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Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Questions

This thread is designed to provide a series of FAQs addressing the most commonly asked questions about recruitment into the RNR Intelligence Branch.

The answers below should be treated as official and in line with current policy. It will updated when applicable.

The current HMS FERRET website is out of date and will be updated in due course. In the interim the guidance here represents the most up to date information about joining the Intelligence Branch.

Should you have any queries then either post them here or send a PM.
 
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

What is the Intelligence Branch?
The RNR Intelligence Branch provides trained personnel to carry out a wide range of Intelligence work, both for the Royal Navy and the other Armed Services.

How do I join?
It is not possible to join directly from ‘civvy street’. To get Intelligence the branch you would first need to join the RNR and carry out basic training. When you approach the point of choosing your branch, and if you express an interest in the Intelligence Branch, then you will attend an assessment weekend in Portsmouth. The aim of the weekend is to determine whether you possess the skills that we need in the Intelligence Branch.

If you are successful then you will be awarded a pass, valid for 5 years. During this time it will be possible for you to request to transfer to the Intelligence Branch, subject to source branch manning clearance. If after 5 years you have not joined, you will need to redo the assessment weekend.

What sort of person are you looking for?
Intelligence work is highly demanding and is not for everyone. We are looking for individuals of any background who possess good analytical skills, are able to work under pressure and make difficult judgements, often based on limited information. The work will involve reading a wide range of material, so you need to have a good eye for detail.

Ideally you will be a team player, capable of working in often difficult conditions and comfortable providing verbal briefs to large audiences – often comprising senior officers. You need to be able to present a plan and justify it to your audience, as they will often make major tactical and operational decisions based on the information that you present to them.

Linguistic skills are not essential, but could be beneficial for certain posts.

Can I join as an Officer?
There are some limited opportunities for Officer entry, primarily at SLT / junior LT level, however the majority of posts that we intend to recruit for in the near future will be for Ratings.

Can I join direct?
Although it is technically possible to join the Intelligence Branch directly, we do not anticipate filling many vacancies this way. Unless you possess skills that are directly relevant to the role, we would normally expect to recruit individuals already in the RNR. This is to ensure that people that join us arrive with a good level of general naval knowledge and experience, as the busy training program means there is little scope to develop your naval expertise and become an effective Intelligence specialist.

Can I transfer from another RNR branch?
Applicants from other branches will be required to attend a selection weekend and demonstrate suitability for employment in the branch. A pass at selection will remain valid for 5 years and any application to transfer will be subject to source branch manning clearance. The required training package for intelligence employment will be subject to existing rate and experience.

Can I be loaned from my existing branch, instead of transfer?
With the investment in training and vetting for Intelligence Branch personnel we do not anticipate the opportunity for loans or secondment.

I’m ex-regular – how do I join?
Depending on your previous experience, you may not need to do the assessment weekend. This would usually be dependent on prior service in an Intelligence related role, such as Communications Technicians. In situations such as this, separate entry procedures apply. Please contact us for further information.

What is the assessment process like?
The assessment process will last a weekend and is usually held in Portsmouth. The aim of the procedure is to determine whether you have the necessary skills and abilities required to be an effective member of the Intelligence Branch.

The weekend will consist of a range of scenarios, problems and interviews, but also includes time to meet serving members of the branch in a more social environment to discuss what life is like.

On completion of the weekend you will be ranked as a PASS/RETURN/FAIL. If you get a PASS, then you will be able to proceed with entry. If graded as a RETURN, then it means that we think you have the potential to show the skills required, but need some time to develop them. We will provide you with advice on what to do to improve before returning to us after 12 – 24 months. If you are graded as a FAIL then this means that unfortunately we don’t think that the Intelligence Branch is right for you. In these circumstances we would not recommend that you re-sit the assessment process.

How long will it take to get in?
If you pass the assessment weekend then you will be awarded a pass, which will enable you to transfer in at any point in the following 5 years. The actual timing will be dependent on the needs of the branch and when the administrative process is complete.

Will I get a security clearance?
You will be required to undergo enhanced security vetting (known as the DV process). This will require a prolonged procedure involving disclosure of financial and personal information, to the Defence Vetting Agency, and will involve you sitting an interview to discuss a range of issues. The DV process is very thorough, and you will be required to disclose a significant amount of personal information for both yourself, and immediate family members.

Will I get a ‘licence to kill’?
No! Although there are many popular images of the sort of work that Intelligence personnel do, life in the Intelligence Branch is not about jumping out of planes and killing the enemy, before sipping cocktails on a tropical beach. The reality is that the work involves painstaking analytical work, writing briefings and giving presentations and not some form of quasi Special Forces work!

What sort of training will I do?
Training in the Intelligence Branch mirrors that of the wider RNR – you will be expected to do a certain number of branch training weekends each year, as well as attend other training events. These weekends will provide you with training and briefings on a variety of issues, and keep you current on developments within the RNR.

You will also be expected to carry out one - two longer periods of training each year, either training courses or operational work at a variety of locations.

What likelihood is there that I’d have to deploy?
Given the increasing use of the Reserve Forces to support operations overseas, it is likely that you will be asked to consider whether you would wish to deploy at some point. Operational tours provide a range of experiences and training that you cannot achieve during the normal training cycle and we strongly encourage all our personnel to consider doing one.

I don’t want to deploy – can I still join?
Intelligence Branch members are regularly deployed around the world, and as a member of the RNR, it is possible that you could be subject to a compulsory call up. If you don’t want to deploy, then we would strongly recommend that you consider whether joining the RNR is right for you

What sort of career progression is there?
As a Rating you would be able to develop through the rank system all the way up to a Warrant Officer. This would be done through exposure to training courses, deployments and working in a variety of environments.

As an Officer you would realistically expect to reach Lieutenant Commander as an analyst, with a few opportunities for promotion to Commander involving wider work in the RNR. You would carry out a similar range of courses to Ratings, although with a different emphasis on managerial training.

Do I have to do drill nights?
There is no requirement to come along to drill nights to carry out your Intelligence Branch duties. That said it is strongly encouraged to participate in activities in your local RTC to help develop your naval skills and keep you involved with the wider RNR.

What commitment do you expect?
A normal training commitment is 24 days per year, of which 6 are usually weekend training, 12 are taken in one or two blocks and the remainder are either drill nights or other duties.

Can I come along to a training weekend to see what goes on?
Unfortunately due to security reasons this is not possible to do.

How do I apply to attend an assessment weekend
Applicants for the assessment weekend should follow the procedure laid out in the CMRTM and submit a written application form. Succesful applicants will be contacted directly and provided with joining instructions.
If you do not apply through the correct route, and still turn up at an assessment weekend, then you will not be assessed and will be RTUd.
 

Bisley

War Hero
If you are excepted into the Intel Branch as a rating, do you actually leave your source branch and unit and become part of the intel branch or is it just a loan period/secondment??
 
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

Bisley said:
If you are excepted into the Intel Branch as a rating, do you actually leave your source branch and unit and become part of the intel branch or is it just a loan period/secondment??

Can I transfer from another RNR branch?
Applicants from other branches will be required to attend a selection weekend and demonstrate suitability for employment in the branch. A pass at selection will remain valid for 5 years and any application to transfer will be subject to source branch manning clearance. The required training package for intelligence employment will be subject to existing rate and experience.

With the investment in training and vetting we do not anticipate future loan or secondment opportunities.
 

rebusraver

Newbie
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

What is the position for already trained and experienced intelligence analysts from other branches of the Reserve Forces tranferring in?
 

PINCH

War Hero
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

You Take 3 minutes. Slacker, go to the back of the class dunderhead
 
"What is the position for already trained and experienced intelligence analysts from other branches of the Reserve Forces tranferring in?"

It would depend on the nature of your experience and situation. In these circumstances it would be best to PM this user and we can try to find out the most applicable answer for your circumstances.
 

anglichanin

Lantern Swinger
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

If you go for a language assessment weekend at Chicksands (twice) then are subsequently recalled for a board interview, which you pass and are accepted into Ferret, are you totally ignored thereafter? Or fobbed off with an opportunity to join a.n. other establishment "because it would be easier to sideways enter"?
:thanks: :thanks:
 

anglichanin

Lantern Swinger
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

No need to reply - it was, of course, a rhetorical question
 

soleil

War Hero
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

I think that you will get a reply at some point, but it may take a while as it is a somewhat specialised question. There is one person who can write an informed/informative reply; just give them a few days - I think that he/she looks at the forum every week or so.
 

anglichanin

Lantern Swinger
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

LOL - no worries - i already know the answer.

The old line about organising duty watch muster on a two man sub alongside with 50% leave comes to mind :)
 

rnr77

Badgeman
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

Can anyone explain the difference between the actual job roles of operational intelligence and defence intelligence?

Do they have different types of workign conditions etc? Its interesting that ferret only looks after defence...
 
There are a number of organisational changes occurring to the Intelligence Branch. Broadly speaking the aspiration is for all Intelligence Branch personnel to be administered by FERRET.

The split between operational and strategic intelligence refers to the nature of work carried out by members of the branch. As individual members develop their experience, they choose how to specialise, some going as deep specialists, while others remain generalists.

Broadly speaking strategic intelligence work occurs in London with the MOD, while more operationally focused work can occur around the world. Due to the highly sensitive nature of much of what we do, it would not be appropriate to provide more detail. Suffice to say that any applicant selected to join the branch can expect a highly varied and interesting RNR career.
 
Re: Intelligence Branch Recruitment - Frequently Asked Quest

What would be the best way to prepare for a selection weekend, and is it possible to find out exactly what's involved? At the moment, the only thing I am certain about, is that there are 'interviews'. Thanks.
 
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