View Vacancy - Vice Consul B3 (01/19 HRE)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Consular Roles)

Main purpose of job:

A core function of any British Embassy is to provide support to British Nationals who need our help – for instance, because they are victims of crime, have an accident, or need an emergency travel document.  Our small consular team are responsible for delivering this assistance, providing a professional, helpful and efficient service to British nationals in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  The Vice Consul runs the team on a day-to-day basis, dealing with sometimes difficult and complex cases involving vulnerable British nationals, ensuring we have strong relationships with the British community, local authorities and consular colleagues in other embassies, investing in prevention work, and making sure we have good contingency plans in place to deal with major incidents and crises. For more information on the type of assistance we provide, please read our public guide "Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide

Roles and responsibilities:


Providing consular assistance to distressed British Nationals (BNs) across Zimbabwe by leading on high profile/complex cases and providing support for team members on all other cases (15%):

  • Leading on complex/high profile cases involving vulnerable British Nationals. Assistance work includes issues such as welfare, mental illness, rape/sexual assault, victims of serious crime (including the families of murder and manslaughter victims; please note this could require visiting mortuaries and other challenging environments); and cases with media/parliamentary interest.
  • Supporting and advising the consular assistant in Zimbabwe and the wider region on complex assistance cases, alongside covering where necessary for the consular assistant in Zimbabwe.
  • Meeting consular business targets and ensuring team promptly record casework on our case management system and submit monthly statistical returns;
  • Effective management of the consular section in Harare, including line management of 1 x 50% consular assistant.  


Supporting Consular Directorate’s Prevention objectives by building strong relationships and liaison with local authorities and organisations (40%):

  • Active outreach to British Nationals and partner organisations around Zimbabwe; including but not limited to local authorities, charities and NGOs, and other Embassies;
  • Organise visits, seminars and events to engage stakeholders on key areas of policy;
  • Identify and lobby local authorities to ensure we have the right contacts to help us assist British Nationals;
  • Creation and delivery of prevention and other communications campaigns;


 Staff and resource management (5%)

  • Management of Honorary Consul
  • Management of 50% consular assistant.
  • Remote management of full time consular assistant in Lusaka.


Support Zimbabwe crisis preparations (40%):

  • Lead on consular elements of the Zimbabwe crisis plan; including acting as Consular Manager during a crisis where required;
  • Participation in the Zimbabwe crisis committee; organisation and participation in crisis exercises. Provide crisis training to consular volunteers in the CMP as appropriate;
  • Provide support to Crisis Planning Officer on broader mission crisis planning where required; including maintaining crisis kits; promotion and oversight of Crisis Hub; maintaining crisis skills matrix.

Resources managed (staff and expenditure):

  • Management of Honorary Consul
  • Management of 50% consular assistant.
  • Remote management of full time consular assistant in Lusaka.
  • Management and delivery of projects with the consular devolved budget for 2019-20.

The successful candidate will have excellent all-round communication skills. They will have customer service skills and remain calm under pressure. They must be able to work independently (the jobholders line manager is based in South Africa). Initiative and sound judgement will be critical to success; plus the ability to research and follow guidelines. 


This is a rewarding and often challenging role. You will be supported by your line manager, wider team, and colleagues in the Embassy, but you must have high levels of personal resilience to succeed

Experience working in an international environment
Leading and Communicating, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Demonstrating Resilience
25 June 2019
B3 (L)
Fixed Term
36 months
British Embassy
1 July 2019

Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

The successful candidate will complete a training programme for delivering consular services made up of: mandatory e-learning; job shadowing elsewhere in the region; and the Essential Assistance Work course in the UK.

After 12 months, the job holder will need to complete the Consular Service Delivery course in the UK.

There will be opportunities to job-shadow or provide resilience for other consular teams across Sub-Saharan Africa, and to attend our annual consular conference (normally held in Pretoria).

Coaching and mentoring are widely supported in the Embassy.

Working patterns:

Because of the unpredictable nature of consular/crisis work and the time it takes to travel around Zimbabwe, additional hours will sometimes need to be worked. Where staff work beyond their conditioned hours, they are entitled to claim Time off in Lieu (TOIL) or overtime, depending on the nature of the work and subject to approval. The jobholder will generally be expected to work from the Consulate, particularly during counter opening hours. Some home working may be possible subject to line manager agreement and business need. 

The job holder will be expected to travel to Lusaka 4-3 times a year, to provide support to the consular assistant there and oversee the section.

This is a rewarding role in a supportive regional team. The position’s line manager will be based in South Africa.

A connection to the UK may be an advantage for this position, as we may seek a higher security clearance if appropriate for the successful candidate. However, this is a nice to have, rather than an essential, and the recruitment process will focus more on the skills and experience set out above.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.