APHA Launches Recruitment Campaign for Plant Health Inspectors

APHA is recruiting over 100 new posts in its Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate


The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is recruiting over 100 new posts in its Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate (PHSI) as it plans for an increase in activity at the end of the EU transition period on 31 December. This is also likely to be a first step with the potential for further recruitment later in the year.


Plant health inspectors have a crucial role in maintaining and promoting a high plant health status in England and Wales. Their work is valuable to Defra group’s purpose of protecting and promoting plant health within trade, agriculture and the natural environment.


The roles are varied and cover a range of interesting tasks such as: inspecting crops and fresh produce; helping to organise emergency measures to control outbreaks of pests or diseases; certifying items such as plant, seeds and grains for export; and ensuring required documentation is in order.


Ian Hewett, Service Delivery and EU Exit Director underlined the importance of this recruitment:

This recruitment is a critical part of our preparedness for the UK’s final departure from the EU. The additional PHSI capacity will enable us to meet our goal of facilitating trade and maintaining our biosecurity.

Casey Higgins-King, one of APHA’s PHSI inspectors, shares what she enjoys about her work:

There is no typical day working in plant health, and that is what is so wonderful about this job! One day I am walking through forests, parks and gardens checking for Phytophthora ramorum. (algae-like organism called a water mould).
The next I could be walking potato crops with other local inspectors, or I could be in a distribution centre, a garden centre, or plant nursery, carrying out surveillance for quarantine pests and diseases. I am constantly learning, adapting, and improving in this job.

The roles which are currently open for applications are (Civil Service Jobs references shown in brackets):

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, North West (61403)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, West Midlands (61412)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, North East (61406)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, East Region North (61416)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, South West (61409)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, South Central (61411)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, London Gateway/Felixstowe (61324)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, South East (61258)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, East Midlands (61417)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, North & North Wales (61408)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, East Region South (61415)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, Heathrow (61230)

  • Plant Health & Seed Inspectors, Cambs/Suffolk (61414)

These are all offered on a 24-month basis as a fixed-term appointment to external candidates, or as a loan to internal candidates from within the Civil Service, with the potential for extension or permanency. Secondments can be offered to NDPB employees.


Candidates who don’t have the qualifications listed in the job adverts but are able to demonstrate in their application the required technical knowledge gained through experience will be considered for interview. Successful applicants will receive tailored learning and development.


The closing date for the current round of vacancies is Thursday 6 August 2020


Find out more

Details about the roles available and how to apply are available on Civil Service Jobs. You can search for them by selecting APHA as the organisation or by using the reference numbers listed above.


To make sure you don’t miss future opportunities, sign up for job alerts on Civil Service Jobs, selecting APHA as the organisation.


To find out more about these vacancies, please contact PHSIJobs@apha.gov.uk.

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