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At MI5 Intelligence Officers play an essential role in keeping the country safe, which makes for one of the most challenging, stimulating and rewarding careers you can imagine. As the country faces increased threats to national security, your role as an Intelligence Officer gives you opportunity to have a tangible impact on the security of the UK.


The Development Programme

Our structured two year Intelligence Officer Development Programme will enable you to develop the skills you need to become a widely deployable Intelligence Officer, whilst you work in roles which directly support the intelligence capability of MI5. On the Development Programme, you could spend your first two years in roles which include, but are not limited to:

  • Policy – where you will work on long term, wide reaching policy and new initiatives that affect how we do our work, liaising with other Government departments and stakeholders
  • Digital Intelligence – where you’ll help further investigations by analysing and assessing information gained through interception
  • Warrantry – a vital role that involves preparing warrants, ensuring they meet the appropriate legislative criteria before they’re sent to the Home Secretary/Judiciary for approval
  • Legal casework – this role could involve delivering and maintaining disruptive actions against key subjects of interest, which have a significant impact on their ability to engage in activities of national security concern
  • Analysis – where you’ll work alongside those on our Intelligence & Data Analyst Development Programme, as well as experienced analysts to learn the tools and techniques used by MI5 to analyse intelligence

This will be structured as either two postings of approximately one year each, or one posting up to 24 months in length. These roles will provide insight and understanding of the how MI5 functions, and develop relevant and transferable skills for a varied and fulfilling career. You’ll immediately be having an impact on the security of the UK, and will gain more responsibility as your experience grows. Working in a close-knit team, you’ll enjoy a great mix of challenge and support, with a flexible approach to working that offers an attractive work-life balance.

During your time on the Development Programme there will be an emphasis on you, with support from your Line Manger, to seek out development opportunities that are available to all, such as job shadowing, work-related talks and courses.

At the end of your two years, you’ll advance onto our Foundation Investigative Training (FIT) course. This five week course will prepare you for a direct move into one of our core investigative sections as a trained Intelligence Officer. On successful completion of FIT, and subject to line management approval, you’ll be eligible to apply for promotion.


The future

As a trained Intelligence Officer, your first role could be countering threats from international or Northern Ireland related terrorism to espionage or hostile states. You’ll set investigative strategies, making recommendations based on your assessment of threat levels, collaborating with colleagues and the Police to thwart threats.

After this posting, you will be deployed in to an investigative enabling, business critical role within the wider Intelligence Officer family, drawing on your investigative experience to bring value and results to our common goals.


What it’s like to work at MI5?

Protecting national security is a truly collaborative effort. At MI5, we are committed to creating a supportive and diverse working environment meaning that no matter what team you join, you will be supported by a Line Manager, with a big emphasis on personal and professional development. And whilst the nature of the work is serious, our Intelligence Officers enjoy an informal atmosphere, while also maintaining a very professional and driven approach to work. This creates a uniquely rewarding and friendly environment, where everyone works together to get the job done.


What we look for

Safeguarding the UK against threats to national security requires intelligent, talented people and those people aren’t found in any one particular section of society. Graduates from a range of backgrounds and degree disciplines join the Intelligence Officer Development Programme. To apply, you’ll need to have - or be expecting - a 2:2 in any degree discipline, or have 3 years relevant and permanent work experience.

As a confident communicator, you can quickly establish productive working relationships with your colleagues. You’ll need to be organised, have a good eye for detail and trust your own judgement. While happy to take responsibility for your own areas of work, you’ll also enjoy collaborating to solve problems and make decisions. MI5 also expects its employees to have a high degree of honesty and integrity.


Flowchart of progression through IODP


We have developed a challenge to help you to assess your use of information and analytical skills. The investigative challenge has been designed to give you a greater understanding of whether you would enjoy and be well-suited to the MI5 Intelligence Officer role. Although this isn’t a required part of the recruitment process, we strongly encourage you to complete the task as it will help you to assess some of your skills in relation to the job.

The challenge should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete. You will be asked to view a number of written documents and answer some multiple choice questions relating to what you have read. The exercise is designed to broadly reflect some of the situations Intelligence Officers at MI5 are expected to deal with.


Intelligence Officer, Legal Team

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