Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officers are typically responsible for the collection of raw information.

Role Profile

Intelligence Officers, also sometimes known as Intelligence Researchers, are responsible for collecting, collating and evaluating vast quantities of information. This information is then used by the Intelligence Officer to prepare actionable reports and prepare threat assessments for current and future operations. 

In most organisational structures, an Intelligence Officer will earn less than an Intelligence Analyst, who they will usually be managed by.  However, in some government teams, such as the National Crime Agency and MI5, Officers are within the same pay band as Analysts. Within the Royal Air Force, an Intelligence Officer will manage a team of Analysts and will take on a more managerial role than a standard Intelligence Officer, similar to that of a Senior Intelligence Officer within the National Crime Agency. 

Intelligence Officer roles may sometimes be broken down into Intelligence Research Officer and Intelligence Development Officer, with the latter being different from an Intelligence Developer.

Standard Responsibilities

The main responsibilities for an Intelligence Officer include:

  • Collect, collate and evaluate information from multiple sources, including open-source intelligence (OSINT) signals intelligence (SIGINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT).

  • Sanitise Intelligence to ensure the source is protected.

  • Grade Intelligence to ensure that the reliability of Intelligence can universally be understood quickly.

  • Conduct Open-Source Intelligence activity via the Internet.

  • Develop the intelligence picture, identifying potential sources and targets.

  • Gather, research and evaluate information trends and patterns, as well as Intelligence gaps.

  • Prepare and deliver intelligence products, primarily Intelligence Assessments and Subject Profiles, to clearly and accurately inform decision making.

  • Manage relationships with other organisations Intelligence teams.

Required Skills

An Intelligence Officer requires the following skills:

  • Strong writing skills to ensure clear, concise and detailed reports.

  • Moderate IT skills due to the need to learn internal IT software.

  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

  • Teamworking skills.

  • Manage workload, working autonomously and prioritising where appropriate. 

  • An eye for detail, with the ability to link disparate data to draw conclusions.

  • Discreet, as you will need to observe strict non-disclosure rules about your work.

Education Requirements

Historically, Intelligence Officers only need A-levels to meet the minimum education requirements. However, in recent years, many Intelligence Officer roles have been filled with graduates, raising the requirements in practice. Requirments within the armed forces are still currently set at the completion of A-level's, with the Royal Air Force currently asking for 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at Grade C. 

Salary Expectations

The salary of an Intelligence Officer is varied, depending upon the responsibilities set by the organisation. In most structures, an Intelligence Officer will earn less than an Intelligence Analyst, as they are likely to be managed by an Analyst.  However, in some government teams, such as the National Crime Agency and Mi5, Officers are within the same pay band as Analysts. Meanwhile, in military positions, Officer denotes rank and as such, Officers will manage Analysts.

Below you can see a range of current standard starting salaries for an Intelligence Officer:

  • Police Force: £18,000 - £27,000

  • National Crime Agency - £28,000 - £31,000

  • MI5: £31,807

  • MI6/ SIS:  £33,800

  • Royal Air Force: £31,800

  • Private Sector: £22,000 - £45,000

Personal Development

Intelligence professionals are offered Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities through a number of channels.

Some of these offerings include:

  • Intelligence courses, including the Intelligence Proffesionatioant Programme (IPP).

  • Briefings, both internal and from partner organisations.

  • Presentations

  • Conferences, such as the NPCC's Internet, Intelligence and Investigations Conference.

  • Shadowing colleagues

  • Secondments to other teams and organisations.

  • e-learning training, such as Intelligence with Steve.

  • One-to-one mentoring, from more experienced team colleagues or line managers.

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