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Future Leaders Programme Ref. 1182


Could you be part of the next generation of leaders in one of the UK’s Intelligence and Security agencies? GCHQ is looking to recruit talented, flexible and committed individuals from all backgrounds who have the potential to lead it into the future.

GCHQ, along with SIS and MI5, protects the UK and its allies. We have a unique legal mandate to operate in the interests of national security, the prevention of serious crime and the nation’s economic wellbeing. We are also at the forefront of defending the UK online from hostile cyber activity through the National Cyber Security Centre.  

We are looking for individuals to contribute to the UK’s security and prosperity, displaying innate leadership ability, excellent communication skills and a desire to operate in a constantly changing technological and political environment? Candidates will need all of these attributes to bring together our world-leading technology, unique legal authorities and, most importantly, our people and partnerships, to enable GCHQ to solve problems that no-one else can.

GCHQ’s Future Leaders’ Programme provides an individually tailored development pathway designed to identify and develop tomorrow’s leaders by building the experience, knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for senior roles in the organisation within 5 years.

This will be a mutually demanding and rewarding partnership as together we develop leadership qualities through a series of assignments in different areas of the organisation, both within our HQ building and a variety of locations in the UK and overseas. Successful candidates will learn and think on their feet from day one, supported by a carefully constructed programme of training and mentoring alongside frequent contact with a cohort of other Future Leaders.


You should hold a minimum 2:2 honours degree in any discipline.
Experience in leading a group or team would be advantageous but is not essential.

You must also be able to demonstrate strong intellectual curiosity, political awareness, an interest in technology, commitment to delivery and an ability to engage and inspire people to act.


Development will include formal training across the broad range of our business as well as individual support and mentoring throughout the programme.  There will also be a strong element of learning ‘on the job’ via a succession of real assignments, each giving you further experience of different areas of our business and opportunities to exercise further responsibility. Throughout, you will be part of a close-knit cohort, providing opportunities for support and learning within this community.  By the end of the programme you’ll have a deep understanding of a range of work carried out in GCHQ and, having built up a strong network of contacts, be ready to lead on key pieces of our work.


You will be required to undergo a staged selection process including:

  • Minimum eligibility sift
  • Application sift
  • Online testing
  • Telephone interview
  • Assessment centre


  • Application Live:            Monday 17th July – Monday 14th August
  • Online Testing:              Week commencing 31st August – 5th September
  • Telephone Interviews:    14th – 22nd September
  • Assessment Centres:      Week commencing 9th October 

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.