Mobile Surveillance Officers Ref. 1805

Entry Salary: £34,530. Upon completion of training £38,087 (Includes shift pay)

The Role

Surveillance is one of MI5's key investigative resources in protecting against threats to national security from terrorism to espionage. Mobile Surveillance Officers follow subjects who have been identified by Intelligence Officers as potential threats to national security. It’s all about blending into the environment naturally wherever you are to observe people and places, either by foot or by vehicle.

The Skills

Blending in: Being able to blend into the background safely is of paramount importance in our investigations. This is about always behaving naturally and putting your safety and those of your colleagues first. We provide intensive training to support this.

Any distinguishing features such as tattoos on your face, neck or hands would make you more recognisable to someone who is under surveillance and would therefore make you unsuitable for this role. Likewise, if you are male you will need to be 6’2” or under. Females must be 5’10” or under.

The UK has a highly diverse population so it’s vital that we too have a diverse team who can operate in a wide range of environments without attracting attention. That’s why we’re particularly keen to recruit women and people from ethnic backgrounds, to ensure we have balanced Surveillance teams that reflect the society we protect. All applications, however, will be considered on merit.

Attention to Detail: You’ll need to be highly observant – and be able to accurately remember the details of what you’ve seen and heard. You’ll also need to have 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. Good hearing, referred to as HSE category 1 without hearing aids, is essential. Your eyesight and hearing will be tested during the recruitment process and you must pass these tests to continue with your application.

Driving: You’ll need to enjoy driving and be a competent and confident driver happy to learn to drive at an advanced standard, you must have held a full UK manual driving licence for the last three years and have no more than three points on your licence. You’ll drive a manual car regularly, commuting to the varied work locations and whilst working in the role, and you need to be confident on all sorts of roads (city, urban, rural and motorway) at various times including rush hour and during the day and night. The training course you’ll undertake when you join us will really hone your driving skills. If you are interested in finding out more about driving at an advanced standard you could look at what’s involved in IAM and ROSPA courses.

Fitness: You can be on the move all day, often following people who are under surveillance on foot, so you’ll need a reasonable level of health and fitness to allow you to do this. You should be comfortable both walking and sitting for substantial periods of time and you’ll need good manual dexterity in both hands to operate surveillance equipment. Candidates will be required to undertake and pass a Fitness for Role medical which includes having a body mass index of 30 or less and blood pressure within NICE guidelines of less than 140/90.

Map reading: You should be able to easily navigate yourself between two different points using an ‘A-Z’ or Philip’s Navigator Britain style road map. Map reading potential will be tested during the recruitment process and developed on the intensive training course.  

Patience: You’ll need to be able to remain completely alert for sometimes long spells of inactivity but remain ready to step up several gears when it all starts happening.

Thinking on your feet: Things can happen fast in this role. You’ll need to be able to make sound judgements on the spur of the moment. The training will help hone your judgements in the role.

Multi-tasking: You need to be able to do several things at once – watch, plan and think ahead, drive, communicate to your team – and make risk assessments and decisions whilst you’re doing so.

Team work: Teamwork is a huge part of the role so you must enjoy working as part of a team. You’ll need to be able to work collaboratively with a variety of people, including other Mobile Surveillance Officers and staff across MI5 and our partner organisations.

IT Skills: You should have basic IT skills and will be trained to use a range of communication equipment.

Location: The role is based in central London, with much of the work being in Greater London. You’ll need to live or be prepared to relocate to within a commutable distance of the capital and within a 70-mile radius of the office to do the role. The nature of the work, however, can involve extensive travel around the UK and you may need to spend time away from home, sometimes at shorter notice than would normally be given. On rare occasions, you may spend up to seven nights away. You should consider the financial implications and practicalities of relocating to Greater London prior to submitting an application. Please note, we can’t cover relocation costs.

Shift patterns: You’ll need to be flexible - working hours are organised on a five-week shift pattern, which includes working two weekends in five.This means that you will know exactly what shift you are working whether it be in a month, year or 5 years’ time. Some people find that working shifts and having their days off during the week can be a real benefit to work-life balance.

Training and Support: We take training very seriously. It ensures our people remain safe and allows us to equip our staff to collect the intelligence we need. If you are successful in the recruitment and the vetting processes you will be invited to take part in a non-residential, full-time 14 weeks training course based in London that you will need to pass to become a Mobile Surveillance Officer.The course is comprehensive and at times demanding but this is necessary to give you the confidence and skills you need to perform in the role in a safe and secure manner. The course consists of briefings, intensive training, assessments and continual feedback. You’ll also learn to drive to an advanced standard. If you successfully complete the course, you will move into a Mobile Surveillance role and receive on-the-job mentoring.

Career Development: Surveillance is a specialist role and we are looking to recruit Mobile Surveillance Officers who will be able to commit a minimum of five years to the role. However, as a Mobile Surveillance Officer you are also part of the wider family and there could be opportunities to move to other roles. Promotion is on merit and where opportunities allow. Some people co-ordinate others during surveillance operations. Others become planning officers or specialise in areas of surveillance including photography and the technical aspects of the role.

There are several stages to our recruitment process and it may take 12 months or over from your initial application to joining. These are the stages you will need to complete:

•    Initial Application
•    Online Questionnaire - Please note your score in this will not affect your progression to the next stage, however completion of the questionnaire is required in order to progress
•    Full Application and Situational Judgement Test
•    Telephone Interview
•    3 Assessment Centres held in Central London. Each one needs to be passed in order to be invited to the next Assessment Centre. Note, the duration of each Assessment Centre is approx. 6 to 8 hours and they are normally spread out across a number of weeks.  
•    Fitness for role medical – see ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Fitness’ sections above for more insight.
•    Developed Vetting

As you progress through the process we will give you more information about what to expect at the next stage and guidance on how to prepare.

If you are successful in the recruitment and vetting process, you will be invited to take part in a non-residential full-time 14 week training course based in London that you will need to pass to become a Mobile Surveillance Officer. Before the 14 week course you will join us for a short induction course where you will find out more about working for MI5 via a series of briefings.  Directly after the induction you will commence the 14 week intensive mobile surveillance training course. See the previous section on ‘Training and Support’ for more details. If you successfully complete the course, you will move into a Mobile Surveillance role and receive on-the-job mentoring.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must meet our residency criteria. You must be a born or naturalised British citizen and one of your parents must be a British citizen or havesubstantial ties to the UK.

Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for nine out of the last 10 years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You will nonetheless be considered if you have, for example, served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty's Government, studied abroad, or lived overseas with your parents.

Due to vetting requirements, you will need to be 18 years old, or above, to apply.

Candidates need to hold a Full UK manual driving licence for at least 3 years at the time of your application, and to currently have no more than 3 points on your driving licence.

Candidates need to have no visible tattoos on their face, neck or hands which if they did would make them unsuitable for the role.

Male candidates need to be 6ft 2” or under and Female candidates need to be 5ft 10” or under.

The role is based in Central London with much of the work in Greater London.  You will need to live or be prepared to live within a commutable distance of the capital and within a 70 mile radius of the office to do the role.

Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the How to Apply section.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As part of our commitment to being a ‘Disability Confident Leader’ we offer an interview to all candidates with a disability who meet our minimum criteria for the role that they are applying for. This is known as the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).

Along with the standard eligibility requirements for this post, your application will be assessed on how far you meet the job requirements. On successful completion of this stage, you will be invited to interview.  Please note that the guaranteed interview may be a telephone interview, as we do conduct interviews over the telephone for some positions.

MI5 is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect. All applications are welcome, but we particularly welcome applications from women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.