Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply if I am not currently a civil servant?
Yes. Externally advertised roles are open to all suitably qualified people.
Are positions offered on a permanent basis?
Externally advertised roles are normally offered on a permanent basis. For some positions they may also be open on a 2 year secondment or loan basis. Occasionally they are just offered on a secondment or loan basis. Please refer to the advertisement of the role you are interested in.
Is it possible to work for the NCA and have a good work life balance?
Yes it is!
The NCA is a 24/7 operation but not all of our roles are offered on a shift basis. Some operational teams are required to work on an on-call rota, this is usually one week in four. If the team you are applying to join, works shifts or has an on-call rota, it will be stated on the advertisement. Flexibility in working hours may also be required for operational reasons.
Non-operational Officers generally work Monday to Friday – full time is either 37 or 40 hours depending on your contract, and some travel may be required. Flexi time is available and, if your job role allows, hybrid working can be offered.
Am I able to apply for part-time working?
This will depend on the role that you are applying for. Most roles are available for appointment full-time and job share. Some are also open to part-time working. Operational roles will sometimes require on-call rotas and/or flexibility in working hours. Please refer to the advertisement of the role you are interested in.
Where will the role be based?
The NCA has office locations nationally. All locations available are on the advertisement for each of our roles. If the vacancy is available at multiple locations you will be able to choose up to three. Please ensure that you would be happy to be posted to any area that you detail. If only one location suits you, that is fine.
If I apply for a role, in a large scale campaign, where there are vacancies in different teams, will I be to able choose which team I go to?
We will endeavour to place you in a team that you have stated you would prefer to work in. In some circumstances, you might also be offered other teams, in the locations you have chosen. If you decide the offer isn’t right for you, that’s no problem, you will return to the reserve list while awaiting an alternative position to become available. You are allowed to refuse two offers in this way.
Can I claim back any expenses incurred during the recruitment process?
No. Unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse you, except in exceptional circumstances and only when agreed in advance.
What nationality do I need to hold in order to apply?
Open to the UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals.
From 1 January 2021 this job is broadly open to the following groups:
- UK nationals
- nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- nationals of Commonwealth countries
- European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
- relevant EEA or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
- relevant EEA or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service certain family members of the relevant (European Union) EU and Turkish nationals
For further information on whether you are eligible to apply, please visit www.gov.uk
How does the NCA grading structure compare to the civil service and police?
The NCA operates its own grade structure, the below table shows our grades in comparison with our civil service and police colleagues.
Civil Service Equivalent
Assistant Chief Constable
SEO (Senior Executive Officer)
HEO (Higher Executive Officer)
EO (Executive Officer)
AO (Administrative Officer)
AA (Administrative Officer)
I am a serving Police Officer, what will happen to my powers when I join the NCA?
On joining the NCA, all officers from a previous Law Enforcement background will have a professional discussion with an officer from our Operational Standards, Capability & Assessment Unit (OSCAU). Following this, a recommendation may be made for the designation of NCA powers applicable to the your pre-cursor agency, on a temporary basis whilst you study for the NCA exams, which need to be passed, so that you can be designated with full NCA Quad powers (Constable, Immigration Officer, Customs Officer and General Customs official).
I am a serving Police Officer, will my length of service be considered regarding Annual Leave entitlement?
All new joiners to the NCA from UK Police Forces or the UK Intelligence Community (UKIC) will have service with those employers taken into consideration when determining annual leave entitlement only. Should the required criteria be met, officers with 5 years of service will be entitled to 31 days of annual leave entitlement.
Is security clearance required?
The National Crime Agency conducts enhanced pre-employment checks on top of standard Security Checks (SC) to determine suitability to work for an organisation combatting serious and organised crime. All NCA officers must hold SC Enhanced upon entry as a minimum. Failure to achieve SC Enhanced will result in the job offer being withdrawn. Individuals will be required to undertake and pass a substance misuse test as part of pre-employment checks.
Some NCA roles require officers to obtain DV Enhanced within 12 months of entry. If DV Enhanced cannot be obtained the officer will be required to move to a non-DV role.
More information about the vetting process can be found here.
What reasonable adjustments can be made if I have a disability?
The NCA is a Disability Confident Leader and therefore part of the Disability Confident Scheme. (for further information on the Disability confident scheme please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign). For further information regarding disabilities covered under the scheme and the equality act please visit https://www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability-under-equality-act-2010).
Are there any residency requirements in order to apply for this role?
To meet National Security Vetting requirements you will need to have resided in the UK for at a minimum 3 out of the past 5 years for SC clearance and a minimum of 7 out of 10 years for DV clearance. You will still be considered if you were posted abroad as part of your service with the HMG or armed forces or a UK government role during this period. Please make sure you meet these requirements before applying for this role.
What is the role of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in relation to recruitment into the Civil Service?
The Civil Service Commission provides assurance that selection for appointment to the Civil Service is on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. For the most senior posts in the Civil Service, the Commission discharges its responsibilities directly by overseeing the recruitment process and by a Commissioner chairing the selection panel to hear and determine appeals made by civil servants under the Civil Service Code which sets out the Civil Service values – Honesty, Integrity, Impartiality and Objectivity – and forms part of the relationship between civil servants and their employer.
Will this role be overseen by the Civil Service Commission?
The recruitment process is subject to the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.
What do I do if I want to make a complaint?
For non-CSC led
If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact ncarecruitment.grs @cabinetoffice.gov.uk in the first instance.
What should I do if I think that I have a conflict of interest?
Candidates must note the requirement to declare any interests that might cause questions to be raised about their approach to the business of the Department.