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Welcome to the IFPC

Intelligence Fundamentals 

Professional Certification 

The Intelligence Fundamentals Professional Certification (IFPC) program was developed to accomplish the goal set forth by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) to professionalize the defense intelligence workforce. The IFPC program has established a common standard of the fundamental knowledge and skills expected of all who currently serve in and support, and those who hope to serve in and support, the DoD Intelligence Enterprise (DIE). The IFPC is based on cross-cutting and enterprise-wide Defense Intelligence Fundamentals standards, which depict the core expectations of what all Defense Intelligence Professionals, regardless of Service/Agency, Function/Specialty and experience level, must know and be able to do to successfully execute and contribute to the execution of intelligence missions, functions, and activities at the fundamental level. The IFPC program will also serve to ensure incoming defense intelligence professionals meet knowledge standards.

To earn the IFPC, you must meet all eligibility requirements and pass the 90-item IFPC exam. The certification lasts for three years and may be renewed by retaking/passing the IFPC exam or achieving a higher-level certification from a program endorsed by the USD(I).

More information can be found in the IFPC Candidate Handbook.

 Standing the surface warfare coordinator watch in the combat information center (CIC) aboard the cruiser USS Cowpens.   


Defense Intelligence professionals from every Component, whether uniformed, civilian, or contractor, are eligible to participate in the IFPC!

This certification is featured on the COOL sites for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. It is also on the Army IKN site (a CAC-enabled site).


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.

Download the IFPC Candidate Handbook and the IFPC Candidate Checklist for more information.

Other DIE certifications include:


All Source Analysis Collection Management Intelligence Planning



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:

  • Government.  An individual must be military or civilian personnel currently employed by the DoD (waivers requesting participation may be submitted to the PMO by personnel currently employed by a federal, state, tribal, or local government entity supporting DoD-recognized intelligence missions).
  • 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.
  • Academia. An individual must be enrolled and/or employed in the last six months at a U.S.-based, regionally accredited, post-secondary academic institution with a formal relationship with the DoD (i.e., institutions participating in the DoD Voluntary Education MoU program).