HO Candidate Information Notes –
Please click here for further candidate information.
- Are you currently an agency worker, contractor, member of Border Force Seasonal Workforce or contingent worker within the Home Office? If you are currently an agency member of staff, a contractor or contingent worker working within the Home Office, you can only apply for roles that are advertised externally such as these roles. If you are eligible to apply for a role, you are required to select yourself as an external applicant and not an internal civil servant/member of staff when submitting your application. This will prevent any delays in pre-employment checks should you become successful in being made an offer of employment after the Interview stage.
- Do you offer any interview schemes? As a Disability Confident Leader, we seek to offer interviews for disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria, as published in the relevant job advert. We offer a similar scheme for Veterans, in line with the initiative, A Great Place to Work for Veterans, and also for civil servants at risk of redundancy. If you wish to apply for consideration under these schemes, please complete the appropriate section on the online application form so that we can make any necessary arrangements.
- I have applied for Home Office vacancies in the past and been unsuccessful/withdrew my application, can I apply for these vacancies? Yes, you can apply for these vacancies.
- Will the roles offer an Apprenticeship qualification? Border Force offer specific apprentice roles. The apprenticeships are designed to strengthen capability in the Civil Service by developing skilled professionals in priority areas. They provide a unique opportunity to combine formal learning and development with on-the-job experience. The apprenticeship qualification is transferable across the Home Office and is not just specific to Border Force.
- I'm already a Civil Servant. Should I resign before I join the Home Office? No, you don't need to resign from your current position. You will transfer into the Home Office.
- I require reasonable adjustments throughout the process, can this be accommodated? There is a section within the application form to provide details of any reasonable adjustments required at any stage in the process. All requests will be considered. If you want to give us more information or wish to discuss, please contact the SSCL Customer Hub:
Vacancy & Application
- Are these positions permanent? Yes all positions are permanent.
- Where can I get help with my application? Please refer to the Application Process section of the microsite. You can also engage with our chat bot / live chat function or alternatively speak to one of our Customer Hub advisors:
- Can you extend a vacancy end date? Vacancy end dates have been agreed and will not be extended on an individual basis
- I have submitted my application and the vacancy is closed, can I amend my application? Once an application is submitted it cannot be amended.
- When do the vacancies go live? Vacancies are live from the 22nd September 2023 for Border Force roles.
- Where do I get application updates? You can access updates via your 'Application Centre' in the Applicant Tracking System which is the system you used to apply for the job(s). You'll also receive emails, status messages and SMS at different stages during the process.
- There is a system error showing on my application what should I do? The error message is dependent on the reason and status of the vacancy. To discuss further, please contact the SSCL Customer Hub:
- I am partially sighted and cannot submit an application form online what should I do? Please contact the SSCL Customer Hub to discuss further
- Can I submit more than one application against the same vacancy? No, duplicate applications for the same vacancy cannot proceed but you can apply for other Home Office vacancies or vacancies in other locations. Please refer to the 'Vacancies' pages or the Home Office Careers Website.
- I have submitted my application but would like to add additional detail, how do I do this? Once your application has been submitted, you are unable to add any additional detail.
- I am not sure I want to progress, can I withdraw my application? You can withdraw your application at any stage of the process via your 'Application Centre' in the Applicant Tracking System which is the system you used to apply for the job(s). Home Office would welcome any feedback from you about the recruitment process and the reason you want to withdraw.
- How long does the recruitment process take? There is no set time on the process but due to the pre-employment and security checks we must do for these roles it can be lengthy – 4-6 months on average to receive a start date with Border Force. Accurate form filling and supplying of correct information will allow the process to run smoother.
- Learn more about the roles we have on offer and how to apply. You can access updates via your 'Application Centre' in the Applicant Tracking System which is the system you used to apply for the job(s). You'll also receive emails, status messages and SMS at different stages during the process.
- I already work for the Home Office as an agency worker or seasonal worker, should/how do I apply? As these are externally advertised roles (i.e. outside of the civil service), current agency members of staff or seasonal workers working within the Home Office are eligible to apply. If you decide to apply, please select yourself as an external applicant and not internal when submitting your application. If you are currently an agency member working in an Other Government Department (OGD), you're required to select yourself as external also.
- I have visible tattoos - is that an issue? Non-offensive tattoos which are visible are permissible, as long as they are not facial or on the front or side of the neck (above collar line). Tattoos behind the ear lobe on the back of the neck are acceptable. Under no circumstances should tattoos that could be considered offensive be visible. This could include discriminatory, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, political, rude, lewd, crude or violent text or images.
Behaviour Based Assessment (BBA) & Video Sift/Pre-Recorded Video Interview
- What can I do to prepare for the online BBA test? The online test is task based and designed to capture your unique behaviours. There are no right or wrong answers in this test so there isn't anything you need to do in order to prepare. For further information, please refer to the 'Application Process' sections of the microsite
- Is there a time limit for the online BBA test? The online test usually takes between 25 and 40 minutes but there isn't an official time limit to complete.
- What do I do if I have technical issues during the online test? You will need to raise the technical issue with the SSCL Customer Hub team:
- Can you advise what will be discussed at the Video Sift/Pre-Recorded Video Interview stage? If the application process of the role you are applying for involves this stage, you will be invited to provide a video sift/pre-recorded video interview where you will be asked questions related to any strengths and behaviours detailed in the advert.
- How will I be invited to a video sift/pre-recorded video interview and how does it work? If you successfully pass the online test, and the application process of the role you are applying for involves this stage, you will receive an invitation by email to do your video sift/pre-recorded video interview. This will include a link to access the video sift/pre-recorded video interview at any time in a 7 day period. You will also receive an alert in your Application Centre and via SMS.
- Is there a time limit for me to give my answers to the video sift/pre-recorded video interview questions? Yes, you will be asked the question and you will have 30 seconds to think about your answer and then a further 2 minutes to record it. Additional time may be given as a result of a reasonable adjustment if requested.
- Is there a specific time slot for my video sift/pre-recorded video interview? There will be a deadline for you to undertake the video sift/pre-recorded video interview and you will be alerted to this deadline in the email invitation and SMS. You can take your interview at a time that suits you from the time you receive the email with the link up to the deadline.
- What do I do if I have technical issues during the video sift/pre-recorded video interview? You will need to raise the technical issue with the SSCL Customer Hub team:
- Will the video sift/pre-recorded video interview work with assistive technology? Yes, the video sift/pre-recorded video interview has been accessibility tested. If you use Assistive Technology and have difficulties during the video sift/pre-recorded video interview, please contact the SSCL Customer Hub team:
- I currently work in Home Office, can I take my video sift/pre-recorded video interview on Home Office equipment? Yes, you can do so by using the latest version of Microsoft Edge. If you experience issues please use another browser from your personal mobile device or laptop/computer
- I applied under the Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) but did not get invited to interview, can you tell me why? Candidates who have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme will only progress to the interview if they pass the online test.
Online Assessment Centre (OAC)
- What should I wear to my online assessment centre? Please wear clothing appropriate for an interview. The dress code is smart casual.
- If I am having technical issues getting into my online assessment centre, what should I do? If you are or believe you may have any technical issues when connecting to the online assessment centre please call us immediately on 0345 528 0427 so we can inform the online assessment centre team and request technical support.
- What happens if I am unsuccessful at my online assessment centre? If you are unsuccessful at the online assessment centre stage then unfortunately your application will not be progressed further.
- Where will I be based? If you are offered a role, your location will be included in your employment offer. We will try to offer you one of your preferred locations, please only select locations that you are prepared to work at during the application process
- I haven’t been given my first preferred location. Preferences on the application were not weighted and therefore you have been allocated to one of the locations you indicated was acceptable.
- I wish to change my location preferences what do I do? You can do this by contacting the SSCL Contact Centre:
Provisional Offer / On Boarding
- Could you provide guidance on what documentation is
Depending on the level of checks needed for the
you may need to provide 3 documents to ensure we can evidence your
identity, nationality, full permanent address, signature and date of
birth. In most cases original documents will
be accepted; photocopies and online documents (e.g. bank statements,
e-bills, eP60s etc.) cannot be accepted.
Primary ID Documents
- Current biometric residence permit UK only
- Current photo card driving licence - Full or provisional. UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.
- Birth Certificate – issued within 12 months of Birth - UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands only.
- Adoption Certificate - UK and Channel Islands only.
- Current driving licence photo-card - full or provisional. All countries outside the UK (excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
- Current driving licence (paper version) – full or provisional. UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands only. Must have been issued before 1998.
- Birth Certificate - issued after 12 months of Birth - UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands only.
- Marriage certificate/Civil Partnership certificate - UK and Channel Islands only.
- Immigration document, visa or work permit Issued by a country outside the UK - Valid only for roles whereby the applicant is living and working outside of the UK. Visa/permit must relate to the non-EEA country in which the role is based.
- HM Forces identity card - UK only
- Firearms licence - UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands only.
- Mortgage statement Financial statement, for example a pension or endowment - UK only. Issued in the last 12 months.
- Bank or building society statement Central or local government document giving entitlement - UK or Channel Islands only. Issued in the last 3 months.
- Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter, Credit card statement, Original utility bill, Benefit statement - UK only. Issued in the last 3 months.
- Mobile Phone bills and Motor Insurance documents are not acceptable.
- P45 or P60 statement Council tax Statement - UK or Channel Islands only. Issued in the last 12 months.
- EEA National ID card, Irish Passport card, Irish Passport card cannot be used with an Irish Passport. Must still be valid.
- Letter from head teacher or college principal - UK only. For 16 to 19 year olds currently in full time education - only to be used in exceptional circumstances if other documents cannot be provided.
- Bank or building society statement from countries outside the UK Branch must be located in the country where the applicant lives and works - Issued in the last 3 months
- Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands - Must still be valid
- I do not have any Photographic ID If you are unable to provide one piece of photographic ID then you will need to provide a passport sized photograph of yourself. This will need to be endorsed on the back with the signature of a person of some standing in your community, e.g. a Justice of the Peace, medical practitioner, officer of the armed forces, teacher, lecturer, lawyer, bank manager, civil servant. The passport photograph will need to be accompanied by a signed statement, completed by the same person, stating the period of time that the individual has known you (this must be a minimum 3 years). The statement must also contain the name, address, contact number and the profession of the individual who has endorsed the photograph and completed the statement.
- I do all my banking online and my utility statements are all online, can I use online statements for my proof? Only original documents are acceptable. If your bank is able to print and stamp a statement for you, this will suffice.
- Can I use someone who is related to me by marriage as my counter signatory? No - Please provide an alternative counter signatory
- I have to provide details of my current employers but I have not yet told them I have applied. Is it possible for you not to contact them? These are mandatory checks that need to be completed so your referees will be contacted
- How much information should I disclose? Please disclose all information as non disclosure may adversely affect your application
- The onboarding form is asking me to provide work history but I have previously been a student, what should I do ? Select the option related to academic study
- How long do I have to accept the provisional offer? 5 days
- I have missed the deadline to accept my provisional offer as I was e.g. on holiday can this be reset? Yes, you can contact the SSCL Customer Hub team and request that your provisional offer is reset:
- I have accepted my Provisional Offer, what do I need to do next? Please complete the On-boarding Form via your Application Centre in order to progress your application.
- Why has my application been returned to the onboarding form status? This action has been taken as either there is missing information or further clarification is needed - please refer to the e-mail that has been sent
- How do I know if I am eligible to work in the UK?
You are eligible to work in the UK if any of the
- You are a British citizen
- You have a current visa/work permit that allows you to work in the UK
- I am British, why do I have to provide Right to Work (RTW) documentation? It is a legal requirement to show all employers evidence of your right to work in the UK.
- I currently work for an Other Government department (OGD). Can I apply and will I be vetted again? Yes you can apply and you may need to be vetted if you do not hold the relevant security clearance required for the role you apply for.
- What pre-employment/vetting checks are required for
BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) checks
required for Home Office roles. Checks for external applicants include the following:
- Civil Service Eligibility
- Right to work/ID/address checks
- Employment history verification
- Overseas police checks (where required)
- Health check (where required)
- Internal Fraud Database check
- National Security Vetting
- Counter Terrorism Check (CTC) or Security Check (SC) as required
- An additional security check is completed for all Border Force roles.
- I need to provide an overseas police check. How do I obtain this? Where required, we will provide you with an email which provides information of how an overseas police certificate can be obtained from any country.
- What’s my vetting/pre-employment status? You can view this via your 'Application Centre' in the Applicant Tracking System which is the system you used to apply for the job(s).
- Do existing Home Office employees require pre-employment/vetting checks? Existing Home Office employees will not require checks if they hold the relevant clearance and will bypass the pre-employment/vetting stage of the recruitment process. However, depending on the role applied for, checks may still be required. For example, where an existing Home Office employee holds CTC level of security clearance but the role they have applied for requires SC level of clearance. All Border Force roles require SC level of security clearance.
- I have been out of the country for more than 6 months but not in the same country, do I still need to obtain an overseas police check for each country? You will only need to provide an Overseas PNC if you have been in one country for more than 6 months. If you have been in different countries for short durations you will need to provide an itinerary of dates and which countries you have been in. You may be asked to provide proof of this e.g. stamps in passport, airline tickets etc.
- I am unable to obtain an overseas police check, what should I do? Please email us at email@example.com with the reason so we can assess the circumstances.
- Does the overseas PNC have to be in English? Yes you will need to get it translated into English.
- I have a health appointment booked in with the health provider and need to change it. Please liaise with the health provider directly
- I forgot to include a conviction/caution I have. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org providing full details
- Can I change my counter signatory referee? Please email email@example.com providing the alternative counter signatory referee contact details
- My counter signatory is related to me, can I use them? No, you can not use a blood relative as a counter signatory
- I have only known my counter signatory for less than 12 months, can I still use them? No, you must have known them for more than 12 months
- Can I use a retired counter signatory Yes you can
- Can I use an out of date passport Yes, your passport can be expired as long as it shows you have British nationality.
- I do not have any of the ID/address documents on the list as I do all of it online? You can still order a bank statement through your online banking, request a bill from your utility provider
- How long do vetting checks take? This will depend on individual circumstances
- How long does a criminal conviction check take This will depend on individual circumstances
- How long does a health check take This will depend on individual circumstances
- I have moved address since completing the onboarding form what do I do? You will need to send one ID document to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing your new address
- Do all the ID/address documents need to be in my current name? Yes they all need to be in your current name. However if you have one document in your new name and one in your old, you will need to provide a linking document e.g. marriage certificate, deed poll.
- I do not have any Photographic ID
If you are unable to provide one piece of
ID then you will need to provide a passport sized photograph of
yourself. This will need to be endorsed on the back with the signature
of a person of some standing in your community, e.g. a Justice of the
Peace, medical practitioner, officer of the armed forces, teacher,
lecturer, lawyer, bank manager, civil servant.
The passport photograph will need to be accompanied by a signed statement, completed by the same person, stating the period of time that the individual has known you (this must be a minimum 3 years). The statement must also contain the name, address, contact number and the profession of the individual who has endorsed the photograph and completed the statement.
- I have changed my name You will need to send in new documents with linking documents e.g. marriage cert, deed poll to email@example.com
- When will I receive my Contract? Your contract will be issued once your HR record has been created.
- Are the contracts standardised? The contract is unique to the role and yourself
- My salary/annual leave/start date is incorrect on my contract, what can I do? Contact the SSCL Customer Hub team:
- When will I be able to start? Your start date will be sent to you once all the pre-employment checks and onboarding have been completed.
- When will I be able to hand my notice in with my current employer? We advise not to give notice to your current employers until your pre-employment/vetting checks have been completed and you have been contacted to arrange a start date.
- When will I get my employee Number? At the end of the process when your HR record is created
- What is the probationary period? A probationary period of 6 months however extensions are possible where required. This will not apply to internal candidates who have already satisfactorily completed a probationary period.
- How much notice period would I have to provide if I want to leave?
Staff with less than 4 years’ continuous service: 5
Staff with 4 years or more continuous service: not less than one week for each year of continuous employment plus one week, to a maximum of 13 weeks
- What will my salary be? You can find information about the salary in the advert. Your individual salary will be contained in your contract.
- What annual leave will I have? New entrants to the civil service receive 25 days annual leave on entry. This increases by one day each year until you have reached a maximum of 30 days (after 5 years of service).
- Will I have to work weekends? If your role is shift working then you will be required to work some weekends and bank/public holidays. The number of weekends and bank holidays will be reflected in the allowances/AHW attached to the role.
- Am I able to work from home? As standard, office working is required for all employees. Please refer to the advert for details for the role you have applied for.
- Can I work part time? Yes, part time working is available but how it is worked may vary between locations. There will be opportunities to understand how it works at the location you have applied for.
Pay & Pension
- How much will I get paid? Starting pay on recruitment is normally the minimum of the pay range for the grade, or the specific ‘spot rate’ for the Apprenticeship at Administrative Officer (AO) grade. The pay range for the role you are applying for is detailed in the job advert.
- Will I be entered into a Pension scheme upon joining
the Home Office?
You will find information on your pension choices
the starter pack which we will send to you nearer your start date.
We will automatically enter you into the alpha scheme on appointment
unless we receive your Pension Choices form stating you wish to join
partnership at, or before, your start date. We will deduct contributions
from your salary with effect from your start date. If you wish to open a
partnership pension account and you make your choice within one month,
we will backdate your choice to your start date. If you make your choice
after one month but within three months, we will treat your choice as a
request to switch schemes and you will be enrolled into partnership from
the first pay period two months after your option is received. If we do
not receive your form within three months, you will remain as a member
of alpha, unless you subsequently switch to partnership or opt out.
Further information regarding pension arrangements can be found on the Civil Service Pensions website
- Do I have to join a pension scheme? You do not have to join the Civil Service Pension arrangements. If you opt out, you will still build up benefits in the State Pension. But if you are considering opting out we strongly recommend that you read the starter pack which we will send you before you make any decision. Further information regarding pension arrangements can be found on the Civil Service Pensions website
- When will I receive my first pay? Salaries are paid monthly on the last working day. However, depending on start date, you may have to wait until the last working day of the following month
- When do I need to give you my Bank Account Details? Once your personnel record is created, you will have the ability to provide this via 'Employee Self-Service'. You will be prompted to take action at the appropriate time.