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Specialist training provider, Intelligencia Training Limited, have successfully completed a programme including delegates from Hertfordshire County Council, Suffolk County Council, Luton Council, The London Borough of Hackney, The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Peterborough and Central Bedfordshire Councils.
This mixed cohort of local authorities utilised the Apprenticeship levy funded Level 4 Apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations and represented the UK’s 1st public sector organisations to take advantage of this cutting edge programme. Previously this level of intelligence training was only available within military intelligence settings and the ability to take advantage of the latest skills and techniques available received excellent initial support from department managers.
The Level 4 Apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations represents the UK’s highest level of vocational training available for intelligence and analytical personnel and delivers significant skills within specialist sectors that have not previously benefited from formal, professionalised training.
The mixed local authority cohort was championed by Hertfordshire County Council who invited a number of their neighbouring local authorities and strategic partners to participate in the programme. Andrew Butler, the council’s Head of Protection (Business) said: “It is more important than ever before that we make the best possible use of the intelligence that we have to ensure we are directing our resources in the right areas.
“The course will help our people detect fraud and assist trading standards teams in taking forward prosecutions in what are often complex cases.”
The programme included delegates from a range of departments including Trading Standards, Regulatory Services, Counter Fraud, Housing and Intelligence Teams. The ability to work together, utilising a collaborative approach to the way in which intelligence and intelligence led decision making processes are offers significant benefits to public sector department and Government agencies.
Alison Brown, Trading Standards Officer, Public Protection, Central Bedfordshire Council commented, “I would like to say how much I enjoyed the apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations which I recently completed. The tutors were very knowledgeable and approachable. I found it particularly beneficial to meet up on a regular basis with fellow apprentices, as many of them were full time Intelligence Officers whereas I am new to the role. We participated in lots of group exercises so I was able to tap in to their expertise as well as that of the tutors. The assignments we had to complete during the course were very useful as they required us to apply the techniques we had learned to our own organisation. I have been using my newly learned skills more or less since the start of the course, to better inform the work carried out by my Trading Standards department, and to provide intelligence to colleagues to assist them in carrying out their roles. Looking to the future, I believe I can use my new skills to help other departments within my organisation.
“I’m hoping to use my new knowledge to help my department work smarter, finding out the real issues affecting local residents and businesses and taking effective action. I would also like to help other CBC services that have traditionally been reactive to be more intelligence led in their ways of working.
“I would say to any employee looking to upskill through an apprenticeship to ‘go for it.’ It will give you a new lease of life, especially if you have been in the same job for a long time like I have.”
Joanne Smith, Senior Trading Standards Enforcement Officer, Luton Borough Council commented “Since undertaking the course, I have moved jobs to one where I now oversee intelligence gathering and analysis, I am showing members of my team, and other teams, how they can utilise intelligence to help make better informed operational decisions. We are use trend and pattern analysis regularly to assist with target identification, as well as using some of the other techniques to help inform enforcement operations direction and to seek partners to assist where wider intelligence means there are cross boundary and remit interests.”
Jordan Frances, Intelligence Officer, Hertfordshire County Council, commented, “From completing the intelligence operations course our 3 Intelligence officers have gained a good insight into how many avenues intelligence can be used in the work place by showing us techniques that we did not know before which can be applied within our role. It also taught us ways to think critically about how we can make better use of information given to us and how to get the best intelligence out of it. What made the course very beneficial were the scenarios they used for us to try out these analytical techniques which made the techniques easy to understand and carry out in a work like situation; having us present the work to the class also gave us confidence in being able to present to work colleagues in the future. The delivery team were very knowledgeable and able to assist us with any query we had on the task at hand. This level 4 qualification will come as a huge benefit to all of us, we now have evidence to show for our knowledge regarding intelligence.”
Nick Atkinson, Intelligencia Training’s Commercial Director, advised that this mixed local authority cohort “gave us the opportunity to showcase how this rewarding apprenticeship programme could be utilised by public sector departments to develop the intelligence skills of key personnel. We have identified that previously this type of training had only come from within organisation’s own skill set without access to the latest skills and techniques.”
Nick pointed out that “as a direct result of the initial feedback from this programme we are now engaged with over 35 local authorities now taking advantage of this programme with the vast majority involved in inter-organisation, mixed cohort delivery models to promote the regional and sector use of intelligence. The apprenticeship programme has also been adopted by a number of Government agencies from, law enforcement and custodial sectors as a method to formalise and professionalise their intelligence processes. We are also very proud to be operating within the private sector with the apprenticeship programme being utilised by many high profile organisations within the banking, insurance, utilities and retail sectors. These certainly are exciting times for our organisation and the opportunity to participate in cross sector engagement, promoting the effective use of intelligence is very rewarding, we consistently receive positive feedback from both our learners and employers. The ability for public sector departments and large organisations to make cost effective use of their significant Apprenticeship levy payments is obviously a huge advantage!”
You can read more about Intelligencia Training and the programmes they currently offer at www.intelligenciatraining.com