Our partnerships

Partnership working is at the core of our work to keep the country safe. 

UK Intelligence Community (UKIC) 

We work very closely with the UK’s other intelligence agencies, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and GCHQ. We each have different but related functions, and there are many areas where we work together, including through joint teams. MI5’s protective security arm, the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA), often works in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, to produce joint advice. 

Law enforcement agencies 

We have a very close working relationship with the national Counter Terrorism Policing network in Great Britain, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and other national law enforcement agencies including the National Crime Agency and Border Force

These partnerships are at the heart of our collective efforts to keep the country safe from threats to national security. We work collaboratively with these critical partners, sharing and receiving intelligence to assist in many areas of our work. This includes information and intelligence assessments on current threats, and working closely with police partners on investigations to assist with gathering evidence where criminal proceedings can be brought. 

In 2021 we opened the Counter Terrorism Operations Centre, a world-leading facility where the UK’s intelligence community can collaborate on a minute-by-minute basis with our colleagues in law enforcement agencies and government departments.

Government departments 

MI5 works particularly closely with the Home Office. A Secretary of State and an independent judge must give approval when we seek to use our most intrusive investigative tools. We also have strong links with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Cabinet Office, the Northern Ireland Office, and several other government departments. 

The National Protective Security Authority advises all central government departments and agencies on protective security matters. 

Foreign security and intelligence services 

Five men and a woman sitting on stage
The heads of the Five Eyes domestic intelligence agencies at Stanford University

We are charged with protecting the UK’s national security, which may be threatened both in the UK and where we have interests overseas. Partnerships with overseas intelligence agencies are an important way we keep the country safe. We work especially closely with the intelligence services in other Five Eyes countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US – and with European partners.

Private sector and academic partners 

We work in partnership with academia and industry in a number of ways. Through the National Protective Security Authority, we work with organisations to inform them about what they can do to put in place proportionate protective security measures. We collaborate with industry on the advice we produce to make sure it is user-friendly and meets the needs of the businesses that will be following the advice. 

We also work with organisations like The Alan Turing Institute to ensure we can speak with, and make the most of, our partnerships with academia.

Cinquefoil Trust

The Cinquefoil Trust is a registered charity established to support current and former members of MI5 and their families who find themselves in challenging circumstances. 

Find out more about the Cinquefoil Trust