The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP) is regarded as the blueprint for U.S. law enforcement administrators to follow when building or enhancing an intelligence function. The NCISP contains 28 recommendations vetted by U.S. law enforcement officials and subject matter experts from local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. Although the NCISP is U.S.-based, it is the most practical current model of professional best practice and standards for broad application to analyst certification.
Among the recommendations in the NCISP is one that suggests minimum standards for intelligence analysis. Several guidance documents related to analysis training and analyst certification standards have been developed to reinforce the NCISP recommendation. The IALEIA Professional Development Committee adopted the NCISP and its recommendations in relation to intelligence analysis training and professionalism standards as a guide to provide a uniform and broadly accepted standard upon which to base the IALEIA Professional Certification Program.
IALEIA, at the direction of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, through the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) Intelligence Working Group (GIWG), published the booklet Law Enforcement Analytic Standards (IALEIA, 2004).
The Law Enforcement Analytic Standards booklet (revised in April, 2012), contains 24 recommended analytic standards of which the first eight relate to analysts or those who fill the analytic function. Furthermore these standards relate to analytic attributes, education, training, professional development, certification, professional liaison, and leadership. Specifically, the analyst certification standard (IALEIA, 2012:9) states:
Analysts should be certified by completing a program specifically developed for intelligence analysts, provided and certified by an agency or organization (governmental, professional association, or institution of higher learning). Such analytic certification programs shall reflect practitioner experience, education,training, knowledge of adult instructional techniques, and proficiency testing.
Similar qualitative needs were previously addressed by the Society of Certified Criminal Analysts (SCCA), founded in 1990. In fact, many of the founders of SCCA were instrumental in the launch of IALEIA. Since its inception, SCCA established professional standards and created an internationally recognized professional certification program for analysts. In 2006, the SCCA program was formally merged with IALEIA and came under the administrative responsibility of the Director of Professional Development.
Benefits of Professional Certification
Professional Certification offers a number of benefits to analytical personnel through recognition of professional abilities and skills of individual analysts. Certification provides an opportunity for those individuals to engage the professional certification process to increase their knowledge, skill set and experience and to be recognized by their respective employers and peers. The certification process promotes professionalism and leadership through participation, education, and contributions to the law enforcement analytical community. For instance, certification may assist analysts in achieving the required analytical competencies suitable for a career path and/or portfolio. In addition, this process provides employers with an enhanced means by which to measure the competence and experience of analysts.
From the Law Enforcement Analytic Standards:
Certification provides employers with an enhanced means to measure analysts’ competence and experience. In addition, it grants analysts other benefits, notably the recognition of their professional abilities and skills. The certification process promotes professionalism and leadership within the analytical community and encourages continuing participation, education, and contributions to the analyst and intelligence communities. Certification reinforces the credibility of an analyst.
From the Law Enforcement Analyst Certification Standards, DOJ and Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative, 2006:
Certification is important to the institutionalization of the analyst profession within the law enforcement community. It recognizes and legitimizes the role of the law enforcement analyst and reinforces the need to ensure that the law enforcement analyst is a professional occupation.