Covert Technical Operations Specialist Ref. 1637

IT, Science & Technical

MI5’s intelligence collection operations utilise technology in a way you’d never thought possible. As a Covert Technical Operations Specialist, you will take the lead in deploying a wide range of advanced MI5 technical capability to enable intelligence collection in fast-paced and high-profile investigations. Working alongside investigators, you will give a unique insight into the complex and evolving threats to national security by developing methods to allow us access to the computers and devices used by terrorist groups that pose a serious threat to the UK.  

Computer and mobile device security is advancing at a rapid pace and it’s vital for MI5 to stay ahead of the game. This is why we need individuals with the brightest technical minds and the drive to meet the challenges of MI5’s covert operations.

This is an office-based role where you will be working to tight deadlines and rapidly solving technical problems in the most innovative, tactical and covert ways possible within a strict legal framework. As you’ll be working closely with other intelligence collection and investigative teams, you will need to be comfortable explaining complex technical topics to a wider audience, to ensure the success of our operations.  

For success in this role, you’ll have (or be expecting to have by Summer 2019) at least a 2:2 in your degree or equivalent qualification in a technology-related field such as computer science, computer security, software engineering, digital forensics or another similar subject. You’ll also have an understanding of, and experience in, computer/network security, computer/digital forensics and/or penetration testing.  

Alternatively, you must have a demonstrable background/experience in computer/network security, computer/digital forensics and/or penetration testing.

It would be highly advantageous for applicants to have scripting and development skills (including on mobile platforms). An understanding of internet / network protocols and mobile/desktop operating system internals would also be desirable.

Due to the nature of the role you will need to be able to adapt to evolving requirements, meet the challenges of high operational tempos and have the drive to see complex requirements through to completion. In return we’ll give you all the support you need to develop the skills required for a rewarding career at the forefront of computer security.  
To find out more about our technical intelligence collection work click here

MI5 is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect.

As a member of staff with MI5 you will have access to a variety of benefits throughout your career with us. These include an excellent work life balance with flexible working hours, a good pension scheme and the chance to work on interesting projects for a unique organisation. Click here to find out more about the culture and benefits of working for MI5.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As part of our commitment to the “Disability Confident” scheme we offer an interview to all candidates with a disability who meet our minimum criteria for the job vacancy 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. Your application must score the minimum amount of points set. On successful completion of this stage, you will be invited to interview.

The Recruitment Process

The first thing we will ask you to do is to complete our pre-screening questions to find out if you meet our initial criteria. If you do meet these criteria we will then ask you to begin an application.

The first step will require you to create a login. You can do this by providing your full name, email address and a memorable password. Once you have successfully created a personal account, you will be required to upload your CV and complete an application form which will include some additional information on your skills and experience. You will also be required to complete an equal opportunities monitoring information form.  Our recruitment team will complete an application sift to assess how far you meet the job specification. Although there are different technical areas you will be assessed on, you do not have to excel in all the areas in order to pass. We are assessing your potential as well as your ability.

Successful applicants will be invited to an assessment centre that will involve a
face to face competency and technical interview to check you have the skills and motivation to work for MI5. You will also participate in a technical challenge, which has been designed to assess your skills and will form the basis of your technical interview. If you pass the assessment centre you will then be asked to attend a final selection interview, and assuming you pass this, you will then be asked to attend a security interview with a vetting officer that will explore your life and experiences.  The selection process can take between 6 and 9 months.

You should read about the vetting process and satisfy yourself that you meet the criteria outlined in the vetting pages of the How to Apply section prior to submitting an application. Giving misleading information or omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously. You should ensure that you follow our guidance from when you apply.

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 have substantial ties to the UK. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for 9 out of the last 10 years prior to application. 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.


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

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.