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OFQUAL Surveillance Training Course Revisions for 2024

Updated: Oct 31, 2023



Back in 2019, OFQUAL regulated three qualifications in Covert Surveillance Operations.


· Level 4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Intermediate).

· Level 4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Advanced).

· Level 4 Certificate in Covert Surveillance Operations.


Five years later, the qualifications have been reviewed by SFJ Awards, (the Awarding Organisation) and a number of amendments have been made. Nothing major or drastic has changed and the review considered various issues which included; being fit for purpose, current in terms of legislation, practices and technology.


The course titles have been amended to reflect a clearer understanding. They will be;


· Level 4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Basic)

· Level 4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Intermediate).

· Level 4 Certificate in Covert Surveillance Operations (Advanced).


To those already offering the qualifications, you will see the following changes.


L4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Basic) GLH = 49hrs


Unit 1 Organising Teamwork in Surveillance Operations

Unit 2 Obtaining and Collating Information by Surveillance

Unit 3 Organising Foot Surveillance

Unit 4 Organising Mobile Surveillance


This normally forms the Basic 5 day Basic course.


L4 Award in Covert Surveillance Operations (Intermediate) GLH = 86hrs


Unit 5 Organising Advanced Mobile Surveillance

Unit 6 Organising Advanced Foot Surveillance

Unit 7 Conducting Public Transport Surveillance

Unit 8 Counter Surveillance Operations Awareness


This course is a progression of the ‘Basic’ course and learners have to had already complete Units 1 to 4. The course can be delivered in its own right, (separate from the Basic course) or together to form a 10-day course.


L4 Certificate in Covert Surveillance Operations (Advanced) GLH = 109-111hrs


Unit 9 Organising Counter Surveillance Operations

Unit 10 Digital Cameras and Photographic Techniques

Unit 11 Video Editing Skills

Unit 12 Open Source Intelligence

Unit 13 Technical Surveillance Methods


Only three of these units must be completed for the Level 4 Certificate, it is down to the training provider to decide which ones to leave out or include.


This qualification is a progression of the ‘Basic’ & ‘Intermediate’ course. Learners have to complete Units 1 to 8 before (or as part of) this course. Units 9-13 can be delivered in their own right as ‘bolt ons’, separate from the other two courses or they can be included together to form a 12/14 day course.


NB. Unit 13 is mostly ‘swallowed up’ within the other 1 – 8 units.


Some changes to the curriculum.


The full Unit on Counter Surveillance has been moved from the Award and transferred to the Certificate as an ‘optional’ unit.


The delivery of a full surveillance briefing (student out front giving a presentation) has been dropped and replaced by them producing a full, comprehensive written up ‘briefing pack’ as part of the assessment portfolio.


Some of the questions in the written assessment Workbook have also been revamped or re-worded.


It has to be remembered that these qualifications were designed for the commercial and private surveillance operator (investigator) and were not to replace the many months of training by enforcement or intelligence agencies in respect of terrorism or major crime.


These changes will come into effect by January 2024 and SFJ Awards will notify the centres and stakeholders when this OFQUAL approval has been done.


Be Aware

There are companies with websites proclaiming that they are offering ‘SFJ Awards’ surveillance qualifications who are not bona fide SFJ training centers or not approved to run the specific surveillance courses. It is your responsibility to check.

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