Vacancy -- Veterinary Advisor

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Economy, Skills and Natural Resources
Office of Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO)
Grade 7 - £49,625 - £59,350
dependent on experience
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Pan Wales
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. A list of the Welsh Government's offices can be found on our website ( Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.
Assessment Centres on Thursday the 20th, Friday the 21st and Monday the 24th of February.

Purpose of Post:

The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) in the Welsh Government is responsible for raising the standards of health and welfare for all animals kept in Wales – farmed animals, companion animals (pets), sporting and working animals.   The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales (CVO) is head of OCVO.

 In accordance with the Welsh Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, the main objectives of OCVO are to:

  • Protect against the incursion and spread of exotic animal disease and maintain a state of preparedness to deal with any outbreak;
  • Pursue a programme of bovine TB eradication;
  • Control endemic disease; and
  • Promote higher standards in order to improve animal health and welfare.

The Veterinary Adviser (VA) post will provide veterinary advice to the Welsh Government, the CVO Wales, the Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer (DCVO) and policy teams on matters relating to animal health and welfare policy.   The VA will be expected to contribute to the work of the WG VAs team of 4 in providing veterinary advice and support on taking forward policy objectives.  

 The post will report to the DCVO.


Key tasks:

The role will provide veterinary advice on the likely following areas:

  •  Bovine tuberculosis to support the Wales TB Eradication Programme
  • Disease prevention and control
  • Emergency response to exotic disease outbreaks and contingency planning
  • Animal Welfare
  • Brexit

The postholder will be expected to contribute to areas that match their strengths, interests and experience and development requirements.


Key tasks will include:

 Taking the lead in providing key veterinary advice to the policy teams within OCVO

 Providing support to the CVO and DCVO in providing veterinary policy professional advice to Ministers and Welsh Government colleagues

 Providing an intelligent customer function for externally sourced advice

 Providing support and guidance to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group.

 Representing OCVO as required on relevant Welsh Government and external delivery partner and stakeholder boards

 Develop strong working relationships both inside Welsh Government and with key stakeholders including the Animal and Plant Health Agency

 Provide support across the Welsh Government Veterinary Advisor team

 Undertake specific special projects as determined by the CVO and DCVO ranging across the whole of OCVO.


OCVO operate a flexible working policy, however, there is a requirement to attend the office on a regular basis, including the main Welsh Government Office, Cathays Park, Cardiff, where the CVO is based.   In addition, in the event of an animal disease emergency, VAs will be required to provide support.  This may require the post holder to work out of normal working hours at short notice.  It may also require the post holder to be based at the Emergency Co-ordination Centre Wales, which is located at Welsh Government Offices, Cathays Park, Cardiff, for a period of time during the emergency.

Development opportunities:

The post holder will have the opportunity to develop strong understanding of how the CVO and her team of veterinary advisers and policy officials in OCVO have responsibly for raising the standards of health and welfare for all animals kept in Wales. It will provide an opportunity to learn and be part of how Welsh Government develops policy, work with Ministers and be at the forefront of promoting animal health and welfare across Wales.

Closing Date:

31/01/2020, 16:00

Disability Confident

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding
Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh
Can understand parts of a basic conversation
Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria


1. Making Effective Decisions - Analyse and evaluate data from various sources to identify pros and cons and identify risks in order to make well considered decisions.

2. Leading and Communicating - Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels to generate commitment to goals.

3. Changing and Improving - Spot warning signs of things going wrong and provide a decisive response to significant delivery challenges.

4. Collaborating and Partnering - Actively involve partners to deliver a business outcome through collaboration that achieves better results for citizens.

Job Specific

1. A commitment to the application of principles of state veterinary medicine.

2. Robust knowledge of the national and international legal/regulatory framework, as relevant to the role.

3. A practical understanding of the range of issues associated with veterinary science evidence and knowledge development.

Assessment Process

There is currently one VA vacancy, however, a reserve list may be held should any further VA posts become available in the next 12 months.

 Candidates who are successful following sift will be invited to an assessment centre. The assessment centre will involve a three stage process including a written exercise, an analysis and presentation exercise and an interview. These assessments are designed to test your professional skills and competencies for the Grade 7 role. The assessment process will be approximately 3 hours.




Other Information

Kelly Nicholls - - 03000 252077 Richard Griffiths - - 03000 255017

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have a disability which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to a disability in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

This vacancy is closed to applications.