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Want to work for the Department of Ag this year?

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine currently has vacancies for Laboratory Attendant (Specialist DAFM) at its central laboratory complex at Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare and regional locations.

Following an assessment process, candidates who achieve the qualifying standard will be placed on an Order of Merit and assigned to fill vacancies as they arise.

Nature of role

The role of the Laboratory Attendant (Specialist DAFM) includes the provision of general support services within the laboratories across a wide range of functions, according to a listing on the DAFM’s website.

General duties:

  • Ensuring traceability and assisting colleagues with carrying out tasks such as sample log-in to LIMs (Laboratory Information Management System) or other recording systems, preliminary processing, labelling, distribution and transport of samples (including formalin-fixed samples) within and external to the laboratory, sorting, logging and delivering post, including posted samples as appropriate to the role;
  • Ensuring the maintenance of safe and bio-secure working areas and practices by cleaning and disinfection and the management of general and clinical waste;
  • Ensuring availability and use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Carrying out activities in compliance with regulations including Health and Safety, transport of laboratory materials (ADR, IATA, HAZCHEM standards) where required;
  • Responsibility for the glassware washing and sterilization regime within the laboratory and supporting a laundry service via collection and return of laundry within the laboratory;
  • Opening and closing facilities where required/appropriate Key-holder allowance may be payable in this respect, where the full range of duties is performed;
  • Assist in the preparation of media and reagents as appropriate to the role;
  • Operation of laboratory equipment and machinery as appropriate to the role;
  • General laboratory housekeeping, filing, managing logistics, and monitoring of equipment;
  • Technical photography in support of laboratory activities including retention and cataloguing of images locally;
  • Assisting with on- or off-campus collection and handling of carcasses or samples (a driving allowance may be payable for these duties where required, as appropriate);
  • Monitoring and upkeep of stores, stocks and equipment including exotic disease investigation kits;
  • Attend and assist in field investigations where required; Assisting in containment laboratory programmed and reactive maintenance activities as required;
  • Assisting in operations within containment laboratories including cleaning, disinfection, laundry, stocks and observation of all biosecurity protocols;
  • Other laboratory supports and activities as appropriate to the role;
  • Assisting pathologists in conducting post-mortem examinations, receiving, storing, weighing, measuring and preparing animal carcasses for post-mortem examination including dissection, organ removal and sampling of carcasses under supervision of pathologist;
  • Meeting farmers and other animal owners and assisting with off-loading of animal carcases and handling of live animals;
  • Operation of teleporter (where required – location-specific) – an allowance may be payable if this duty is performed;
  • Operation of post-mortem equipment and machinery as appropriate to the role;
  • Ensuring safe and bio-secure working areas and practices by cleaning and disinfection of work areas and equipment, as well as waste management of PM carcases & liquid effluent;
  • Ensuring availability, maintenance and use of appropriate PPE;
  • General cleaning/tidying of laboratory buildings and surrounding yards;
  • Other reasonable duties appropriate to the grade, as requested by their line managers.

The DAFM outlined that this list is made available as a guide only and is not intended to represent a “comprehensive” list of duties associated with the role.

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A Laboratory Attendant (Specialist DAFM) will be required to undertake the training necessary for the specialist role they work in.

Candidates must have;

  • i. At least one years’ experience of working in a post-mortem room or a similar setting (e.g. meat factory, knackery) and demonstrable experience of handling and dissecting animal carcass material safely, and a willingness to undertake training as appropriate to the role;
  • ii. An aptitude for manual dexterity, clean work, maintaining an organised & tidy work-place;
  • iii. Ability to cope with pressure, change and flexible work practices

Desirable requirements

  • IT skills appropriate to the role;
  • Basic literacy and education as demonstrated by a leaving certificate or equivalent OR;
  • Hold a qualification that would be acceptable to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as being at least equivalent.

Competencies applicants should have all the attributes required of a Laboratory Attendant (Specialist DAFM) and, in particular, they must demonstrate, by reference to specific examples from their career to-date, that they possess or have the capacity to acquire the qualities, skills and knowledge required for as identified in the following competency framework.

Specialist knowledge, experience and expertise

  • Outline any experience and/or expertise you have that you consider relevant to the role;
  • Clearly understands the role;
  • Adapts quickly to new ways of doing things.

Self-development and training

  • Is committed to self-development and continuously seeks to improve personal performance;
  • Displays a willingness to undertake training appropriate to the role of Laboratory Analyst (Specialist DAFM);
  • Willing to develops and maintains the skills and expertise required to perform in the role effectively, e.g. relevant technologies, IT systems, relevant policies etc.

Drive, commitment and delivery of results

  • Displays an aptitude for manual dexterity, clean work, maintaining an organised & tidy workplace;
  • Approaches and delivers all work in a thorough and organised manner;
  • Follows procedures and protocols, understanding their value and the rationale behind them;
  • Keeps high-quality records that are easy for others to understand;
  • Checks all work thoroughly to ensure it is completed to a high standard.

Interpersonal skills and teamwork

  • Shows respect for colleagues and co-workers;
  • Develops and maintains good working relationships with others, sharing information and knowledge, as appropriate;
  • Offers own ideas and perspectives;
  • Understands own role in the team, making every effort to play his/her part.


Forms can be downloaded here – All sections must be completed and one copy of your application form must be submitted.

The closing date for applications is 4pm on January 31st. The full listing can be found here.

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