Exercise Anthropoid

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

The exercise war-games scenarios and tests intelligence readiness and preparedness at the individual level as prescribed by international and regional competency frameworks. As a full command post exercise (CPX), the exercise is oriented towards qualified intelligence professionals. Participation is limited to existing registrants or those whose professional registration has lapsed and are seeking re-certification.

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 counter-terrorism. The exercise should not be attempted without having completed core regional and international intelligence training, or having accrued three years international experience in the fields of covert collection, intelligence analysis, counterintelligence and covert action. 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

Over 42 weeks Ex. ANTHROPOID is designed to assess regional skills and knowledge in intelligence 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 counterintelligence or special operations cell with their output deliverables scrutinised.

Exercise Overview

Ex. ANTHROPOID is loosely based on the events surrounding the SOE operation of the same name in 1942. However, sufficient material has been altered so prior knowledge will not aid participants. Ex. ANTHROPOID is a command post exercise (CPX) designed to provide the 450 hours of professional experience and competency assessment required for certification. This is particularly useful to candidates and registrants who do not currently hold intelligence positions. The preparatory element includes over 300 hours whilst the intensive CPX focuses on the four pillars of intelligence; collection, analysis, counter-intelligence and covert action respectively and sequentially.

The exercise runs throughout the year online and culminates in a two-week attendance exercise. Throughout the exercise participants will face ethical, legal, administrative and operational challenges. Participants will be expected to provide updates to the head of the service, the command team and other government stakeholders every two weeks via the online platform. By the end of the online phase participants will be expected to present a secure, clear and viable operational plan for covert action based on a sound assessment of reliable intelligence. This plan will be evaluated by a panel of experts on the final day of the attendance exercise.

The online phase of the begins with a short induction, security and background briefing, participants will then begin working independently and together within intelligence cells. Over 300 hours and under pressure from short deadlines and stressful conditions participants will be expected to:

  • Develop and implement a targeted collection plan against a Central European target.
  • Combine multiple covert collection disciplines in the acquisition of actionable intelligence.
  • Develop a joint intelligence product based on various sources.
  • Use analytic and covert tradecraft in the production of intelligence.
  • Provide a clear and viable plan for covert action mission against a military target.
  • Plan counterintelligence support for future operations.

The subsequent attendance phase begins with an induction, after which the group is divided into two cells. The counterintelligence cell performs non-specialist counterintelligence duties and supports an ongoing counterintelligence investigation. The covert action cell is a command and intelligence cell for ongoing covert action, and at the time participants begin the simulation it commands its own special operations team.

Participants in both cells are required to deploy appropriate counterintelligence and covert action tactics to resolve a security situation in the interests of European security. They will also be required to preserve the integrity of the other cell and adapt to current intelligence.

Throughout the exercise participants will face ethical, legal, administrative and operational challenges. Participants will be expected to provide updates to the head of the service, his command team and other government stakeholders twice daily during the attendance simulation. After action reports will be produced by participants and evaluated by a panel of experts on the final day.

Dates & Times

The online phase of the exercise begins on the first Monday in March each year and runs for 40 consecutive weeks. This is followed by an attendance exercise beginning on the first Monday of February and running 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.