Intelligence information can be an extremely powerful tool to aid in protecting against terrorist attacks. The government uses intelligence to improve and understand the consequences of its national security decisions. Intelligence assists policy decisions, military actions, international negotiations, and interactions with working-level contacts in foreign countries. In some circumstances, it can even aid homeland security providers and first responders.
Intelligence analysts have the task of making sense of world events and legislation developments, identifying potential threats to national security, and providing needed information and analysis to policy makers. They also uncover secrets about potential threats and assess foreign military capabilities. Besides using traditional sources of classified information they must also extract potentially critical knowledge from large quantities of information.
The Intelligence Analyst Certified, IAC® certification program is sponsored by the American Board of Intelligence Analysts, an organization that promotes excellence in the study, examination, and assessment of threats, risks, and adversaries in all intelligence sectors. The IAC program is designed to recognize essential intelligence analysis skill sets in those with current IAC certification. These skill sets include the application of levels of intelligence analysis, standards of critical thinking, the disposition to think critically, critical thinking skills, the intelligence cycle, intelligence collection, reasoning skills, and problem-solving skills.
The assessment component of IAC is a set of three certification exams that cover critical aspects of intelligence analysis. Successful completion of two IAC exams is required to earn initial IAC certification. All candidates must complete the exam on the Intelligence Community and the Intelligence Cycle. Candidates choose between the Basic Intelligence Analysis and Decision Making exam and the Critical Thinking exam as their second required assessment.
To maintain IAC certification, those with IAC designation are required to obtain 30 Certification Maintenance Units (CMU) per 3-year recertification cycle.