Introduction to Mobile Surveillance Officers

Being a Mobile Surveillance Officer (MSO) means every day is different. Surveillance is one of MI5's key investigative resources in protecting against threats to national security from terrorism to espionage. You could be out on foot or in a car, and where you are and what you are doing depends on who you are following and why. It's about blending into the environment naturally to gather information and intelligence that will feed directly into the operation you are working on. As a Mobile Surveillance Officer, you will enjoy huge variety every day and know that you are helping to keep the country safe.

Safety and Fitness

As a Mobile Surveillance Officer you have a huge support network behind you and our teams research every situation to minimise potential risks. On a day to day basis you will always have immediate support as you work closely with colleagues both on the ground and back in the office. You can be on the move all day, often following people under surveillance on foot so you need a reasonable level of fitness to allow you to do this.

Candidates will be required to undertake and pass a Fitness for Role medical which includes:

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Body Mass Index

Having a body mass index of 30 or less
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Blood Pressure

Blood pressure within NIC guidelines of less than 140/90
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Good vision

Good vision in both eyes, either naturally or corrected with glasses or contact lenses, including full colour and peripheral vision to DVLA Group 2 sight
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Good Hearing

Good hearing referred to as HSE category 1 without hearing aids is also essential

Any pre-existing medical conditions and medical history will also be assessed.

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Mobile Surveillance Officer Case Study

I first considered working for MI5 when I heard an advert for Mobile Surveillance Officers on the radio and there were quite a few things about the role that caught my attention. I've never been one to sit still so the idea of being out and about, driving and on foot, was hugely appealing, as was the opportunity to travel around the country.

Mobile Surveillance Officers always work together in teams, so I always feel safe and in control of all situations. The job is exciting, but I'm never put in to situations that make me feel uncomfortable. The work is really diverse and every day is different; I might be working on one project one week and another the next.

Being an Mobile Surveillance Officer can fit around your lifestyle. You get your shift patterns well in advance, so you can plan around work, maintaining that work-life balance.

To be a good Mobile Surveillance Officer, you need excellent attention to detail and the ability to be discreet. Luckily for me, this comes naturally, as I've always been a people watcher and wanted to be in the know. Training for the role has further developed these skills as well as others that are crucial to it. When I joined, I felt was a competent driver, but the driving courses have really improved my driving ability.

The anticipation - not knowing what's going to happen next - it's a really exciting role

Where Do Your Skills Lie?

Why not test your skills to see if you could join MI5 in one of our investigative roles.

Mobile Surveillance

We have developed some tasks that reflect the nature of the work of our Mobile Surveillance Officers to enable you to assess your suitability for the role. Take this challenge to check your observation skills and ability to recall detail.

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This quiz will give you some indication of MI5 values and culture and how well they match with you.

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