Overview of the role

Provide specialist expertise, advice and guidance and direction towards delivering complex scientific and technical OME solutions to directly evolve the UK OME defence and security capability in existing and emerging technologies.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the ordnance, munitions and explosives (OME) sector represented across the public and private industries. A fully competent OME Specialist can work in a wide range of organisations, including defence, chemical, commercial, military, security, nuclear and analytical services (from multi-nationals to SMEs) and government bodies (e.g. MoD).

The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide specialist expertise, advice and guidance and direction towards delivering complex scientific and technical OME solutions to directly evolve the UK OME defence and security capability in existing and emerging technologies.The OME specialist works in an environment which is a unique mixture of physics, chemistry and engineering that is not found in any other sector. This involves extreme environments which are outside the traditional view of the subjects. The OME specialist will provide advice, guidance and leadership in OME functionality taking place at high temperature pressures and mechanical strain rates not typically encountered in other fields of science and engineering. They will need to understand appropriate OME lifecycles and apply appropriate approaches to developing systems, including their interrelated dependencies and benefits.They will usually operate within challenging scientific, technical, political and business environments requiring them to understand the wider context in which their advice is given and may influence the wider OME industry or government strategy on OME defence and security.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with multi-disciplinary teams including engineering and scientific specialists within their own or from other organisations in the OME sector, such as academia, government agencies, police and security services, policy leads (up to and including Permanent Secretaries) and Ministers, armed forces and regulatory bodies, where an understanding of handling, use and control of OME devices and materials is essential. Frequently this advice will draw on expertise from other disciplines (such as material scientists, statisticians, computer modelers). To this end, a typical day will likely include stakeholder visits, technical design management, team working and leadership tasks, commissioning work from others and overseeing and conducting field and desk-based analysis. OME Specialists will work both independently as well as working in, or leading, teams. They will have extensive technical networks, communication, influencing and leadership skills.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for developing and implementing OME scientific and technical programmes that underpin policy and business decisions for the defence and security of the UK. OME Specialists will develop sources of specialist knowledge within their organisation and be experts in their field. They will often concentrate on an area such as evaluating OME and dependant technologies, research and development, mitigating technical risk, specifying controls and controlling high hazard environments. The OME Specialist operates with considerable autonomy, as an acknowledged specialist in their field and will most likely have experience across all OME lifecycle phases. They are fully accountable to senior stakeholders, depending upon the size of the organisation and for managing trade-offs between scientific, technical and other factors e.g. human and environmental. Employees will normally hold the appropriate level of security clearance as part of their role. They will work in secure premises, within the UK or international locations, potentially within hazardous environments and are likely to travel in order to establish and maintain professional relationships and may be required to work outside normal hours.

Individuals will be accountable for providing specialist scientific and technical delivery within the following key capabilities, either as a subject matter expert or as technical and scientific leadership at systems or team level:

• Exploitation of research and development outputs.
• Providing technical specialist input into strategic planning and the creation of technical roadmaps in line with organisational objectives.
• The application and development of industry standards to current and emerging OME technologies.
• Developing technical specifications for OME performance against specified customer requirements.
• Review, validation and authorisation of OME performance against technical specification.
• Writing technical appraisals of conforming and non-conforming OME.
• Systematic evaluation, development and implementation of new technologies.
• Recording and communicating the analysis of scientific/technical investigations and projects.
• Development of technical specifications for delivery of training, mentoring and coaching activities around OME.
• Authorisation of OME regulatory and safety compliance.
• Capability management e.g. budgets, resources, time, people and equipment.

Typical job titles include:

Capability lead Principal research scientist Principal safety engineer (ome specialist) Senior energetics materials scientist/engineer Senior scientist portfolio manager Senior technical specialist Warhead engineer

Entry requirements

Whilst any entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have a minimum of a Degree in science or engineering related subject, the OME professional degree apprenticeship or relevant industry experience on entry.

Occupation duties

Duty Criteria for measuring performance KSBs

Duty 1 Leading and facilitating analysis of a user requirement to develop new or existing OME solutions (e.g. explosive devices, formulations or service and use).

a. Has successfully demonstrated subject matter expertise (SME) in the OME field
b. Has authorised and approved OME lifecycle progression (e.g. Technical / Design Authorisation)
c. Scientific concepts around OME problems have been explained, defended and recorded
d. Continuous review of ongoing OME projects undertaken (such as sustainability and obsolescence)
e. Technical specifications (for delivery of training, mentoring or coaching activities around OME) have been developed and submitted

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S12 S13 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 2 Define and commission the criteria for design choices and the development of sequential models (e.g. work flow, synthesis route, methods of operation) to advise and inform decision-making for policy and business needs.

a. Has led or directed governance (e.g. provided jurisdiction) on a body of OME based work.
b. Has highlighted the critical parameters of OME design and understood the implications of change
c. Sets the criteria for acceptance of specifications and provides approval of requirements defined by 1b above

K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S10 S11 S13

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 3 Review and critically evaluate candidate OME design options to identify potential weaknesses in performance, quality, safety and environmental impact. Champion the development of innovative approaches and disruptive technologies to address shortfalls.

a. Has prepared and submitted technical proposals, schedules and plans
b. Has organised programme resources for delivery of a complex OME project
c. Has delivered solutions (e.g. written Hazard and Operability Studies) towards to OME processes or their improvement

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Provide the scientific and technical justification of trade-offs between regulatory, technical, environmental and economic factors (e.g. development of technical specifications and the implications of introducing novel and innovative solutions) for OME performance against specified customer requirements.

a. Has defended the rationale for a chosen technical argument (e.g. reviewed and approved a Best Available Technology (BAT) submission(s)
b. Delivered direction or lead technical guidance for processing (e.g. an Options Study)

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 5 Lead on verification, validation and commissioning of OME designs, activities and processes to assure performance, quality, safety and environmental protection as expected and issue approval (e.g. certificate of design and other approval documentation).

a. Has provided advice and / or reasoning (understanding) to a project through delivery of a design or proposal (e.g. used a system engineering approach or systems
thinking principles)
b. Reported on OME technologies that would benefit the business
c. Has identified continuous improvement activities for a number of OME projects (e.g. production of road

K2 K3 K4 K6 K9

S3 S4 S7 S8 S10 S11 S13 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 6 Provide the leadership and governance of OME operations to enable sound business decisions based on the exploitation and analysis of data and outputs (e.g. evaluating evidence from small scale operations and approving scale up activities).

a. Technical proposals and plans were written and submitted
b. Specifications (e.g. OME Date Sheets, Quality Control or Trials & Test Plans) were certified or authorised

K2 K4 K5 K6 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 7 Advising and authorising agreed OME designs, systems, formulations, procedures and processes (e.g. authorisation, as a technical authority or subject matter expert).

a. OME Scientific or Technical direction and support was provided/sought and agreed through company process(es)
b. Has successfully been accountable for a project(s) output (e.g. OME data or technical improvements), within the quality, safety and budgeting boundaries

K1 K2 K3 K8 K9 K10

S3 S4 S8 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 8 Author, edit and review technical publications and user manuals for OME systems, providing clear and concise user documentation (e.g. single process specifications, safety documentation and test specifications). Writing technical appraisals and justifications for conforming and non-conforming OME.

a. OME Technical reviews or scientific evaluation were prepared and submitted.
b. Led scientific and technical reviews and provide technical authority for OME projects and programmes
c. Reviewed presentation and reports outputs to ensure that they are suitable for the intended audience

K1 K2 K3 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S4 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 9 Anticipate and influence national and international stakeholder requirements (including sector employers, government agencies and departments, and academia) through interaction and horizon scanning to proactively scope strategic work programmes using appropriate techniques to communicate complex OME ideas and arguments to stakeholders in order to effect change.

a. Technical instruction, coaching and mentoring were prepared and communicated using appropriate language/media
b. Scientific concepts around multifaceted OME problems were explained and clarified using the required media
c. Technical specifications (for delivery of training, mentoring or coaching activities around OME) have been developed and submitted

K1 K3 K7 K10

S1 S4 S8 S9 S10 S12

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 10 Keep up to date with relevant OME literature (academic, technical or industry), developments in science and engineering techniques and contribute to wider debates within the organisation, industry and OME profession.

a. Ensured the efficient sharing of new OME knowledge as it is derived across the team
b. Eliminated single points of failure across the OME team
c. Ensured that OME legacy knowledge is captured and cascaded across the team

K3 K7 K9 K10

S8 S10 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 11 Championing OME professional development, mentoring and coaching of self, colleagues and direct reports or others, adhering to professional and occupational competency standards.

a. Project review(s) and approval(s) of technical output (e.g. OME data or technical improvements), were delivered within the quality, safety and budgeting boundaries
b. Company systems and processes were correctly applied at all times (e.g. document and quality control)

K2 K7 K10

S3 S9

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 12 Lead on OME knowledge management and transfer activities to develop and record the corporate knowledge for future capability reference.

a. Produced specifications giving safety justification and approvals for use of OME or plant or equipment (e.g. Technical / Design Authorisation)
b. Delivered solutions (e.g. written Hazard and Operability Studies) towards to OME based process improvements
c. Delivered independent / peer review to a body of work and provided critique or appraisal leading to approval or deferment

K2 K7 K9 K10

S3 S4 S9 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 13 Provide technical specialist input into strategic planning and the creation of technical roadmaps in line with organisional objectives.

K1 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S1 S2 S4 S6 S7 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5



K1: The advanced concepts in specialist areas of OME, such as chemistry, materials science, engineering, detonics, explosive effect, ballistics, manufacturing, safety, test and evaluation. Back to Duty

K2: The processes involved in undertaking technical reviews, including legal and technical aspects relating to OME. Back to Duty

K3: The techniques, tools and methodologies used in the design, realisation, verification and testing of OME, such as specialist methods used for the manufacture of OME devices, or the totality of design for OME safety. Back to Duty

K4: How to recognise the applicability of various risk assessments methods and the appropriateness of "Tolerable" and "As Low As Reasonably Practicable" (ALARP) statements as applied to accidents involving OME. Back to Duty

K5: The environmental (e.g. accelerated ageing, thermal cycling) principles and mitigations which impact upon OME. Back to Duty

K6: How and why OME lifecycle and environmental protection should be compatible with safety and environmental protection standards. Back to Duty

K7: The use of a range of methods used to conceptually demonstrate the meaning of "scanning the horizon" in an OME context Back to Duty

K8: The intentional and unintentional effects from OME upon the target environment, e.g. blast effect, smoke effect, toxicity. Back to Duty

K9: Systems design principles appropriate for OME, e.g. explosive train, design for safety. Back to Duty

K10: The operational features and principles of a wide variety of OME used within their business, underpinned by a detailed knowledge of their sub-systems and design methodology. Back to Duty


S1: Compare a range of principles involved in OME, for example, production methods, formulation, detonation techniques, explosive effect. Back to Duty

S2: Evaluate and predict the material science characteristics of OME. Back to Duty

S3: Apply the correct Interpretation of legislation and associated documentation in the testing, approval and use of OME and their articles (e.g. AOP, STANAG, UN test Book). Back to Duty

S4: Propose and evaluate design investigations which may lead to safer/economic/improved performance OME. Back to Duty

S5: Construct a complex Risk Assessment involving the hazards of OME. Back to Duty

S6: Assess and identify environmental impact (e.g. thermal cycling, ageing) issues surrounding OME. Back to Duty

S7: Critically evaluate and make decisions on environmental grounds (e.g. soil contamination) balanced with operational capabilities and cost effectiveness over the whole life cycle of an OME product. Back to Duty

S8: Critically appraise the facts, principles, concepts and theories relating to a specific area of OME. Back to Duty

S9: Present scientific OME ideas in a clear and concise manner i.e. reports, slides and presentations. Back to Duty

S10: Appraise the design and performance of OME for use as intended. Back to Duty

S11: Analyse the performace of OME based on trials/test data; including modelling methods. Back to Duty

S12: Evaluate published scientific literature to produce a coherent summary of one aspect of detonations, explosions and their initiation mechanisms. Back to Duty

S13: Assess the accuracy, relevance, advantages and disadvantages of using computer modelling tools in OMEs. Back to Duty

S14: Exploit research and development outputs to achieve operational goals and objectives. Back to Duty


B1: Takes responsibility for their own and others professional development by seeking out opportunities that enhance their knowledge, skills and experience and understanding of emerging technologies within OME. Back to Duty

B2: Able to take responsibility for their actions, demonstrates resilience and acts with integrity by demonstrating a duty of care for others and for their own safety. Back to Duty

B3: Able to communicate using a range of styles and methods with fellow professionals, stakeholders (internal/external) and others from a range of backgrounds. Back to Duty

B4: Demonstrate a commitment to society, their profession and the environment, adopting a set of values and behaviours that will maintain and enhance the reputation of the profession as well as their organisation. Back to Duty

B5: Reliable and consistent and willing to challenge areas of concern and promotes best practice. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Explosive Ordnance Engineering (EOE) MSc

Level: 7 (integrated degree)

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for The award of EOE MSc meets the educational requirements of the Engineering Council UKs register of Chartered Engineers.
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for The award of EOE MSc meets the educational requirements of the Engineering Council UKs register of Chartered Engineers.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0834
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 22/01/2021
Approved for delivery: 10 July 2020
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £24000
LARS Code: 583
EQA Provider: Office for Students
Employers involved in creating the standard: Roxel Group UK Ltd, BAE Systems Maritime, AWE, Falcon Project, BAE Systems Weapons, MBDA, DSTL, MOD, AWE, Roxel UK Ltd, RAF, British Army Royal Logistics Core, QinetiQ, DE&S

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 10/07/2020 Not set Not set

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