Explosives Permissioning Officer CEMHD (Band 5/EO)

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Location: Cardiff, Wales, CF10 1EP/ Bootle, North West England, L20 7HS/ Buxton, East Midlands (England), SK17 9JN

Job summary

Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success, and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role. We look forward to receiving your application.

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.

At HSE, we work with one goal in mind – to help keep Britain’s workforce safe and healthy. Our work touches virtually every sector of Great Britain’s industry. Combining specialists from numerous fields, we strive to keep people and their working environments safe.

HSE's Chemicals Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division (CEMHD) specialises in proactively regulating sectors where there are high and sustained levels of societal concern over the potential risks of harm. We understand that these sectors make our modern society and we work to ensure that major hazard regulation continues to deliver its strategic goals.

This new role offers a great opportunity to become and develop as an explosives professional, joining the sector at an exciting time as it embraces new technologies and develops new capabilities. You will be playing an important part in ensuring that people and places are protected from the risks associated with explosives.

Apply now by clicking here, or use the 'Apply Now' button below.

Job description

Our Explosives Permissioning Officers will ensure employers across Great Britain – a whole range of essential industries with thousands of workers - work safely. In this role, you can utilise your potential, and develop your technical knowledge and practical experience to ensure that the explosives permissions HSE grants enable a range of industry sectors to operate and develop, and provide appropriate levels of safety to workers and the public.

A career with HSE gives you a rare opportunity to visit and interact with different and diverse employers and work activities, one day you could be engaging with a large multi-national munitions manufacturer and the next a small fireworks store.

You’ll work alongside HSE technical and regulatory specialists to ensure explosives activities are operating within the legislative framework by ensuring that explosives licences and transport classifications are relevant, accurate and enabling. You will be expected to explain your decisions internally and externally to colleagues, designated authorities and applicants.

Your work will make the most of your knowledge and potential – whether that’s visiting explosive storage site to help an employer understand how their licence can be drafted to both meet their needs and provide an appropriate level of protection to workers and the public or reviewing test data for an explosives classification to determine what hazard those explosives present in transport. As you can see this role will broaden your knowledge, experience and professional credibility like no other role can.

Together with the widest range of health and safety specialists in Britain, you’ll be helping to protect thousands of people, whilst working in an inclusive environment where all our people can thrive and be themselves.

You will get experience of the work we do from day one, enabling you to gain knowledge in the regulation of explosives and valuable experience in regulatory science, working with national and international legislation, communicating with stakeholders, report writing and developing of skills in regulatory decision making. You will be supported by your manager and colleagues to understand your role in HSE, develop your skills and support you in your continuing professional development. All of the post locations include specialist and regulatory colleagues providing a wider support network.

You will be expected to enrol in a Level 7 apprenticeship in ordnance, munitions and explosives and your vocational training will include a blend of classroom-based tutorials and workshops, hands on practical work, and tailored on the job training where you will take ownership of a portfolio of work which you’ll be supported to deliver at the highest level. After approximately 3 years your developing experience and competency profile should result in your being eligible to apply for through-grading to Band 4/HEO (£31663 - £35906).

Given the distributed nature of the Unit and that HSE regulates sites across the whole of GB you will be expected to spend periods working away from home, typically 2 to 3 days every month. HSE is flexible on how this expectation is delivered and recognises individuals’ personal commitments. You will also be expected to meet all of the attendance requirements of the Level 7 apprenticeship which will include several week-long periods away from home each year.

HSE has now adopted hybrid working which will allow us all to work both in the office and at home and we will provide you with the necessary equipment to support you when working from home. However, please note that these posts are an office-based role, and they are not a remote location based or home worker post; as such, successful candidates will need to be in a position to attend the office from appointment date onwards and will be required to attend the office regularly and potentially at short notice. Successful candidates will also be expected to undertake some face-to-face training upon joining HSE and this will be office based.

Person specification

You will be an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual who enjoys applying science and/or engineering principles to real world challenges and who can operate as part of a highly effective team in a demanding environment

Key responsibilities include:

  • Advising and engaging on explosives safety matters (with particular focus on the licensing of explosives storage and manufacturing sites and on the classification of explosives for transport) in support of legislative compliance, with HSE colleagues, other government departments and regulatory agencies, professional bodies and trade associations such as the British Standards Institute, the Institute of Explosives Engineers and the Explosives Industry Group of the CBI;
  • Visiting a variety of workplaces, either on your own or with a specialist team, to inform your development and/or agreement of draft explosives licences.
  • Undertaking permissioning activities on the licensing of explosives storage and manufacturing sites and on the classification of explosives for transport;
  • Securing intelligence to inform specialist and regulatory colleagues and sharing information to inform policy, research, and guidance to benefit other Government departments, the public, industry, professional bodies and trade associations.
  • Contributing as a member of the Explosives Inspectorate to promote Health and Safety improvements to national and international standards at various forums, and at relevant conferences.

Essential Criteria

You must be able to demonstrate:

  • Good communication skills
  • Good analytical and planning skills
  • Knowledge and practical experience of the assessment of scientific and/or engineering data.


You must hold, or expect to be awarded before September 2023, a minimum of a level 6 qualification (equivalent to an Honours Degree) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Ordnance Munitions and Explosives, Physics, Structural Engineering or a similar related subject. You will need to show evidence of your qualification before being able to take up this role.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Apply Scientific/Technical Knowledge


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

We invest in our people with:

  • Competitive rates of pay
  • Access to the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme to which HSE contribute 27.1% far more than in the private sector.
  • Family friendly policies and working hours to help balance your home life and career
  • Carer friendly policies to help create a supportive working culture
  • 25 days annual holiday increasing to 30 days after 5 years' service, plus bank holidays and 1-day Civil Service privilege leave
  • Parental leave benefits

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

You will need to successfully complete the Civil Service Judgment tests before submitting a CV that displays your career history, skills, experience and qualifications. You should also submit a Statement of Suitability of 500 words that demonstrates how you meet the essential criteria for the role.

At sift, we will assess you on your CV and Statement of Suitability.

At interview, we will assess you against the identified behaviours, strengths and your technical skills as they relate to the essential criteria for the job. As part of your interview, you will be required to deliver a 10 minute presentation. Further details of this will be sent out with your interview invite, if successful at sift.

The sift will take place during the week commencing 20th March 2023.

The interviews will take place during the week commencing 27th of March 2023.

These dates are subject to change depending on panel availability.

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

Please note that a Reserve List will be held for the period of up to 12 months.

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

Due to the nature of security checks undertaken, applicants must have 3 years continuous residency in the UK up to the date of the application and, Home Office approval for indefinite leave to remain within the UK.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful in their application. For a summary of HSE terms and conditions as part of Civil Service Reform, please see the attached document. Any move to HSE from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare.

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


  • Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
  • Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed.
  • People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard checks.

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) (opens in a new window)
  • 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

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.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.


Health and Safety Executive

HSE (The Health and Safety Executive) is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness. Our mission is to prevent death, injury and ill health in Britain's workplaces.

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