HMS Ferret

HMS Ferret (Bedford)

HMS Ferret is the home of the Intelligence Branch of the Royal Navy Reserve.

Add to favourites

HMS Ferret was established as a unit of the Royal Navy Reserve in 1982, initially based in Ashford, Kent, it moved in 1997 to its current location in the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. HMS Ferret is responsible for the recruitment, training and deployment of Intelligence personnel, providing operational capability to UK defence.

Entry is competitive, but applications are welcomed from candidates of all ranks and with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, including ex-regular personnel from across the Armed Forces. Initial intelligence training is provided across several weekends and an intensive fortnight comprising the Intelligence Foundation course. 

Continuation training is then available in a range of specialist disciplines, depending on personal preference and aptitude, including Strategic Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT).

HMS Ferret personnel are deployable in a wide variety of intelligence roles and have supported operations in many theatres, including the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Being willing and able to deploy is particularly important in a branch which continues to be in high demand.  

A condition of employment within HMS Ferret is that personnel must already hold, or be prepared to undergo, the highest levels of security clearance, known as Developed Vetting. As a guide, candidates must be UK citizens and have been resident within the UK for a minimum of 10 years.

Telephone: 01462 752189

Talk to us

0345 600 3222

8am-8pm Mon to Fri, 9am-6pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun

Royal Naval Reserves unveil their summer Fast-Track Officer Scheme

Royal Naval Reserves unveil their summer Fast Track Officer Scheme


HMS Ferret (Bedford) Latest News

See all news for HMS Ferret (Bedford)

Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Future

An island nation needs a powerful navy. A simple fact, often forgotten. Go behind the scenes of the new aircraft carrier and discover its true scale and ambition.

Read about the new carrier

Location Bedford

Postal Address

HMS Ferret, Building 600, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedford, SG17 5PR


We are based at the Defence Intelligence & Security Centre, RAF Chicksands in Bedfordshire. HMS Ferret is close to the A600, also with good road links to the A6, M1 and A1M.