SIS | Occupational Psychology | How to get a job in MI6

Occupational Psychologist

The role holder will lead the SIS Occupational Psychology Team responsible for supporting recruitment delivery teams with their targets. They will also be part of a broader team of Psychologists from a diverse range of specialities. The role holder will advise on and develop recruitment processes and provide specialist expertise to advise, guide and train recruiters and hiring managers on areas such as fairness, consistency and best practice. The role holder will also take on line management of other Occupational Psychologists and be responsible for the running and development of Occupational Psychology provision throughout the service. 

Example responsibilities and activities:

  • Provide individual assessments to candidates joining/within the service

  • Analyse and interpret psychometric personality test results and facilitate discussion with candidates. Monitor and interpret trends in psychometric test data and provide personality testing and competency related feedback to assessors and hiring managers

  • Designing recruitment assessment materials (interview questions, scenarios, timetables, mark schemes, scoring matrices etc.) for all grades/roles within SIS. Work with internal stakeholders to produce relevant real-life scenarios, while ensuring assessment best practice is followed

  • Designing and delivering training for assessors

  • Quality assuring assessment /interview delivery and providing expert advice to assessors during integration sessions

  • Carrying out validation studies and evaluation of recruitment processes and systems across SIS

  • Using job analysis techniques to clarify role requirements and identify core skills, qualities and attributes needed to perform these effectively

  • Creating new, and amending existing job descriptions, person specifications and competency frameworks

  • Train and support delivery teams to understand quality assurance and legislative implications. Help develop policies and good practice around QA. Evaluate assessment/recruitment processes to make improvements to them, in terms of cost, time, efficiency, diversity and resources

  • Applying Psychology theory and knowledge practically to review processes and provide bespoke advice on fairness, consistency, efficiency and appropriateness of selection processes

  • Conducting research and stakeholder consultation to gain buy in for assessment solutions

  • Managing and leading the Occupational Psychology service

Essential Qualifications

  • MSc in Occupational Psychology

  • Registered Occupational Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

  • Experience and relevant training in ability and personality assessment for personnel selection including psychometric evaluation

Other Skills / experience required for the role


  • Experience of delivering individual Occupational Psychology assessments to recruitment candidates

  • Experience in reviewing, designing and developing end to end selection processes for both volume and niche recruitment roles

  • Extensive experience of conducting job analysis work for different occupational groups at different levels and grades

  • Experience of designing interviews, assessment exercises, and competency scoring criteria for a broad range of roles and specialisms

  • Experience of designing / delivering interviewer and assessor training

  • Experience designing competency and / or capability frameworks

  • Experience quality assuring assessments and assessors

  • Excellent consultancy skills

  • Experience of evaluating processes and recruitment systems e.g. predictive validity studies, cost utility analysis

  • Competent in statistical analysis of data (SPSS)


  • In-house consultancy experience

  • Management experience of Occupational Psychologists

  • Occupational Psychology registration supervisor

  • Trained in NEO-PI-R personality testing tool

  • Relevant Doctorate / PhD

  • Research skills


Key competencies 

Working with others 
Strategic thinking 
problem solving and judgement 
Partner and Customer orientation 
Learning and Change 
Planning and delivery

The Remora Principle
The CEO at Patrium Intelligence (one of our appointed Private Intelligence Agencies) recently coined the term "The Remora Principle" and how it describes a method of operating within Secret Intelligence globally.  The phrase to 'operate within the shadows' is often used, however the Remora Principle outlines in specific detail how effective intelligence gathering is achieved by not only staying within the shadows of a larger, more distracting element, but to move with it.  It provides key steps Intelligence Agents should take to ensure effective information gathering and reporting to officers, and focuses more on modern technological advancement.  By following the steps outlined within the Remora Principle, one is able to then tailor specific actions that are applicable to individual operations.
Q: Can we induce an event which leads to a material and significant change in a person’s ability or behaviour which would be useful to an organisation such as MI6?

Straps yourselves in for a little bit of a wild ride, so if extreme sports of the academic or indeed philosophical kind are not your thing, then please unbuckle now and leave the park. The four terms used in the title would appear at first glance to be connected, but for the purposes of this article, are not.  There is a distinct, and key difference in that they refer to a journey of sorts.  The journey of the mind and neural functionality that eventually leads to a change which has been caused by an ‘event’. Each term describes a condition.  A condition of the brain at a point in the journey. 

Where did my Taxi Driver and my money go?”


Whenever there is a radical and rapid development in Technology, the voices of those who fear the human effects of such developments sing loud.  Of course, debate is ultimately a healthy proposition when conducted in the correct manner i.e a respectful exchange of ideas, evidence and facts to determine the truth or at least the likelihood of why ‘something’ happens.  The problem is that as we venture further up the emotional curve and hit the raw nerve of public consciousness, a healthy debate, absent of extreme views, is less and less likely.   This is quite possibly the stage we are at now when it comes to the vast changes of technological development at exponential rates of growth.  If one then throws into the mix a subject such as Artificial Intelligence, which has been the subject of many a doomsday prophecy, especially in the fictional world, then the prediction of likely effects  becomes distorted.  There are a vast number of capillaceous issues branching out from each topic within AI and on a scale which precludes us from analysis in this article due to time.  However, there are rarely more topics as emotive as a person's job and their ability to generate income in order to will driverless cars render the taxi driver extinct and will money even be necessary in any form? Read More. 13.08.19

Dark Web

An Opportunity or Threat?

Perceived wisdom suggests the Dark Web is synonymous with illegal activities involving weapons, drugs and paedophiia.  The assumption has been that if you use it, then you have something sinister to hide.  To be fair, closure of drug giants like "Silk Road" did nothing to change those perceptions.  However, in the big brother world of surveillance, the search for privacy is demanded by the majority and will be found in some way or another.  Furthermore, in a society where people are being increasingly attracted to the fringes of life,  the shift to increasing usage of the Dark Web is a given.  That does not mean it is wrong however, and as we often witness, it is people from the 'fringes' who sometimes operate outside of social norms, who provide the greatest sources of innovation.  We firmly believe the dark web will undergo an upgrade of sorts and although usual, non-secured browser based sites will attract some attention, their days are numbered.  The really exciting proposition is to predict Dark Web 2.0, 3.0 and so on. Rather ironically, but understandably, it is the law enforcement and intelligence agencies who are spending more and more resources on hiding within the shadows of the Dark Web.  It has been the most effective way so far.  However, as it grows, it will it continue to be the safe haven of the criminal or will some form of regulation (such as was with the legalisation of drugs etc), prevent the extreme offenders?  Take the example of Silk Road. It is not only possible, it is probable.  Whether you are in favour of legalisation generally or not,  in many cases it is a safer option.  Many of the sites that offered Marijuana were ran as slick commercial organisations where consumer satisfaction was paramount.  The product was therefore of superior quality (apparently) and it was offered within the relative safety of the internet and not some dark street corner.  Maybe that one is for the liberals out there.  For our purposes however, it shows that the deep dark web does actually have a USP which can be monetized, namely privacy.  Looking further head therefore, the real drug that will sell well in our 'Orwellian' future, is anonymity.  That will undoubtedly be the most precious of commodities.


As it stands now however, people and the societies they live in tend to display tendencies to self-regulate and yes, whilst there is always potential for abuse, the masses will (or should) drive the market to some degree of parity.  There are certainly huge opportunities around the corner.  A secured 'blockchain'esque' physical depository for parcel delivery is bound to happen on a large scale and accompany the growth of the Dark Web.  That is because the only chink in its armour at the moment is complete anonymity with delivery of items. Imagine a secure facility where parcels (aka Data) entering from one side, is subjected to 'scrambling' (aka 'Encryption') and leave the other side to be collected by a seemingly unconnected party (aka 'You').  Now multiply that across every City in the UK.  You then have what one can REALLY call an encrypted, secure, supply chain that would be undetectable to all agencies and, most importantly, legal  Read More.

Innovation, technology and the military are inextricably linked, and throughout history whenever there is a technological breakthrough, one of the first beneficiaries is invariably the military.  Whether it is recent developments such as GPS, or much later, Galileo selling telescopes to Italian monasteries to see enemy ships approaching, the human desire to conquer or defend is paramount. With the 'genie' firmly out of the bottle, Artifical Intelligence will become a 'game changer' in the Military world as for many, the upsides are simply too strong to worry about potentially disastrous consequences.  Here we take a look at the detail and the precise areas of growth just around the corner.Read More


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