensure fair and proportionate regulatory delivery paying due regard to the Code for Enforcement, and the Code of Practice for Regulators;
• Maintain effective working relationships with Defra, the Welsh Government, Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Public Health England, Public Health Wales, CCW, other drinking water regulators in UK and wider sector and non-sector stakeholders and government departments;
• Contribute to the style, direction and reputation of DWI including the production of the Chief Inspector’s Reports covering England and Wales.
• Contribution to the provision of information for the general public through an enquiry and complaint handling service and a website as part of a policy of openness and transparency;
• Ensure all ancillary obligations are adhered to as a public body.

Specific skills and experience required:
• This is a senior role with significant responsibility and accountability. The post holder must have the ability to operate with senior members of the water industry and Government;
• Strong leadership skills with managerial experience to lead an inspectorate efficiently and effectively;
• Technically experienced in a relevant discipline (such as microbiology, chemistry, engineering, environmental or medical science), ideally to a postgraduate level, and with chartered status in a relevant recognised professional institution. The individual must be professionally credible in order to command the confidence of the water industry, other regulators and Ministers;
• A clear track record of leading successful operational delivery, to ensure that DWI continues to deliver its demanding goals;
• Strong communication skills, to ensure effective communication with water companies, other regulators, Defra and Welsh Government policy officials, Ministers, other government departments and the media;
• In depth knowledge of drinking water quality regulations, the Water Act and the NIS Regulations and the ability to deliver the statutory and non-statutory duties;
• The ability to think strategically and innovatively, and make effective use of evidence, to ensure that DWI remains an excellent and innovative regulator, offering excellent value for money to companies and consumers;
• Good professional knowledge of water supply and drinking water quality.


As travelling is an integral part of the job, often to areas not served by public transport, you should have a valid driving licence, although it may be possible to adjust this requirement for those who have difficulty meeting it because of a disability.


You should have a good honour’s degree or equivalent qualification in microbiology, chemistry, engineering, environmental or medical science; supported by postgraduate experience in the water industry.


You should have attained, be working towards or willing to work towards chartership of your professional body.


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

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

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

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Managing a Quality Service


• 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.

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 and Experience.

Candidates interested in applying for the Deputy Chief Inspector post, must apply online.

Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement, behaviour statements.

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

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

At the interview, candidates will be asked to provide information on their professional achievements, relevant experience and will be asked a series of questions relating to Behaviours and Strengths.

A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.

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

New entrants are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.

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 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.

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 recognize in exceptional circumstance 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 stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

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.

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: .

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

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.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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 :

Telephone :
020 8026 4599 or 0300 068 6400


Recruitment team :

Email :

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: 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