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Course Catalogue


Intelligence Analyst Course - Critical Thinking and Structured Analysis (CT&SA)

Conducted by INTEL


Develop students who are able to apply critical thinking and Structural analysis as a NATO Intelligence analyst, in order to provide more accurate, collaborative intelligence that can be validated by other analysts.


Duration: 1 Week
Course Structure: Resident (1)
Language: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Classification: NATO Unclassified
Discipline: INT - Intelligence
Area: AS - All Source Intelligence
Depth of Knowledge: 3 - Advance
ePrime No.: ACT.306
ETOC Code: INT-AS-3523

Admin note

Please note that all 2021 courses are cancelled and 2022 planned events are under review

Course Iterations

Code Course Dates Open Seats
S2-03-A-22 17 - 21 Jan 22 (DL) Contact POC
S2-03-B-22 17 - 21 Oct 22 (DL) Contact POC
S2-03-C-22 24 - 28 Oct 22 (DL) Contact POC
S2-03-D-22 31 Oct 22 - 04 Nov 22 (DL) Contact POC

If you wish to join a course you may have your agency POC send a seat request. Please click on the POC Finder to obtain the contact information of your agency POC.

Learning Objectives

IMPLEMENT CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS: Given references, the students will be able to implement critical thinking skills to analyse topic-associated data, information, and evidence, utilizing multiple analytical techniques IAW the DIA’s CT&SA participant handbook.

APPLY CRITICAL THINKING AND STRUCTURED ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES: Given references, the students will be able to Identify and apply structured analytical techniques utilizing various methodologies IAW the DIA’s CT&SA participant handbook.

ASSESS INDIVIDUAL THINKING SKILLS BY MITIGATING BIASES: Given references, the students will be able to identify their personal biases and improve their thinking skills through implementation of bias mitigation strategies IAW the DIA’s CT&SA participant handbook.

DEVELOP CONFIDENCE IN ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS: Given references, the students will be able to increase confidence in their analysis and conclusions IAW the DIA’s CT&SA tradecraft.

INTRODUCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS IN NATO: Given references, the students will be able to explain the NATO doctrinal and organizational framework as well as current practise of intelligence analysis IAW NATO intelligence documents.

Course Participants

Language Proficiency: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Rank Requirements: NCO: OR-5 thru OR-9
Officer: OF-1 thru OF-5


This one week course is comprised of interactive plenary lectures, brief, moderated Q&A sessions alternating with facilitated work in small syndicates, followed by back briefs to plenary, and personal case studies to complete the student’s knowledge.

Further Information

Analysis requires mental effort, which can be difficult to leverage. Analysts need a productively imaginative process of inquiry backed by an open mind—thinking analytically. In this way, analysts more thoroughly examine complex issues and are more likely to uncover and recognize novel intelligence and prevent strategic and operational surprises.
However, such reasoning is at odds with how people—all people, including intelligence analysts—naturally think. Instead, people seek to confirm their first answer to a problem, selectively using evidence to support that position even when there is compelling evidence an alternate hypothesis may actually be the correct one.
One solution to overcome our natural tendencies is to think critically and creatively. Critical thinking provides structure to the reasoning process, helping analysts identify where they are likely to go astray. Critical thinking techniques, when practiced over time, offer a means for self-reflective reasoning that becomes second nature and leads to improved thinking. When such thinking is aided by using appropriate structured analytic techniques, analysts will improve how they resolve issues and the quality of their work. This CT&SA course offers participants a chance to learn a paradigm for critical thinking and explore basic US DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) approved structured analysis techniques taught by DIA and ADI (Academy for Defense Intelligence) certified instructors.


You are encouraged to complete the following ADL modules provided by the ACT LMS prior to attending the course.

ADL Modules

Code Name