Technical Officer / Environmental Health Practitioner

South East
£23 per hour PAYE or £28.63 umbrella
20 Aug 2018
20 Sep 2018
EH Practitioner
Contract Type

Technical Officer / Environmental Health Practitioner

The role is with Central Bedfordshire Council

The contract is for an initial twelve months

Pay is £23 per hour PAYE or £28.63 umbrella

Experience in Caravan site licensing is essential

Job purpose

To take responsibility for a high level caseload, special projects and assigned tasks in relation to a range of housing related environmental health responsibilities.

Responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing policies, using specialist technical skills and knowledge to maintain and safeguard standards relating to people’s health and well-being.

Main accountabilities

1. Responsible for a high-level caseload across the range of environmental health disciplines for the Service to ensure customer satisfaction and compliance with legislation, Council and Service policies and procedures. This includes domestic nuisance, public health (inc drainage, and filthy and verminous), housing conditions/HMO inspections, harassment & illegal eviction, national assistance burials, licensing of park homes, and the provision of financial assistance to eligible clients, ensuring that Council legal, financial and audit requirements are complied with.

2. Responsible for audit checking other Officers’ grant and enforcement work to ensure legal and audit requirements are met.

3. Responsible for responding to requests for service, carrying out both routine & unplanned visits and inspections to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation.

4. Be responsible for issuing enforcement action including preparing and issuing formal notices, statutory letters and documents when no improvement has been made.

5. Be responsible for initiating legal proceeding, preparing and giving evidence in court.

6. Responsible for preparing Schedules of works and specifications of varying complexity in association with both grant work and enforcement.

7. Report on performance; implement improvement plans where short falls are identified in target times of work being completed.

8. Ensure Health & Safety is inherent in all activities, including those of contractors, staff and consultants.

9. Manage complaints and queries in accordance with the Council’s communication protocol.

10. Interpret information, prepare and present reports to a variety of internal and external audiences.

11. Responsible for taking the lead on monitoring and updating information systems and producing reports and statistical information as required.

12. Interpret information, prepare and present reports and provide professional advice, support and reports to a variety of internal and external audiences including senior management colleagues and external partners.

13. The provision of training and guidance to new recruits, students etc.

14. To represent the Council professionally to outside organisations including other Council’s, central government agencies and public meetings. Including giving talks at public enquiries, meetings and exhibitions, as well as ensuring compliance through education, advice and enforcement.

15. Responsible for the development, implementation and review of special projects and assigned tasks. Also undertaking promotional, advisory and educational activities.

16. To maintain an up to date professional knowledge of appropriate legal, technical and social issues to ensure the delivery of an effective quality service.

17. To review and respond to Government and other organisation Consultation and proposals in relation to the work of the service.

18. To safeguard children and vulnerable adults, by liaising with all other relevant statutory agencies as well as voluntary organisations including the private sector. Recommending courses of action to and participating in relevant strategic and operational partnership groups.

19. Such other responsibilities allocated which are appropriate to the grade of the post.

Key decisions made

The most appropriate courses of legal action to take in specific circumstances, often where the health and safety of clients is at risk; and could result in the client needing alternative accommodation

Judgement relating to the provision (or otherwise) of financial assistance to applicants, having regard to local policies and national legislation.

The post holder will provide detailed technical advice to senior managers, which will influence Council policies and activities.

Make judgments on contractors’ performance and determine appropriate courses of action to ensure that costs, quality and targets are met.

Provide guidance and advice on specialist subject areas.

As part of a team assist all areas when required in order to meet priorities.

Post holder will also be required to report on complex or high priority cases within their remit.


The post holder will work as part of an operational team, and will support other members of the team, providing cover in times of absence.

The post holder reports directly to the Area Manager but will also provide support and assistance to the Head of Service and Assistant Director where required.

The post holder will work with external contractors, agents, landlords, voluntary agencies and other external organisations during the course of their work.

Post holder will have contact with a wide range of people in the community, particularly vulnerable groups such as elderly, people with disabilities, and private tenants. Post holder will be expected to undertake the promotion of the service, particularly the targeting of services to vulnerable groups, but also deal with issues sensitively, seeking the best possible outcome for these clients.

The post holder will work and liaise with a number of other Council teams, in particular Planning, Building Control, Occupational Therapists, Legal Services, Community Safety and Public Protection.

Resource controlled

The post holder will be directly responsible for individual grant cases which could include a maximum £30K assistance from the council but include additional funding from other sources (internally or externally). The post holder is responsible for ensuring that these resources are controlled according to council financial, legal and audit requirements, and that value for money is achieved.

The post holder is responsible for the resources used in Work in default cases, which may involve a large number of people and properties, and could be for considerable sums of money. The post holder is responsible for ensuring that Council procurement policies are followed, as well as meeting legal requirements for the type of works required.

The post holder will be responsible for directing clients to external resources, particularly vulnerable groups. For example the provision of external grants such as Green Deal, ECO (or similar), and the potential utilisation of equity and loans to remedy unsatisfactory housing conditions. 

Person Specification

1. Qualifications     

Degree or equivalent qualification in Environmental Health or a related subject or evidence of in-depth experience of the key job responsibilities.

Evidence of continued professional development. Membership of an appropriate Institute or undertaking activity working towards this.

2. Relevant experience      

Experience of enforcement of legal standards in respect of environmental health work.

Experience of collation of evidence in support of legal proceedings.

One year post qualification experience of working in environmental health.

Experience of using environmental health related business software

3. Skills, abilities and behaviours

Detailed knowledge of relevant legislation, procedures and best practice

Ability to demonstrate knowledge of building construction

Ability to work well as part of a team, but also to be self motivated

Computer literacy, in particular ability to competently use Microsoft Office systems.

Ability to Communicate effectively at all levels and exercise critical judgement in all circumstances

Ability to prioritise workload within critical timescales.

Ability to work under pressure, often within extreme environments such as filthy and verminous premises, or where drainage is overflowing.

Ability to interpret and apply complex legal and technical information and be able to act as a specialist policy advisor

Ability to analyse complex and technical/scientific reports and

Relevant knowledge of drainage law and systems of various types documentation

Develop policies, procedures and systems relevant to working practices

Ability to carry out market research/data collection and statistical analysis effectively

Strong partnership and network development skills

Ability to prepare management and technical reports relating to Private Sector Housing

Strong mediation and negotiation skills

Have access to own transport and a full driving licence, in order to visit sites across the County

Participation in out of hours Service

 Professional and confident approach

Committed to providing excellent service and working in partnership to achieve

Relevant knowledge of drainage law and systems of various types

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