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Job summary

Main area
Genomics Sequencing, Science
Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO National)
7 months (Fixed Term: Until 30-Mar-2023)
  • Full time
  • Flexible working
37.5 hours per week (Includes work on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays on a rotational basis. To participate in the provision of extended and/or out of hours services when required)
Job ref
UK Health Security Agency
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
£28,588 - £35,612 pa pro rata This role attracts a MPS to bring minimum to £32,306
Salary period
21/08/2022 23:59

Employer heading

UK Health Security Agency logo

COVID-19 Vacancy Biomedical Scientist

Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO National)

COVID-19 has reinforced the impact that threats to health can have on society and the economy and driven health security as a critical component of our national security architecture. The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is a system leader for health security; taking action internationally to strengthen global health security, providing trusted advice to government and the public and reducing inequalities in the way different communities experience and are impacted by infectious disease, environmental hazards, and other threats to health.

UKHSA’s remit, as an agency with a global-to-local reach, is to protect the health of the nation from infectious diseases and other external threats to health. As the nation’s expert national health security agency UKHSA will:

  • Prevent: anticipate threats to health and help build the nation’s readiness, defences and health security
  • Detect: use cutting edge environmental and biological surveillance to proactively detect and monitor infectious diseases and threats to health
  • Analyse: use world-class science and data analytics to assess and continually monitor threats to health, identifying how best to control and mitigate the risks
  • Respond: take rapid, collaborative and effective actions nationally and locally to mitigate threats to health when they materialise
  • Lead: lead strong and sustainable global, national, regional and local partnerships designed to save lives, protect the nation from public health threats, and reduce inequalities

UKHSA’s immediate and most important priority is to continue the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the longer term, UKHSA will build on the legacy of the COVID-19 response to ensure resilient and scalable infrastructure to secure the UK in the strongest position to protect the public from future threats to health.

UKHSA mission is challenging, innovative and in the spotlight. To achieve our objectives effectively and fairly, we commit to representing modern Britain and all its diversity. UKHSA recognises that diversity of background and life experience brings different insights, creates challenge and encourages change and innovation. This in turn produces more accountable and trusted public services and better decisions; better because they are more attuned to the needs and interests of all our communities. Differences of thought and outlook are not only respected but expected. We want all our employees to feel that they can be themselves at work and that they are valued.

Job overview

We are seeking an experienced Biomedical Scientist, on a Fixed-Term appointment until Mar-2023 (with the possibility of extension) to join our Manchester Laboratory team to support specific to COVID-19 genomic sequencing: RNA extraction of positive COVID-19 samples, sample processing for sequencing, plus other genomic work duties as appropriate.

UKHSA provides strategic leadership and vision for protecting and improving the nation’s health. Its ambition is to lead nationally, and enable locally, a transformation in the health expectations of all people in England, regardless of where they live and the circumstance of their birth. It will achieve this through the application of research, knowledge and skills. UKHSA is an executive agency of the Department of Health. It is a distinct delivery organisation with operational autonomy to advise and support government, local authorities and the NHS in a professionally independent manner.

Public health laboratories are specialist clinical departments which require specialist, and often dedicated, medical microbiology support. The laboratories provide expert advice and support, particularly for the investigation of outbreaks and incidents and serious epidemics, such as SARS Cov2. These services can be delivered in partnership with colleagues in the NHS, for example UKHSA laboratories can be situated with NHS Trusts and services can also be delivered in partnership with colleagues in academia.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will act as a HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist to provide technical and clerical support to the scientific services to patients and clients as an aid to clinical diagnosis. They will have evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) BMS specialist portfolio.

  • To work as part of the laboratory team, providing a high-quality microbiology service in order to provide patients with the highest level of diagnosis and treatment.
  • To rotate through various managed units within virology, with specific involvement in the COVID-19 sequencing department when required.
  • To be responsible for the efficient day-to-day running of areas of the laboratory, to be able to rotate through different areas of the laboratory and to supervise and train inexperienced Biomedical Scientists (BMS’s), trainee BMS’s, Associate Practitioners (AP’s) and Healthcare Scientist Support Workers) (HSSW’s).

The post holder will take responsibility for the technical performance of the areas involved, ensuring the production of reliable, relevant and timely results and reports.

The post holder would be expected to assist in any PHE coordinated response or activity of a national/international nature, e.g. a Bioterrorism incident or a major disease outbreak.

Working for our organisation

We pride ourselves as being an employer of choice, where Everyone Matters promoting equality of opportunity to actively encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce.

UKHSA ethos is to be an inclusive organisation for all our staff and stakeholders. To create, nurture and sustain an inclusive culture, where differences drive innovative solutions to meet the needs of our workforce and wider communities. We do this through celebrating and protecting differences by removing barriers and promoting equity and equality of opportunity for all.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

Specific duties of the role may vary depending upon the site and teams/functions. Please refer to the Job description for the full scope of the duties and responsibilities.


  • To assist in the monitoring of the performance of less qualified staff.
  • To assist in the day-to-day supervision and organisation of the less qualified staff in the allocated area.
  • To assist in the training of less qualified staff.
  • To be aware of the “wellbeing” of less qualified staff in the allocated area.


  • To process the specimens received and undertake the related tasks in the various sections of the laboratory, leading to the reporting and interpretation of results (where qualified to do so) in accordance with agreed policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • To be responsible for maintenance of consumables and equipment in the immediate area of work. Also, to use and maintain automated equipment following manufacturer’s guidelines and training.
  • Based upon knowledge and experience, designate, on receipt, the range of tests to be performed on the various samples.
  • To work within the UKHSA and Laboratory policies, codes of practice and professional guidelines.
  • To adhere to laboratory SOPs and organise the work of the allocated area in the laboratory.

Clinical Governance

  • Participate in audit processes, and research projects, as required
  • Participate in and monitor Quality Assurance and Quality Control activities, and assist the department in maintaining ISO 15189 accreditation
  • To attend regular departmental meetings and contribute to effective communication with the department


  • Ensure that personal work activity is managed to make effective use of time and maintain an adequate supply of laboratory consumables.

Education and Development

  •  Registration with the Health Profession Council
  • Undertake ongoing training and development and update Professional Development Plan, as required by the Laboratory Manager (or Head/Lead Biomedical Scientist)
  • Evidence of BMS specialist portfolio - CPD


  • Assess the suitability and appropriateness of samples received and liaises with senior BMS staff for action or advice following departmental sample acceptance policy.
  • Ensure data integrity when entering demographics and results into the laboratory information system.
  • Perform sample preparation, processing bodily fluids and materials, including high-risk specimens and reagent preparation following protocols.
  • Analysis of biological samples including more complex/ specialist investigations requiring a high level of skill.


  • To be registered with the Health Professions Council.
  • To be adaptable to change and to work flexibly in all sections of the laboratory. 
  • Attend courses and maintain appropriate levels of training as necessary. Maintain high professional standards at all times by continual professional development, keeping up to date with advances in pathology and changes in technology

Professional development

You should pursue a programme of continuous professional development in accordance with any relevant professional registration or statutory requirements, whilst maintaining appropriate awareness of service provider requirements

For an outline of the tasks and responsibilities required for the role please refer to the attached Job Description and person specification. You will carry out any other duties as may reasonably be required by the directorate.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).
  • If applying from overseas you must hold a suitable UK VISA that will allow you to work full time and remain in the UK.

Selection Process

This vacancy is using Success Profiles and will assess your Experience/Technical skills. 

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a Personal Statement / Statement of Suitability (in no more than 1250 words) 

This should outline how you consider your skills, experience and achievements, and provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential criteria outlined.
You will also be asked to provide information within the ‘Employer/ Activity history’ section of the application form. This is equivalent to the information you would provide on a CV, setting out your career history (this will be used in the shortlisting process and will be scored).


You will be required to complete an application form. This will be assessed in line with the advertised criteria. If you are successful at this stage, you will progress to an interview.

All candidates who are successful at the sift stage will progress to interview OR assessment.

All applicants that progress to an interview will be assessed on a blended interview against a mixture of Behaviours and technical elements of Success Profiles.

The Behaviours tested during the interview stage will be

  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivery at Pace

Technical Skills

Technical skills will be assessed against the knowledge and experience criteria set out in the Job Description.

Essential Qualifications Required

  • Biomedical Science degree or equivalent or Specialist Diploma in Medical Microbiology (from 2005) or equivalent experience/qualification. 
  • Evidence of BMS specialist portfolio 

Essential Professional Registrations Relevant professional qualification i.e. registration with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) Biomedical Scientist


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. For further details please refer to the Information Sheet- Starting Salaries & Benefits attachment.

Market Pay Supplement (MPS)

  • This role attracts a Market Pay Supplement, bringing the minimum salary to £32,306 per annum, pro-ra


  • The panel will assess if candidates meet the requirements of the role first, using a specific benchmark system. If your application falls below the HEO grade threshold, your application may be assessed against the lower grade role. If you are interviewed for the role and you do not meet the required benchmark you may be considered for an EO grade role

Security Clearance Level Requirement:

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 Basic Personnel Security Standard.

Person specification


Essential criteria
  • CV/Application Form


Essential criteria
  • Statement Of Suitability/ Supporting Statement

Employer certification / accreditation badges

Happy to Talk Flexible WorkingPurple SpaceApprenticeships logoNo smoking policyMindful employer.  Being positive about mental health.Improving working livesAge positiveDisability confident employerThe Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) is the UK's leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace.

Applicant requirements

You must have appropriate UK professional registration.

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Ben Kirkman
Job title
Laboratory Manager
Email address
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