Intelligence Techniques for Policymakers

National Security College | Professional course
Applied Intelligence Techniques


Learn how intelligence professionals work through complex problems, identify alternative options or futures and test their thinking? Intelligence analysts routinely use a range of structured and group techniques to improve analysis by minimising common biases and groupthink. These techniques can greatly benefit analysts and policymakers engaged in broad range policy activities.


A fee of $2,250 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,700 (GST ex).

Course overview

Learn and apply a set of Structured Analytic Techniques (SATs) drawn from international intelligence best practice for policy thinkers and analysts. You will apply these techniques and know which ones are more powerful to apply within the policy development cycle. Used correctly, the techniques assist individuals and teams in the development of more creative and robust policy advice.

Scope and content

The is an introduction to structured analysis in a policy context, with a strong focus on practical exercises to learn important techniques and develop the skills to use them well. It focuses on techniques to help you develop new ideas, challenge existing thinking and assess alternatives that may not have been considered.

All the exercises are focused on the particular challenges of designing and reaching agreement on policy. The course steps you through the process of running successful structured policy analysis, from defining objectives and choosing the appropriate techniques, through engaging the right people. implementation, and communicating the results. At each stage, the learning is supported by practical small group exercises, with peer and mentor feedback to participants.

Who should attend / target audience

This course is relevant for anyone working in a policy role – very broadly defined. It is particularly useful for anyone who currently, or aspires to, lead a team, as the techniques covered are very useful for team or group work.

Course details

• Two day non-residential, fully-catered program.
• An ANU parking permit is provided.
• Course Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Enquiries Please click here to register or contact us at for further information.

Course convenor

Dr Ryan Young

Dr Ryan Young is the Senior Advisor, Policy Engagement and Futures Hub. Prior to the NSC he spent almost 5 years in strategic policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) where he worked across all areas of public policy, including cyber security, counter terrorism policy, infrastructure, innovation, school funding and early childhood education. He has a particular focus on new approaches to making effective policy decisions and integrating long-term insight and research into policy making. He has worked across multiple Departments in the Australian Public Service and has held Visiting Fellow and/or teaching positions at the University of Leipzig, Germany, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. Ryan has a PhD in philosophy and logic from the Australian National University.

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Updated:  9 April 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator