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Becoming James Bond - Security Services Job Profiles

Sep 10, 2008
The Security Service protects the country against threats to national security, safeguarding the economic well-being of the country. To defend against terrorism, espionage, crime and proliferation. It also provides advice for national infrastructure such as power, water and transport systems.

There are a range of roles available in the Security Services -

Surveillance Officer - A surveillance officer watches and reports on the movements and actions of those under investigation.

Intelligence officer - An intelligence officer uses relevant intelligence data to assess and investigate threats to national security.

Linguist - Linguists translate and transcribe intelligence information from bugged phone calls, emails and mail, and interpreting it into a social context.

IT Specialist - Providing protection and IT support to the government's computer systems, networks and communication systems.

There are also a number of very specialist posts, as well as support roles including administration, security, driving and building services.

Desired Qualifications and Experience
There are strict residency and nationality criteria to work for the Security Service. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and have very special skills in relevant areas.

Surveillance officers need a full driving license as well as personal skills and relevant experience, rather than academic qualifications.

Intelligence officers usually need a 2:1 degree in any subject as well as any relevant experience.

Linguists' language ability is tested during the selection process. Knowledge of certain languages, such as Arab, Sorani, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, Mandarin, Somali, Pushto, Persian and Russian, are preferential to others.

IT Specialists are in a better position with qualifications and experience, but the Security Service does administer it's own IT test.

Training & Development
All staff are greeted with an eight-day induction, and most of the job specifications within the Security Services require that individuals are trained and developed.

For example, a new intelligence officer would complete a development programme which includes on-the-job and in-house training exercises.

A surveillance officer must complete a 75 day development programme which tests physical and mental ability. Passing this test is essential to remain in employment, and move onto the next training stage. It can take up to two years to fully qualify for a surveillance role. There are also many disparate elements which individuals would need to be separately trained for such as photography or bugging technology.

A Linguists training would include on-the-job and in-house development programmes, learning how to use special equipment.

Whatever the position, employees of the Security Services are encouraged throughout to take part in internal and external training courses to serve personal development.
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