Vets EMS placement

This one-week Extramural Studies (EMS) placement is for veterinary students and qualified veterinarians to shadow officials at various food premises in Scotland.

We are inviting veterinary students and qualified veterinarians to apply to attend a one-week Extramural Studies (EMS) placement throughout the year. Attendees will shadow officials at various food premises in Scotland.

The placement will provide attendees with an overview of the work that Food Standards Scotland (FSS) delivers, with a focus on official controls (food safety and animal welfare). It will also give them an understanding of some of the other career opportunities in the veterinary profession.

The placement will consist of:

  • a mix of online or face-to-face introductory sessions and presentations
  • accompanying an FSS Official Veterinarian in food premises
  • shadowing an audit or approvals officer

Follow-up questions will be welcomed and attendees will be given the opportunity to provide written feedback at the end of the week. This will help us to continually improve this experience for attendees.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • health and safety induction in plant
  • FSS’s role as Competent Authority vs food business operator duties (discussion about the main legal requirements related to official controls)
  • FSS’s interactions with other government bodies and other organisations
  • ante-mortem inspection and lairage operations: conditions at ante-mortem inspection (including notifiable diseases and how to report them), animal welfare, animal identification (reporting animal welfare and animal identification cases, FSS duties, food business operator’s duties with regards to these aspects)
  • post-mortem inspection: Meat Hygiene Inspectors’ duties, conditions identified, protocols on specified risk material identification, notifiable diseases, sampling for veterinary residues on behalf of the Veterinary Medicine Directorate (VMD), plant protocols with regards to Meat Hygiene Inspectors’ offline duties etc.
  • animal by-products
  • edible co-products
  • food business operator’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and FSS checks on the implementation of food business operator’s HACCP-based procedures

To express your interest in doing an EMS placement with us, please email

Placement weeks will be organised upon request or once sufficient interest has been gathered, at a time suitable for all. Depending on budget, we look to support attendees with a financial contribution towards their travel and accommodation expenses.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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About Us

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is the public sector food body for Scotland.