Wherever you are in your veterinary career, and whatever you’re looking to achieve, you’ll find a wide range of roles and challenges available here.

Typical available APHA roles

Senior Veterinary Inspectors

Our Field vets are out around the country, helping to control notifiable diseases. This is not only during outbreaks – they also help control disease risks in animal by-products, artificial breeding and international trade. They also get involved in farm animal welfare cases, helping to improve the wellbeing of animals on farms, in transit and at markets.

Veterinary Investigation Officers

Some of our vets are pathologists, carrying out examinations on farm animals to determine the diseases they were affected by. These vets also help private vets investigate disease outbreaks. They sometimes carry out visits to farms to investigate potential new diseases, or to help the farming community protect against animal disease threats.

Veterinary Research

Our lab at Weybridge has an international reputation, and we employ a number of vets in a wide range of research and development roles. They work on a wide range of animal diseases, developing new diagnostic techniques and vaccines. They often have contact with vets in other countries around the world.

Veterinary Policy Advisors

Some of our vets provide essential advice to the UK Governments on various aspects of veterinary work, including animal welfare, exotic diseases and international trade.


Some vets are employed to manage other vets; providing them with help and guidance, ensuring they meet performance targets and providing representation at a senior level.


As an APHA Vet, it’s possible to specialise in very specific areas. For example, some of our vets specialise in certification, mapping and the use of GIS or epidemiology.

Further career development

Throughout your time with us you’ll find opportunities to move to different areas within the Agency.

We employ over 350 Vets and with such a wide variety of work available, it’s possible for you to become a recognised expert in a specific field. We are interested in your career development and there are excellent opportunities for promotion, so internal structured training and funded Continuing Personal Development is always on offer. We also offer training for post-graduate degrees to some vets each year.

Veterinary roles in APHA start at SEO Grade. You can progress as a vet up to Grade 6 and even into the Senior Civil Service (SCS). There are SCS-grade staff in Defra, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Food Standards Agency who all worked for APHA earlier in their career. You’ll also find that your veterinary skills are often transferable to non-exclusively veterinary roles within the Civil Service. All levels, up to Permanent Secretary, are open to vets.

Joining the Government Veterinary Service (GVS)

If you join APHA as a vet you will also be joining the GVS. GVS supports public-sector veterinary professionals and promotes veterinary policy to other vets and the public. Government vets work in various parts of government, such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Home Office and the Army as well as in the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Significant numbers of vets also work in Defra, the Scottish and Welsh governments. Further details about the Government Veterinary Service can be found here: