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

We have Field vets out – around the country, helping to control notifiable diseases, in addition to addressing disease risks in animal by-products, artificial breeding and international trade. They also get involved in improving the welfare and wellbeing of animals on farms, in transit and at markets.

We also have Border vets at our Border ports and Border Control Posts across the country, protecting the Biosecurity of the UK, carrying out checks on live animals imported into GB from the European Union and Third Countries to protect our borders.

Veterinary Investigation Officers

Some of our vets are pathologists, conducting examinations on farm animals to determine threats. They also help private vets investigate disease outbreaks, identify potential new diseases and to protect the farming community.

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 including animal diseases, new diagnostic techniques and vaccines. They collaborate with vets acress the world.

Veterinary Policy Advisors

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


Some vets manage other vets; providing them with help and guidance, support their career development and provide representation at a senior level.


As an APHA Vet, it is possible to specialise in several specific areas. For example, certification, epidemiology, and mapping with the use of GIS.

Find out more from APHA staff discussing the field and lab veterinary roles.

Roles available

We have a wide range of veterinary roles available within APHA. Below is an example of what our Veterinary roles involve at Border posts.

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 a wide variety of work available, it is possible to become a recognised expert in a specific field. We are interested in your career development and there are excellent opportunities for promotion, with funded internal training and Continuing Personal Development. 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 will 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: