MI5 Intelligence Officer Development Programme


Closing Date: 5PM 1st December 2023

Hours: 36 hours a week. Full time (flexible working available, subject to business need)

At MI5 we’re proud to keep the country safe. From terrorist threats, to attempts by states to harm the UK, its people and way of life, we help protect national security. And, you can too when you join our Intelligence Officer Development Programme.

Our Intelligence Officer Development Programme is a structured learning pathway that will give you the grounding you need to launch your career as an Intelligence Officer (IO). From job postings throughout MI5, where you’ll learn how we all work together to build the overall Intelligence picture, to Investigative Skills Training (IST) that will teach you all the skills you need to work in investigations, your learning and growing will never stop.

There’s no one ‘type’ of person that we recruit here at MI5. In fact, we need a diverse range of perspectives to be able to protect the UK in the most effective way. Everyone’s individual way of thinking and seeing the world is valuable to our work, and your unique style, instincts and judgement won’t just be encouraged here – they’ll be invaluable to your career as an IO.

About the programme

The IODP begins with a job posting within MI5, in an area other than Intelligence, like Policy, Compliance, Legal Casework or Analysis. The posting is all about getting to grips with how we work, and gaining vital experience and insight that will help you develop relevant and transferrable skills ready for your role as an IO.

Once you’re ready, you’ll then join the Investigative Skills Training (IST) Course. Over 12 weeks, we’ll train you in the practical skills you need to work in Intelligence. Combining on-the-job and classroom learning, this modular course will give you the accreditation you need to move into your first IO role. Here, you’ll spend a minimum of two years putting your new skills into action with real mission work. You’ll be deployed to one of our teams in either Counter-Terrorism or Counter-Espionage and collaborate with a range of colleagues, internal and external, to complete investigations that have a direct impact on national security.

You’ll get stuck in from day one, briefing colleagues, liaising with our external Intelligence partners and managing your own workload. You’ll also learn how to think strategically to solve problems creatively, as you analyse data sets and information to spot patterns and identify threats. You’ll also have plenty of support around you, to help you grow your knowledge and confidence as you navigate your first Intelligence posting.

About you

You’ll either need (or be expecting) a 2:2 degree or above in any subject, or you’ll need work experience that’s given you the key skills and qualities you need to do the role. We are looking for individuals who are naturally curious. You’ll have strong written and verbal communication skills, and you’ll also enjoy working collaboratively with good attention to detail.

We don’t expect you to be a fully formed IO when you join, so the main qualities we’re looking for is a willingness to learn, and for you to be open to building on your existing qualities and accepting constructive feedback.

About us

MI5 keeps the country safe from serious threats like terrorism and attempts by states to harm the UK, its people and way of life. We carry out investigations by obtaining, analysing and assessing intelligence, and then work with a range of partners, including MI6 and GCHQ to disrupt these threats. Through our protective security arm, we provide advice and guidance to government, businesses and other organisations about how to keep themselves safe. A role in MI5 means you’ll do unique and challenging work in a supportive and encouraging environment, making a real difference to UK national security.

About working here

Becoming an Intelligence Officer might feel like a daunting prospect with lots of responsibility, but you’ll get plenty of support and training as part of the programme to make sure you’re prepared for any challenge that comes your way.

On top of that, you'll enjoy all the great benefits that everyone who works with us does including 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years’ service), training and development opportunities, gym access, an excellent paid pension scheme and paid parental and adoption leave. You'll also have access to courses on time management, presenting skills, creative thinking, and more.

When you join us, you’ll be part of a welcoming, inclusive environment where people from a variety of backgrounds, with different perspectives and ideas, come together to develop brilliant solutions. We’re a recognised Disability Confident employer, meaning we’ll provide the support you need to perform at your best, including any reasonable adjustments you may need.

At MI5 diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds. Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Full eligibility details can be found on our website.

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