International Undercover Operations Course

Enabling officials to perform undercover operations to international standards.

The International Undercover Operations Course combines the pre-selection, foundation and advanced courses as prescribed by international curriculum. Students will learn how to establish and utilise a covert infrastructure, plan and prepare covert infiltration, participate in and deploy undercover operations against covert targets and sustain operations over time. The course draws particular focus to international law, ethical standards, health, safety and security. The course requires attendance at selection weekend.

Introducing undercover operations, the course takes students with an existing knowledge of intelligence to the position of recognised covert operators.

Target Audience

The majority of the training is oriented towards trained and experienced intelligence professionals. Therefore, applicants who do not already posses training in intelligence operations will need to attend an additional training week.

The course is designed for and sponsored by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and attracts delegates from international missions, agencies and institutions. National military, intelligence and law-enforcement delegates are welcome, as are functionaries in positions of public trust representing such as the media, NGOs, charitable and other third sector organisations with a justifiable reason to attend.

Learning Objectives

Intelligence Concepts: Understand the Intelligence Cycle and international law and ethics impacting upon undercover operations. Prepare all appropriate authorisations and documentation to the required standard.

Covert Awareness: Improved self-motivation, problem-solving, interpersonal and communication skills. Understand the limitations of informants, surveillance, electronic interception and other covert techniques. Explain the history and value of undercover tactics, handlers and agents in addressing social problems.

Operational Planning: Appreciate the security and confidentiality implications of undercover work. Plan short and long-term undercover operations.

Tactical Operations: Deter, disrupt and neutralise targets and operations where traditional methods have proven inefficient or unsuccessful. Provide intelligence and evidential support for tactical operations. Provide current, actionable and sustainable intelligence and evidence on targets and their activities. Penetrate target groups and identify unknown subjects of interest and their activities.

Covert Support: Develop advanced cover with covert infrastructure support. Conduct technical and physical surveillance countermeasures. Assess personal strengths, weaknesses and characteristics with regards to undercover deployment and prepare basic cover accordingly.

Welfare Management: Brief and de-brief undercover agents. Manage the health and safety, welfare, financial and managerial implications of undercover deployments.

Course Format

The International Undercover Operations Course is designed to develop skills and knowledge in the field of deep cover operations overseas. 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.

Intelligence Operations (Part 1)

28/10/24 - 01/11/24

Candidates who do not have prior experience of intelligence must complete an intense, preparatory learning programme equivalent to the Intelligence Academy's EU Intelligence Operations Course (EUIOC) over one-week. This training is in full-time attendance mode in Vienna and directly precedes entry onto undercover selection during Ex. TENDERFOOT.

Day 1
Intelligence Foundations

Day 2
Reporting, Evaluation & Exploitation

Day 3
Collection Specialists, Surveillance & Risk

Day 4
Counter-terrorism, Covert Action & Counterintelligence

Day 5
Exercise Capstone

Undercover Operations (Part 2)

02/11/24 - 15/11/24

The covert operations part of the course begins for candidates with existing intelligence operations training with a live simulation exercise for diagnostic purposes. The selection exercise aims to identify individual strengths, weaknesses and training needs, so that candidates can be appropriately placed during training and instructors can be better informed. Due to the health risks involved in undercover training, the diagnostic weekend also serves to identify candidates representing a danger to the health and safety of others.

The following two-weeks consists of practical training needed to conduct deep cover operations at an international level. Each session is approximately 90mins in duration. This intensive residential phase ends with a live training exercise and capability assessment during which candidates take on the role of undercover officers.

  • Induction, Informants & Surveillance.
  • Intelligence Concepts
  • Ethics & Law
  • Authorities & Documentation
  • Intelligence & Evidence Collection
  • Intelligence Foundations & History
  • Covert Operations History & Failure
  • Briefing & Debriefing
  • Deployment Planning & Preparation.
  • Interception & Covert Techniques.
  • Health, Safety & Welfare.
  • Deterrence and Disruption.
  • Influence & Deception Operations.
  • Covert Action.
  • Foot Surveillance.
  • Mobile & Progressive Surveillance.
  • Technical Surveillance & TSCM.
  • Undercover Surveillance & Reconnaissance.
  • Undercover Tactics.
  • Covert Support Structures.
  • Undercover Support to Operations.
  • Confidentiality & Security.
  • Undercover Selection.
  • Infiltration Tactics & Methodology.
  • Snap to Deep Cover.
  • Legend Development.
  • Bona Fides.
  • Covert Finance.
  • Legal Instruments.
  • Big Data, Cyber & OSINT.
  • Anti- & Counter-Surveillance.

Day 1
Exercise Tenderfoot

Day 2
Exercise Tenderfoot

Day 3
Induction & Security

Day 4
Intelligence History & Failure

Day 5
Covert Infrastructure & Finance

Day 6
Special Security Measures

Day 7
Operational Planning

Day 8

Day 9
Cover & Legend

Day 10
Surveillance Detection

Day 11
Surveillance Detection

Day 12
Exercise Danube

Dates & Times

Candidates are free to sign up at any time. However, applications can take up to 4 weeks to process but security vetting may take up to 6 months to complete for applicants who lack a current security clearance. Therefore:

  • Applicants from Interpol member states who do not work for government/inter-governmental organisations or possess a current security clearance should apply no later than 01/06/24.
  • Applicants from Interpol member states who hold a current security clearance or currently work for government/inter-governmental organisations should apply no later than 01/10/24.

To apply for this bespoke programme, contact the head of training and directing staff directly.


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 undercover 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 undercover operations domain of the Integrated Competency Framework (ICF) for Operations 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 Undercover Operations accompanying this credential is earned after accruing 17 credits at approximately 170 guided learning hours.

Fees & Discounts

Not including accommodation, the course is delivered at a cost of €3650 for trained intelligence officers entering directly into part two or €5400 for new entrants requiring the full three week version. Fees include Intelligence Security (INTSEC) and Intelligence Foundations (INTFND) supplemental training as required. 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 €170 discount when making your payment online.

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.