Undercover Foundation Officer (UCF)

Job Family Intelligence
Job Sub Family Covert operations
Code INT-COV-SD-Undercover Foundation Officer v1.0

Role Purpose

Undercover foundation operatives are selected, vetted, trained and accredited to gather intelligence and evidence. The UCF carries out short-term operational deployments that require the ability to withstand a level of scrutiny.

UCFs are deployed in an authorised investigation or operation as a relevant source, which is defined as somebody who establishes and maintains a personal or other relationship with a person in order to obtain or provide access to information to another person, or to covertly disclose information obtained by the use of or as a consequence of the existence of such a relationship.

The role, responsibility and conduct of individual UCFs should be commensurate with their skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience.

Key Accountabilities

• Prepare for deployment by conducting research into the deployment area, commodity or subject matter, developing a robust cover story or legend with an appropriate level of backstopping and physical appearance to ensure personal safety and the effectiveness of covert activities.

• Attend operational briefings, identifying, receiving and agreeing operational objectives, risk assessments and authorities for the deployment and prepare and check relevant equipment and props needed for deployment to support legend and meet expectations and requirements of the Operational Lead.

• Follow operational instructions in line with legal and procedural knowledge ensuring geographical parameters and boundaries of the authorisation are adhered to.

• Conduct dynamic risk assessments, frequently liaising with the Cover Officer, and working effectively with other undercover operatives and surveillance teams to ensure safe exit from the deployment and to maintain safety at all times.

• Maintain cover, credibility and operational security, forming appropriate relationships with subjects and individuals involved in criminal and terrorism activity, in order to meet deployment priorities and objectives.

• Gather, corroborate, handle and preserve intelligence and evidence with transparency and integrity to support potential legal proceedings.

• Follow the National Code of Conduct for Undercover Operatives, maintaining up to date awareness and psychological assessments to ensure operational readiness.


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:

• Must pass national selection process and subsequent UCF training course.


• Able to develop a deep knowledge and understanding of a local community including society composition, the needs of the vulnerable and local safety issues.

• Strong communication skills with the ability to set out logical arguments clearly and adapt language, form and message to meet the needs of different people/ audiences.

• Good team working skills demonstrating awareness of individual differences and providing support as required.

• Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders, understanding their needs and concerns.

• Able to identify the drivers of behaviour, acting with discretion and emotional intelligence to manage conflict and defuse difficult situations.

• Problem solving skills with the ability to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes as well as manage impacts.

• Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.

• Able to critically question and identify potential opportunities to enhance efficiency and/or effectiveness within own area of work.

• Able to identify, analyse and manage risk to inform balanced, proportionate, evidence based decisions.

• Able to review and reflect on own performance objectively and to take steps to maintain and enhance competence and professional standards appropriate to the role.

• Good time management skills with the able to appropriately prioritise and plan own work.

• Skilled in the use of standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.

• Skilled in applying personal safety tactics, including the use of equipment and restraints.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

• Maintain UCF accreditation through CPD.

• Maintain an up to date understanding of Police Regulations and College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context.

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

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving, test and synthesise these into working practice, championing innovation and changes to 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.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Not applicable.

Links to other Profiles

• Undercover Online Only Operative
• Undercover Advanced Operative
• Undercover Online Operative

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