Have you got what it takes to be an RSPCA Inspector?
Charity expects thousands to apply for unique job at frontline of animal welfare
Could you abseil down a mountainside, swim 50m fully clothed, and handle anything from primates to pythons? Then the RSPCA might have the job for you.
For the first time in three years, the country’s oldest and biggest animal charity is looking for 24 people to join its team of uniformed inspectors who make a real difference to the lives of animals every day.
The RSPCA is expecting thousands of applications for the coveted posts but warns that the job is extremely physically and emotionally demanding.
Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of the RSPCA Inspectorate, who worked as an RSPCA ambulance driver, inspector and chief inspector covering London for 16 years, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes to be an RSPCA Inspector. No day is ever the same and there’s no better feeling than knowing that you’ve made a real difference to the lives of animals.
“However, anyone considering this job needs to apply with their eyes wide open. It is not easy and you need to be strong mentally and physically to cope with the distressing sights you have to witness, the emotional situations you have to handle and the difficult decisions you have to make every day.
“But for the right person, this could be the chance of a lifetime to get their dream job working on the frontline to improve animal welfare.”
RSPCA inspectors respond to animal welfare complaints from the public, they advise owners on how to do the best for their animal’s welfare and, where necessary, investigate concerns.
Inspectors need to have a good working knowledge of relevant legislation and be able to compile a cruelty case file of evidence, where appropriate, to pass on to prosecutors.
Successful applicants will need to be physically fit to cope with the demands of the job - dogs can weigh up to 40kg and sheep 70kg.
Inspectors could be called out to all sorts of locations, so applicants must have no fear of heights or cramped spaces and no allergies to animals!
Just as important as the physical fitness is psychological and emotional strength. As well as coping with distressing, disturbing and heartbreaking situations involving animals, candidates need strong people and communication skills as well as empathy to handle difficult, extremely emotional and sometimes confrontational situations.
The current ‘average’ inspector is a 28-year-old female but the charity is looking for applicants from all walks of life. In particular, it could be suited to someone who is more mature, or maybe with a background in social work or mental health.
Traditionally Inspectors have been recruited and then be posted anywhere in England and Wales. For the first time, a number of location have been advertised in London, Essex, Surrey, Liverpool, Manchester and West Yorkshire, where the charity would particularly like to attract recruits from but applications will be accepted from across the country.
Inspectors can spend a lot of their time working alone, on a 24/7 shift pattern, 365 days a year and the working hours can be long and demanding.
Successful candidates will spend a year training, taking part in physical tests including a 50m swim fully clothed, written tests, practical animal handling as well as training in handling difficult situations. It costs £50,000 to train and equip each new inspector.
The deadline for applications is 17th March and 160 candidates will be shortlisted and interviewed over six weeks. For more information and to apply to become an inspector, visit www.rspca.org.uk/jobs.