For civilians, recruitment is advertised and is jointly handled by the Federal Public Services Commission (FPSC) and civilian ISI agents are considered employees of the Ministry of Defense. The FPSC conducts various examinations testing the candidates knowledge of current affairs, English and various analytical abilities. Based on the results, the FPSC shortlists the candidates and sends the list to the ISI which then, conducts the initial background checks. The selected candidates are then invited for an interview which is conducted by a joint committee comprising both ISI and FPSC officials.
Those candidates who pass the interview, then have to go through rigorous fitness, medical and psychological evaluations. Once the candidate clears these evaluations, the ISI performs a very thorough background check on the candidate before being offered to join the ISI. Security clearance is granted once the candidate accepts the offer. Recruited agents then go to the Inter-Services Intelligence School for basic training following which, they are employed on an initial one year probationary period. However, civilian operatives are not allowed to rise above the equivalent of the rank of Major and are mostly assigned to Joint Intelligence X (JIX), Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB) and Joint Counterintelligence Bureau (JCIB) departments and the rest of the departments are solely headed by the armed forces though there have been rare cases in which civilians have been assigned to those departments.