Writing to the Analytic Tradecraft Standards I

Examine the first four Analytic Tradecraft Standards and how to apply them to written intelligence analysis products.

Enroll in ICIC103

About This Intelligence Community Online Course

After the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Director of National Intelligence signed Intelligence Community Directive 203—Analytic Standards— and Intelligence Community Directive 206—Sourcing Requirements for Disseminated Analytic Products—the Intelligence Community has used the Analytic Tradecraft Standards contained in these mandates to review all intelligence analytic products.

These standards mandate that intelligence analysts properly review areas—for example, quality and credibility of underlying sources, expressing analytic certainty and explicitly identifying assumptions. Fully understanding all the ATS is critical to ensuring the quality and efficacy of your intelligence products in support of your customers.

In this course, we will cover the first four standards:

  • ATS 1 – Sourcing Defense Intelligence Analysis
  • ATS 2 – Expressing Analytic Certainty
  • ATS 3 – Distinguishing Underlying Intelligence from Assumptions and Judgments
  • ATS 4 – Analysis of Alternatives

What You Will Learn

  • ATS 1 – Explain the importance of sourcing to production of analytic products
  • ATS 2 – Demonstrate the ability to express analytic certainty
  • ATS 3 – Demonstrate why distinguishing between underlying intelligence and analysts’ assumptions and judgments is important to analytic production
  • ATS 4 – Demonstrate why developing analytic alternatives and providing those to policymakers and warfighters is important to analytic product quality

This course is the second in a three-part FedLearn learning series.

The course is aligned to the Defense Intelligence Agency Certified Defense All-Source Analyst Certification Body of Knowledge Topic Area 6 – Analytic Communications.

Your Instructor

This course was developed by Dr. J. Keith Dunbar. Dr. Dunbar is the founder and chief executive officer of FedLearn.

He is a former naval intelligence officer whose career culminated with a tour of duty as the director of the Global Learning Solutions Group and the Leadership Academy, Academy for Defense Intelligence, at the Defense Intelligence Agency. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Dr. Dunbar led the learning and talent development organizations at two large government contractor companies, SAIC and Leidos.

He received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania (in a partnership with the Wharton Business School) and his Master of Science in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

Who Should Take This Online Course

This online course is perfect for anyone who wants to understand (or gaining a refresher on) the Analytic Tradecraft Standards—particularly, intelligence analysts working in either Federal government agencies or government contractor companies.


The FedLearn course, Analytic Tradecraft Writing for Intelligence (ICIC101), is the prerequisite for this course.

After finishing this course, it is highly recommended to take the third course in the series, Writing to the Analytic Tradecraft Standards for Intelligence II (ICIC104), to continue to advance your knowledge.

Course Certificate

To achieve a course certificate of completion, you must score 80 percent or higher on graded lesson quizzes and a final exam.

Course Format

Self-paced, online training course

Course Pricing

Individual courses are $49 (per person).

Seat licenses to access the entire FedLearn Intelligence Community catalog are also available. Click here to learn more and purchase.

If you are interested in learning about special team rates for Federal government and government contractor organizations, email [email protected].

Continuing Education Unit Credits

This course provides 1 CEU.