Covert Operations Manager (COM-UC)

Job Family Intelligence
Job Sub Family Covert operations
Code INT-COV-ME-Covert Operations Manager v1.0

Role Purpose

Covert Operations Managers (COM-UC) are responsible for decisions regarding the covert tactics and tasking undertaken by Undercover Operatives (UCOs) within the parameters of the authorisation granted or approved by the authorising officer.

Key Accountabilities

• Manage and maintain covert structures, operational security and the security of assets and data to ensure the integrity of the undercover unit, the safety of UCOs and the effectiveness of covert activities.

• Engage with the Operational Lead and consult with other undercover units, ensuring clear lines of communication regarding undercover operations and UCO deployments.

• Manage the tactical deployment and tasking of UCOs and oversee the tactics and management of designated UCOs, including overseas deployments, to ensure operational integrity and effectiveness.

• Manage the provision of generic and occupational health and safety risk assessment and psychological support to enable the ongoing safety and welfare of undercover unit staff.

• Review backstopping and legend building requests from undercover units in order to manage the application process prior to presenting requests to the approving officer.

• Assess UCOs according to the national risk-based tenure policy agreed by the National Undercover Working Group in order to mitigate psychological strain, skill-fade, and changes in operational strategy to ensure balance between the investment made in a UCO and the stressors of undercover work.

• Manage staff vetting and access to covert facilities and information to handle the associated risks to undercover operatives and operations.

• Manage processes and procedures for the maintenance and storage of accurate records pertaining to working hours, operational disagreements, the issue, movement and return of UCO original notes and the deployment management record.

• Manage updates to national databases to ensure accurate details of UCO eligibility for deployment.

• Guide consultation and liaison with prosecutors regarding witness anonymity and ensure the safety of UCOs during and post legal proceedings.

• Negotiate with the Operational Lead to determine the dissemination, disclosure and handling requirements of intelligence, information and materials from UCO operations with due regard for potential impact on the safety or identification of the UCO and/or operational effectiveness.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior Education and Experience:

• Officer of at least Inspector rank or equivalent, although if required an officer of Sergeant rank can deputise.

• Must have successfully completed the COM-UC training course.


• Able to plan to short and medium-term cycles, to coordinate a range of activities appropriately within the function, to match these to available resources, and to identify and mitigate known risks to delivery.

• Able to develop and implement an effective stakeholder relationship plan which develops trusts and enables contributions.

• Able to engage a variety of audiences through a range of media to inform and/or persuade.

• Able to develop and motivate a diverse team and create strong engagement of individuals with their personal and team objectives and with Force values, behaviours and strategic priorities.

• Skilled in setting, monitoring and enabling high performance against team and individual performance objectives.

• Able to identify potential applications of new or improved practices related to own area of work to improve ways of working.

• Able to contribute to resource planning, to manage financial budgets and utilise commercial acumen to make risk-based decisions that deliver effective outcomes within the resources allocated.

• Able to seek out and identify a range of information to identify patterns, trends and options, to solve multifaceted and complex problems.

• Skilled in coaching and mentoring to enable appropriate career and professional development.

• Able to lead the delivery of change initiatives within a complex team.

• Able to maintain personal resilience and wellbeing in challenging situations and enable others to develop their own personal resilience and wellbeing.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of Police Regulations and College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context and leading and managing teams.

• Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice across all functional policing areas of operational responsibility.

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research, problem solving and team working and synthesise these into working practice.

• Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities; and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.

• Complete all annual and mandatory training.

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of performance management and assessment process and ensure they are implemented effectively when leading and managing teams.

• Keep up to date with guidance and best practice on health, safety and welfare.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Not applicable.

Links to other Profiles

• Undercover Operational Lead
• Undercover Head of Unit

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