EU Informant Management

Enabling officials to manage covert informants to regional and international standards.

The EU Informant Handling Course also known as the EU Agent Handling Course (EUAHC) combines counter-surveillance, foundation and advanced informant handling courses as prescribed by international and regional curriculum. Participants will learn how to identify, develop, recruit, train and re/de-activate covert informants. Students will also learn how to meet informants safely, secure communications, task and debrief, among many other tradecraft skills. The course draws particular focus to regional and international law, ethical standards, health, safety and security.

Introducing students to informant management, the course takes students with an existing knowledge of intelligence to the position of recognised human intelligence collectors.

Target Audience

The course is oriented towards trained and experienced intelligence professionals. Therefore, in addition to the usual minimum requirements for all Institute training, applicants should also posses regional training in intelligence on the operations, analysis or command track, equivalent to the EUIOC, EUIAC, EUIMC or similar. Historically, the programme has attracted the following representation:

Internationals: Representatives from EU, UN and other international agencies, missions and institutions. Nationals: National intelligence, military and law-enforcement delegates attending on behalf of European states.
Non-Profits: Functionaries in a position of public trust representing the media, NGOs, charitable and other third sector organisations. Others: Professionals from the private sector, academia and other organisations.

Learning Objectives

ECIM Concepts: Understand the European Criminal Intelligence Model (ECIM), sources of information and the finishing of intelligence. Apply human intelligence theory as prescribed by EU policies and practice. Conduct efficient and effective cross-border operations in accordance with EU policies and practices.

Intelligence Law: Understand the civil liberties, human rights, legal and ethical connotations of handling informants. Including authorisation and accountability requirements.

Agent Psychology: Apply psychological and methodological processes to the systematic identification, recruitment and handling of agents. Apply debriefing, elicitation, conflict resolution, deception and deception detection techniques.

Agent Operations: Use informants in controlled delivery, test purchases, undercover operations, technical operations and other functions. Understand how to use cover, covert infrastructure, operational security and tradecraft. Understand the capabilities of physical and technical surveillance, conducting countermeasures as necessary. Undertake risk assessments and apply techniques to operate safely and confidentially in hostile environments. Protect the identity of informants and develop compromise protocols.

Information Handling: Evaluate the credibility of informants and their information according to EU standards. Document informants and their activity while recording, sanitising and exploiting the intelligence they provide.

Case Study: Understand the professional standards of informant handling and historical case studies of human intelligence failure.

Course Format

The EU Informant/Agent Handling Course is designed to develop regional skills and knowledge as a handler or co-handler throughout cooperating European states. To develop these skills a variety of formats and delivery methods have been used including:

  1. Flexible Delivery: Workshops and exercises as well as traditional lectures.
  2. Coaching & Mentoring: Career advice in the security sector from recognised experts, assistance and support with course content and sustained aftercare.
  3. Blended Learning: The latest iteration of the course combines preparatory training via our e-learning platform with consolidated learning in an intensive attendance programme.

Part 1 - e-Learning

Prior to attendance each candidate must pass a preparatory e-learning programme delivered over no less than three months. Candidates are free to sign up and begin study at any time and on their own schedule.

Block 1
Intelligence & Security

Block 2
Combined Operations

Block 3
Ethics & Law

Block 4
Cultivation & Recruitment

Block 5
Profiling & Documentation

Block 6
Contact & Reporting

Block 7
Covert Operations & Risk

Between April and July the following webinars and other online events will be scheduled for delivery via a secure platform. These sessions on the more sensitive information and practical training needed to provide covert networks throughout Europe. Each session is approximately 90mins in duration and most often scheduled during CET evenings and weekends to fit in with candidate's professional commitments.

  • Induction, Cover & Legend
  • Covert Infrastructure
  • Compromise Protocols
  • Exfiltration Planning
  • Approach & Recruitment
  • Informant Psychology
  • Informant Evaluation
  • Source Protection
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Permissive Environment Tradecraft
  • Non-permissive Environment Tradecraft
  • Hostile Environment Tradecraft
  • Foot Surveillance
  • Mobile & Progressive Surveillance
  • Technical Surveillance & TSCM
  • Agent Tradecraft Training
  • Social Engineering (OTA*)

* Specialised optional training is offered with each of the Institute's courses. Although this extended training does not form part of the curriculum it is assessed and can offer candidates the opportunity to gain a more practical insight into a specific area of their training. These Optional Training Assessments (OTAs) are discretionary and may be offered at any point throughout the study cycle.

Part 2 - Residential/Online School

After completion of the e-learning programme in Stage I, an intensive hybrid residential and online school consolidates learning over five to twelve consecutive days depending upon the options chosen. The majority of the school is Ex. SOLO, a live training exercise and capability assessment during which candidates take on the role of informant handlers. Candidates can choose to attend on-site in Vienna or by video-conferencing online.

Day 1
Induction & Handling

Day 2
Ex. Solo

Day 3
Ex. Solo

Day 4
Ex. Solo

Day 5
Ex. Solo

As the majority of the school exists in exercise phases, the residential school typically lasts for 5 days but may be extended by a further 7 days as select students continue the exercise overseas. For further details consult Ex. SOLO.

Dates & Times

Candidates are free to sign up and begin studying the e-learning component at any time and on their own schedule. The residential school and its online alternative run once a year, beginning on the fifth Monday in July or the first Monday of August and running for five to twelve consecutive days depending upon the options chosen. Candidates may not be admitted to the hybrid residential school without having achieved a passing grade on the e-learning element. Therefore, candidates should ensure they are enrolled by no later than the first week in April to provide sufficient time to complete distance-learning and access to all available scheduled events. Applications take approximately 4 weeks to process but security vetting may take up to 6 months to complete for applicants who lack a current security clearance.


Assessment may be by any valid and accredited competency assessment meeting course requirements. However, competency is most commonly evidenced through the following combination of assessment methods:

  • A pre-selection dossier including validated: security vetting, professional/academic reference checks, higher education certification (degree-level or equivalent), fitness/medical checks and evidence of a relevant career history and assessed knowledge in European security.
  • A score of greater than 49% on the intelligence operations section of the MCPE or an equivalently balanced examination of similar content.
  • Submission of a portfolio of work satisfying the criteria for at least a pass according to the candidate handbook.
  • An approved assessor's independent testimony of observed competency across the informant handling domain of the Integrated Competency Framework (ICF) for Intelligence throughout at least 10 hours of supervised professional practice.


Credentials are fully accredited for compliance with international standards. For further details on Institute requirements, international standards and accreditation, view the Accreditation page.


The EQF Level 3 Certificate in EU Informant Management accompanying this credential is earned after accruing 15 credits at approximately 150 guided learning hours.

Fees & Discounts

Not including accommodation, the course is delivered at a cost of €3000. Payment is accepted by bank transfer, card or PayPal. The following pricing options are available:

Member's Rate: If you have a current membership, log in with your user ID and password to receive a €150 discount when making your payment online.

Distance-Learning Rate: Gain an additional €500 discount by electing to complete the residential element of the course online instead of attending on-site.

Group Rate: If you are booking on behalf of a group, further incentives may apply. Please contact the head of the training and directing staff for further details.

Induction Fees: Candidates using the Institute to obtain a security clearance for the first time must also complete the Intelligence Security (INTSEC) awareness course. Those who have not studied with the Academy before must complete the Intelligence Foundations (INTFND) selection and induction course. Fees for these online short-courses are €350 and €150 respectively.


 IEIS Candidate Handbook (PDF, 352KB)
 EUAHC Syllabus & Curriculum (PDF, 191KB)


Vienna or Online.