Exercise Solo

Assessing core individual competencies in the human-domain to regional and international standards.

The exercise war-games scenarios and tests human-domain intelligence readiness and preparedness at the individual level as prescribed by international and regional competency frameworks. As a full field training exercise (FTX), the exercise is oriented towards qualified human domain specialists or those shortly to qualify and undertaking the culminating exercise (CULEX) as a competency assessment for professional membership.

The exercise places particular emphasis on compliance with professional standards, ethics and law.

Target Audience

Participants should familiarise themselves with their language option and the subject of arms-trafficking. The exercise should not be attempted without having completed: extensive advanced regional and international HUMINT training or having accrued three years international experience working in HUMINT collection in complex environments. Historically, the exercise 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.

Exercise Format

In a two week intensive exercise Ex. SOLO is designed to assess regional skills and knowledge in the human domain throughout European states. Throughout the individual competency assessment a variety of assessment methods have been used including:

  1. Practical: Participants are exposed to a live situation in the real world and are required to solve problems and take actions in response to ongoing events.
  2. Simulation: Participants are required to answer questions, resolve problems and perform tasks based on changing circumstances provided within a realistic simulated environment.
  3. Observation & Sampling: Participants are observed taking on a particular role within a human intelligence cell with their output deliverables scrutinised.

Exercise Overview

Ex. SOLO is loosely based on the UK MI6 FTX of the same name. However, sufficient material has been altered so prior knowledge will not aid participants. Over two weeks and several nation states, participants will be will be expected to apply the appropriate techniques in the collection of sensitive information in order to achieve mission objectives. Participants will be forced to adapt to constantly changing operational conditions over long hours in a high-pressure environment.

The exercise begins with an introduction and background briefing from the instructors, after which participants will be divided up into operational cells to assign roles amongst themselves. Managing large volumes of conflicting information while participants develop and maintain covert agents in a semi-permissive environment will be routine.

Participants will face ethical, legal, administrative and operational challenges in covert activities throughout the FTX and will be expected to respond under the challenge of limited resources. Participants will be expected to update operational management teams and the CI/HUMINT operations manager twice a day. During the exercise participants must assess potential agents, identify at least one for recruitment, conduct one-time, recruitment and agent contact meetings while maintaining at least an agent dossier (inc. reconnaissance reports, contact sheets, communications plans, lead development reports, operational reviews and biographies).

Towards the end of the exercise participants will be expected to assemble a package and briefing for senior commanders detailing their findings. The final day of the exercise involves monitoring events in real-time, reflecting and evaluating as a group. Throughout the exercise instructors will be looking for an awareness of the legal regulations and ethical guidelines governing intelligence and the strength of character to adhere to them under duress. Honest interpretation, accurate reporting, adherence to policy, procedure and best practice will also be assessed rigorously.

Dates & Times

The exercise begins on the first Monday in August each year and runs for 12 consecutive days. Applications take approximately 4 weeks to process and security vetting may take up to 6 months to complete for applicants who lack a current security clearance.


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

Fees & Discounts

Including accommodation, but not including sustenance, the exercise is delivered at a cost of €4500. Payment is accepted by bank transfer, card or PayPal. The following discounts are available:

Member's Rate: If you have a current membership, log in with your user ID and password to receive a €225 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.

After the exercise has been evaluated for competency, those passing the exercise and meeting other requirements for registration are celebrated at an annual awards ceremony. Ceremonies are black-tie events held in venues of historical importance to mark the admission of graduates into the Institute and to celebrate outstanding achievements of previous graduates.


Spain, Gibraltar & Morocco.