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Deputy Director of Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and Food Safety

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is the government parastatal whose responsibility is to assure the quality of agricultural inputs and produce to prevent adverse impact on the economy, the environment and human health. Vision: Healthy plants, safe trade and sustainable aggro-environment for a prosperous Kenya. Mission: To provide a science based regulatory service by assuring plant health, quality of agricultural inputs and produce for food security, globally competitive agriculture and sustainable development. Core values Customer focus Professionalism and Integrity Teamwork Results oriented Innovation and Creativity Corporate social sustainability Strategic Objectives To protect plants from pests, weeds and invasive species. To facilitate review and strengthening of the policy, legal and regulatory framework, so that it is in tandem with both local and international agricultural sector emerging issues. To contribute towards improved levels of agricultural productivity. To support compliance to market requirements. To build adequate technical and infrastructural capacity to facilitate efficient and effective delivery of the KEPHIS mandate. To mobilize adequate financial resources and ensure optimal allocation and utilization to enable full implementation of planned programmers and activities. To enhance synergies through information and resource sharing with stakeholders and partners. To enhance the visibility and corporate image of KEPHIS


Job specification

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership to staff and coordinating all the activities of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and Food Safety services as well as food safety compliance and to ensure achievement of targets;
  • Provide leadership in development and implementation of Testing services strategies in the department towards the realization of KEPHIS corporate strategic objectives;
  • Manage and coordinate operations of departmental laboratories so as to provide accurate, reliable and timely test results;
  • Coordinate department’s specific test method development, validation, review and alignment to international standard requirements and best practices;
  • Manage development of criteria for interpretation of test reports released for purposes of critical decision making;
  • Manage confidentiality and impartiality in laboratory operations in compliance with international standard requirements;
  • Responsible for development and implementation of the Risk Management Framework to ensure mitigation against the negative effects of risks and take advantage of opportunities in the department;
  • Coordinate audit of food systems for export food business operators for compliance;
  • Manage human capital and administrative activities within the department;
  • Manage departmental laboratory staff performance by setting targets, reviewing and evaluating staff performance to ensure validity of test results and customer satisfaction in line with corporate expectations;
  • Coordinate procurement process for the departmental laboratory supplies and services and coordinate their inspections;
  • Manage quality assurance activities in the department in accordance with the requirements of international quality assurance programs;
  • Coordinate and is responsible for management of departmental laboratory testing equipment and assets through inventory management, equipment service and repairs to minimize losses and interruptions to laboratory operations;
  • Coordinate identification of technical skills gaps, training programs and development of departmental training plan;
  • Provide leadership in management of customer services;
  • Coordinate implementation of calibration programs for departmental laboratory testing equipment to establish and maintain the required measurement accuracy and metrological traceability;
  • Establish and maintain laboratory quality management system;
  • Plan, prepare and monitor department operations budget by developing the income and expenditure plans, submitting for approval to ensure that the department is capable of handling recurrent local and regional client needs and prepared to handle emerging testing challenges;
  • Prepare departmental performance reports;
  • Provide technical expertise in development of new test methods, validation and participating in proficiency testing, inter-lab comparisons test to ensure that methods developed are fit for purpose;
  • Coordinate participation in technical committee meetings and other national, regional and international standards development fora;
  • Provide technical advice on testing matters;
  • Review assessment, audit findings and corrective action plans for soundness to system improvement purposes in line with international standard (such as ISO/IEC 17025) guidelines;
  • Support strategies for resource mobilization;
  • Develop and recommend pricing and costing of services offered by the department;
  • Monitor, appraise and evaluate departmental laboratory staff work performance;
  • Represent and articulate departmental issues in administrative and management review meetings;
  • Train, coach and mentor departmental laboratory staff in line with business continuity strategies;
  • Provide leadership in the implementation of supervised pesticide residue field trials for registration and setting of pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs);
  • Provide leadership in the execution of national surveillance programs for monitoring of pesticide residues, microbiological, mycotoxins and heavy metal contaminants in agricultural produce for compliance to food safety and market requirements;
  • Support strategies to enhance regulatory research programs in the Service; and
  • Liaising with management/Director and other Deputy Directors in ACL laboratory and food safety matters.

Person specification

For appointment to this grade a candidate must have:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in any of the following; Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry from a university recognized in Kenya;
  • Masters in any of the following; Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Biochemistry Applied Biological Science, Applied Biological Technology or its equivalent from a University recognized in Kenya;
  • Ten (10) years’ experience in Pesticide residues analysis, formulated pesticide analysis and quality management systems or related field with five (5) years in a supervisory role;
  • Attended a Management course lasting not less than four (4) weeks; and
  • Meets the provisions of the Chapter Six (6) of the Constitution of Kenya.


  • Computer applications proficiency Statistical packages will be an added advantage;
  • Creativity;
  • Excellent problem solving skills;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Data analysis skills; and
  • Report writing and presentation skills.


  • Ability to work independently and a team player;
  • Ability to make decisions independently;
  • Ability to work well under pressure and prioritize work;
  • Knowledge in laboratory instrumentation and/or electronics and compute engineering is an added advantage;
  • Knowledge in international standard on good laboratory practice; and
  • Experience with a Laboratory Quality Management System.

Method of Application

Applicants should visit the online portal located in the Careers section of KEPHIS website ( to submit applications electronically. Clearly indicate the position and the vacancy number on the subject line, with a detailed curriculum vitae, certified copies of academic and professional certificates, transcripts, national identification cards and any other supporting documents (as pdf attachments) not later than 13th February, 2024 at 5.00 p.m.

KEPHIS is an equal opportunity employer. Potential candidates from marginalized communities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

  • Shortlisted candidates will be required to avail their original and certified copies of the relevant certificates & transcripts and original national identity card during the interview.
  • Successful candidates must obtain and submit valid clearance certificates from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA); Higher Education Loans Board (HELB); Directorate of Criminal Investigation and an approved Credit Reference Bureau as per Chapter six of the Constitution.

The Managing Director
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) P.O. Box 49592-00100

Click Here To Apply