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Cyber Retraining Academy – An HM Government programme delivered in partnership with SANS.

SANS has been selected to work in partnership with HM Government to develop and deliver the UK's first Cyber Retraining Academy.

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Introduction to the Cyber Retraining Academy

Cyber security is rapidly becoming a top global priority for governments and businesses. Despite the fact that the UK has a world-class cyber security sector, there is still currently a significant shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.
"The Academy is like the Harvard Business School for cyber – you know the graduates are going in based on their aptitude, and will be going through the best training possible"
Jim Fox, Head of Cyber Development at e2e
In response to this growing challenge, HM Government, in partnership with SANS Institute, has created the Cyber Retraining Academy. An intensive and immersive ten-week training programme, the Academy aims to encourage and develop potential new cyber security professionals. The programme has been tailored to meet the specific cyber security needs of today's enterprises and government.

What to expect from the Cyber Retraining Academy

The Cyber Retraining Academy is a unique and proven programme that assists in meeting the widening demand for skilled cyber security practitioners. Through intensive training, the Academy creates GIAC certified professionals, ready to be deployed into junior cyber security roles in just ten weeks.
The Academy programme has been designed for individuals with little or no prior experience of cyber security and for those wishing to retrain and transition from other careers. It prepares them comprehensively for the security roles they will be entering into, introducing them to basic principles, alongside material from SANS’ world-class training courses and real-life, practical simulations and team exercises. The programme culminates in an industry-recognised GCIH certification; regarded as essential for any practitioner entering the field of cyber security.
The training programme is fully funded by HM Government and the next Academy will take place in London, beginning January 23rd 2017.

Cyber Academy 2015 – Case study

Candidates selected for the SANS Cyber Academy 2015 programme represented a broad range of backgrounds, age groups and career histories.
"Cyber Academy is the greatest opportunity I've ever had in my life."
2015 Cyber Academy student
Cyber Academy 2015 graduates have secured excellent roles across a number of different security disciplines, including digital forensics, penetration testing, security research and product security testing, with such renowned organisations as NATO, Airbus, Raytheon, GE Aviation and Huawei.


Why apply to the Cyber Retraining Academy?

If you have an interest in IT or IT security, or are looking for something exciting, challenging and a bit different, the Cyber Retraining Academy could be for you. Due to a significant lack of skilled and trained practitioners, cyber security is currently a very in demand profession, offering interesting and vital work, excellent earning potential and stable career paths with flexible opportunities across multiple industries. Aimed at candidates with little or no prior knowledge of cyber security, there are no skill-related barriers to Academy entry*.
"Exceptional. There's no other word for it"
2015 Cyber Academy student
The Cyber Retraining Academy is a fully funded training programme aimed at encouraging new talent into the cyber security sector by providing the necessary experience and training to embark on a successful security career. The Academy draws on SANS Institute's extensive experience in cyber security education and development.


  • The cost of the programme is covered
  • Learn from world-renowned instructors
  • Experience hands-on technical tuition
  • Gain a globally recognised certification
  • Engage directly with major UK employers with the potential for being placed into a cyber security role after successful graduation
Upon graduation, you will be ready to be deployed into a junior cyber security role and will have acquired a level of knowledge that can be built upon through further education. The Academy provides graduates with an excellent foundation on which to build a successful career and progress within the field of cyber security.
* Please read the application criteria under the "Who can apply?" section.

The process

To begin your application, please follow the link below. The assessment and selection for the Cyber Retraining Academy is a 5-stage process:
One. Candidates are required to complete the Pre-Qualification Assessment. This consists of five questions similar to those posed by the Cyber Academy's gateway test, the CyberTalent Aptitude Assessment.
Two. Candidates who pass the Pre-Qualification Assessment will be invited to formally apply for the Cyber Academy. This involves creating an online profile, completing an application form and uploading a CV to the Cyber Academy portal.
Three. Within 72 hours, a link to the online CyberTalent Aptitude Assessment will be sent to successful candidates. The Aptitude Assessment consists of a compulsory set of psychometric and technical questions.
Four. Successful candidates will then be invited for a series of face-to-face interviews with senior SANS Institute staff.
Five. Based on their cumulative performance, the most suitable candidates will be offered a place at the UK Government Cyber Academy.

Inside the Academy

The ten-week Cyber Retraining Academy begins 23rd January 2017 in central London, with eight weeks of intensive, in-classroom training. The training is expected to take place Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm, with the occasional evening event.
The in-classroom training will take place on the weeks commencing:
  • January 23rd and 30th
  • February 6th, 20th and 27th
  • March 6th, 20th and 27th
The Academy takes material from SANS training courses and combines it with curated, hands-on, practical modules, simulations and team exercises to immerse students in real-life situations, preparing you as comprehensively as possible for the security roles you will be entering into. Capture the flag exercises, coding challenges, hack-a-thons and technical labs are all engineered to simulate real-world scenarios and situations.

Key areas covered:

  • Technology fundamentals
  • Security essentials
  • Enterprise infrastructure
  • OS security
  • Virtualisation and cloud infrastructure security
  • Compliance audit and risk
  • Incident response
  • Forensics
  • Penetration testing and ethical hacking
The programme ensures students have a solid grasp of technology and computing fundamentals, skills that many of today's practitioners often lack. You will also be introduced to more advanced material, gaining hands-on experience in finding vulnerabilities and intrusions, based on real-life incidents.

Who can apply?

In order to apply for the Cyber Retraining Academy, candidates must be:
  • Aged 18 and over
  • A UK or EU national
  • Not currently working within a cyber security role
  • Able to attend the full ten weeks of the Academy
  • Available for employment following successful graduation from the Academy
  • Willing to engage with potential government and corporate employers introduced by SANS
  • Willing to undergo any necessary security clearance checks
Sponsorships are available to assist students with accommodation and subsistence. Details will be released to all individuals that pass the Aptitude Assessment phase.


Reasons to recruit from the Cyber Retraining Academy

The Cyber Retraining Academy aims to assess, select, train and deploy new and much needed talent into the cyber security sector. Cyber Academy students are selected through a rigorous assessment process, using the SANS Cyber Aptitude assessment tool. The tool has been specifically developed by SANS, drawing on traits and characteristics of their world class instructors and cyber security professionals, in order to assess and identify those with the greatest chance of success in this field.

Tracking students progress

Unique to the Cyber Retraining Academy recruitment process is the level of transparency offered to potential employers. Interested parties are encouraged to be involved as early on as possible and to discuss their specific requirements with SANS. On request, employers are also able to view the students' CVs and Aptitude results.
All students are profiled online and tracked throughout the training programme and employers are therefore able to view and monitor individuals’ performance and progress. All potential employers are also given the opportunity to attend careers fairs, which take place during the ten weeks of training, offering the chance to meet and interact with the students prior to their graduation.
To register and gain access to the online student tracker, please email
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GIAC certification

Global Information Assurance Certification, (GIAC), was created to validate the skills of information security professionals, proving that those certified have the deep skills and technical knowledge necessary for roles ranging from complete entry level through to the most advanced technical subject areas. GIAC certifications are globally recognised, industry leading standards, measuring specific skill and knowledge areas.
GIAC certifications are regulated under the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 Personnel Certification programme, ensuring international quality requirements.
GIAC currently has over 80,000 certifications issued to security practitioners globally. GIAC certifications provide the confidence that the candidate can apply specific, technical knowledge of a specific subject area, proving that they possess the skills and expertise needed to complete a specific job, as opposed to simply understanding information security principles.

About SANS Institute

SANS is the world's largest and most trusted provider of cyber security training. We work with organisations and governments around the globe. Founded in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organisation, SANS programmes now reach more than 200,000 security professionals each week.

Further information

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Cyber Retraining Academy, please email
If you have any disability or condition that prohibits you from taking part in this application, please contact Steve Jones, Cyber Academy Manager on