About the Trainee Programme
The National Crime Agency (NCA) leads the UK’s fight against Serious and Organised Crime, protecting the public from the most dangerous criminals. Our direct-entry Officer Development Programme (ODP) is designed to cultivate new talent to complement our existing experienced teams, developing individuals into capable and accredited Investigators (the operational pathway), Intelligence Officers (the intelligence pathway) or Analysts (the analyst pathway).
The programme offers a unique opportunity which is open to all who wish to move to a career in law enforcement, gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to fight crime at it’s very highest levels from the very get-go.
To join the Agency on the ODP as a trainee NCA Investigator, Intelligence Officer or Analyst requires no prior law enforcement experience, with all successful entrants enrolled onto the bespoke training programme. The programme consists of a a two year structured package of learning, in which officers are required to evidence competence across a range of investigational, intelligence or analytical competencies.
During Year 1 your trainers will identify your key skills and aptitudes as you learn and acquire additional experience of our world. The Agency will then place you within the most appropriate, challenging and rewarding role, on the appropriate pathway, and in a specific area of our organisation: your contributions will be rewarding and will make a difference to the lives of victims from the very start of your career.
By successfully completing this comprehensive training programme and achieving accreditation as an NCA investigator, NCA Intelligence Officer, or NCA Analyst you will be trained to partake in serious and organised crime investigations to a national standard.
These roles are vital to our ability to lead the UK’s fight to cut Serious and Organised crime, and offer on-the-job training and accreditation to specialise in both overt and covert investigations and progress to a world of varied careers in the NCA.
About the training process
The ODP seeks to gain the maximum benefit to both the individual and Agency by delivering a blended learning programme to equip each officer to effectively undertake their role as either an Investigator, Intelligence Officer or Analyst.
The programme consists of a blend of learning, including formal classroom sessions, self-directed tasks, workplace development and practical activities where you will evidence your learning application, legal and professional knowledge as well as becoming competent in all facets of criminal investigation and intelligence. As you progress along the programme you will be assigned specific investigations or intelligence work from current operations to develop your skills.
You will be assessed during this process for suitability for either the Operational, Analyst or Intelligence pathway, and your preference will be considered. The Agency will appoint Officers trained in assessments to supervise your activity, provide support, and assess you against national criteria. At this stage you will be embedded in our operational and intelligence teams as you are assigned your specific pathway.
The National Crime Agency has high expectations regarding developed competency levels and behavior. During the programme you will receive comprehensive training into the legislation that the Agency works under. You will be required to successfully pass two exams where this knowledge will be tested. You will be given two chances to pass these exams and reasonable adjustments will be implemented where necessary. If you are unsuccessful then you will not be able to continue on the trainee programme.
Your appointment as an officer of the NCA and continued employment is dependent on the successful completion of this programme which includes the required exams (detailed above) and aptitude assessments.
Roles are available within three Directorates: Investigations Directorate, Threat Leadership Directorate and Intelligence Directorate.
About the Investigations Directorate
The Investigations Directorate possess a world class investigation capability, delivered by highly skilled officers. They take an intelligence-led approach and focus on tackling the criminals and risks to the public which are beyond the capability or capacity of other law enforcement bodies.
The teams provide a national service of specialist investigative skills and expertise to support major crime investigations conducted by police forces, such as abduction, serial sexual crime and no-body murder.
About the Threat Leadership Directorate
NCA Threat Leadership leads the national response for Organised Immigration Crime (OIC), Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT), Drugs, Firearms, Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) and Borders. The Command is also home to the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), which combines Cyber threat leadership with a specialised operational and intelligence response, so you could be placed on any pathway within the NCCU.
If you join the investigations officer pathway you can be placed across a number of different teams:
Regional Investigation units tackling serious and organised crime groups across all threat areas. Dedicated Investigation teams such as National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), Child Exploitation On-line Protection team (CEOP), Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT), Organised Immigration Crime (OIC), Borders, Firearms and Drugs threats, the UK serious Protected Persons Service (UKPPS) and the Threat Management Team.
About the Intelligence Directorate
The Intelligence Directorate collects, records and enhances intelligence to build a picture of the threat, sharing this with partners in the UK and abroad to proactively driver operational activity. Through the exploitation of intelligence, they flex and shape law enforcement’s collective resources against these dynamic threats and are continuously looking for new opportunities to enhance traditional capabilities to increase the quantity and quality of available intelligence and maximise its potential for exploitation.
The Directorate incorporates International, Intelligence Collection, National Tasking and Coordination (NTAC), the Gateway teams, National Intelligence Hub (NIH) and National Data Exploitation Capability (NDEC).
About the roles
As an NCA Investigator you will be directly engaged in the fight against Serious and Organised Crime targeting organised offenders both nationally and internationally in order to minimise risk to the UK.
As part of a focused team you will identify, gather, review and develop evidence, using both overt and covert tactics, including surveillance, in order to obtain a complete evidential picture and implement effective operational strategies to facilitate these offenders being brought to justice.
The role will see you receive comprehensive training which will prepare and enable you to competently perform all initial investigational roles to include: arrest, conflict management, systematic search, witness, victim and suspect interview, appropriate level case file preparation and disclosure and Court Room presentation.
Additionally you will receive instruction in specialist ground breaking overt and covert investigational techniques and innovative approaches and be empowered to make decisions which help disrupt and bring to justice criminals who present the highest National threat to the UK.
In doing so you will utilise the skills of associated NCA teams such as Intelligence and Forensics and develop close working partnerships with other UK and overseas Law Enforcement agencies, UK Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
This is a rewarding but physically demanding role often involving working long and/or anti-social hours with the potential for working patterns to change at short notice and calling for both commitment and flexibility. Investigators are required to be trained in the use of force and be able to
operate Personal Protective Equipment, including PAVA spray, batons and handcuffs.
You may have to Investigate Child sexual abuse/exploitation involving exposure to images and material and will undergo psychological assessments upon taking up the role and at regular intervals once in post. As a consequence you should consider the sensitive nature of this work before deciding to apply for this position.
You can find examples of successful NCA investigations in the following location: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news
As an Intelligence Analyst, your role will be to conduct complex and wide-ranging analysis in support of the National Crime Agency's mission; developing intelligence products and contributing to the National Strategic Assessment, Annual Plan, National Intelligence Requirements and National Control Strategy to aid the fight to cut serious and organised crime.
As a trainee you will receive comprehensive training which will prepare and enable you to complete the Intelligence Analyst role. You will learn about analysis, exploitation and making recommendations to support the development of intelligence. You will learn about and gain access to a wide range of covert and over capabilities to inform this work, in support of both tactical and strategic objectives.
Additionally you will receive instruction on analytical techniques and be empowered to assist in the decision making process.
There are a number of analytical teams within the NCA to which you could be aligned:-
TIAT - The Tactical Intelligence Analysis Team supports the greatest threat, risk and harm across the country determining best use of analytical resource. TIAT support the end to end process of development of high end of high harm targets, prioritisation, proactive analytical support through to reactive investigative support providing evidence at Court.
NAC – The National Assessment Centre acts as the NCA's centre for assessed intelligence reporting. The team articulates the single picture of the threat by authoring products to inform strategies, policies, operational teams, governance groups.
NDEC - The National Data Exploitation Capability is a multidisciplinary team made up of data and technology professionals, intelligence officers, analysts and data management officers transforming how the NCA and wider UK Law Enforcement community operate. NDEC partner with other organisations to creates insights that disrupt and detect serious and organised crime (SOC).
NCCU – The National Cyber Crime Unit has bespoke capability, using innovative approaches and ground breaking techniques to target cyber criminals causing the greatest threat to the UK. The NCCU also leads the UK’s response to cyber crime and as such, intelligence analysts work closely with other international partners.
As an NCA Intelligence Officer, you will be working at the centre of our investigations, undertaking and helping to prioritise development work on tasked projects and operations in the UK and overseas. You will play a key role in contributing towards the NCA’s mission of protecting the public from serious and organised crime.
You will receive comprehensive training to enable you to competently collect, evaluate, develop and exploit intelligence from a range of sources. This training, together with mentoring and support will see you build specialist knowledge around a range of threat areas affecting the UK. For those Officers working in NCCU there is bespoke training on cyber capabilities.
Your role will see you interacting with other NCA departments and teams, as well as external partners including government, Law Enforcement, UK Intelligence Community, public, private and third sector partners. You will be directing and supporting tactical operational activity in the UK and overseas to cause maximum disruption to individuals and groups involved in serious organised crime.
Working as an Intelligence Officer is an exciting and rewarding role which is hugely varied and challenging. There are a number of roles available within several different departments listed under the previous section. Depending on your role there may be the opportunity to travel within the UK and Internationally.