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Inspector - Drinking Water Inspectorate

Posted: 13 Nov 2019 Closes: 6 Dec 2019
London £38,367 - £43,629
Permanent & Full-time defra/20191113171653

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the regulator of drinking water quality in England and Wales. It operates on the behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Welsh ministers. The DWI is seeking talented individuals with skills and/or experience in drinking water supply/water quality to join its team of Inspectors ensuring high quality water supplies across England and Wales.

Drinking Water Inspectors are involved in a wide range of tasks covering all functions from source to tap. Inspectors must decide whether or not there has been, or is likely to be, a breach of the regulations and if so, whether enforcement action is necessary to safeguard drinking water quality. Inspectors may be involved with interviewing staff, contractors or consumers; conducting site audits to assess treatment and monitoring processes or storage facilities; and in certain circumstances may be required to attend court and give interviews to the media.

Inspectors work in teams under the direction of a Principal Inspector, however, there is a high degree of autonomy of decision making. Inspectors are responsible for managing the day to day relationship between the Inspectorate and one or more of the regulated water companies. Inspectors are also required to give authoritative advice to resolve disputes such as consumer water quality complaints or disagreements between the parties involved with the regulation or operation of a private water supply.


- Postgraduate experience in the water industry or proven experience and competency in a water industry control room; as a materials scientist or; as a water fittings inspector.
- Good IT and organisational skills.

In addition to the qualifications and experience specified, on an interpersonal level, candidates should have an enquiring mind and be motivated and dedicated to improving the approach by companies in producing a wholesome product and protecting public health.


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.


It is preferable that you should have a good honour’s degree or equivalent qualification in a subject related to water supply, water quality or instrument control and automation. Relevant qualifications for work in a water industry control room; as a materials scientist or; as a water fittings inspector.


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:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

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

  • There will be a written exercise in which candidate's technical skills will be accessed.



• 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.

Selection process details

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

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and Statement of Suitability. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Successful applicants will be asked to attend an interview and to complete a written exercise. It is expected that interviews will take place in Central London in January 2020.

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 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.

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 recognise 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.

Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

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

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs

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