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Job summary

Main area
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol)
Starting salary £68,750 to £85,000 depending on skills and experience
21/11/2017 23:59
GCHQ logo

Head of Corporate Psychology

Job description

GCHQ is offering you an exciting opportunity to join us as the Head of Corporate Psychology. Leading a team of Consultant Psychologists, working within a national security context, you’ll support the heads of Recruitment, Vetting and Talent Management.


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


Our Clinical Psychologists support GCHQ vetting officers in assessing staff for suitability to hold security clearance and assist other GCHQ teams in establishing a subject’s ability to fulfil demanding roles. This involves the assessment of vulnerability, resilience and risk, as well as providing assessments of individual cases, case consultation and training for our vetting officers and occasional research.

We’re also looking to establish an occupational psychology function to support leadership/talent development as part of a broader corporate psychology service.

As Head of Corporate Psychology you’ll be required to:

  • Undertake a review of the current level of support to vetting, identify best practice, and identify gaps in service.
  • Develop supervisory structures to ensure consistency and quality of work of the Psychologists supporting GCHQ.
  • Review the interface with Wellbeing services, Occupational Health, Conduct and Discipline, and use of Occupational Psychologists in recruitment and talent development.
  • Further develop the training of vetting officers with regard to understanding and assessing risk.
  • Develop and implement professional accountability of all professional Psychologists supporting corporate functions across GCHQ.
  • Develop oversight regarding services related to the provision of corporate psychology services across GCHQ to ensure a coherent approach based on best practice.

While the role is challenging, our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. Wherever possible, we look to accommodate reduced hours or job share options balanced against business needs.


We’re looking for experienced Consultant Clinical Psychologist from all backgrounds, who have worked at a Consultant grade within the NHS or equivalent. Along with experience of developing new services and managing psychologists, you’re able to represent your profession and demonstrate your commitment to evidence-based practice. You have a breadth of clinical experience with adult populations and have demonstrable competence in training and consulting non-psychologists about psychological issues. Forensic and/or Organisational experience is highly desirable.


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.


To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements. You can find out more details here:

To apply for the role, click 'Apply Now' below.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Psychological assessment and Face to Face Interview*
- Drug test

* Interviews will be held in Cheltenham.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our Developed Vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

Apply now