Surveillance Officer

HM Revenue and Customs

Apply before 11:55 pm on Friday 22nd September 2023



Reference number



£27,650 - £34,372
London Salary £31,982 - £34,372. National £27,650 - £29,728. Plus a Flexibility Payment
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Executive Officer

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

2 years

Business area

HMRC - CCG - Fraud Investigation Service - Covert Operations, Digital Exploitation

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern


Number of jobs available



Gillingham (Kent), Croydon, Dover, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Reading, Stratford – Applicant required to live within 2 hours travelling time by car from Gillingham (Kent)

Job summary

HMRC is the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority and we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support. 

Covert Operations, Digital Exploitation (CODE) sits within HMRC’s wider Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) responsible for the department’s civil and criminal investigation work. FIS ensures that HMRC has an effective approach to taking on the most serious tax evasion and fraud.

Working across Law Enforcement and government, CODE provides investigative tools and covert techniques to front-line investigations and works with key partners to develop and provide access to new technology and systems to enable investigators to respond to serious and complex tax evasion and crime.

This role sits within a Branch of CODE called Covert Operations.

See what it’s like to work at HMRC: find out more about us or ask our colleagues a question. Questions relating to an individual application must be emailed as detailed later in this advert.

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity to lead on a new Specialist Surveillance Unit within Covert Operations. The Unit will have national coverage but will be split between two locations, one in Gillingham, Kent the other in Leeds, West Yorkshire.  

As a Surveillance Officer you will be expected to conduct mobile, foot and static surveillance in pursuit of serious and organised crime investigations led by HMRC. You will gather evidence and intelligence on subjects of investigations in order to help the Fraud Investigation Service deliver against it’s strategic and tactical objectives.

This is a field role and successful applicants, once trained, will be working in the operational field throughout the UK.

This role is initially offered on a two-year fixed term appointment with the potential to secure permanent employment with HMRC

Continued employment is contingent on successfully passing the role specific training.

Serving members of HMRC

Serving permanent members of HMRC cannot have more than one job in HMRC if each of these requires a separate HMRC contract of employment.

This means that serving permanent members of HMRC staff who apply for externally advertised FTA vacancies will, if successful, be offered a variation to their existing contract of employment in line with the temporary promotion policy and the employment will be treated as a temporary promotion for the purposes of pay and other terms and conditions.

Serving members of other government departments

Serving permanent members of staff from other Government departments are eligible to apply for externally advertised fixed term appointments. However these posts are temporary and if successful they must be offered the post as a loan opportunity. Manager must notify the HRSC that this is a loan, and that the individual will return to their home department at the end of the period of employment.

Training Requirements:

Training will depend on the any qualifications / experience already held. Please discuss with the vacancy holder.

Person specification

Duties will include:  

Initial training for new entrants to HMRC will include

  • A two-week Counter Fraud awareness course.
  • Officer Safety Training.
  • Additional training including mandatory online learning will be required.

And for those without pre-existing surveillance training the following will be provided:

  • A seven-week advanced driving course.
  • A four-week enhanced Surveillance Techniques course.

Post training:

  • Undertaking mobile, foot or static surveillance in support of HMRC Investigations anywhere in the UK.
  • Using surveillance technology such as radio, photography, audio and video recording equipment.  
  • Gathering evidence and producing surveillance logs, notebooks, witness statements and exhibits such as audio or imagery.
  • Supporting specialist technical surveillance deployments, working alongside tactical surveillance personnel.
  • Working with other Law Enforcement partners such as the National Crime Agency and Police forces.
  • The role involves supporting HMRC operations nationally, which will require regular travel and nights away. The role necessitates working unsocial hours, being on-call, frequent short notice duty changes and additional hours, for which a Level 2 Flexibility Payment is paid.  

Essential Criteria:

  • Excellent team working and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication abilities.   
  • Resilience and the ability to remain calm in a high pressure, fast paced environment.
  • Excellent observational and analytical skills.
  • An ability to map-read and navigate using Ordnance Survey maps.      
  • Hold or be able to obtain National Security Vetting of SC.  
  • A full UK driving licence, which must include driving manual transmission vehicles.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience working in Law Enforcement, Policing, or the Armed Forces.
  • Pre-existing Mobile Surveillance qualifications.
  • Motorcycle surveillance qualification.
  • Photography experience.

Proof of any qualifications stated will be required.

You will be required to complete Operational Safety Training (OST), document attached.


Hold a full UK driving Licence which must include driving manual transmission vehicles.


Fluent written and spoken English.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Observational skills and aptitude
Alongside your salary of £27,650, HM Revenue and Customs contributes £7,465 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • This post attracts Level 2 Flexibility Payment (FP) that is paid monthly with salary.

This FP allows HMRC flexibility to change your work pattern, at short notice, to meet business needs. You will be expected to undertake periods of On Call. You will also be expected to work additional hours, at weekends and outside your normal working hours/days (including bank holidays).

In applying for a position and accepting the FP you agree that you can and will meet those attendance requirements.

Note: Payment of FP is dependent on successful completion of role specific training and you will not move to Level 2 FP eligibility until your training is complete.

FP levels are reviewed annually – on a business need and personal basis – and may be subject to change.

If you currently receive the Flexibility Payment, which may include Transition Protection and/or a Maintained Pension Value, moving to a new role may affect your payments.

Details of the Flexibility Payment can be found in the attached document.

Find more about HMRC benefits in 'Your little extras and big benefits handbook' for further information or visit Thinking of joining the Civil Service.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the written application process you will need to provide:

    A copy of your CV detailing your job history, qualifications, and experience.

    A personal statement, a maximum of 500 words, outlining how you meet the essential criteria detailed above and what you can bring to the role. Using the Situation, Task, Action and Results (STAR) model will help achieve a structured document.

    The sift will be done against the CV and personal statement.

    Desirable criteria may be used in the event of a tie only.

    Those successful at sift stage will be invited to interview and short practical assessment.

    Practical Assessment: We will assess your observational skills and aptitude for the role. 

    Interview: We will assess your experience together with evidence of the Behaviours Working Together and Making Effective Decisions and will involve situational-based questions. You will also be asked some questions to test your technical knowledge.

    Interviews may be held by video.

    Sift and Interview will take place within 5 weeks of advert closing date.

    These roles by their very nature are fluid in the required level of attendance with some potential deployment requirements unexpectedly spanning multiple days. As such it is highly unlikely that alternative working patterns could be accommodated.

    Appointment will be conditional upon satisfactory conduct and discipline checks and security vetting.

    All applicants will be required to declare any past convictions, criminal findings, or police cautions, regardless of whether they are ‘spent’. You must also declare any disciplinary proceedings relating to previous employments. The disclosure of this information will not automatically disbar you from employment with FIS, but we need to be aware of any event or issue which could impinge on your credibility if questioned in court.

    FIS may conduct background checks and any offer will be withdrawn if you fail to disclose any relevant material that causes conflict with you being able to complete the duties of the role.

    Continued employment is contingent on successfully passing the role specific training.

    Candidates must live within reasonable daily travel of Gillingham (Kent) as all the required equipment and vehicles will be stored in this location, which for these mobile posts is two hours by car each way.

    We reserve the right to raise the score required at any stage of the process in order to manage numbers.

    Interview dates to be confirmed.

    A reserve list may be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made for the same or similar roles – if this applies to you, we’ll let you know via your Civil Service Jobs account.

    Please note that this vacancy consists of a linked advert for the same role but in different locations. The reference of which is as follows: 301905.

    If you wish to apply for both vacancies we may sift and interview you only once. Your subsequent application will be automatically marked as ‘Campaign duplicate’ status and your sift and interview scores will automatically be carried across.


    To check that you are eligible to apply, review this eligibility information

    Important information for existing HMRC contractual homeworkers:

    Please note that this role is unsuitable for contractual homeworkers due to the nature and/or requirements of the role.

    Reasonable Adjustments 

    We want to make sure no one is put at a disadvantage during our recruitment process because of a disability, condition, or impairment. To assist you with this, we will reduce or remove any barriers where possible and provide additional support where appropriate. 

    If you need a reasonable adjustment or a change to be made so that you can make your application, review this information on reasonable adjustments, and contact as soon as possible.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues and creating an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.

    Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role. We’re committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues here at HMRC. We want everyone to feel valued and supported to achieve their potential at HMRC.

    For more information on how we make this happen, review this information on our culture and values

    Applications received from candidates with a criminal record are considered fairly in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice and the Recruitment of ex-offenders Policy.

    We welcome applications from those who need to work a more flexible arrangement and will agree to requests where possible after considering operational and customer service needs. We can’t guarantee that we can meet all requests to work flexibly, as agreement will be subject to business ability to accommodate, and any request to work a more flexible arrangement should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

    Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement, this will be tested as part of the selection process. 

    The Civil Service runs a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

    The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy. 


    HMRC has a presence in every region of the UK. For more information on where you might be working, review this information on our locations.

    Security Update

    For more information on the level of security checks we will carry out, review this information on security checks

    Please note: in addition to the standard pre-employment checks for appointment into the Civil Service, all candidates must also obtain National Security Vetting at Security Check (SC) clearance level for this vacancy. You will normally need to meet the minimum UK residency period as determined by the level of vetting being undertaken, which for SC is 5 years UK residency prior to your vetting application. If you have any questions about this residency requirement, please speak to the vacancy holder for this post.

    Further Information

    The Civil Service values honesty and integrity and expects all candidates to abide by these principles. The evidence you provide in your application must relate to your own experiences.

    Any instances of plagiarism or other forms of cheating will be investigated and, if proven, the relevant application/s will be withdrawn from the process. 

    Duplicate applications for the same vacancy will also be withdrawn.

    Transferring into HMRC from Civil Service If you are currently working for an ‘Other Government Department’ (OGD) and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Combined T&C and OGD Pay English”, found at the bottom of this advert. Further information on staff transfers can be found on

    Problems during the application process 

    If you experience accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section. 

    If you think you’ve made a mistake on a short application form (e.g. you’ve ticked the incorrect eligibility box), please contact at least two working days before the vacancy closes. After this, we won’t be able to reopen your application.   

    Please use the subject line to insert appropriate wording e.g. Please re-open my application - 301897 & vacancy closing date 22/09/23. Please note that we cannot amend or re-open your application if you have submitted your full application in the interests of fair and open recruitment.

    For reasonable adjustments queries or requests, please see details within reasonable adjustments section above.

    Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


    Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
    Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

    See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
    People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

    Nationality requirements

    This job is broadly open to the following groups:

    • UK nationals
    • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
    • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
    • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
    • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
    • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
    • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
    Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

    Working for the Civil Service

    The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

    We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
    The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
    The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
    This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
    Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

    Contact point for applicants

    Job contact :

    • Name : Richard Hover / Keith Osborne
    • Email :
    • Telephone : 03000 582766 / 03000 578463

    Recruitment team

    • Email :

    Further information

    Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles. In the first instance, you should raise the matter directly with the department concerned. If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages:

    Share this page