EU Undercover Operations

Enabling officials to perform undercover operations to regional and international standards.

The EU Undercover Operations Course (EUUOC) combines the pre-selection, foundation and advanced courses as prescribed by international and regional 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 regional and international law, ethical standards, health, safety and security. The course requires attendance at pre-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 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) and EU 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 EU Undercover Operations Course is designed to develop regional 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. Communal Activities: Travel passes and visits to historically significant sites throughout the area offering valuable networking opportunities with colleagues on the course.
  3. Coaching & Mentoring: Career advice in the security sector from recognised experts, assistance and support with course content and sustained aftercare.

The latest information that you need to conduct operations at an international level will be delivered in a two week intensive programme.

Day 1
Exercise Tenderfoot

Day 2
Exercise Tenderfoot

Day 3
Induction & Security

Day 4
Intelligence & History

Day 5
Covert Infrastructure

Day 6
Special Security Measures

Day 7
Operational Deployment

Day 8
Cover & Concealment

Day 9
Legend Building

Day 10
Surveillance Countermeasures

Day 11
Surveillance Countermeasures

Day 12
Exercise Danube

Optional Training (OTA's)DeliveryCost
Sabotage & Subversion P/T (Weekend) €450
Covert Communications P/T (Evening) €270
Counter-Piracy P/T (Evening) €270

Dates & Times

The course begins on the first Saturday in November each year for the pre-selection weekend followed by 10 working days of training over two consecutive weeks. 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.


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 undercover operations 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 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 €3500. 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 €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.

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, 365KB)
 EUUOC Syllabus & Curriculum (PDF, 265KB)