Training Programs & Standards
Standards for Intelligence Analysis Training
The below standards are not intended as a ‘must include’ list, but rather could be chosen from by agencies or providers to fit the needs of intended audiences. Agency or provider-specific materials might also be added, tailored to audience needs. Terminology is not universal and would be changed as appropriate to the region of the world. It would be anticipated that, as these standards frame an initial intelligence analyst training course, practical exercises would be added to the standards as appropriate.
I. Introduction to Intelligence
- Intelligence Cycle: Discuss the intelligence cycle or process and how its components interrelate.
- Intelligence Community Overview: Describe the intelligence community in which the agency operates and the roles of each participant.
- Intelligence Classification: Apply the appropriate system of classification and markings to several documents.
II. Critical Thinking
- Critical Thinking Defined: Explain what critical thinking is and why it is important to intelligence analysis and the problem solving process.
- Eight Elements of Thought: Apply Paul and Elder (or other recognized critical thinking) model using the Eight Elements of Thought (or related structure) to critically evaluate a written assessment.
- Intellectual Standards: Describe the Paul & Elder intellectual standards (or other set of intellectual standards) and how they apply to intelligence analysis.
III. Analytic Writing
Note: references to standards can be substituted for applicable standards in the audience’s jurisdiction.
- Products Overview: Identify traits of effective IC products.
- Tradecraft Standards: Relate analytic tradecraft standards to clear writing.
- Sourcing Standards: Practice writing in compliance with sourcing standards.
- Writing for Release: Demonstrate writing for release.
- Practical Exercises: Review and practice critical thinking skills in writing appropriate intelligence documents.
IV. Creative Thinking
- Brainstorming: Expand their view of possible alternatives.
- Rethinking: Challenge their assumptions and cognitive illusions.
- Lateral Thinking: Provide alternative thinking modes.
- Red Teaming: Think from the opponent’s point of view.
- Exercise: Provide policymakers options by presenting objective/defensible analysis and help them critically assess intelligence/information.
V. Analytic Briefing
- Briefing Fundamentals: Describe the fundamentals of briefing.
- Briefing Formulation: Formulate a briefing based on those fundamentals.
- Exercise: Provide a short briefing on an intelligence topic – present analytic results orally effectively.
VI. Structured Analytic Techniques
- Data Exploitation/Collation: Understand need to organize data effectively to analyze it properly.
- Issue/Problem Development Techniques:
- Issue Restatement: Understand how to paraphrase an issue for more effective problem solving.
- Evidence Evaluation: Explain when and how to weigh evidence and demonstrate proficiency in doing so.
- Assumptions Check: Describe the nature of assumptions, their impact on decision-making and why we need to identify and explicitly state them.
- Denial and Deception Check: Describe the elements of denial and deception and their impact on analysis.
- Visualization Techniques
- Link Analysis: Describe the nature of associations and how analyzing these can provide evidence or leads in conspiratorial operations.
- Pattern Analysis: Understand the types of patterns that may occur and why or how these patterns may assist in developing indicators and warnings.
- Timeline Analysis: Demonstrate the utility of timelines as a marshaling tool.
- Commodity Flow Analysis: Demonstrate the efficacy of following movements of things in relation to covert activities.
- Alternative Analysis Techniques:
- What If?: Discuss how unlikely events which would have a major impact should be considered.
- Analysis of Competing Hypotheses: Have an understanding of the ability to use Analysis of Competing Hypotheses as an analytic method.
- Team A – Team B: Explain how using teams of analysts to argue opposing viewpoints on an issue can be effective in viewing alternatives.
- Devil’s Advocacy: Describe how Devil’s Advocacy can be used to uncover analytic alternatives.
VII. Analytic Issues
- Collector/Analyst Integration: Explain role of collectors; how to identify gaps in evidence and work with collector to close gaps.
- Analytic Databases: Describe available analytic databases and how they can be used.
- Analytic Software: Describe available analytic software and demonstrate how it can be used.
- Ethics within Intelligence: Examine the necessity of ethical behavior within the intelligence profession.
- Analytic Outreach and Resources: Describe varied ways in which analytic outreach can be affected, including resources available in open source.
- Customer Engagement: Understand the importance of knowing your customer and ascertaining his/her needs.
- Analytic Pitfalls: Describe examples of historic pitfalls in analytic thinking and suggest methods to avoid these.
VIII. Capstone Exercise
- Exercise and test analytic tradecraft skills in a simulated real-world environment
- Exercise and test presentation skills in a simulated real-world environment.