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Director of intelligence – a day in the life

Published on
There is no such thing as a typical day in any policing role and the director of intelligence is no different
Case study
4 mins read
A woman working on a laptop

Working day

I am responsible for setting the organisational intelligence strategy, working with the chief constable to ensure that we have sufficient resources to provide clear and consistent intelligence products that inform decision-making at all levels.

I set the overall strategy for the department and manage the day-to-day running of a range of teams including:

  • cyber team
  • digital forensic unit
  • economic fraud
  • complex
  • vulnerability
  • fraud
  • financial investigation
  • Force Intelligence Management Unit

My other responsibilities include the authorisation and the ongoing management of covert authorities within force, chairing a range of meetings in key areas of intelligence work, overseeing surveillance compliance and being the force lead in a number of different areas.

I also work with partner forces, agencies and other organisations across a range of regional and national meetings and groups to build and improve the force’s ability to protect the public.

I am also a superintendent, so I have to carry out additional duties, such as being on call to carry out the role of force senior investigating officer and authorising officer.

Intelligence is a fantastic role to work in and there is scope to develop in many different areas

Working hours

The role is a 9-to-5 post, but an average day can start at 7.30am and finish at 5.30pm. You have to be flexible to what the work requires.

I am also on the on-call rota, which brings with it responsibility for things such as bail extensions, PACE custody extensions and being a major incident commander. This involves one 24-hour shift per week, Monday to Thursday, and then being on call for a day and late shift every fourth weekend.


This is an office-based role, based at the relevant force’s headquarters. There is scope for agile working within my force, but other forces may differ. The role involves regular travel to attend a range of regional and national meetings. These can take place anywhere across the country.


When you take up a post within intelligence, either in policing or in one of our law enforcement intelligence professionalisation programme (IPP) partner agencies, the emphasis is on developing your existing skills and abilities. This will help ensure you become a professional, fully competent intelligence support officer with transferable skills.

Training is varied according to individual and organisational needs. It may include classroom-based learning, e-learning, shadowing, on-the-job learning, practical experience, self-study and self-reflection.

You will have the opportunity to undertake the IPP, which will give you professional recognition of your competence. All individuals are required to commit to continuing professional development to ensure that they remain up to date in their role.

Intelligence professionalisation programme (IPP) 

The IPP is a specialised development programme for those working specifically within intelligence, either in policing or one of our law enforcement IPP partner agencies.

IPP is a development programme that is between 12 and 18 months long. It consists of a national learning curriculum and a set of minimum standards of competence (assessment criteria).

Individuals are assessed against these criteria by an appointed IPP assessor. Once the individual’s IPP assessor has agreed that the individual has met all of the relevant standards, they will be awarded a certificate of competence.

This certificate is transferable to another IPP organisation and is valid for three years. At present, you cannot undertake the IPP unless you are employed in an intelligence function in either policing or in a partner IPP organisation. However, this is not a barrier to employment.

If you do not already hold the IPP certificate, you will be given the opportunity to complete the programme upon employment.

The IPP is the nationally recognised certificate of competence across all of the IPP partner agencies. Completing the IPP is a mandatory requirement for some organisations.


Intelligence is a fantastic role to work in and there is scope to develop in many different areas. It would suit individuals who have an investigative mindset, and those who are proactive and computer literate.

A good way to get involved in intelligence is by gathering and submitting intelligence, and by being able to demonstrate a good understanding of the National Intelligence Model and information handling codes.

Next steps

A day in the life of other intelligence roles

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