Overview

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

The FSC has a long tradition in supporting and delivering biodiversity learning, through its taught courses but also through projects such as AIDGAP, the Biodiversity Training Project (2006-2010), Invertebrate Challenge (2010-2014), Tomorrows Biodiversity (2013-2018) and FSC BioLinks (2016-2022).   It remains one of the UK’s leading publishers of taxonomic publications ranging from entry-level fold out charts through to systematic monographs published for the Linnean Society and Royal Entomological Society. The charity has also been a key player in setting up nationally recognised accreditation schemes.

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project that is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Title: FSC BioLinks Project Officer
Based at: FSC Head Office (negotiable, but with the requirement to work from FSC Head Office in Shrewsbury 2 days per week)
Reports to:  FSC BioLinks Project Manager

FSC BioLinks Project information

Effective nature conservation decisions depend on the availability of good quality and robust information. Current trends are measured in biological records. FSC BioLinks is creating more records with increased accuracy and focuses on those species that are currently data deficient. As a result of stronger data sets the natural heritage will be better managed, heritage will be more accurately recorded, and a community of volunteers will grow stronger.

Over 2000 volunteers will be involved, bringing together a number of dispersed volunteers, with skills in biological recording and biological identification, and new volunteers. People will develop new skills and knowledge, so sustaining data collection for the long term and providing a better understanding of natural heritage, especially species at risk. New volunteers will join a more structured and active community. With more support, direction and training, volunteer involvement will continue to increase and volunteers will develop to become the next generation of leaders. The project will focus on the West Midlands and South East regions.

The inclusion of skills such as species collections curation, using reference collections, valuing wider natural history observations and sharing them through accessible technology and the use of public citizen science takes FSC BioLinks beyond just being a training project. FSC BioLinks is the result of mature reflection on how to support people to have more understanding of natural heritage.

FSC BioLinks is a developmental project and this post in particular must both support and initiate change in response to the needs of the people, communities and natural heritage involved.

Key responsibilities:

  • Responsibility for the day-to-day coordination and delivery of project activities aimed at reaching the project target audiences (young adults, women, new volunteers and existing volunteers), including but not limited to:
    • The Tomorrow’s Invertebrate Recorders initiative
    • The FSC BioLinks blog and other website content
    • The FSC BioLinks newsletter
    • Social media
  • Producing guidance and support material for project volunteers and the biological recording sector
  • Administering course bookings through the FSC bookings system and website
  • Producing promotional material for project activities
  • Supporting liaison with funders, inputting into quarterly and annual reports
  • Supporting the Project Manager to ensure volunteers progress and develop during their time with the project
  • Any other duties that may reasonably be required to ensure the promotion of the FSC’s biodiversity initiative

General:

  • Due to the nature of this post it would be advantageous if the post holder were able to drive. To drive FSC vehicles 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
  • Complying with all relevant legislation / FSC Operating Codes of Practice (OCoPs) / FSC Health and Safety Handbook and FSC procedures
  • Delivering a high standard of customer service and customer care
  • 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 and participating fully in staff development activities (sometimes this may involve travel to other learning locations with the occasional overnight stay)

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

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Post Title:  FSC BIOLINKS PROJECT OFFICER Location:  FSC HEAD OFFICE (negotiable)

 

ESSENTIAL/DESIRABLE FACTORS FOR THE POST E D How is this identified?  
1.  QUALIFICATIONS  & EXPERIENCE  
Degree in either Biology, Ecology or closely allied discipline   Application  
Experience of maintaining relationships with partners and developing ones with potential partners   Application/Presentation  
Experience of and competence in field taxonomy and recording, especially amongst difficult taxa   Application/Interview  
Experience of working with volunteers   Application/Interview  
Experience of producing educational content in multiple media formats   Application/Interview  
2 years+ project delivery experience   Application  
Full Driving Licence   Application  
Taxonomic/Recording qualifications   Application  
First Aid qualification   Application  
Experience of working at a location which is remote to your team   Interview  
2.  KNOWLEDGE  
Demonstrable IT capability – particularly with databases, spreadsheets, publishing software and email management   Application  
Good knowledge of the UK natural history community and culture   Application  
Demonstrable social media capability – particularly using a variety of platforms to support and develop interest in biological recording   Task  
Knowledge of the biological recording network in the UK   Interview  
Understanding and knowledge of FSC and its current biodiversity work   Interview  
3.   SKILLS  
Ability to communicate effectively to a diverse range of audiences, and to motivate and inspire others   Application/Task/

Presentation

Proven networking skills   Application/Presentation  
Passion for the promotion of improved identification training and support   Application/Interview  
Confident self-starter able to work accurately under pressure   Application/Interview  
Confident presenter and voice of the FSC   Presentation
Willingness to travel and to attend biological recording sector conferences and represent the FSC   Interview  


SUMMARY OF MAIN TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Contract Term: This is an externally funded post (National Lottery Heritage Fund) which is offered on a fixed-term basis until 31 January 2023.

Remuneration: FSC Grade:  Senior Team Member

FSC Salary Grade: Scale Points 16 – 19, currently £23,045 – £26,299 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 based on 37.5 hours per week, variable as per the needs of FSC.  Evening and weekend 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 attend courses and conferences at 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.  Part time workers will receive a pro-rata of the entitlement. 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 (pro rata for part time).

Pension:

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

Sickness:         

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 six month probationary period, during which your suitability for the post will be assessed.

Post Classification / Criminal Records Check Requirements:

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:  BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

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

HOW TO APPLY

For all recruitment information and the relevant application form please go to our vacancies web page at: www.field-studies-council.org/vacancies

To apply for this position please download and complete in full the 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:  [email protected]  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 midnight on Sunday 5th April 2020

Interviews are scheduled to take place at FSC Head Office on 21st April 2020

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by email.

If you have any queries regarding this vacancy, please call Keiron Brown on 01743 852100.  We look forward to receiving your application in due course.