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Applying and onboarding

Given the nature and sensitivity of our work, the process of joining the agency can take longer than in some other organisations. We will keep in touch throughout the process to keep you informed and updated on progress.

Stage one: Application

The first part of the recruitment process is the application stage. This is typically an application form, but may vary depending on the type of role and the number of posts we are recruiting for. 

Once we have received your application we will send you an email confirmation. We will then be in touch to either invite you for interview, or inform you that your application has not been successful this time.

We read and evaluate every application we receive, so please don’t feel put off if you don’t hear back from us straight away. We often receive a high volume of applications and it takes some time to work through them all.

Some of our roles may require you to sit an online initial psychometric assessment which allows us to identify your strengths and any attributes we might be specifically looking for. If you have specific assistance requirements relating to a disability we will try to make all reasonable adjustments to help you complete the assessment.

Unsuccessful candidates

If you are unsuccessful in your application or at interview that does not mean that you can not apply again in the future.

Due to the volume of applications we usually can not provide feedback, but candidates who take the time to gain more work and life experience and then reapply at a later date are often successful the second time around. 

Stage two: Interview

If you are successful after the first stage, we will invite you to come in for an interview. Everything that you need to know will be included in the invitation, which you will be sent via email. 

Once you have attended an interview, we will be in touch shortly afterwards, usually within two weeks, to let you know if you have been successful.

Stage three: Pipeline

Candidates who are successful at stage two are considered as meeting the high standards required to become an NCA officer. At this point you will be placed into a pipeline along with other successful candidates where you will remain until you are given a conditional offer for a role matching your skills. 

Stage four: Pre-employment checks

If you have been successful at interview, before you can start your new career with us, we’ll need to carry out a number of pre-employment checks including health, security and previous employment. 

This process can be frustrating as the checks take a few months, but please don’t worry if you do not hear from us for a while. If you are employed, you are advised not to hand in your notice to your current employer until you have cleared pre-employment checks.

Along with your offer letter, the recruitment team will also send you a selection of forms which should be completed and returned to the relevant inboxes as soon as possible. This ensures that your personal data is only sent where it is needed. The sooner we receive your forms, the sooner we can begin the vetting process.

Timeline for pre-employment checks

The timeline below provides an outline of how long the pre-employment checks process will usually take. Timelines may vary depending on your response times, response from references and when we have received large number of applications.

Commencing Pre-Employment Checks

As a successful candidate, you will receive:

  • A conditional offer letter (return to the Pre-employment Checks (PECS)Team Inbox) 

  • A Pre-employment Standard Check form (return to the Security-Screening checks inbox). You will also receive a link to complete vetting forms online. 

  • The occupational health questionnaire (return to the Occupational Health and Well-Being Team Inbox) 

  • Pension questionnaire (return to the Pre-employment Checks (PECS)Team Inbox) 

3-10 weeks after commencing pre-employment checks

Once you have sent in your forms, we will ask you to come in for a substance test. 

Please be aware that, as an NCA officer, any involvement in criminal activity such as the use of illegal substances is forbidden. If you do not pass our substance test, or are not willing to take part in it, we will not be able to process your application any further. 

During your visit, we will take your photo, which will go on your ID card, and you will also be required to bring in original forms of ID and copies. We will also review your application so far and make sure you have filled in and returned all forms to us. 

10-12 weeks after commencing pre-employment checks

Once all your vetting and occupational health clearances come through, we will be in touch to arrange a start date. 

We will then be able to issue you a final contract, which needs to be signed and returned to the Pre-Employment Checks inbox. At this point you can hand in notice at your place of work, making sure your notice period allows you to start at the NCA on the agreed start date. 

Your new line manager will also be in touch to explain next steps, and then you will be invited to start, beginning with an induction course. 

Congratulations and welcome to the NCA!

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