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Vetting Officers

Bring your background to the foreground.

And help keep the country safe.

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – together, we’re the UK’s Intelligence Agencies. We protect the UK from threats to national security such as terrorism and espionage. Our work is incredibly sensitive, so the honesty and integrity of our people is essential. That’s why we rely on Vetting Officers to identify those who can keep Britain’s secrets safe.

As a Vetting Officer, you’ll make recommendations on an individual’s suitability to hold the highest levels of clearance and work with us. To do this, you’ll conduct in-depth interviews, analyse lots of information and produce detailed written reports. With a respectful approach, you’ll always maintain privacy and dignity for those you assess. Everything you do will support an increasingly diverse and flexible workforce – and the safety of the UK.

Our job is to understand people in all their diversity and complexity to work out if they can be entrusted with sensitive information.

The values you need

You don’t need any specific qualifications, but you’ll need to be empathetic, conscientious and resilient. You’ll be sensitive to the customs, practices, cultures and beliefs of others, and demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills. Your ability to engage with different people will have been developed in a variety of workplaces.

Importantly, you’ll have a real interest and curiosity in people and what makes them who they are. With an open approach, you’ll create strong rapports, put others at ease and encourage honest conversations. Although these conversations can sometimes be difficult, you’ll know when to dig a little deeper and where there are gaps and inconsistencies. Importantly, you’ll be comfortable navigating uncomfortable moments. And as someone who values feedback, you’ll act on it and always look to improve.

Everything you do will help to build a diverse and talented workforce – all while keeping the UK safe. So, if you’re looking for a unique career with real purpose, you’re exactly who we’re looking for.

Our recruitment process

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit. Due to the nature of our work, our process usually takes up to 12 months and includes security vetting. You’ll need to successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. We can offer relevant pre-reading opportunities as your application progresses.


Initial application

The first thing we’ll need from you is an initial registration form where you’ll complete several questions based on the role requirements and the organisation.


Situational judgement test

We’ll then explore how you respond to different workplace scenarios. These are based on situations that might arise during the programme, but you won’t need any specific knowledge or experience to complete this.


Full application form

This is your opportunity to tell us why you’re right for this role and programme. Remember, this is a unique role and we’re not looking for specific qualifications. The kind of people skills and experience we’re after can be gained in any workplace. Try to include examples from your own life and work experiences you feel are relevant.


Telephone interview

This is where we’ll take our first chance to speak to you in person. It’ll be a competency-based interview, assessing you on core behaviours including teamwork, planning and delivery, communication, problem solving and judgement, and your approach to learning and change.


Assessment centre

If you pass the previous stages, you’ll be invited to our virtual assessment centre. You’ll have an online interview, and assessments relevant to your role. This is the final stage in the process, after which we’ll let you know if your application has been successful.

You should only apply if you live in the UK. We are an equal opportunities and disability confident employer. We would be particularly interested in hearing from people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, who are currently underrepresented in our workforce.

People exercising outside

We know how important a healthy work-life balance is. So you’ll be able to work flexibly. Subject to business needs, there are also opportunities to work from home.

You’ll also enjoy 25 days’ annual leave, rising to 30 after 5 years’ service. Plus, you’ll have access to paid parental and adoption leave, an interest-free season ticket loan, a rented accommodation loan and a personal learning budget.

Different people's hands

We’re proud to have an inclusive, welcoming and supportive working environment, where everyone is encouraged to be themselves. We have a growing number of affinity groups, including: 
- Ethnic minority and gender equality networks
- Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, neurodiversity and disability  
- Faith/No Faith communities  
- LGBTQ+ support networks 
In addition, there’s an employee performance scheme and friendly peer groups involved in different sports and social activities.

Vetting Officer FAQs

VODP, whilst timetabled for the initial foundations course, does allow for flexible work patterns. Flexitime and compressed hours can fit with the Vetting Officer role.

Post COVID, there has been a move towards hybrid working and there are opportunities, set against business needs, for some home working.

Whilst there is no requirement, we will be able to offer you some relevant pre-reading opportunities during the application process.

We welcome applications from individuals who have had experience of conducting interviews, but this is not an essential skill as training is provided through the VODP and as part of the mentoring and coaching offer. There will be other life experiences and skills that you can bring to the role, and which will help you to develop in the vetting profession.

The programme will be completed within two years for full time participants, and we require a minimum of three years in a vetting role thereafter.

Assessment of the VODP is a blended approach. This includes being assessed against frameworks to prove you meet the standards required, show evidence of progress through casework, being observed, building your own profile and having performance assessed by a panel each year.