Operational Delivery Field Officer

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Operational Delivery Field Officer
The Rural Payments Agency
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Grade: EO
Location: Various English counties

With large and wide-ranging responsibilities, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) works to protect the environment and maintain and grow the rural economy. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an executive agency of Defra, and is responsible for land management initiatives and other rural programmes. Each year we deliver over £2 billion in payments to farmers, traders and landowners through payments and grants. Join us and you’ll undertake a role that forms a vital part of our campaign to use the land more sustainably while improving biodiversity.

This is a varied and challenging role, and in addition to your background and real-life experiences, we’ll look for energy, enthusiasm and commitment. You’ll be helping us to create a better world for everyone to live in as you help agricultural and rural communities thrive and protect the environment for future generations. In summary, your work will involve:

  • Visiting farms to assess the validity and compliance of claims made to the various EU legacy and domestic UK schemes
  • Providing advice and guidance to support farmers 
  • Measuring land and checking landscape features using GPS-based technology
  • Working closely with cattle, sheep and pigs as you check that ear tagging requirements are being met
  • Visiting – as part of a multi-skilled team – food premises and meat processing plants to ensure compliance with current regulations
  • Following such visits, providing a written report of your findings, including any relevant advice and guidance.

To be successful in this role, you should have a strong agricultural background based on practical experience, a relevant educational qualification, an ability to demonstrate knowledge of agricultural schemes, their enforcement and regulation, or a willingness to learn. The ability to work under your own initiative is essential, and we’ll expect you to have excellent written, numerical and oral communication skills. The role will be physically demanding as some days you may have to walk several miles across difficult terrain in changeable weather, so a good level of fitness is vital.

You should have well developed organisational skills and be ready to work under pressure, and it’s important that you possess the ability to work flexibly, with early morning starts or late finishes as you meet the needs of your clients. Knowledge of the Microsoft suite of software – including Outlook, Word, Excel and Teams – is important, and as your work will involve regular travel and overnight stays, a full driving licence is essential. We offer a lease car scheme which you would be eligible to apply for upon successful completion of a probationary period. 

Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. You will have access to learning and development from quality providers and support from mentors and coaches. We offer flexible working alongside a range of other policies and schemes to support your physical and emotional wellbeing. Our comprehensive benefits offer includes generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, volunteering days, childcare vouchers and other salary sacrifice options, and an employee discount scheme.


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