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Agent Handlers

Can you be an Agent Handler?

Four days a week minimum basis

Relationship building. Empathy. Problem solving. Resilience. These are skills you likely use every day. They are also the skills you need to be an Agent Handler in MI5.

Our agents are members of the public who provide us with vital information about threats facing the UK. This means Agent Handlers are at the heart of what we do, working with our agents to gather the intelligence that helps to keep the country safe. Agent handling is an opportunity for you to use your skills to make an invaluable contribution to UK national security.

The role

The role itself might be different to what you expect. Our Agent Handlers have a lot of independence, prioritising their own workload and organising when and where they meet agents, which is usually during a regular working day. Adept at interacting with a diverse range of people, you will develop a good relationship with your agents, taking time to understand and respond to situations and brief internal teams on intelligence developments. Naturally, a good proportion of your time will be spent out of the office, meeting your agents in relation to vital investigations, which will be underpinned by time in the office completing necessary legal obligations and producing written records of meetings. When you are meeting agents, there are a range of measures available to keep you and the agent safe. Ultimately, you’ll be responsible for the safe, compliant and effective handling of agents.

I love what I do and couldn't ask for a more rewarding and interesting role.

Who we are looking for

Empathetic and curious as to what exactly makes a person tick and adept at interacting with a diverse range of people you’ll create and nurture the trusting, long-term relationships that yield crucial intelligence. Your sound judgment, effective management of complex and challenging situations and ability to understand the significance of the information you have gathered, will see you making decisions that directly inform the investigations that keep the country safe.

You’ll enjoy developing your skills and knowledge and be open to feedback and self-reflection. Similarly, you’ll be able to gather information and present it clearly and concisely to others using your strong written and oral communication skills. Agent Handlers are also responsible for ensuring they handle their agents in keeping with all legal guidelines and relevant operations and safety compliance procedures, so you’ll need the ability to fully absorb these details and to maintain accurate and timely records.

Work-life balance

The Agent Handler role is one of the most varied in MI5, because you’re responding to real situations, which often happen outside the normal 9-5. Given the nature of the work, the role can be busy and demanding, including the need to be contactable outside of work. In return, MI5 offers you a flexible working pattern, if you need to work late one day, come in later the next or you’ll be compensated with overtime or time off in lieu. Part-time working is also available. The working environment within MI5 is collaborative and supportive because everyone is working towards the same goal.

Agent handlers case study

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would end up working as an Agent Handler for MI5. Yet, I am, and I love it.

Joining MI5 was a huge career change for me; I previously worked as an A&E nurse for many years and had a diverse and enjoyable career in the NHS. However, it was time to explore a different path with new challenges and becoming an Agent Handler seemed like a A man typing on a laptopnatural fit. Working as an Agent Handler is all about building trusting relationships with people, the fact these relationships are secret only adds to the challenge of what I do. Of course, it’s not always easy, persuading individuals to work for MI5 and becoming agents can be tricky, and being able to gain credible intelligence which will influence an investigation or high priority operation can be tough at times. But when you do, the sense of achievement and the feeling of being part of a successful team is incomparable. The added bonus is that I now have a better work-life balance than I have ever had before. There is some flexibility required, so sometimes I work the odd evening or weekend, but these times are far and few between and I am able to manage my own time to fit around my family.

Joining MI5 has been the best career and lifestyle move I could have made. I love what I do and couldn’t ask for a more rewarding and interesting role. It is a privilege to be able to work in a role where I play my part, along with my agents, in keeping the country safe.