Head of Navigation

Southampton, Hampshire
10 Sep 2020
04 Oct 2020
Contract Type


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.

Are you an experienced and highly knowledgeable Mariner with a genuine focus on the importance of Maritime safety and policy procedures?

Do you pride yourself on your excellent communication skills and ability to garner the respect and loyalty from your team?

Do you want to work within a successful and inclusive, multi-disciplinary team as the subject matter expert, shaping decisions which will contribute directly to the safety of UK waters for maritime traffic?

Does your job matter? What we do matters

Job description

The Head of Navigation has the responsibility for ensuring the outcomes of the Navigation Department.

The Navigation Department is a multi-disciplinary team, which requires the input of an experienced and knowledgeable mariner to help support the various areas of responsibility which include, Marine Licensing, Port Marine Safety Code Health Checks, VTS audits, Offshore Renewable Energy Installation Licensing and Nautical Policy. Professional experience in one of these areas would be an advantage.

The salary for this role is fixed and is not open to negotiation.


The Head of Navigation will support the policy leads in their various areas by providing their specialist knowledge, attending meetings and supporting the production of documentation, M-Notices and other legislation. Another key component of the Navigation Departments work involves IMO and IALA and the contributions to these important international bodies.

The successful candidate will be an experienced maritime professional with an MCA recognized STCW II/2 Master unlimited Certificate of Competency and seagoing experience at the rank of Chief Officer or above. Head of Navigation is a leadership and management role, so previous experience managing personnel is essential.

Why choose Navigation Safety Branch?

We aim to capture talented marine professionals and retain them by providing a flexible working environment and effective management, which recognizes the need for a proper work life balance and professional growth.

This is achieved by making use of the following:

1. Flexible working hours
2. Potential for days worked from home (regular and ad-hoc)
3. Excellent training and development opportunities
4. Recruitment and retention bonus for this role
5. Exposure to Hydrography, Maritime Surveillance and Radio Spectrum and Technical Standards departments.
6. Civil Service Benefits Package


A key benefit of employment within the Civil Service is the competitive pension scheme provided to Civil Servants. In a time of low annuity rates, the Civil Service Alpha Scheme provides a generous, protected route to financial stability in retirement; full detail on how benefits are calculated can be found here:

Role example:

Head of Navigation, Grade 7 Civil servant, joining on the minimum of the pay scale, could after 20 years continuous service, accrue an approximate yearly pension of £22,078 (excluding annual pay and inflation increases) upon retirement. This figure compares favourably to current annuity rates (based upon current trends, a similar sized pension fund would yield an annuity of circa £4,000). This information is provided for illustrative purposes and must in no way be considered financial advice.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work in a team who pride themselves on their ability to make a difference, a department that matters and people that save lives.
If this sounds like a role where you feel you can add value we would love to hear from you.


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.

About us

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 the best maritime safety organisation in the world.

Find out what it's like to work at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

We are part of the Department for Transport (DfT). DfT is a great place to work, and our ‘one team’ approach really makes a difference. We value our staff and that’s why we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive environment across the Department.

You’ll be part of an innovative organisation that invests in all our people, ensuring we have the diverse skills to deliver transport that moves Britain ahead now and into the future.


Driving licence valid for driving in the UK is required.


Essential qualifications/experience
1)   MCA recognized STCW II/2 Master unlimited Certificate of Competency
2)   Seagoing experience at Chief Officer or above
4)   Experience in the management of personnel afloat or ashore


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.
Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

The sift is due to take place on 6th October 2020

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held weeks commencing:

12th October 2020 and 19th October 2020

Interview location to be confirmed.

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.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:
• an interview
• an interview with one or more exercises
• a full day of activities including interactive, written and timed exercises

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles.

This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. For further information on Success Profiles please click here

Your interview may consist of a range of question types. These may include questions about:
• what energises and motivates you
• how you would manage situations relevant to the role
• your previous experience
• your professional skills and knowledge

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

Further Information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

We may hold a merit list for up to twelve months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post. Within the merit list period, your application form and selection information may be shared across the department and its agencies.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

We welcome applications from every part of the community and we don’t discriminate against any gender identity. We’re especially interested to hear from underrepresented groups in the DfT such as gender diverse, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled candidates.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

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.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Reasonable adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

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

Any move to the Department For Transport will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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.

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.

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