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Senior Aeronautical Operations Officer

Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Closing date
6 Dec 2023

Job Details

Job summary

Do you have experience in an emergency services or an aviation operations environment?

Have you got excellent coordination skills with the ability to engage effectively with key stakeholders?

Can you work well within a team but also know the importance of working independently?

If so, this is an exciting opportunity for a Senior Aeronautical Operations Officer to join our team at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) implements the government's maritime safety policy in the United Kingdom and works to prevent the loss of life and occurrence of pollution on the coast and at sea.

Safer lives. Safer Ships. Cleaner Seas.

Our vision is to be a world-leading organisation, accelerating the transition to sustainable shipping with non-negotiable safety standards. We put our people, our customers and our planet at the heart of everything we do.

We welcome applications from all communities, and we don't discriminate against any identity. We're interested to hear from you, regardless of your background.

Would you like to find out more about the role and what it's like to work at MCA? If so, we are organising a familiarisation session where you can 'meet the team' between 20th - 23rd November 2023.

Please email @HR Resourcing 'to book a slot.

Job description

Senior Aeronautical Operations Officers play a pivotal role in the expeditious deployment of specialised aircraft in support of Land, Maritime & Aviation Search and Rescue (SAR).

You will play an integral role in the efficient and effective tasking, deployment and coordination of UK SAR aviation assets, within land and sea areas of the UK Search and Rescue Region, and the efficient coordination of aviation Search and Rescue (SAR) incidents.

We are an emergency service and have to be able to respond 24/7/365, so you will have to work in a way that can be antisocial. Senior Aeronautical Operations Officer are required to work a 12-hour shift pattern (a mix of day and night shifts as laid out in the example) to allow HMCG to provide its 24 hour emergency service to the public, 365 days a year. On average the shift pattern equates to 37 duty hours per week over a 12-month period. As such, this position attracts a number of allowances to reflect the shift working and unsociable hours.

The Senior Aeronautical Operations Officer's duties include:
  • Coordinating the response to aviation incidents and those incidents requiring SAR aviation assets, as assigned to them by the Aeronautical Duty Supervisor to support Maritime, Aeronautical and inland SAR requests.
  • Identifying, tasking and deploying the most suitable SAR aviation asset following any request for SAR aircraft assistance from an authorised coordinating authority (UK Police, Fire, Ambulance or Coastguard and foreign SAR services) after determining if the request is a relevant and appropriate use of the asset(s).
  • Assisting and supporting the Duty Supervisor throughout the shift in accordance with Coastguard Information Portal (CIP) instructions.
  • Once SAR aviation assets are deployed to coordinate all aeronautical aspects of that incident.
  • Maintaining accurate records of SAR tasking for legal and statistical requirements.
  • Being responsible and accountable for own continuous personal development by participating in training, exercises and team assessments, and undertaking mandatory work.

For further information, please see the attached role profile:

Person specification

About you

It is essential that you are a fully qualified Maritime Operations Officer OR can demonstrate your relevant experience in an emergency service operations environment OR relevant experience in an aviation operations environment, where you will have had substantive experience of operating and being productive on your own.

You will have excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to engage effectively with diverse stakeholder community. You will enjoy working within a team.

You must not have been dismissed by the MCA within the past 24 months for failure to pass the required training for operational posts within HM Coastguard.

Additional Information

You will be required to work shifts 24/7 within an overall national staffing system.

You will also periodically rotate out of the watch rota in order to undertake wider project or developmental work.

You will be required to attend formal training events, which may require spending time away from home and the normal workplace.

Also, periodic travel to support the short notice establishment of a Combined Tactical Air Cell (CTAC), should the need arise. This is anticipated to be for a minimal duration and could be located anywhere within the UK.

Unless operational requirements for specific location and availability:

This role will be based in the Fareham office. MCA supports flexible working and operates a hybrid working model between home and office for this role, giving you greater flexibility over where and when you work.

The expectation is that you will spend a minimum60%of your working time based at your principal workplaceor out on official business. Details of the arrangement will be discussed further with your line manager.

DfT workplace attendance expectations were updated in recruitment campaigns on 17 November 2023.

About Operational Delivery Profession (ODP)

Operational Delivery Profession (ODP) is the largest and most diverse professional community across the Civil Service. Many of us will have an association with several professional communities or specialisms, ODP applies to all public facing roles / or a role that is primarily aligned to supporting the work of those with public facing roles. All critical to the delivery of UK public services.


Please confirm that you are a fully qualified Maritime Operations Officer OR demonstrate your relevant experience in an emergency service operations environment OR relevant experience in an aviation operations environment, (In all cases the level of experience required would not normally be gained in less than 3 years) and must have substantive experience of being productive independently.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Click here to get a copy of the MCA Staff Benefits Brochure


Total 7,500 - which consists of: Night working - 2,250, Enhanced night allowance - 2,250, Rotating shift - 2,000, Public holidays & weekend working - 1,000.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window) , and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

How to apply

You will be invited to complete a Numerical test for the first stage of your application. If you successfully pass the test, you will be invited to complete the CV/Personal Statement (see below for further details).

Please complete the online test as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended) togive yourself enough time to complete your full application (CV/Personal Statement).'Should you complete the test too close to the close date/time, where this'does notenable you to submit the next part of your application (CV/Personal Statement) then your applicationwill not be considered. Therefore, it is encouraged to complete the test a considerable amount of time before the advert close date.

The closing date for the test is 23:55 on Wednesday 6th December 2023 (which is the same as the advert). If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

Across both the CV and personal statement, we will look for evidence of the following:
  • Your substantive experience working independently in an emergency service operational environment and/or an aviation operational environment.
  • Your ability to make sound decisions when working under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Your capability to learn and utilise sophisticated ICT interfaces in an operational context.
  • Your ability to communicate critical information clearly and professionally whilst working at pace.

Your personal statement will be limited to a maximum of 1000 words.

It is essential when submitting your personal statement that you provide as much detail as possible, and utilise the full word count given, against the essential criteria outlined above as this will be used in conjunction with your CV to assess candidate suitability to move to the next round in the recruitment process.

The sift is due to take place on 7th & 8th December 2023.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held on 18th & 19th December 2023.

This interview will be conducted via face to face at our Fareham office. Further details will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment will include:
  • An interview.
  • A call listening exercise.

You're encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

Reasonable Adjustments

As a Disability Confident Leader employer, we are committed to ensuring that the recruitment process is fair, accessible and allows all candidates to perform at their best. If a person with a visible or non-visible disability is substantially disadvantaged, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

Complete the Assistance required section in the Additional requirements page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need during the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at an interview, or if you're deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you need a reasonable adjustment so that you can complete your application, you should contact Government Recruitment Service via . as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Document Accessibility

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

This job advert contains links to the DfT Careers website . Our website provides useful guidance and information that can support you during the application process. If you cannot access the information on our website for any reason, please email . for assistance.

Further Information

For more information about how we hire, and for useful tips on submitting your application for this role, visit the How We Hire page of our DfT Careers website. You can find detailed information about the recruitment process and what to expect when applying for a role.

This role is full time only. Applicants who wish to work an alternative pattern are welcome to apply however your preferred working pattern may not be available and you should discuss this with the vacancy holder before applying.

Pre-employment Checking

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.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window) .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.

Its responsibilities include coordinating search and rescue (SAR) on the coastline and at sea through His Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG), ensuring that ships meet international and UK safety standards, monitoring and preventing coastal water pollution and testing and issuing Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency (licences) for ships' officers and crew to STCW requirements The organisation is led by Virginia McVea, its Chief Executive, who took up post in February 2023.The MCA are chiefly responsible for the syllabus and national training standards issued by the Merchant Navy Training Board (based at the UK Chamber of Shipping).

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