SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

National Diploma: Applied Military Intelligence 
49852  National Diploma: Applied Military Intelligence 
SGB Air Defence 
SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Diploma  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Sovereignty of the State 
Undefined  240  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2020-07-30 
2020-07-30   2022-07-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 


This qualification is aimed at learners who work or intend to work in the military intelligence environment as intelligence operator's or in related occupational fields, and who seek recognition for essential skills in the conduct of intelligence.

The qualification will also be valuable for those who may have been practising within the intelligence sector, but without formal recognition. This qualification is designed to be flexible and accessible so that learners who successfully complete this qualification know about and will be able to conduct the essential operations in military intelligence.

Learners studying towards achieving this qualification will be able to:
  • Manage people in the work environment.
  • Apply military intelligence.

    In addition, recipients will be able perform some of the following electives according to their choice of elective specialisation:
  • Communicate in a foreign language.
  • Apply navigation skills.
  • Apply airward military intelligence.
  • Apply landward military intelligence.
  • Apply maritime military intelligence.
  • Apply medical military intelligence.
  • Apply defence intelligence.

    Practitioners will generally carry out their role within the context of a military environment in times of peace and war.


    Military intelligence refers to the interpretation of relevant information in order to provide intelligence to the defence community of the Republic of South Africa to maintain the sovereignty of the country. This qualification may be achieved in one of the intelligence streams - landward, airward, maritime, medical health or defence. In order to meet the requirements of the workplace, the identification and recognition of competencies required by intelligence operators and the identification of how these relate to other military roles is vital. There is a critical need to provide recognition to people who are able to function within the military intelligence domain.

    The majority of the learners for this qualification is likely to be working in the South African National Defence Force, with the knowledge gained in this qualification being directly applicable to the intelligence community of South Africa. Experienced intelligence operators are also in general demand in the intelligence sector.

    This qualification will give learners the opportunity to build on the skills, knowledge, understanding and experience they have to earn a formal qualification in military intelligence. Learners will be able to work in a high stress situation and to apply integrity, assertiveness, professional conduct and self-discipline to their daily lives.

    Intelligence operators through the gathering of intelligence data provide early warning in terms of developing situations that could lead to a military threat against the republic. Intelligence operators are also responsible for identifying flash points in the area of responsibility that may lead to South African National Defence Force involvement. 

  • Communication at NQF level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF level 4.
  • Natural science at NQF level 3.
  • Geography at NQF level 4.
  • Computer literacy at NQF level 3.

    Recognition of prior learning:

    This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the defined exit level outcomes and/or individual unit standards.

    Evidence can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

    All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment described above and the requirements for integrated assessment.

    Access to the qualification:

    Candidates applying for this qualification need to communicate effectively. Auditory skills will also limit access to the qualification in certain instances. Clear vision is also a requirement for achieving many of the outcomes of this qualification, and colour blindness or poor vision may hinder applicants from successfully completing this qualification. 


  • Candidates must achieve all 42 fundamental credits.

  • Candidates must achieve all 74 core credits.

    Elective Specialisation:

    Candidates must achieve at least 36 credits of their choice from any of the available elective credits in one of the specialisation streams (Airward Intelligence, Landward Intelligence, Military Health Intelligence, Maritime Intelligence and Defence Intelligence). Learners from the defence intelligence sector may select 20 Credits from a combination of any of the areas of specialisation. Elective streams of additional unit standards will be added to this qualification once they have been developed.

    Airward Intelligence Elective Stream Unit Standards:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of flight.
  • Determine the integrated influence of the operational environment on flight operations in accordance with South African Air Force Doctrine.
  • Participate in the airward mission planning process.
  • Conduct air visual reconnaissance operations.
  • Interpret meteorology for aviation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of airpower.

    Elective Generic:
  • Candidates must achieve at least 88 credits of their choice from any of the available generic elective credits. 

    1. Manage people in the work environment.
    2. Analyse and apply military intelligence.
    3. Communicate in a foreign language.
    4. Apply navigation skills.
    5. Apply airward military intelligence.

    This qualification allows for further elective exit level outcomes once the unit standards have been developed and linked to this qualification by the landward military intelligence, maritime military intelligence, medical military intelligence and defence intelligence communities.

    Critical cross-field outcomes:

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the unit standards:
  • Identifying and solving problems in which responses indicate that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
  • Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information.
  • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral/written persuasion.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. 

  • The ability to communicate within an organisation is demonstrated in terms of personnel management.
  • Individual skills and competencies of personnel are analysed in accordance with organisational prescripts.
  • Training needs or personnel are evaluated in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Timeframes are set and adhered to in terms of achieving agreed results.

  • Military intelligence is analysed in terms of the impact, relevance and successive action needed in a given scenario.
  • International laws of armed conflict are understood and adhered to when planning and conducting a military intelligence operation.
  • The principles of deploying operational forces to collect military intelligence information are explained and taken into account in a controlled situation.
  • Information gathered is classified and analysed in terms of the usefulness for the mission.
  • Agreed timeframes are met during completion of daily functions and operations within a controlled situation.

  • Foreign text is interpreted in terms of the original meaning.
  • Spoken text is interpreted in terms of the original meaning.
  • Information is communicated in writing in a foreign language.
  • Information is communicated orally in a foreign language.

  • Routes are planned and marked on a topographical map.
  • Planned routes are navigated in accordance with tolerances.

  • Airpower is explained in terms of its use in gathering intelligence.
  • Principles of flight are understood and applied when performing duties in a structured scenario simulating an operational environment.
  • Air visual reconnaissance operations are conducted in accordance with specified procedures and timeframes.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Assessment should be carried out at regular intervals as well as at the end of the periods of study and should be assessed in an integrated way. It is envisaged that learners will work at more than one unit standard at a time.

    The achievement of applied competence of this qualification will be demonstrated if learners are able to apply intelligence techniques in their respective streams for the effective planning of joint, combined and multi-national operations through the gathering and dissemination of intelligence.

    Candidates must demonstrate the ability to engage in the operations selected in an integrative way, dealing with divergent and "random" demands related to these work operations. Evidence is required that the candidate is able to achieve the purpose of the qualification as a whole at the time of the award of the qualification. Integration of skills will be demonstrated through the achievement of the core operational standards.

    Assessors should note that evidence of integration could well be presented by candidates when being assessed against the individual unit standards. Thus, there should not necessarily be separate assessments for each unit standard and then further assessment for integration. Well-designed assessments should make it possible to gain evidence against each unit standard while at the same time gaining evidence of integration. 

    Due to the sensitive nature of the Intelligence environment it was difficult to compare the content (unit standards) of this qualification:

    This is particularly difficult for comparison in African and Southern African countries. Attempts to compare with Zimbabwe were met with complete scepticism and no further attempt was made in this regard. Some data could be obtained from Namibia to place the comparison of the qualification in the African context.


    Intelligence Structure. Military Intelligence forms an integral part of defence forces throughout the world. This does not only apply to first world countries but also to developing countries. Examples of this can be found in India where a new Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was recently established. The sole purpose of this agency is to collect, interpret and disseminate all defence related information and also to co-ordinate the directorates of army, air force and maritime intelligence. The DIA will have control over some of the Army's technical intelligence assets - the Directorate of Signals Intelligence and the Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre (DIPAC). While the Signals Directorate is responsible for acquiring and decrypting enemy communications, the DIPAC controls India's satellite-based image acquisition capabilities. This is similar to the South African military intelligence's areas of responsibilities.

    Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (CI). Successful military operations are based upon sound command and control principles. Intelligence is gathered through sensors, reconnaissance and other sources and the effective communication of subsequent intelligence products is essential to the success of any operation. India ensures the smooth conduct of this process through their Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), whose task it is to keep the executive informed of all potential threats to national security. The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) employs the similar basic elements in its CI structures.


    Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO). The DIO provides all-source intelligence assessment at national level to support defence and government decision-making and the planning and conduct of Australian Defence Force operations. DIO's intelligence products help inform decisions about Australia's military activities at home and abroad. This is similar to the mandate of the South African National Defence Force's Defence Intelligence (DI).

    Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). DIGO is involved in a wide range of activities including imagery intelligence, mapping and geospatial intelligence, policy development, and information systems. These activities are in support of Australia's intelligence and national security efforts. Similar to these Australian structures, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) employs the Directorate Geographical Information (DGI) and the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC). These units perform all the roles and functions for the SANDF that DIGO performs for the Australian defence force.

    The Surveillance and Response Group (SRG). The SRG enables the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to develop emergent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems and electronic warfare capability to prepare the information infrastructure for the introduction of electronic systems. This capability provides early warning and can be seen as a force multiplier in the operational environment. This is similar to the South African environment were these principles are embedded and practice by the Electronic Warfare (EW) centre.

    Law Of Armed Conflict (LOAC). LOAC is based upon the concept of humanity. This concept provides a direct relationship between humanitarian concerns and military objectives. This concept forbids any attack on an enemy that inflicts unnecessary suffering, injury or destruction. There must be a valid military objective and the force used must not exceed the minimum required to achieve that objective. These principles are the foundation of all military training of members so in order to understand the laws dealing with the application of military power in combat. The SANDF also adheres to LOAC and training of this aspect forms an integral part of each soldier.

    Military Power and the Principles of War. The principles of war and military power form an integral part of the training of members. These principles are foundational to the decision making process to commanders in preparation and execution of operations both at home and abroad. During this decision making process an understanding of the principles of war and military power enables commanders to make reasonable assumptions, projections and risk assessments of likely future events. The SANDF also base its force employment strategies on these principles.


    Intelligence Structure. Within the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) structure, various directorates form the total compilation of employment. One of these directorates is the Directorate Military Intelligence (DMI). The DMI is responsible for all issues regarding military and security, which include rendering security advice to the ministry; ensuring security of all military installations, personnel and equipment; collection and dissemination of security information. This is indicative that military intelligence is also practiced inside the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Members of the NDF are trained at the NDF's military school, the University of Namibia and by international defence forces. Training and procedures will be very similar to that of the SANDF due to the historical link between the two countries.

    United Kingdom (UK)

    Employment Profiles. Intelligence officers are utilised in the Royal Air Force (RAF) to specialise in gathering, analysing and provision of defence intelligence. These also include the interpretation of incoming reconnaissance imagery, production of intelligence assessment for the briefing of aircrews before their missions. All of these functions assist in the production of a strategic overview of the intelligence picture. These correlate to the SANDF's intelligence goals. Intelligence analysts (Voice) are employed to listen to, monitor and analyse radio messages. Training of these members includes linguistic abilities in a modern language. Intelligence Analysts (Imagery) are based at the Joint Air Reconnaissance Centre (JARIC) at RAF Brampton where they work on strategic imagery intelligence and other intelligence posts. The EW Centre and JARIC, situated at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof fulfils both these for the SA Air Force (SAAF).

    United States of America (USA)

    The Joint Military Intelligence Centre (JMIC). The JMIC (situated in Washington DC) is the centre for educating military and civilian intelligence professionals and conducting and disseminating intelligence-related research. This training enables these professionals to anticipate and tailor the intelligence required at the national, theatre and tactical levels. The training programmes offered by this institution ranges between Undergraduate intelligence programmes to full Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degree programmes. This distinguishes the USA as world leaders in the field of military intelligence training on both academic and practical levels. Although service specific training takes place elsewhere in the USA, the JMIC is the primary Intelligence training facility.

    Currently the SANDF does not have formally nationally recognised or accredited programmes in military intelligence. Training is provided at the SA Defence Intelligence College (Defence Intelligence and Navy Intelligence), the SA Military Intelligence School (Army Intelligence) and the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (Air Force Intelligence). The successful completion of the National Diploma in Applied Military Intelligence will equip SANDF intelligence practitioner with knowledge and skills comparable to other world-class military intelligence services as mentioned above. 

    This qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can be recognised as a military intelligence operator. The qualification acts as a springboard from which learners may progress to qualifications in image interpretation, electronic warfare, counter intelligence, intelligence collection and defence intelligence analysts.

    Learners can move horizontally or vertically between aviation related qualifications (still to be developed), although in most cases, certain standards will be required horizontally before moving to another qualification vertically.

    This qualification articulates horizontally with the following qualifications:
  • National Certificate in Mission Administration (level 5).
  • National Certificate in Statutory Intelligence Practice (level 5).

    Possibilities for articulation outside of military intelligence include qualifications that lead to the following roles:
  • Statutory intelligence.
  • Industrial intelligence.
  • Data analysis.
  • Researching.
  • Reporting of data. 

  • An individual wishing to be assessed (including through RPL) against this Unit Standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard or assessing this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion. 

    Assessors registered with the relevant ETQA must carry out the assessment of candidates for any of the unit standards that make up this qualification. However, the following criteria are specified for assessors who assess integration of this qualification:
  • Be competent in the outcomes of this qualification.
  • Have a minimum of 3 years' working knowledge in the intelligence fraternity. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    The elective unit standard category is open-ended to allow the learner to choose the elective specialization credits associated to the elective unit standards from any discipline that would add value to the purpose of the qualification or the learner's own development on a learning pathway. 

    Core  114506  Apply intelligence analysis tradecraft  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  35 
    Core  117985  Demonstrate an understanding of the Law of Armed Conflict during multi-national operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  120040  Demonstrate understanding of the concepts of operational command and control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  120046  Demonstrate understanding of the military intelligence environment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Core  10072  Monitor and review activity plan  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Fundamental  15234  Apply efficient time management to the work of a department/division/section  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  114505  Demonstrate an understanding of Statutory Intelligence  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  30 
    Fundamental  12433  Use communication techniques effectively  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  11507  Conduct a security threat assessment in a defined operational area  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  115468  Interpret a topographical map for navigational purposes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114589  Manage time productively  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114965  Understand, analyse and respond to a variety of texts in X  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  115354  Understand, apply and maintain security awareness and security practices within the South African statutory environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  115465  Use a hand held compass for navigational purposes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  120038  Conduct Air Visual Reconnaissance operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  7876  Conduct on-the-Job-Training  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  115753  Conduct outcomes-based assessment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Elective  15096  Demonstrate an understanding of stress in order to apply strategies to achieve optimal stress levels in personal and work situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120044  Demonstrate knowledge of Airpower  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120041  Demonstrate understanding of the principles of flight  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120039  Determine the integrated influence of the operational environment on a flight operation in accordance with South African Air Force doctrine  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120043  Integrate the functions of the Air Picture Display System  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Elective  120042  Interpret meteorology for aviation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  11994  Monitor, reflect and improve on own performance  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120037  Participate in the airward mission planning process  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  114507  Understand, identify, and plan the exploitation of operational resources to collect information  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  35 
    Elective  114991  Write a wide variety of texts in X  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.