The Joint Intelligence Organisation leads on intelligence assessment and development of the UK intelligence community’s analytical capability, supporting the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee and National Security Council.
The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) sits close to the heart of the UK’s national security community.
We provide authoritative, all-source assessment for the Prime Minister, the National Security Council (NSC) and senior policy makers to support their decision-making on national security and foreign policy priorities.
Intelligence assessment adds a layer of judgement to intelligence analysis, adding the ‘so what?’ to support and inform the customer’s decision-making. In essence, analysis can be thought of as identifying and fitting together the pieces of the jigsaw, whilst assessment provides an understanding of the overall picture, even when some of the jigsaw pieces are missing.
‘All-source’ means that to create this picture we draw on a wide range of material at all classifications. Sometimes this is secret intelligence; often it is open source material from media outlets or think tanks. We also draw on the knowledge of our network of experts across the intelligence agencies, the diplomatic service, operational and policy areas of government, international partners, think tanks and academia, open source providers, and the private sector.
Our work covers, but goes beyond, ‘traditional’ national security topics such as geopolitical issues and threats to British interests. We apply a national security lens to issues such as emerging technology, economic and health security, climate change and horizon scanning (for example, identifying and monitoring countries at risk of instability).
The Permanent Secretary-level Head of the JIO is also the Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
We are overseen by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) is the place where senior representatives from across government come together to review and endorse assessments on national security issues, usually written by the JIO. By drawing on the experience and knowledge of its attendees the JIC aims to give Ministers and senior officials agreed assessments which are as insightful and accurate as possible.
Professional Head of Intelligence Assessment (PHIA)
The Professional Head of Intelligence Assessment (PHIA) was established in 2005. The post and associated team is part of the JIO and leads on the development of the UK intelligence community’s analytical capability. PHIA is the Head of the Intelligence Analysis Profession, a community of over 1,700 intelligence analysts across government.
The PHIA team is responsible for maintaining the professional standards of both analysts and their assessment products, through the Intelligence Analysis Professional Development Framework. Tools such as the PHIA Yardstick and our Common Analytical Standards help ensure that the work of the UK’s Intelligence Assessment community meets a consistently high standard and is easily understood by customers.
The UK’s Intelligence Assessment Academy provides training for intelligence analysts, ensures that analytical methodologies are up-to-date and promotes Intelligence Assessment as an academic discipline.
We also lead on a number of innovative projects across the UK government to further develop our Intelligence Assessment capabilities. These include crowd forecasting initiatives and the impact of emerging technologies.
A particular focus for JIO and PHIA is Diversity and Inclusion: we produce better assessment when we can draw on insights from people who have different ways of thinking about issues. We have an action plan to contribute to the Civil Service vision of being the UK’s most inclusive employer.