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Foundation Analyst

Our information. Your attention to detail. Let's build the bigger picture.

Our Foundation Analysts find the details that keep the country and people safe. With plenty of training and support, you’ll work with a whole host of data – everything from audio files, through to communications. Your findings will shape our investigations and have a huge impact on our work. It’s the kind of role where you don’t need lots of experience or a degree. If you love to learn, we’ll teach you everything you need to know.  This is the first rung on the ladder for a long and fulfilling career in analysis.

We have opportunities in London and Northern Ireland, so carry on reading to find out more!

About the role

You’ll be joining a four-year structured programme and after your initial induction, you’ll go on to attend three months of training which is a mix of classroom training and consolidation within analysis teams. After this time, you will go on to complete three posts within your four years on the programme.

One of these posts will involve shift work on a 24/7 basis, which covers weekends, for which you’ll receive an allowance. You don’t need any experience of working shifts and you’ll know your shift pattern well in advance so you can plan your life outside of work. Shifts will involve working a mixture of early mornings and nights. This post will last 12 months. Your other two posts will be a standard working pattern in different analysis teams where you will be able to consolidate your new knowledge and experience of data. These posts will be 18 months in length. The order of these posts will depend on the business needs at the time of joining.

Throughout the training, you’ll work with supportive teams to explore different types of data and you’ll use different tools and techniques to find the answers to your questions. And, with prioritised tasks, you’ll know exactly what you need to tackle first.

While you’ll be trusted to work independently, you’ll be given lots of guidance on what to look for. As you discover important details, you’ll share your progress with your team and explain your findings. Working closely with others will help you to develop your skills and build your confidence.

Hover your mouse over the images below to read about the roles in Northern Ireland and London.

Titanic Building in Belfast

In this role, you will be based in Northern Ireland permanently. After your training and first posting, you’ll go into your second analysis role, which will involve shift work on a 24/7 basis. Finally, you’ll return to a standard working pattern in your third and final role for the remainder of the four-year programme.

Tower Bridge in London

In London, after completing your initial training, you’ll attend three months of training which is a mix of classroom-based and consolidation within analysis teams. After this, you’ll go on to complete three different posts over four years. One of these posts will involve shift work which covers 24/7.

About you

It’s only with different perspectives that we can find the answers we’re looking for. All our analysts have different backgrounds and come from different walks of life, however they do have one thing in common... a passion and interest in helping to protect people and places. You don’t need experience in analysis or a degree to join us. It’s all about your potential.

With a C or 4 in GCSE English or equivalent qualification, you’ll be a great communicator, able to listen carefully and explain your findings. Curious, determined and proactive, you’ll be keen to apply what you've learned and find the answers. It’s these skills that’ll help you to adapt to changing situations and get the best out of the role, yourself and the data.

Our people

Whatever your idea of the kind of people who work here, you’ll find we’re just ordinary people doing extraordinary jobs. We work hard to ensure our people can bring their whole self to work. Aside from fostering a welcoming, supportive and open culture, we’ve got a range of growing affinity groups. These currently include:

  • our ethic minority network
  • a group working to achieve gender and non-binary equality
  • a network supporting staff with illnesses and disability
  • an open forum for staff with a faith, or no faith, to come together
  • our network supporting LGBT+ staff.

You’ll also find a range of sports and social groups to help you settle in and connect with like-minded people. In fact, we’ve won numerous awards for our inclusive working environment.

We’re Disability Confident

As a Disability Confident Leader we aim to ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. (This is known as Offer of an Interview.) To secure an interview for this role, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:

  • C or 4 in GCSE English or equivalent qualification
  • Eligibility questions – you’ll need to answer a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet the eligibility criteria you will be directed to the initial application form.
  • Online questions – You will be required to reach the pass mark set for the cognitive ability test and transcription exercise.
  • Application form – you will be required to pass an application form sift

On successful completion of these stages you will be invited to complete a telephone interview. This is our offer of interview.


Our recruitment process

On average, applying for a job within the UK Intelligence Services takes between six to nine months. Due to the nature of our work, you’ll need to go through security vetting. Every stage of the process is really important, so we really appreciate your patience. We promise it’s worth it! Find out more below:


Initial application and online tests

You’ll provide some personal details and answer some eligibility questions. You’ll then complete a Cognitive Ability Test and short transcription assessment.


Full application

You’ll then provide some more in- depth details and answer some competency-based questions.


Telephone interview

You’ll be interviewed over the phone and answer both competency and strength-based questions.


Assessment centre

You’ll complete an online assessment centre. This will involve interviews, roleplays and written exercises, and you’ll be asked some further questions related to the role.

If you’re successful at this stage, you’ll be sent a Conditional Offer. At this point, you’ll start Developed Vetting which is how you gain security clearance. It can seem a bit overwhelming, but we’ll keep in touch with you along the way and give you plenty of support. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage during the recruitment process.