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Life at GCHQ

The freedom to be you

Our culture is all about giving you the right support, the right skills and the right working environment. While we’re all about teamwork, we also give you the freedom to achieve your own goals and to be yourself. Because with the right mix of minds, anything is possible.



We’re professional and always work lawfully, ethically and impartially. It’s important for us to keep our promises, take ownership and remain accountable. While we’re transparent, we’re also here to protect the UK’s secrets.



We’re creative in everything we do and have a passion for learning. It means we solve problems that others think impossible, constantly improve and dare to take risks. To do this, we make the best use of people, technology and tradecraft.



Serving UK interests, we improve the nation’s security and make a difference in all we do. We’re confident at making difficult decisions and often balance short-term delivery with building our future. 



We have a truly inclusive community spirit that helps us to reach across boundaries. We trust, support and care for each other, always valuing each other’s unique and diverse contributions. We inspire each other to be the best we can be.

Protecting the UK has its perks

We know you’ll work really hard, so that’s why we’ll give you lots of perks. Here are just some of the benefits you can expect. Depending on your role, you might even have a few more.

Generous holiday

We offer 25 days’ annual holiday (pro rata). This rises to 30 days once you’ve been here for 5 years. Plus, you’ll have 10.5 extra days for public and privilege holidays.

Family friendly

If you’re eligible, you could receive up to 6 months’ full maternity pay, and 2 weeks’ paternity pay. We also encourage shared parental leave and will support you along your journey – no matter if this is pregnancy or adoption.

Competitive pension

You’ll also get a really competitive pension plan – so you won’t just develop your career, you’ll secure your future.

Flexible working

Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of flexi-time. So you’ll usually have a say in when you work. And if you end up doing extra, you’ll easily be able to take that time back.

Excellent facilities

Depending on which site you join, you can take advantage of things like a gym, restaurant and even several shops.

Explore our world

We want to give you an insight into how some of our offices look and sound. Take a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to work here.

Diversity & inclusion

We’re really proud to work with a huge range of people who all have different mindsets. In fact, celebrating a mix of minds is at the heart of our culture. That’s why we have facilities like prayer rooms at most of our sites. Discover more about our affinity groups, awards, the initiatives we have in place and how we champion diversity and inclusion at every level of GCHQ.

Visit our Diversity & inclusion page

New Entrant Orientation

We know that starting a new job can be daunting, which is why we have developed the New Entrant Orientation programme. This modular pathway runs for the first 100 days of you joining our community, so you can get a feel for our organisation and where your role fits in. With buddies to help you settle in, networking events and socials, our structured programme of learning will give you all the information you need at the right time, tailored to you. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect:


Days 1 to 30

We’ll welcome you to our community, where you’ll be provided with the key information you need, such as security awareness, pay and pensions, health and safety, and how to access support functions such as Wellbeing and Occupational Health. You’ll also be given your IT accesses and training on information management.

Days 31 to 60

We’ll encourage you to start thinking about your learning and development needs, setting goals, and also introducing you to our staff affinity networks, sports and social groups, to help you meet people with similar passions and interests.

Days 61 to 99

This is where we help you to consolidate your learning. You’ll be introduced to our central development hub where you can find all sorts of useful information to support your training now, and throughout your career.


Day 100 itself will mark the end of the induction, focussing on reinforcing key learnings and also celebrating you reaching this landmark day.

We want everyone who joins our organisation to feel that they belong, and that no matter what role they are doing, they are making a positive impact on the UK’s security. 

Learning & development

No matter your level of experience, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and develop your talent. You might go on dedicated courses, shadow other teams or work towards a recognised qualification. It’s how we keep up with evolving threats, emerging tech and best practice.

From day one, you’ll have amazing support and training. In fact, when you join, you’ll be assigned a ‘buddy’ to help you get to grips with everything. You might also have a mentor who will help to drive your personal and professional development. Plus, we’ll encourage you to use your volunteering leave and help other people. We’re all focused on helping our communities, so we’re always looking for bigger and better ways to support others. With the freedom to shape your own development, you – and those around you – will thrive.

Meet the team