Unit of competency details

DEFIN008A - Plan and lead a counter-surveillance operation (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 24/Jan/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced15/Mar/2012

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by DEFINT002 - Plan and lead a counter-surveillance operationPrerequisite units removed 16/Aug/2017

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  03/Sep/2012 
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Modification History


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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to plan and lead counter-surveillance operations.

Application of the Unit

This unit of competency will be used by specialist intelligence workers operating in a hostile surveillance environment. The counter-surveillance team leader will typically be working under limited supervision.

Counter-surveillance is used to identify and monitor hostile surveillance. The operation would normally be conducted within a team environment.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


DEFIN006A Conduct anti-surveillance

DEFPR305B Take photographs suitable for publication within Defence

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Plan counter-surveillance activity 

1.1 Instructions to conduct activity are received and details are confirmed with supervisor

1.2 Resource availability and serviceability are identified and constraints are determined

1.3 Situation, terrain and threat forces are analysed to determine operational risk

1.4 Reconnaissance of operational area  is conducted to inform planning process

1.5 Research is conducted to inform planning process

1.6 Counter-surveillance plan is developed in accordance with standard procedures and legal requirements

1.7 Counter -surveillance orders  are prepared and delivered to team members

1.8 Rehearsals are conducted in accordance with standard procedures

1.9 Competence of team members is confirmed and monitored

1.10 Liaison with outside agencies  is conducted as required

1.11 Work health and safety (WHS) requirements and recognised safety precautions are applied throughout operation

1.12 Legal requirements for activities are identified and applied during process

2. Conduct counter-surveillance activity 

2.1 Counter -surveillance team  is directed and supervised in accordance with counter-surveillance plan

2.2 Situations that require a quick and decisive response are recognised and responded to in accordance with operational requirements and standard procedures

2.3 Counter-surveillance tasks are completed in accordance with counter-surveillance plan

2.4 Support from outside agencies is organised and directed

2.5 Technical advice is provided to higher authority or outside agencies

3. Finalise counter-surveillance activity 

3.1 Information gained during activity is provided to appropriate stakeholders  in a timely manner

3.2 Counter -surveillance documentation  is completed in accordance with standard procedures

3.3 Post activity analysis  is conducted and subsequent recommendations are made in accordance with standard procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills 

  • conduct liaison
  • describe human facial and body recognition characteristics
  • describe vehicle recognition characteristics
  • navigate
  • photograph objects and people
  • operate verbal communications equipment
  • prepare and write reports

Required Knowledge 

  • counter-surveillance techniques
  • regulatory framework
  • reporting standards
  • resource management

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to positively identify and track hostile surveillance within the parameters of the counter-surveillance plan. The team leader must be able to plan, organise, monitor and supervise the tasks of all the team members; this planning, conducting and reporting must be in accordance with organisational guidance.The operation must be completed safely and within the constraints and limitations of local laws.

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated over time in at least two different contexts.

Counter-surveillance operations are to take place over time allowing the individual to be assessed in a number of realistic operational scenarios.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in a simulated workplace environment.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access is required to:

  • counter-surveillance team with equipment to scale
  • anti-surveillance personnel appropriate to plan
  • surveillance team with equipment to scale
  • support personnel appropriate to task

Guidance information for assessment 

This competency is related to the individual performance of the team leader.

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Reconnaissance of operational  area may include:

  • Aerial reconnaissance
  • Foot reconnaissance
  • Map and/or imagery reconnaissance
  • Vehicle reconnaissance

Counter-surveillance plan  may include:

  • Code words
  • Communication procedures
  • Compromise procedures
  • Cover stories
  • Emergency rendezvous procedures
  • Identification of threat
  • Likely surveillance positions
  • Routes
  • Rendezvous procedures
  • Surveillance detection zone
  • Surveillance detection point
  • Timings

Standard procedures  may include:

  • Australian Quality Training Framework
  • Australian Standards
  • Defence instructions
  • Doctrine pamphlets
  • Industry practices
  • Job guides and other publications
  • Maintenance schedules
  • Manufacturers' specifications, procedures and technical instructions
  • WHS requirements and regulations
  • Organisational instructions and journals
  • Organisational policies and procedures
  • Quality control
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Relevant local government by-laws
  • Routine orders
  • Security instructions and procedures
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Standing orders
  • Workplace agreements
  • Written and verbal orders

Legal requirements  may include:

  • Geneva conventions and protocols
  • International laws
  • Laws of Armed Conflict
  • National laws
  • Rules of Engagement
  • State/territory laws

Counter-surveillance orders  may include:

  • Actions on detection
  • Administration and logistics
  • Chain of command
  • Command and signals
  • Drills
  • Execution
  • Mission
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Rehearsals
  • Situation

Outside agencies  may include:

  • Australian Defence organisations
  • Allied and coalition forces
  • Civil intelligence agencies
  • Coalition forces
  • Government organisations
  • Media
  • Non-government organisations
  • Police

Counter-surveillance team  may include:

  • Briefed individual
  • Communications operators
  • Counter-surveillance operators
  • Support team
  • Team leader

Appropriate stakeholders  may include:

  • Organisational leaders
  • Outside agencies
  • Supporting and supported units and agencies
  • Team members

Counter-surveillance documentation  may include:

  • Counter-surveillance plan
  • Maps and charts
  • Reports

Post activity analysis  may include:

  • Documentation review
  • Group debrief
  • Imagery review
  • Individual debrief
  • Written report

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

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