Communication Protocol Analyst Ref. 2934

Mind Achieving Impact AwardSocial Mobility Foundation AwardThe Times Top 100Stonewall Diversity Champion 2021Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible Business

Technology Roles
£32,092-£35,234 with the potential for a skills payment within 6-12 months with support and mentoring. Skills payments range of up to £7,800 per annum and are subject to period re-evaluation.

About Us
At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The Role

As a Communication Protocol Analyst, you’ll take on a unique role at the heart of an innovative team. Your main task will be to conduct technical data analysis to understand the protocols and structure of data we acquire. In other words, you’ll research a technology to understand what it does, how it works, how it communicates, and how it can be configured. This will help us process it and extract as much value as we can.

You’ll then work with our processing teams and analysts to make that data useful for mission requirements, creating documentation to explain your findings to peers and customers. You don’t need to be a developer, but you should be ready and willing to learn how to code.

Researching, analysing and communicating, you’ll enjoy autonomy as well as responsibility for projects. Part of a small but growing team, you’ll work individually, but also in collaboration. A core part of the job will be working with developers to process the data you have analysed. There may also be opportunities for cross-team working with colleagues in mission areas. 

It’s an inclusive, friendly environment where we work together to achieve a common goal. Hybrid working is possible (one to two days in the office, depending on business need). And while national/international travel is not required, there are opportunities available roughly once a year.

About You

STEM, Creative, Tech – whatever your background, you’ll have a methodical way of working and an interest in technology and telecoms. You don’t need experience, as training is provided. With our support, you’ll learn to write and understand basic code in at least one programming or scripting language (if you don’t know how to already). What’s important is the desire to learn, especially when it comes to tech and the internet.

We’re looking for motivated people with good technical research skills and the drive to make an impact by supporting successful missions. A natural puzzle solver, you’ll have a gift for spotting patterns, developing creative solutions to problems, staying focused and overcoming setbacks.

You’ll also be good at prioritising, communicating insight with diverse customers and working as part of a team. If you’re curious and keen to learn, there could be the opportunity to develop as a leader.

Training and Development 

Following a comprehensive induction, you’ll be assigned to one of our teams and given ownership of projects. By owning tasks right from day one, you’ll quickly develop your skills. Rest assured that you’ll have the support of our team, expert mentors and a buddy, who’ll help you settle in. Meanwhile, there’ll be formal and on-the-job training, with the possibility of external training (in coding, for example) further down the line. Once your skills and knowledge have developed, we’ll support your applications for specialist skills payments. If you want to train for relevant qualifications in the future, we’ll help you progress.

Rewards and Benefits

You’ll receive a starting salary of £32,092 - £35,234 with the potential for a skills payment within 6-12 months with support and mentoring. Skills payments range up to £7800 per annum and are subject to period re-evaluation.

Plus other benefits including:

•    25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
•    Interest-free season ticket loan (parking and travel)
•    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.

Equal Opportunities

At 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 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

GCHQ 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: 

  • Able to demonstrate a passion or interest towards technology
  • Able to demonstrate a positive approach to working in a research field and problem-solving skills
  • Able to demonstrate that you can work comfortably with a range of individuals in a team environment
  • Able to demonstrate the creation of documentation to share technical understanding with others
  • Able to demonstrate the ability to proactively explain findings and understanding to others

What to Expect

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

•    Application sift, looking at your motivation for the role and the organisation
•    Interview
•    If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to vetting

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Before You Apply

To work at 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.

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. 

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.