Intelligence Officer Ref. 3043

Stonewall Top Employer AwardSocial Mobility Foundation AwardDisability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible BusinessThe Times Top 100

London based for first three years and thereafter location will vary depending on role and career path (overseas opportunities available).
Between £36,733 - £46,408 depending on performance during the assessment process and professional experience - see details within the job description

About Us

We’re MI6, also known as the SIS. Our mission is to protect the security and economic wellbeing of the UK from overseas threats such as regional instability, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. Working across the globe and in close partnership with MI5 and GCHQ, we help the Government to counter these threats through the provision of secret intelligence. A role in SIS will see you providing vital support to this work, within a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

As an Intelligence Officer (IO), you’ll be central to our mission. Our IOs gather secret intelligence to protect the UK and its interests overseas. It’s a fascinating and diverse role where you’ll use everyday skills, including communication, influencing and empathy, to tackle extraordinary challenges. It’s genuinely interesting and rewarding work.

We don’t expect you to be a fully trained IO when you join; it’s your skills and potential that we’re interested in. Your initial training course will help prepare you, exploring more than one role and building a range of strengths. Then, you’ll join one of our operational teams to continue your development. You’ll broaden and develop different skills, maybe even learn a language, and along the way you’ll find options to specialise in a chosen field – and the possibility to move into team leadership and management too, if that’s something that you’re interested in.

IOs work across four main business areas:

Operational Managers: responsible for planning operations, while identifying and managing risks.

Targeters: tasked with turning information, such as data, into operations alongside our partner agencies.

Reporting Officers: link us with Whitehall and our intelligence customers and are responsible for validating and testing the intelligence as well as briefing ministers.

Case Officers: build and manage relationships with agents - the people who pass us the intelligence we need.

This is critical work that keeps the UK safe. Depending on the business area you're in you might meet a contact for a chat in a café, be briefing a key customer during a meeting in Whitehall, or you could be gathering  intelligence online at our offices.  And, like any other job, you’ll be contactable if your family and friends need you.

Click here to find out more about what it’s like to work as an IO by listening to some employee profiles.

The Intelligence Officer Training Pathway

You’ll begin by completing the three-year Intelligence Officer Training Pathway, where you’ll learn the language and methodology of intelligence and how to apply this to MI6's mission of protecting the UK.

You’ll benefit from 8 weeks of initial classroom-based training where you’ll be allocated a role within one of the four business areas (see above). With continuous support and a personal mentor, you’ll enjoy on the job learning for 18 months. As you become more experienced and your confidence grows, you’ll be given a portfolio of work to own and manage (with support).  

You’ll then complete additional training at a higher level, before moving into another placement for the remainder of the Pathway. 

Once you graduate, you'll be able to apply for roles in whichever area best suits your skills and interests. You may choose to specialise in one particular area or you might have the opportunity to learn a language for a role, or you might want to apply for an overseas posting. Either way, you’ll have developed the skills and experience you need to start your career as a fully trained IO.  

For the remainder of your career you’ll have the benefit of moving into a different role approximately every three years, increasing your knowledge and skills across our core work, so it’s important that you demonstrate aptitude and interest in at least two of the four business areas during the recruitment process (however if you specialise in a particularly niche area, there may be an opportunity to stay within this area of work for longer than three years). The breadth of opportunity, as well as learning, really does make this a role like no other. 

About you

We’re looking for people with an interest in the world around them, who can take a wealth of information and enjoy making sense of it. We need people of every background with a range of life experiences who bring real intellectual curiosity. 

At the same time, we’re looking for people who can build good relationships with those around them, putting themselves in others’ shoes and looking to understand how they feel.  

You’ll need a minimum of a 2:2 degree or higher, and if you’re an undergraduate, you’ll be expecting your final degree result within 12 months of your application date. Unfortunately, we cannot accept an application earlier than that.

As well as demonstrating a strong motivation for joining the organisation and doing the IO role, you’ll also be able to demonstrate key competencies, further details of which can be found here:

Ultimately, the skills we’re looking for are the ones you use every day – and not just at work. Maybe your people skills come from volunteering. Your love of learning from a hobby. Maybe you can coach your friends through a tricky escape room, or you know just how to calm your kids down. Those are just the kind of people skills we need.

Desirable: An interest in languages/travel/foreign affairs is of benefit but not essential.


Between £36,733 - £46,408 depending on performance during the assessment process and professional experience:

  • If you have 3 or more years of professional experience, you will be eligible for a starting salary of £43,172
  • If you have a language qualification or are proficient in Mandarin, Russian, Persian or Arabic you might be eligible for an additional language allowance. Other languages may be considered on a case by case basis depending on operational demand.

Flexible Working: we can offer part-time, compressed hours, job share, and remote working subject to business need.

Rewards and Benefits

Along with a starting salary of £36,733, you will receive other benefits including:


  • 25 days annual leave (rising to 30 days after 5 years’ service) and 10.5 public and privilege holidays
  • Those who relocate to London for the role will have access to an interest free loan of £2,500 for 3 years
  • Financial support for learning and development
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Excellent pension scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Paid parental and adoption leave
  • On-site gym, restaurant and coffee bar

Equal Opportunities

At SIS diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

We’re Disability Confident

SIS are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are:

 Eligibility Questions: you will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet the criteria here, you will be invited to complete an initial application. 

Online Assessments: you will be required to reach the pass mark set for the situational judgement test and our Computer Analysis Test (CAT) which looks at your ability to problem-solve and analyse a number of documents. 

If you successfully pass these tests and an application form sift, you will be invited to a virtual interview session. This is our Offer of Interview

What to Expect

Our recruitment process with a brief overview of each stage, in order:

Initial questions: These check you meet the criteria (your nationality, time lived in UK, degree level). If you do, we’ll invite you to begin an application. The first step will require you to create a login or log into an existing account.

Initial application: This will ask you about yourself and contain some basic eligibility questions.

Online Situational Judgement Test: During this online test, you will be presented with various scenarios that reflect working life at SIS and for each one you are asked about different ways of responding to those scenarios, to give us some insight into how you might behave in relevant situations.

Full Application: Here, we’ll ask you for details around your academic achievements, employment and life experiences, languages spoken, IT skills, and of course your motivation for joining SIS. Please ensure the details are as accurate as possible. It can be time-consuming to provide all the information we need, but it is important for this stage of the process. It’s important to know though that we don’t expect you to come with every skill under the sun: as long as you’ve got intellectual curiosity and people skills, you’ve got potential, and we can train you in what we need.

Online assessment: After a successful application, you’ll be invited to complete an online Computer Analysis Test (CAT) which looks at your ability to problem-solve and analyse a number of documents.

Virtual interview: This is a competency-based interview (if you are unfamiliar with the key competencies, you can familiarise yourself with them by visiting the link to our webpage as referenced above). The virtual interview gives you the chance to demonstrate your motivation and some of the key attributes and aptitudes essential to this role. 

Written exercise, Assessment Centre, and Final Interview: For the written exercise, you will be presented with a fictional scenario where we’ll explore your ability to problem solve, take decisions, communicate, influence, and analyse information. The Assessment Centre and Final Interview are both held in London. During the Assessment Centre, you’ll try out various scenarios and roleplays where we’ll evaluate your skills in working with others, building relationships, collaborating, influencing, integrity and learning. If you live outside of the M25, you can claim for the cost of your travel and one night’s hotel if required. Please ask for further details or before booking. 

Conditional Offer: If you’re successful in your written exercise, Assessment Centre, and Final Interview, we’ll give you a conditional offer – which means you’ll join us if you successfully complete vetting, which you can read more about below. 

IMPORTANT: You must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next.  

Before You Apply 

To work at SIS, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something that everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here. 

Please note that we have a strict drugs policy so, once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage. 

The role is based in London, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application. A loan is available to support people relocating to London. 

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. Similarly, logging onto the portal or completion of any assessments should also only be done from within the UK. Applying, or any other activity on the portal, from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.  

If you are an employee of a Central Government Department or a member of the Armed Forces (excluding reservists), you will not be able to apply for this vacancy and will have to wait for the next relevant application stream for these groups and can register your interest here. If you do apply though this channel but fall within this criterion your application will be rejected.

Right to Withdraw Statement:  

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 application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.  









This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.