Trainee Finance Officer Ref. 2694

Mind Achieving Impact AwardSocial Mobility Foundation AwardStonewall Top Employers 2020Stonewall Top Employers 2019The Times Top 100Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible BusinessThe Times Top 100

Finance, Audit and Procurement
Central London, Cheltenham
Full time with flexible working
London: £25,876, Cheltenham: £23,431

About Us

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ are the UK’s Intelligence Services. We work together to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats at home, overseas and online, including cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. Working across our vital missions, you’ll deliver impact at the heart of national security, all within a supportive and inclusive environment that allows everyone to thrive. 

The Role 

As a Trainee Finance Officer, you’ll be offered a structured learning pathway to become a valued industry professional. Over three years, you’ll achieve a recognised Finance qualification whilst contributing to the Finance Functions at the UK’s Intelligence Services. And through your work, you’ll enable the delivery of our organisational strategies and ensure that public money is spent efficiently and effectively.  

You’ll study for an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 4 qualification while taking on a number of different roles. But you won’t do it alone. With a team of other trainees, a dedicated mentor and a ‘buddy’ with experience of studying the AAT, you’ll have great support from day one. When you’re not working at the agencies, and learning on the job, you’ll be studying in a classroom-based environment, with the option of virtual training. 

In addition to studying for the AAT Level 4 qualification, you’ll get to grips with:   
•    Financial monthly and end of year processes 
•    Processing payments and employees’ claims   
•    Dealing with a range of queries and identifying and resolving issues 
•    Reviewing accounting documents, and producing routine reports and summaries for management teams
As you gain hands-on experience of Finance operations across MI5, MI6 and GCHQ and develop your analytical skills, you’ll become a valuable part of our team. And once you’ve finished your qualification, we’ll help you look forward to your next steps. You’ll have opportunities for promotions, and the option to become a Certified Chartered Accountant. With plenty of training and further development opportunities available, this role offers you a way to build an exciting long-term career in Finance.

Due to the nature of the role, there is limited scope to work from home, however we do offer flexible working hours.

About You 

A naturally inquisitive problem solver, you’ve got a head for figures. You’ll bring a passion for developing a career in Finance and a real enthusiasm for learning. And you’re a great team player, who loves working with, and learning from, others.

You’ll share our values of integrity, respect and creativity, and our mission to have a positive impact on the UK. You don’t need to be a certain ‘type’ of person to work here – we need all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds to protect the UK. That means we value your individuality, and what makes you, you.

You’ll already have GCSEs in English and Maths at A-C/9-4 (or equivalent), and experience with Microsoft Word and Excel.

As the scheme begins in October 2023, you’ll need to have completed your studies by then and be ready to join us full time. Please note that if you’ve started or already completed the AAT qualification, you won’t be eligible.

Training and Development 

No matter your experience or background, you’ll get lots of dedicated support when you join. With an induction and your own study mentor, you’ll quickly get to grips with the role and have access to help and guidance whenever you need it. So, you won’t be on your own – you’ll be a part of a community dedicated to your development.

Rewards and Benefits 

You’ll receive a starting salary of £23,431 to £25,876 depending on location, plus other benefits including:  
•    25 days’ annual leave, automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service
•    An additional 10.5 days’ public and privilege holidays 
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme 
•    Interest-free season ticket loan 
•    Excellent pension scheme 
•    Cycle to work scheme 
•    Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations) 
•    Paid parental and adoption leave

Culture and Working Environment  

As part of our team, you’ll discover an inclusive workplace that’s welcoming, supportive and encouraging. You’ll be part of an organisation where people want to support one another and make a difference. Aside from fostering an open culture, we have a range of affinity Groups. For example:   
•    Ethnic Minority and gender equality networks 
•    Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, neurodiversity and disability and long-term health conditions 
•    Faith/No Faith communities for staff to come together  
•    LGBTQ+ support networks 
You’ll also find a variety of sports, activity, interest and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people.

Before You Apply 

To work at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, 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 everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note 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. 
MI5 and MI6 - 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. 
GCHQ - The role is based in Cheltenham, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

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

Equal Opportunities 

At MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, 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, long-term health conditions 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 
We 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 ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview where practicable; this is known as ‘Offer of an Interview’. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:  

•    Eligibility Questions – You will be asked a series of questions relating to the role and working for this organisation. If you meet the criteria here, you will be directed to the initial application form which includes our online test.
•    If you pass our initial application form you will then be invited to interview, which at present we believe will be in the shape of an assessment centre.

What to Expect 

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order: 

Eligibility Questions & Initial Form – You’ll answer a number of questions based on the requirements for the role. To complete an initial registration form, you’ll first need create a personal account. This will mean providing your full name, email address and memorable password. You can then complete the registration form, providing contact details and equal opportunities monitoring information. If you’d rather not supply these details, there is a ‘prefer not to say’ option for each question. 
Online Cognitive Ability Test - If you meet our eligibility requirements, the next step will be an Online Cognitive Ability Test. We’ll be in touch with more information about this.   
Full Application Form - If you pass the Online Cognitive Ability Test, we’ll invite you to complete an online application form.
Online Interview – If successful at application form stage, we may invite you to an Online Interview. This interview will dive deeper into your skills and motivation, so we can make sure the role’s right for you.   
Security Interview - This interview explores your life and experiences; it’s not about your competencies or capabilities. It will take place in central London or the west of England and is an important part of the selection process. 
Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer. 

Our Vetting 

To work in this role, you’ll need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community has to go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding DV clearance is right for you. You don’t need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated impartially and consistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.  

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.