Covert Operations

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Covert Operations

Covert Operations can be deployed for a multitude of reasons and purposes, but they should all have one common denominator, they are being conducted Lawfully.

Some operations will require a RIPA and others will not because they are not government funded or sanctioned and do not fall within the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which is aimed at public entities such as councils, Government Authorities, and the Police/Security Services.

There is a common factor that joins the covert operations communities together and that is Preventing or Detecting Crime, Protecting National Security and Protection Health, Safety and Welfare of individuals.

This sector is not overseen by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and you do not currently require an SIA Badge to become a Surveillance Operator, however, if you are operating as a Close Protection Officer then you will require the CP-SIA Badge.

Covert Operations can be broken down into prime sectors which are as follow:

  • Security Intelligence Services (MI5, GCHQ)
  • Civil Police (Anti-Terrorist, Serious Organised Crime, Transport Police, NCA)
  • Local Government Departments (Councils, SIA, DfT, CAA, DWP)
  • Civil Investigators (Private Investigators, Media Investigators or Accident Investigators, CP)
  • Military Operators (Special Forces and Recce Platoons, MI6, MAA)
  • Commercial Entities (Fraud Investigators, Penetration Testers,)

The above is not an exhaustive list, but an indication of the variety of the types of Covert Operations conducted lawfully within the UK and abroad.

Types of Careers within Covert Operations:

  • Surveillance
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Technical Security Counter Measures (TSCM)
  • Physical Penetration Testing
  • Cyber Penetration Testing
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Civil Investigations
  • Military Operations

 Training Required:

As a sweeping generalised statement, those engaged in Covert Operations have normally learnt their trade craft within the Police or the Military and have continued to practice their trade in civilian life, however, more civilian operators have now begun to take up specialised courses run by private training companies, who’s instructors are former Police, Army, and Intelligence Service professionals.

Some of the essentials for Covert Operations are as follows:

  • Surveillance Course
  • Camera Proficiency
  • Human Behaviour Analytics
  • Social Engineering
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Investigation Skills
  • Law & Legislation
  • Technical Equipment Specialisms (Audio & Video)
  • Covert Method of Entry (CME)
  • Driving Skills (Defensive and Covert Follow)
  • Hide Building
  • Camouflage & Concealment (Urban & Rural)
  • Legend Building (Creating a False Identity)

The lawful use of Covert Operations PDF


These types of courses are not open to everyone and you will be required to have the following checks on you before a specialist training provider will take you on as a learner.

Although there are providers that will sell you anything, I would be careful here as they will probably only be giving you what you could learn in a book.

Below are some of the questions you may be asked by a legitimate provider.

  • Age: You will need to be over 18 years
  • Clean Criminal Records Check or have a Sponsor.
  • Invitation from your Employer (Gov, Police, Council)
  • For some course, you will need a relevant background in other subjects

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    (Information derived from the internet), You are responsible for researching any information found in this document and Security CPD Global Ltd takes no responsibility for any actions you take regarding this leaflet. Always seek professional advice from the MCA or Official sources.

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