Operational Officers are the front line of SIS’s efforts to keep the country safe, secure and prosperous. Our Operational Officers personify our values – courage, respect, integrity and creativity. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, but have in common excellent interpersonal skills, an interest in foreign cultures and are motivated to make a difference in protecting and promoting the UK. They put their skills, which many people possess, to use in unusual circumstances, to tackle extraordinary challenges.

Our intelligence operations are fundamentally about people. As an Operational Officer you will need to understand what makes people tick, regardless of from where on the globe they originate or what they do. In being people focussed you may be looking in data for the next agent for us to recruit, building and managing relationships with contacts or testing, validating and presenting intelligence to colleagues in Whitehall.

We are aware that publishing companies have sought to capitalise on interest in joining MI6 by producing guides to our process. These guides are not endorsed by MI6 and are neither an accurate reflection of the process, nor of work in MI6. Please use the information on our website as your guide: it is the only information we can guarantee.


What's it like

to be an
Operational Officer?

Join Us

SIS offers a wide range of fascinating and unique operational roles both overseas and in the UK. Find out more information about each role to see which best suits you.

Join us and you’ll have a stimulating, rewarding and varied career. You will receive training to give you the skills to contribute to impactful intelligence operations with an international dimension. You may be in the UK, or abroad, working with colleagues in the intelligence community, Whitehall, foreign intelligence services and/or agents. Whatever role you’re tasked with, you will engage with people from all walks of life, as you gather the vital intelligence we need to keep our country safe, secure and prosperous.

Intelligence Officer

For over a century we have sought to attract the very best talent the country has to offer into our Intelligence Officer cadre. That doesn’t necessarily mean the cleverest people from the most prestigious universities – although it might – what we really look for is first class interpersonal skills, a keenness to contribute to the UK’s safety and prosperity, mental sharpness, and a curiosity about the world. Many people have that mix of skills and we would like to hear from you. Intelligence Officers typically have some life experience under their belt and are able to hit the ground running (be it in the UK or overseas) following an initial training course.

Intelligence Officers receive training throughout their career – be it in foreign languages, managing relationships, using technology, management or whatever else they need to do the variety of roles we have. That’s why we look for people with an insatiable thirst for learning and development.

There are four roles within the Intelligence Officer umbrella, and successful applicants will typically do all four during their career, either in the UK and/or overseas.

  • Operational Managers: plan and manage intelligence collection operations.
  • Targeters are charged with turning information, such as data, into human intelligence operations.
  • R Officers plug SIS into Whitehall and are responsible for validating and testing all the intelligence.
  • Case Officers are the people building and managing relationships.

More Information

Operational Data Analysts

We are keen to identify motivated individuals, with an interest in both data analytics and people, to play a vital role supporting our high priority work. Our SIS operational data analysts turn raw data into meaningful insights that help us to keep our country safe and prosperous.

We make a considerable investment in developing the skills of our operational data analysts. You will join a diverse, skilful community of like-minded individuals to complete a 2 year training programme. You must be prepared to move location (for the working week, outside of London) during training - financial support is given.

Successful candidates are graduates passionate about data, technically savvy, enjoy making connections and discovering trends. They are curious and like to solve puzzles. They are willing to share, work collaboratively and with creativity. Above all, their interpersonal skills are just as important.

More Information

Industry and Corporate Professionals

Are you an experienced industry or corporate professional looking for a new challenge?

Are you open to change and learning new skills?

Are you proactive and resilient with a creative spirit?

Do you have experience building and maintaining discreet client relationships?


If so, SIS also has a small number of openings for direct entrants with at least 8 years experience in people-facing roles.

  • Established language skills and overseas experience are desirable but not essential.
  • You must be a British passport-holder.

We particularly welcome applications from women and ethnic minorities.

To be considered, please send a CV and descriptive covering letter detailing your motivations for applying to:

Recruitment Department, PO Box 73517, London, W12 2FB

Only successful candidates will be contacted.