SIS is an organisation that needs to be run effectively. From its finances to our facilities, we recruit teams of specialists who play a vital role in running our day-to-day functions efficiently and effortlessly. You might maintain our intelligence records or our facilities. You could manage our estate, or the procurement of our resources. From lawyers to compliance officers, our corporate team is invaluable to SIS and our operations, both here and overseas.
The qualifications you’ll require will depend upon the role you’re applying for, but you’ll be extremely motivated, flexible, adaptable, and have sound judgment. If you’re a manager, you’ll inspire loyalty and know how to get the best out of your people.
I graduated with an Upper Second in Modern History and joined the civil service a year later. After moving down to London I ended up in a specialist procurement job, where I gained my professional procurement qualifications (Membership of the Chartered Institute of Supply Management - MCIPS). That was when I applied for a procurement job with MI6.
I hadn't really thought about MI6 as somewhere I could develop a career as a procurement specialist. But I was intrigued to know what the organisation was about and what sort of out-of-the-ordinary things they might buy.
The recruitment and selection process, and the vetting in particular, was long and involved. But this reassured me that the Service was serious about who they let through the door, and I was pleased that they made such an effort with recruiting.
Since I joined MI6 I’ve worked purely in procurement, buying a range of services and goods. Although what I do has a lot in common with other procurement roles, I've been involved in a number of novel and cutting-edge projects that I certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to work on if I’d been working somewhere else.
MI6 is a relatively small organisation in comparison to other places I’ve worked, and there’s almost a 'family' feel to it. Once you’re through the door, it’s very open – you’re encouraged to be an active member of the organisation, and take an interest in its work. You have the opportunity to make as much as you want of your career here.
To apply to SIS, you’ll need to be a British citizen and to have lived in the UK for the majority of the ten years before applying. However, there are a few exceptions to the residency rule. You may still be able to apply if you’ve studied abroad, served overseas with HM forces or lived overseas with your parents. One of your parents must also be (or have been) a British Citizen too, or have substantial ties to the UK. If you hold dual nationality, you can still apply, but you may be required to give up your non-British citizenship before joining.
We have a strict no drugs policy which prohibits the use, possession or supply of illegal drugs, including the use of drugs that are illegal in the UK but are legal in some other countries. Misuse or abuse of prescribed medication or any other substance is also incompatible with holding security clearance, which can be refused or withdrawn if this policy is not observed, so you must adhere to our policy from the point of application onwards.
The point of application is the date you submit your application form.
You will be required to undergo a drug test during the application process.
When you join SIS, you’ll be given clearance relevant to your role. Some of our positions mean you’ll have access to a wide range of sensitive information. It’s paramount, for the safety of our organisation, our people and our country, that this information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Because of this, you’ll have to pass our security clearance to the appropriate level. It’s a long process, up to three months in most cases. And it takes a very fair, in-depth and pretty intrusive look at your life, including your finances. So it’s important to be aware of this commitment before you apply, and be completely open and honest when you answer our security questions. If any details are concealed, your application can’t be taken forward.