Vetting Officers Ref. 2074

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Mission Enablers
Cheltenham, Central London, Manchester
London £38,656, Cheltenham and Manchester £36,729
At MI5, MI6 and GCHQ we help protect the UK and its interest from threats to our national security at home and abroad.  It means we work against everything from terrorism and espionage, to cyber threats and sabotage.  It’s a complex task which is why we need the right people to join us, supported by excellent Vetting Officers to ensure we select, retain and support those critical staff throughout their time with us.  Join our comprehensive 2 year development programme and we’ll give you all the support you’ll need for a rewarding career within our multi-agency vetting team.  

The Role

Our Vetting Officers work with significant autonomy across all three agencies, to deliver high quality vetting decisions and recommendations to ensure that they support the delivery of an increasingly flexible and dynamic workforce of the future, mindful of existing and emerging risks that will shape their thinking on a potential recruit or member of staff’s suitability to hold vetting clearance.

In this role you’ll hear the good, the bad and everything in between.  It’s about having insightful, confidential conversations, to build a fuller picture of who they're.  Essentially, you’ll be helping to keep the country safe by thoroughly vetting our people, and identifying anything about them that could pose a risk to national security.

Although you’ll join MI5 you will be based at the headquarters of which ever agency you state as your preferred location.  In the role it may be necessary to travel to others part of the UK.

The Person

We’re looking for people who are self-motivated and resilient and able to manage their own workload and ensure tight deadlines are met.  
You’ll engage with confidence with staff at every level of seniority, and candidates and their referees from all backgrounds.  Empathetic yet assertive, you’ll build rapport and have an innate sense for the truth.  You’ll know when it’s right to dig a little deeper, with the ability to spot inaccuracies or inconsistencies.  Your on the on-the-spot judgement and decision-making skills will be crucial.  But, no matter what you hear, you’ll remain professional and unbiased.  Your objective analysis will be built on the evidence and a careful consideration of the risks that are presented.  Ultimately, once all the information has been collated you’ll summarise your analysis and recommend whether someone is suitable to hold vetting clearance.

You’ll be a great listener and a natural people person, with the ability to handle delicate matters sensitively – always acting with the utmost levels of honesty and integrity.  Organised and logical, yet intuitive and curious, able to naturally absorb and record a lot of detail whilst asking questions.  Plus you’ll enjoy writing as you’ll be bringing together information in case reports that are detailed, clear and concise.

The Development Programme
All new Vetting Officers join a structured 2 year programme which will help you develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to work independently as a Vetting Officer across the full range of vetting activities.  The programme will consist of:

-    intelligence agency familiarisation;
-    formal training;
-    on the job learning;
-    project related work;
-    working with an experienced Vetting Officer who will mentor and support you throughout the programme

On completion of the programme you’ll be expected to have developed the skills and evidence to apply to become a fully accredited Vetting Officer and apply for promotion.  If successful you’ll take on a broader range of activities as an autonomous Vetting Officer. Completion of this programme is the first stage of a wider career pathway within our vetting capability across the intelligence agencies.

The Recruitment Process

The first thing we will ask you to do is 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.  You will need to create a log in and provide your full name, email address and a memorable password.  Once you have successfully created a personal account, you will be required to complete an initial registration form, providing contact details and equal opportunities monitoring information.

The application process will involve you completing an online application form which will cover relevant experience, your motivation for applying and some situational judgement questions aligned to the role, but which require no prior knowledge or experience of the role.

To process your application, it is essential that you provide all the information requested in the application form.  Our recruitment team will complete an application sift and successful applicants will be invited to a telephone interview to check you have the potential skills and motivation to work for the intelligence agencies.  If successful you will then be invited to an Assessment Centre to further explore your skills.  If successful you will then be invited to the final stage of the recruitment process, which is a face-to-face interview.  

On successful completion of the recruitment process you will go through our vetting process which will involve the completion of some online forms, a security interview and referee interviews.  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 your 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 the guidance from when you apply.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must meet out residency criteria. You must be born or a 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 nine out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside of 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. You can apply at the age of 17 years and 6 months, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday.

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.

Offer an Interview

As a Disability Confident employer, we will 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 an Interview. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:

i.  Eligibility Questions – You will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet the criteria here you will be directed to the initial application form.  
ii. On successful completion and an application form sift, you will be invited to interview. This is our guaranteed interview.

Equal Opportunities Statement

The UK Intelligence Agencies / MI5 / MI6 / GCHQ  are Equal Opportunities employers, committed to reflecting the society we protect. Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit. We particularly welcome applications from diverse and under-represented groups. We particularly welcome applications from women / Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates / candidates with a disability / LGBT+ candidates.


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.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.