This is an externally funded position which is being offered on a fixed term basis for 2 years in the first instance 

FSC BioLinks is an exciting biodiversity project for FSC, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive.  BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification.  It brings together new volunteers with existing volunteers who have skills in invertebrate identification and recording. The aim is to build and strengthen the biological recording community by providing training, learning opportunities and digital tools for people involved in biological recording and those who wish to become involved.  Training opportunities are given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to progress and consolidate their skills and experience.   For further information visit our websites:  www.field-studies-council.org and www.fscbiodiversity.uk/biolinks-overview

Included in this pack is the key information relating to our Biolinks Project Officer vacancy:

  • Job Description and Person Specification
  • Summary of the main terms and conditions for the post
  • Information about FSC and FSC Head Office (also visit field-studies-council.org)

How to apply:

For all recruitment information and relevant application forms please go to our vacancies web page at:


To apply for this position please download and complete in full the NON-EDUCATION application form.  You must ensure that your application includes examples of how you have demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience in meeting the requirements of the post detailed in both the job description and person specification.

Send your completed application form to:  recruitment@field-studies-council.org  OR

Human Resources, FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 1HW 

Please note we do not accept CV’s without a completed application form.

The closing date for receipt of your completed application is Thursday 31st January 2019

Interviews are scheduled to take place at FSC Head Office on Wednesday 13th February 2019


For an informal discussion regarding this vacancy please call Keiron Brown on 07725 232190 (up to 4th January only please) or Charlie Bell on 01743 852125 (after 7th January until closing date), or email c.bell@field-studies-council.org (please note emails will not be read before 7th January). 

Michael Bolton

Director of Policy & Commercial Development 

Field Studies Council is a limited company No. 412621 and a Charity, registered in England and Wales No. 313364 and registered in Scotland, No. SC039870.

Registered Office: Preston Montford, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 1HW


Job Title:                             BioLinks Project Assistant

FSC Grade:                          Team Member

Based at:                             Near Shrewsbury at either FSC Head Office or FSC Preston Montford –

Reports to:                         BioLinks Project Officer West Midlands

This post holds no direct line management responsibility

Overall Job Purpose:

Effective nature conservation decisions depend on the availability of good quality and robust information. Current trends are measured in biological records. The FSC BioLinks project is already successfully generating more records with increased accuracy and focus on those species that are currently data deficient.  FSC BioLinks is a five-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and runs until December 2022. More information regarding the project can be found via the FSC Biodiversity Projects website: www.fscbiodiversity.uk/FSC-BioLinks

The FSC BioLinks Project Assistant will be responsible for the overall administration of the bookings and associated communications through email, social media, newsletters and press releases.  They will also provide support as needed for a series of day courses and the work the FSC does within the local community supporting volunteers, local groups and customers.

This is essentially a communications and administrative role supporting the FSC BioLinks project.  It will require the post-holder to be flexible in reporting to both FSC Head Office and FSC Preston Montford near Shrewsbury, and FSC Bishops Wood near Stourport on Severn, so the ability to drive would be an advantage.  (Subject to meeting internal requirements, business mileage undertaken in the post-holder’s own car can be claimed on expenses, or an FSC vehicle may be used when available.)

It is envisaged that this role would suit a range of people including those with limited post-degree experience or those returning to work.  There will be many networking and development opportunities through working with this national organisation on a prestigious funded project.  The right candidate will be someone who has an enthusiasm for the project and is prepared to dedicate time and effort to supporting the other project staff.

Key Responsibilities:


  • Administration of all non-residential FSC BioLinks course bookings, e.g.
    • Responding to booking enquiries and taking payments
    • Sending out pre-and post-course information and collating feedback
    • Management of waiting lists
    • Administration of non-formal FSC BioLinks bookings through BioLinks email address e.g. free events such as Open Lab Days, Field Recorder Days, Bioblitzes, etc
  • Liaising with FSC centres regarding residential FSC BioLinks course bookings
  • Managing the communications on the FSC BioLinks email address
  • Inputting project expenses, income figures and volunteer data onto the HLF portal
  • Assisting the project team with maintaining accurate financial and reporting records
  • Liaising with FSC Marketing regarding brochure requests from feedback forms
  • Organisation of the weekly and monthly team meetings agendas and notes, taking lead responsibilities for providing meeting data such as social media statistics, booking data etc


  • Design and production of FSC BioLinks course and event publicity with material provided
  • Uploading of all FSC BioLinks courses to website and Facebook as appropriate
  • Assisting with FSC BioLinks social media
  • Coordination of content, production and distribution for FSC BioLinks e-newsletters
  • Supporting the FSC BioLinks project team to ensure volunteers progress and develop during their time with the project
  • Assisting in the preparation of workrooms and the collation of resources to assist in the delivery of FSC BioLinks events
  • Devising systems to upload and label the FSC BioLinks photo library and seek ways of integrating this with the FSC main photo store
  • Visiting events as appropriate to showcase the project e.g. Birdfair, Shropshire Environmental Data Network days
  • Any other duties that may reasonably be required to ensure the promotion of the FSC’s biodiversity initiatives


  • Complying with all relevant legislation / FSC Operating Codes of Practice (OCoPs) / FSC Health and Safety Handbook and FSC procedures
  • Taking an active role in emergency cover. This will involve being contactable by phone to deal with customer issues and, with the support of a Senior member of staff, respond to emergency cover situations for events hosted by the project team
  • Delivering a high standard of customer service and customer care including occasional weekend work to cover events and courses as required
  • Working with the FSC BioLinks, Head Office and Field Centre teams to maximise good communication links
  • Ensuring the highest standards of quality are achieved in all duties carried out
  • Working closely with other staff to ensure that appropriate levels of service are maintained during absences and periods of high workload
  • Maintaining professional standards at all times in accordance with FSC policies
  • Fulfilling your obligations under FSC’s Behaviour Partnership to ensure a happy, productive working environment
  • Attending staff meetings as well as FSC internal and external training as required, in order to share best practice and improve team and learning location performance, and participating fully in staff development activities (sometimes this may involve travel to other locations with the occasional overnight stay)
  • Driving: This is a non-essential but desirable skill to enable flexibility. We have a number of FSC vehicles which you may be asked to drive.  To do so, you will need to be 21 years or over, have a full valid driving licence, to have been driving for at least two years, and undertake an internal assessment on commencement in the role
  • Undertaking any other duties that may reasonably be required to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the project

Key Expectations:

The expectations of every employee that we regard as essential include:

  • A positive and passionate work attitude
  • A desire to show pride in all aspects of their work
  • A flexible approach with a willingness to adapt to changes
  • An ability to work using your own initiative both independently and as a competent, effective team member
  • An ability to work under pressure and prioritise work to meet tight deadlines
  • Always treating others with courtesy, dignity and respect
  • A commitment and contribution to improving FSC’s environmental performance
  • A committed and proactive approach to personal development; motivated to learn new skills and overcome new challenges
  • A view to enhancing opportunities that might come about from this far-reaching project. This could enable the right candidate to develop their own skills and networks outside working hours.

This job description should be seen as enabling rather than restrictive, and will be subject to regular review.

Date of issue: January 2019




Experience in dealing with enquiries from the informed public ü   Application/Interview
Experience of supporting staff/visitors/volunteers ü   Application/Interview
Minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent, to include English & Maths and at least one scientific A Level ü   Application
Experience in working in a team ü   Application/Interview
Good IT skills, with the ability to use standard office software and technology as appropriate to the role ü   Application/Interview
Experience of working in an office environment   ü Application
Experience in using website content management systems e.g. Drupal   ü Application
Experience in working in an administrative role   ü Application
Degree or post A-level qualification/relevant experience in a relevant subject e.g. Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, or closely allied discipline   ü Application
Full valid Driving Licence   ü Application
Experience of working with groups in, for example, a field centre   ü Application/Interview
First Aid qualification   ü Application
Understanding of biodiversity and biological recording ü   Application/Interview
Knowledge of science communication principals ü   Application/Interview
Understanding the importance of maintaining customer and project data ü   Application/Interview
An understanding of the principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)   ü Interview
Working knowledge of health & safety, as applicable to the role   ü Application/Interview
Ability to effectively prioritise and manage tasks on a day to day basis ü   Application/Interview
Ability to focus and stay on task in a busy environment or when working alone ü   Application/Interview
Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills – sensitive to the needs of others ü   Interview
Good written communication skills ü   Application/Interview
Skills in using social media for marketing and volunteer engagement purposes ü   Interview


Contract Term: This is an externally funded post (Heritage Lottery Fund). Which is offered on a fixed term basis for 2 years in the first instance. It is anticipated that the position will commence in March 2019.


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FSC Grade:  Team Member

FSC Salary Grade:  Scale Points 7 – 10, actual salary is £17,284 – £18,877 per annum

The point of entry within the salary grade will be dependent upon qualifications and experience.  Further incremental progression within the grade will be subject to meeting required standards and satisfactory individual performance reviews.

The salary is paid monthly in arrears by BACS transfer.  The salary scale is reviewed annually.

Hours of work:

The hours of work are 40 hours per week, which will normally be worked over five days, Monday to Friday, with a 30-minute unpaid lunch break each day.  The hours of work may vary depending on business need; equating to a total of 2080 hours of work annualised over a full year. Weekend / evening work may occasionally be required. The exact working pattern can be discussed at interview.

There is an expectation that the post holder will occasionally have to travel to other FSC locations or meeting venues within the UK.  Where this is required this would be agreed in advance and appropriate notice would be given.

Annual & Bank Holidays:            

The holiday year runs from 1 January to 31 December each year. You will accrue an entitlement to paid annual holidays equivalent to 5.6 working weeks during a complete holiday year.  This entitlement includes the Public/Bank holidays or substitute days (as defined in FSC’s Employee Handbook) when they fall on a contractual or scheduled day of work. For anyone who joins part way through the year they will receive a pro-rata entitlement of the 28 days.

In addition to the above, we recognise and reward staff loyalty by awarding additional paid leave days, based on length of service, up to a maximum cumulative total of 5 additional days paid leave.


The post-holder will be eligible to join one of FSC’s Pension Schemes.


During periods of certified sickness the post-holder will be eligible to receive sick pay in accordance with FSC’s sickness absence procedures.  The payment of sick pay is subject to compliance with FSC’s rules for the notification and verification of sickness absence, details of which will be provided to the successful applicant upon commencement of employment. 

Additional Employee Benefits:

These include an Employee Assistance Programme, Life Assurance* and Health Cash Plan with Westfield Health* (*exclusions apply).  Further details are given on appointment, as applicable, or are available by contacting Human Resources at FSC Head Office on 01743 852119.

Probationary Period:

This post has a three month probationary period, during which your suitability for the post will be assessed.

This post has been classified as Category C (as defined in the FSC Code of Conduct) which means it is not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013).  No criminal records check is currently required, however, the post holder must still meet the acceptance criteria as defined in the FSC Code of Conduct.


Field Studies Council (FSC) is an environmental education charity providing informative and enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to discover, explore, and understand the environment.

Our Mission is to bring environmental understanding to all.

Our Vision is inspiring environmental understanding through first-hand experience

What we believe –

FSC believes that the more we understand about, and take inspiration from, the world around us the more we can appreciate its needs and protect its diversity and beauty for future generations.  In all we do, we are committed to:

  • Delivering first hand experiences. FSC uses the environment to inspire. Taking in its sights, sounds and smells has the ability to motivate, deepen knowledge and broaden horizons.
  • Providing opportunities for everyone.  FSC strives to provide opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, ability or background.
  • Sustainability for the future.  A commitment to the environment is at the heart of everything FSC does:  how we run the charity, what people learn on our courses and through our publications.
  • A caring attitude.  From the way we treat our customers, our staff, the environments we work in and the feel of our locations, FSC demonstrates a personal approach with great care taken in everything we do.

What we do –

For more than 70 years, FSC has touched the hearts and minds of people of all ages through courses at our network of learning locations, work overseas and the production of resources.  Each year over 140,000 people experience FSC, many through a visit to one of our learning locations:

  • Learning outside the classroom experiences with their school, college or university
  • Professional training courses for environmentalists and teachers
  • Natural history courses
  • Identification guides and free resources
  • Funded projects, both in the UK and abroad
  • Art courses
  • Family holidays
  • Campaigns for the right to outdoor learning and fieldwork

Some of the FSC’s proudest moments have arrived when trying to reach those who would not be able to have an FSC experience without some help.  Thanks to FSC members and donations from individuals and Trust Funds, each year we are able to provide support for over 1000 young people who otherwise would not be able to take part.

Despite all that we have achieved so far, we hope to provide even more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to discover, explore and understand the natural world.  However, as an Investors in People charity, we realise we cannot achieve this without staff that have a real passion for the work of the charity and a pride in their role within it.  Every role in the charity is vital to delivering its mission and vision – if this inspires you and you meet the requirements of the post we would love to hear from you.

For more information, please also visit www.field-studies-council.org

FSC Head Office

FSC Head Office is based in a rural location 4 miles west of Shrewsbury, close to FSC’s Preston Montford Field Centre, near Montford Bridge.  FSC Head Office provides a number of central functions to support the work of the charity and to support our Learning Locations:  these include Biodiversity, Digital Services, Education, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing.  The Chief Executive and Directors are based at Head Office and provide the strategic and organisational direction for this successful charity.  There are currently approximately 50 staff based at FSC Head Office.

Preston Montford Field Centre 

Preston Montford Field Centre is situated approximately 5 miles west of Shrewsbury, in the county of Shropshire.  The Centre sits in 12 hectares of grassland and woodland, close to the River Severn.  The county of Shropshire is one of the most geologically diverse in England and offers a wide range of field sites, from the meres and mosses of North Shropshire to the hills and valleys of South Shropshire.

Preston Montford is a 135-bed centre with three accommodation blocks and six classrooms.  The Centre has a diverse customer base and courses to suit a wide age range, and is open year round.  Preston Montford has built a national reputation for adult biodiversity training alongside a proven reputation for high quality provision for curriculum-related natural history, geography, biology and other courses for all Key Stages as well as teacher training and countryside awareness courses.  The Centre also acts as an excellent venue for university field work courses as well as a range of meetings and conferences covering virtually every aspect of managing and learning about the countryside, wildlife and the built and natural environment.  The Centre is working hard to engage local communities with the work it does and there are a significant number of community events based at the Centre. Because of the huge diversity of courses and demands our staff must be customer focussed and flexible in response to a wide variety of demands.

If you would like to find out more information about FSC Preston Montford please visit: www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford/

Check out what has been going on at:  http://prestonmontfordfieldcentre.blogspot.co.uk/