You got the job of your life, right? I mean how cool is it to be an intelligence analyst? Job security, maybe some travel, exciting files. Why would someone like you ever consider joining a professional association like the International Association for Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA)? Oh let me count the reasons for you…..
After a very long career in the field I can assure you that you will need to find other sources of information in your area whether that be geographical or by portfolio. We all need a huge and vast rolodex to be successful. As a member of IALEIA you will have access to over 2K members worldwide that may be able to assist you with your queries. It is a very strong tool to have in your toolbox, being able to say “Let me find someone in that area that we can ask that question”. I also want to stress that this is an international association, a fact that may come into play if you need an out of country contact and wonder where do I start?
If you are looking for a network closer to home, get involved in your local Chapter. Don’t have one? Start one. The International Board of IALEIA has all the tools to help you get started. Training
IALEIA along with the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU) have partnered to provide a 40-hour basic intelligence course called Foundations of Intelligence Analysis (FIAT). Now there are numerous introductory classes like this one offered. The real strength of this course is that is taught by practicing or retired intelligence personnel who come armed with personal experience to augment the theory taught.
Every year, IALEIA along with LEIU, host a week-long training event. This 5-day event attracts approximately 600 international attendees who work as analysts, intelligence officers or managers of intelligence units from both the private and public sector. The sessions are provided by leaders in our profession and there is something for everyone. The excellent training is only outshined by the networking opportunities. In addition, there is a trade show that allows attendees to see the latest and greatest software developments, ask questions of the tradespeople, and test out some new systems they maybe considering acquiring.
Another benefit of membership is access to a library of publications and other resources including a career center with job postings, published papers and reports and an extensive link to other sites that you may find useful.
Let’s face it, we all want a pat on the back or some sign that we are doing good work. IALEIA has a robust awards program to highlight individuals, organizations, and executives for outstanding contributions to the analytical profession. The program accepts nominations for several categories and winners are acknowledged at an awards banquet as part of the annual training event.
Another vehicle for recognition or just simply sharing with others in our profession is to contribute articles for the Intelscope, a newsletter for our members highlighting best practices, book reviews and chapter updates.
If you are an academic, IALEIA also has peer reviewed journal called The Journal of Intelligence with the objective of publishing articles that advance the theoretical and research agenda of the intelligence and analytical fields related to military, law enforcement and criminal justice with emphasis on empirical research, qualitative studies and scientific methodology, with priority given to articles reporting original research. Some agencies have a requirement for their analysts to publish, this is one avenue to consider.
Lastly, if you really want some credibility in this field, having a certification is a good place to start. IALEIA offers a certification program to it’s members. I have seen job posters that say candidates with IALEIA or other association certification will be scored higher, that’s a very good reason to consider getting certified!
I realize that I speak with some bias, as the immediate past president of IALEIA, an experience that provided me with over a decade of involvement in the elevation of the profession of intelligence analysis worldwide. That aside, I believe that one aspect of being considered a professional is membership to a professional association, and I think if you want to be considered a professional you should consider joining IALEIA.