Diploma in Intelligence Operations

Diploma in Intelligence Operations

The Diploma in Intelligence Operations at QCF level 4 will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as: applying analytical techniques to interpret information, developing recommendations from the results of intelligence analysis, evaluating and reporting information elicited in an intelligence setting; creating intelligence products to support decision making; establishing and interpreting requirements for intelligence products; developing assessments from intelligence analysis; evaluating information.

This qualification has been developed in partnership with the Sector Skills Council (SSC) Skills for Justice.

This qualification is only available through the Army or training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

This Diploma at QCF level 4 is intended for workplace-based delivery. Knowledge aspects may be delivered in a learning and development environment. Workplace delivery may be:

  • full-time
  • part-time

This qualification is part of the Higher Apprenticeship framework in Intelligence Operations. The Apprenticeship will provide the skills and knowledge to enable apprentices to carry out the role of intelligence operations.

Who does this qualification suit

The Diploma in Intelligence Operations at QCF level 4 is suitable for the following learner groups:

  • Army recruits
  • personnel employed within the Prison Service, Border Agency and security organisations


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, learners would be expected to have a military/security background and be aged 16 years or over.

Different combinations of relevant qualifications may also be acceptable.


Achievement of the qualification could open opportunities for working as an Intelligence Operator in HM Forces or in public or private sector agencies that are involved, for example, in defence, crime, security, and immigration.

With further experience individuals may have opportunities to: progress through the rank system within intelligence operations into other disciplines within the service undertake further specialist training in intelligence related disciplines such as Human Intelligence, Imagery Intelligence, Signals Intelligence and security undertake other specialist roles such as counter sabotage duties, embassy postings, or surveillance and employment within the Special Forces domain progress to training others in intelligence operations - gaining appropriate qualifications in learning & development, and assessment.


The approval of this qualification is not devolvable to centres. Centres who wish to come forward for approval should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the Unit.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

This qualification requires the learner to complete eight mandatory Units.

Group Award code: GJ6H 53 (73 QCF credit points)

Ofqual Code: 601/3502/5

Diploma in Intelligence Operations at QCF level 4 consists of eight mandatory Units (73 QCF credit points).

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the Qualification Structure  (64 KB).

Unit Specifications and Assessment Guidance

Unit Specifications and Assessment Guidance for these qualifications are available on SQA's secure website. These are available from your centre's SQA Co-ordinator. For further information, please contact mycentre@sqa.org.uk.

Assessment Strategy


This Diploma is part of the Higher Apprenticeship framework in Intelligence Operations.

The Higher Apprenticeship is targeted at Army recruits undertaking intelligence operator training. SQA also offers the SQA Level 4 Certificate in Knowledge of Defence Intelligence Operations which is a core component of the Higher Apprenticeship.

Candidates may wish to do this qualification as part of the Apprenticeship, or on its own.   If candidates complete this qualification as part of the Apprenticeship they will be required to undergo additional training, over and above the core qualification, in areas including employment rights and responsibility and/or English and maths.

They may wish to consider taking this qualification outside of the Apprenticeship framework:

  • to maximise their employment opportunities within this sector, as not all employers offer Apprenticeship places for this particular job role
  • the full Apprenticeship may not be relevant to those who are already in employment but wish to gain recognition and/or certification of their skills
  • if they meet the entry requirements to take the qualification but not those required for the apprenticeship route