Principal Inspector of Marine Accidents

Southampton, Hampshire
16 Feb 2021
07 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time



About the job

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Accident Investigation Branch Competency Framework 

Salary: £84,408

Are you an experienced nautical professional seeking an opportunity to make a difference in the investigation of accidents at sea?

If so, we have a rare opportunity to join our Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) to investigate marine accidents, and we would love to hear from you.

Job description

The MAIB is an independent organisation within the Department for Transport. Based in Southampton, the Branch is responsible for investigating accidents and incidents involving UK vessels anywhere in the world, and any vessels within UK territorial waters, with the aim of improving the safety of life at sea and the avoidance of accidents in future. The Branch is not responsible for apportioning blame or liability, nor does it enforce laws or carry out prosecutions.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) comprises 41 specialist and administrative staff. Inspectors are divided into four teams, each headed by a Principal Inspector.


As a Principal Inspector of Marine Accidents, you will be responsible for supervising a multi-disciplinary team of inspectors carrying out investigations into marine accidents. You will also be a member of the senior management team, contributing to the formulation of policy and the development of the Branch.

Your main responsibilities will include:

• acting as duty co-ordinator and the Branch’s initial point of contact for out of hours accident notifications within a 4-week cycle; leading and managing a team of specialist accident investigators;
• deploying to accident sites, at short notice during duty weeks, to manage the more demanding investigations; this could include travel worldwide;
• directing the progress, conduct, and quality assurance of investigations, the development of recommendations, and overseeing production of the report;
• dealing with individuals and organisations involved in marine accidents in what can often be stressful situations;
• representing the Branch at industry fora;
• contributing to MAIB's wider management strategies.

About you

You will be expected to apply sound judgement and strong leadership skills, and to be empathetic when dealing with next-of-kin or others seriously affected by marine accidents.

You will be highly motivated and assertive, inquisitive and a critical thinker. You must be able to work under pressure and be comfortable working in a team or independently. You will require considerable diplomatic skills and be able to engage colleagues and external stakeholders in the discussion of new, unfamiliar or controversial concepts.

You will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, be capable of producing accurate and clear written reports to challenging deadlines, and have good presentation skills. You must also be computer literate.


A full driving licence valid in the UK.


STCW 95 A-II/2 (Deck) Unlimited; or STCW Deck Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 1 Certificate of Competency or STCW III/2 (Engineering) Unlimited or a degree in Naval Architecture or a Post-Graduate Certificate or higher in marine accident investigation. Royal Navy equivalency is accepted. Relevant industry experience utilizing the above qualifications. This is taken to mean any of: experience in command or as the senior engineer afloat, or senior management in role ashore; industry experience as a naval architect; or experience as a marine accident investigator.


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

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Accident Investigation Competence - Written Communication
  • Accident Investigation Competence - Applying Expertise & Technology


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.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist 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, Ability, Experience and Technical skills.

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 Civil Service Nationality Rules has been updated following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The new rules will come into effect on 1st January 2021. We urge people from the EU, European Economic Area and Switzerland to be familiar with the updated Nationality rules prior to applying for this 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.

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.

How to apply
When considering your experience, please tailor your CV and Personal statement to provide evidence of when you have:

• Applied technical expertise and effectively demonstrated your detailed job knowledge and specialist experience
• Built strong interpersonal relationships and shown genuine care and consideration for individuals
• Demonstrated effective command experience and/or senior leadership in maritime operations

After submission of the first stage of your application you will be invited to complete a Verbal test. If you successfully pass the test, you will be invited to complete the final stage of the application.

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 7th March. 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.

The sift is due to take place week commencing 08/03/2021.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held between 29/03/2021 and 02/04/21.

Successful candidates at sift will be invited to complete an online Personality Questionnaire prior to attending the Assessment day. Full instructions will be provided by email on when to complete the Questionnaire.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which 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 could include:

• a full assessment day including interactive, written and timed exercises.

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

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 visit our Careers website.

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

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email [email protected] for assistance.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UKs
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Danny Harwood Email :   [email protected]   Recruitment team : Email :   [email protected] Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at

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