Working for the DWI

Working for the Drinking Water Inspectorate is an opportunity for committed, self-motivated, organised, resourceful and flexible team workers to gain experience in a regulatory delivery unit responsible for drinking water quality in England and Wales.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is made up of an inclusive team of experienced technical Inspectors, as well as specialists within the Business Performance and Data Units. Together, staff within the Inspectorate work to maintain the highest drinking water quality in England and Wales.

Upon joining us, you will gain access to a wide range of learning and development offered by the Civil Service, an annual leave allowance which increases year on year from 25 up to 30 days, and a Civil Service pension. As an Inspector, you automatically become a member of the Civil Service Science Profession, which runs a range of training courses and a popular annual conference.

The Civil Service is committed to continuously increasing the diversity of its workforce and welcomes employees from all backgrounds and walks of life. The Inspectorate operates a flexible working pattern which includes home-working.

If you have any questions about any of the roles currently advertised or a more general question about working for the Inspectorate, please contact We look forward to hearing from you.

Latest job opportunities

Principal Inspector – Security and Emergency Measures Direction (SEMD)

Reference number – 229745

Salary – £52,289 – £60,188


The Drinking Water Inspectorate is the technical regulator for the water industry in England and Wales, delivering water quality regulation, Network and Information Systems (NIS) regulation and the regulatory functions of the Security and Emergency Measures Direction (SEMD), where the Inspectorate will be acting for and on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Inspectorate is seeking an engineer, applied scientist or specialist in the design and application of physical, personnel and cyber protective security measures with significant water industry experience, to protect assets and operations against malicious attacks. Joining a team of Principal Inspectors ensuring safe, secure and high-quality water supplies across England and Wales, you will provide technical support on matters relating to emergencies and national security in the water sector. 

On an interpersonal level, candidates should have an enquiring mind and be motivated and dedicated to improving the approach by companies in producing a wholesome product and protecting public health.

Job description

The post holder should be aware of current technical standards and maintain a knowledge of the priorities and issues affecting today’s water industry. Using their technical experience, they will work with Defra policy colleagues and external stakeholders including the regulated water companies on matters relating to SEMD.

The Principal Inspector (SEMD) will develop initiatives that require a technical input and provide technical advice on issues. They will be expected to be proactively involved in developing, and the delivery of, policies and initiatives to improve the security and infrastructure capabilities of the water industry.

Candidates are required to be a specialist in water engineering or have a civil engineering background with significant experience in the water industry.

The successful candidate will have good IT skills and be well organised.


The key responsibilities will be:

  • Monitoring measures taken within the requirements of SEMD to undertakers and licensees (‘companies’).
  • Assessment of compliance of companies with the Direction, including assessment of the companies’ self-assessments, and any required audit or investigations.
  • Review companies’ Price Review (PR) Enhancement Plans in line with their SEMD performance and feedback in time for the company to submit their PR bid to Ofwat.
  • Enforcement, including issuing notices and penalties.
  • SEMD Incident Assessment.
  • Advising on a wide range of other security issues that affect the water industry.
  • Development of and participation in exercises to test water company and Defra’s emergency plans.


As travelling is an integral part of the job, often to areas not served by public transport, a valid driving licence is required.


Candidates are required to be a specialist in water engineering or have a civil engineering background with a tertiary level qualification in a subject related to engineering, applied science or cyber security.


It is a requirement to have attained, be working towards or willing to work towards chartership of a professional body, for instance the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Water, the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Managers or other relevant body. Alternatively, candidates should be registered as a security engineer or specialist, or working towards this registration.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Managing a Quality Service

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Short technical exercise related to the role.

Apply and further information

For more information and to complete an online application, please visit the Civil Service Jobs website
Principal Inspector – SEMD – Civil Service Jobs.

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 9 October 2022.

Contact point for applicants
Job contact :

  • Name: Suzanne Calmels
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 07585988028

Recruitment team :

  • Email:
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