Working for the FSA

We employ food safety experts across the country including scientists, front line inspectors, enforcement experts, policy delivery teams, economists, lawyers, and administrators, all working together to help provide safer food for the nation. As a forward-thinking organisation we're looking for people who can help us rise to the challenges ahead.

Working for the FSA brings a range of benefits, with generous leave allowances and a commitment to work life balance. We believe that diversity should underpin everything we do as an organisation, and are keen for our workforce to reflect the wide range of communities we serve. We also operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for appointment. We have offices in Aviation House, Holborn, London, and Foss House in York. We also have devolved offices for FSA Northern Ireland and FSA Wales, in Belfast and Cardiff, respectively.


Working hours, probation and annual leave

Working hours Normal working hours for our London office is 41 hours per week, including daily meal breaks of one hour. Outside of London, working hours is 42 hours. The Agency operates flexible working hours, which allows employees to adjust their working day to suit individual needs. We also accommodate staff who wish to work part-time or job share, subject to business needs. Other flexible working arrangements can be considered. Probation All staff joining the Food Standards Agency is required to serve a probation period of eight months, unless they join from another Government Department. Annual leave Annual leave allowance for new starters starts at 25 days, plus 9 days’ public and privilege holidays, and rises to 30 days with length of service.



The Civil Service offers the choice of an attractive occupational pension or stakeholder pension, giving flexibility and choice. Details of the pensions available can be found on the Civil Service website.


Normally to be eligible for employment, you will need to be either a UK national, or a national of another European Economic Area (EEA) Member State, or a Commonwealth citizen with the right to live and work in the UK. In addition, if you have dual nationality you will be eligible as long as one of the nationalities meets these requirements. Certain non-EEA family members may also be eligible for employment. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please enclose a short letter with your application setting out your current nationality status.

Conflicting interests

All staff working for the FSA are required to apply for approval before becoming associated with any kind of private business interest related to the food industry. If you are associated with any private business of this nature, you are requested to notify your interest in it, and how much time you expect to devote to it. The FSA may then consider whether there would be any conflict with official duties if you are offered and accept the appointment.

This applies to purely financial interests as well as interest where you are involved in managing the business. You should tell us if you have an indirect association of this kind, for example through a partner or family member with whom you are in close contact.

There are also rules about taking up employment for staff who leave the Agency and the Civil Service. These apply generally to the Senior Civil Servants, but also other staff in particular circumstances.

Learning and development

We as an organisation are fully committed to the learning and development of our staff and as part of our team you can look forward to quality training and development opportunities. We believe in helping all our people to make the most of their talents and realise their full potential - that's why we provide everyone with the opportunity to develop further, offering formal development opportunities in addition to on-the-job training. There will be the opportunity to undertake development to meet the needs of the job and for some personal development.



All Civil Servants are servants of the Crown and owe a duty of loyal service to the Crown. As Civil Servants, employees of the Food Standards Agency are subject to this provision.

The Minister for the Civil Service is responsible for the central framework which governs the conduct of civil servants. Find out more in the Civil Service Code.

Pay and grading structure

The Agency has six grades outside the Senior Civil Service. The grade titles are those generally in use in most Civil Service Departments, namely: 

  • Administrative Officer
  • Executive Officer and equivalents 
  • Higher Executive Officer and equivalents 
  • Senior Executive Officer and equivalents 
  • Grade 7 
  • Grade 6 

The FSA has two pay scales – one for staff based in London and a national scale for all other staff – and currently operates a Performance Related Pay Scheme.

Additional benefits

As an FSA employee you can access a wide range of financial benefits. For example:

  • the FSA Discount Scheme
  • childcare vouchers salary sacrifice scheme
  • eye care scheme
  • advances of salary for season tickets 
  • Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme
  • Microsoft home user programme
  • First Bus travel scheme
  • payment of professional subscriptions

The FSA also offers a number of non-pay benefits, for example, generous annual leave allowances, starting at 25 days per year in addition to bank / public holidays; five days learning and development per year – including access to the varied learning resources, programmes and support offered by Civil Service Learning; and opportunities for flexible working.

The Agency has a dedicated Employee Assistance Programme where you can get access to counselling support, general advice and information and debt and financial advice.

In addition, as a civil servant you can also join or get benefits from a number of other organisations such as Civil Service Insurance Society, Charity for Civil Servants, CS healthcare and HASSRA.

Related pages