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Intelligence officer – a day in the life

Published on 30 July 2021
Managing dissemination of gathered intelligence to support reactive, proactive and/or crimes in action and providing advice on appropriate tactical options to support policing priorities
Case study
4 mins read
Police officers

Working day

My day routinely involves checking and processing intelligence reports. I also assist divisions in developing intelligence in relation to organised crime where high risk is identified.

I complete intelligence requests on behalf of divisions, often liaising with other forces to do so.

I identify potential sources of intelligence and confirm its provenance, to maintain its integrity and confidentiality.

I ensure that intelligence is submitted in an appropriate manner, and that audience intelligence products are disseminated using the need-to-know principle. This intelligence is then used to inform decision-making and to provide tactical options that might be used.

I also obtain and execute warrants, undertake intelligence interviews and complete daily briefings.

I often have to work with people at all levels within force to get the work done, so it is important that I develop and maintain good working relationships.

In my opinion, intelligence is the best job in the police service. It is so busy and you are at the centre of everything


In my force, my hours are 7am to 3pm on Monday to Friday, with one late shift from 12pm to 8pm per week. Additionally, there is one weekend shift every five weeks.

There is no on-call requirement for my role.

Some forces might have different hours for the role of intelligence officer.


In my force, it is an office-based role with no need to travel to other sites or offices.

Other forces might have different requirements.


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.


In my opinion, intelligence is the best job in the police service. It is so busy and you are at the centre of everything. Policing is intelligence-led and you are integral for investigations and intelligence development. You, therefore, have to be a highly motivated individual, and you have to be able to work both on your own and as part of a team.

Next steps

A day in the life of other intelligence roles

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