The Intelligence Fundamentals Professional Certification (IFPC) program is sponsored by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) to professionalize the defense intelligence workforce by establishing a common standard of the fundamental knowledge and skills expected of all who serve and support, and those who hope to serve and support, in the Defense Intelligence Enterprise (DIE).


The genesis of the IFPC program is based on the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General Report (No. DoDIG 2015-015), “Evaluation of DoD Intelligence Training and Education Programs for the Fundamental Competencies of the DoD Intelligence Workforce”. This report indicated the presence of critical skill gaps and a lack of knowledge and skill standards for entry-level/developmental intelligence professionals. To address these gaps and fulfill the recommendations of the report, a DIE Subject Matter Expert (SME) Working Group and the Certification Governance Council (CGC) collaborated to develop standards based on work and knowledge requirements common to the DIE components. Following a very successful pilot with volunteers from across the DIE, the IFPC Program Management Office (CPMO) was formally established to manage candidates and the testing and conferral processes.


The IFPC was designed as a complementary program to all other intelligence tradecraft certification programs. It is not a replacement for those programs, but instead serves as a foundation upon which the other DIE certifications are built.


For individuals: 

  • Measures your understanding and ability to apply the facts, concepts, and principles of defense intelligence deemed critical to working within the DIE.
  • Promotes professional development which will enhance your expertise in the defense intelligence field. Increases the number of employment opportunities available to you across the DIE.
  • Provides you with a sense of pride and professional accomplishment.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to the defense intelligence profession. 

For employers:

  • Provides a reference point for determining which individuals possess the appropriate understanding and ability to apply the facts, concepts, and principles of defense intelligence deemed critical to the successful execution of intelligence missions and functions.
  • Promotes the improved synchronization and alignment of individual capabilities with specific organizations across the DoD.
  • Serves as an easy identifier for competent professionals within the defense intelligence discipline.  

For the profession:

  • Defines standards and drives accountability for all defense intelligence professionals.
  • Documents the Intelligence Fundamentals Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK) as the professional standard.
  • Ensures all defense intelligence professionals have met the established standard through a formal standardized evaluation.
  • Supports continuing competence of certificants through recertification every three years. 


The IFPC Eligibility Policy was approved by the CGC on 23 May 2017.


The IFPC is available to individuals who 1) hold U.S. Citizenship, and 2) meet all the requirements of at least one of the following eligibility categories:

  • Category 1: Government.  An individual must be military or civilian personnel currently employed by the DoD (waivers can be provided to personnel currently employed by a federal, state, tribal, or local government entity supporting DoD-recognized intelligence missions).
  • Category 2: Industry.  An individual must be employed by an organization eligible to pursue contracts with the U.S. Intelligence Community (i.e., organizations that hold a CAGE code). Note: This includes individuals currently working on contract with a Component of the DIE.