Intelligence unit supervisor – a day in the life

Published on 30 July 2021
Leading a team of intelligence officers to gather, develop and disseminate intelligence in support of local and national crime investigations
Case study
4 mins read
A woman working at a computer

Working day

I oversee an intelligence team in a range of duties. This includes ensuring a morning tasking document is completed, overseeing the development and collection of intelligence from various sources, and ensuring that all incidents and intelligence have been reviewed over the previous 24 hours.

I use the National Intelligence Model to review and assess any incident, to understand where it fits according to threat and risk.

This is an important task, as it allows us to assess the threat and risk, and to make sure that the information and intelligence then gets to the right people and the right teams as quickly as possible.

I am also responsible for managing the intelligence that comes in. I review numerous intelligence items to ascertain that they are correctly graded and to ensure that the intelligence is stored and handled correctly.

The information and intelligence that we receive can make a difference to ongoing operations, or it could affect decisions on a strategic level that might help protect the public more effectively.

I also support my team and help them to develop. I offer them advice and guidance and conduct regular appraisals to help them identify and engage in areas of continuing professional development.

Where needed, I also provide intelligence advice to other officers to help them with their operations. 

My role is ideal for anyone who has strong problem-solving skills and has an appetite for managing risk and threats

Hours

I work Monday to Friday between 7am and 3pm and one weekend every five weeks. There are no on-call requirements in my force.

Other forces may have different working hours and on-call requirements.

Location

I am based within my force’s Force Intelligence Bureau office.

Training

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.

Advice

Intelligence is an interesting department but I never anticipated exactly how busy it would be. My role is ideal for anyone who has strong problem-solving skills and has an appetite for managing risk and threats. I have learned a lot about managing and grading intelligence, as well as which departments can assist me in managing this intelligence on a daily basis.

Next steps

A day in the life of other intelligence roles