Advanced Covert Surveillance Course (MACS)

Pre-Course Requisites: RoSPA Gold/ Silver

Bespoke versions of this course together with Protective Surveillance have been delivered to permanently employed teams of private clients. The courses are available to foreign governments. It is seldom open to the individual due to the cost and duration. Contact us if you are a group with a minimum number of 8.

Full 8-week Mobius Advanced Covert Surveillance

8 weeks / £8750 (+vat)

The 8-week Mobius Advanced Covert Surveillance Course encompasses every element of conventional covert surveillance including; Solo Foot; Team Foot; Mobile Navigation; Tactical Driving; Covert Imagery & Technical Surveillance; Anti & Counter Surveillance and CROP’s. Allowing, for the first time, the commercially trained SV operator to:

  • Successfully execute covert foot follows both individually and as part of a team
  • Adapt to, function and perform within fast paced and rapidly changing situations
  • Covertly gather intelligence/ information during an operational deployment
  • React well under stress as a capable individual and reliable team member, during all kinds of dynamic operational scenarios


The 8-week Mobius Advanced Covert Surveillance Course has the following breakdown with each phase also delivered as individual 5-day courses. Those who successfully complete each individual 5-day course will earn the Mobius Certification for that course. Those who complete all 5-day courses and the Field Training Exercise (FTX) will be awarded the Mobius Advanced Covert Surveillance Operator Certification.

Solo & Team Foot

2 weeks / £2100 (+vat)


Solo Foot

In phase one you will learn about the principles that govern surveillance, those which can be taught and those which are innate. This is the time when you will develop your individual tradecraft, testing and honing your skills as a surveillance operative, in the event that you are the ‘last man standing’ in a live operation. You will understand what it means to act independently, be actively aware and to make detailed, individual accounts of target activity.

You will be expected to become comfortable operating in a range of environments and to successfully navigate a wealth of scenarios. It is only through exposure to and repeat practice with experienced operators, that you will develop your own skill set on the ground, evolving into a consistently able and adaptable operator. There is no other course anywhere in the private sector, which will repeatedly challenge your basic skills in this way. As in Government surveillance training the course is aimed, and the final exercise designed, to produce operatives who can manage on their own and act autonomously when the stakes are high and the team is nowhere to be found.

Team Foot
The second phase is about becoming part of a slick team, understanding the difference between being a solo operator, and one who effortlessly segues into an adaptive and supportive member of a multi faceted, highly functioning unit. This phase will see new skills added and new challenges introduced. You will be expected to know how to manage when communications break down, so that these tools are never relied upon but instead are understood to be simply an aid to the operator.

You will learn to work together, debrief together, support and critique your own skills and those of your teammates. At the end of the phase you will work as a team to carry out a final exercise, which will test your effectiveness as a group. Again it is a steep learning curve, with strict expectations regarding voice procedure, communication, memory recall, report writing, use of technical equipment and most importantly effective teamwork!

Mobile Navigation & Tactical Driving

2 weeks / £2400 (+vat)


Mobile Navigation

Phase three is where the pace really begins to pick up. Having gained some understanding of map reading, and mastered voice procedure and commentary on foot, you are now expected to transfer these skills into vehicular scenarios. The phase begins with a detailed explanation of how map reading is conducted in Government/ UKSF surveillance units, before we take to the streets in cars. You will be expected to navigate at speed and under pressure, to deliver accurate map fixes, including plotting of multiple positions on a range of maps and to give consistent, clear, relevant commentary to your team.

You will learn the difference between solo and ‘two man’ vehicular surveillance, and how to operate effectively so that the team is kept together and in contention with a moving target. There will be nighttime map reading exercises so that you understand and appreciate the operational advantages/ drawbacks, and also to give a feel of what it is like to work in a high stakes environment when under different kinds of pressure. Again a final exercise will determine those who are cut out for this kind of work from those who are not. By the end of the phase you will understand the Police principles of plotting up, how a motorbike can make the difference between successful/ unsuccessful deployments, and you will understand/ recognise tactical driving skills.

Tactical Driving
Phase four is the period where it all comes together. Having been exposed to and experienced the basics of tactical driving, you are now expected to develop as a safe, progressive and adaptive driver. Throughout full days and evenings of urban and rural advanced driving, you will demonstrate that you understand proportionality in progressive driving, thus are able to step it up or down as and when circumstances dictate. By the end of the phase you will be acting with your teammates as a complete unit, conducting surveillance as though on a live operation. The final exercises will see you crewed/ working with cohorts and instructors alike, reacting and adapting to intelligence and dynamic situations as they unfold.

By the end of the course, you will know yourself whether this is a job you can and want to do. And Mobius instructors will know whether you are cut out for it.

Covert Imagery & Technical Surveillance

1 week / £1200 (+vat)

Unlike law enforcement environments, where an operator is classed as a ‘professional witness’ meaning their word constitutes gathered evidence/ intelligence, in the private sector “if it isn’t captured, it didn’t happen.”

Mobius understands the emphasis/ value placed on the capture of imagery and sound recording by private clients. You may be the best surveillance operative in the world, however, in the private sector, if the quality of the imagery you produce is poor, you will be branded the worst.

The Mobius Covert Imagery Phase will equip you with every skill you need in order to be the best. Training staff will guide candidates through imagery expectations before teaching the operational use of a range of covert and overt cameras. The course covers the following areas:

  • ISO or Sensitivity
  • Shutter Speed
  • Exposure and Aperture
  • Depth of Field
  • Focus and Auto Focus
  • Shooting from Vehicles
  • Shooting from Observation Posts
  • Shooting at Night
  • Imaging and the Court
  • Stated Cases and Guidelines
  • Exif & Date/ Time Stamps

Detailed information of the Technical phase is restricted to course but covers the following tactics and techniques for the;

  • Deployment of Technical Triggers
  • Deployment of Covert Video Devices
  • Deployment of Covert Audio Devices
  • Deployment of Covert Tracking Devices


Once the elementary skills of foot and mobile surveillance have been taught and practised, then put together to complete the circle and practised as ‘Mobile Foot Mobile’; you will have mastered the basics of becoming a Surveillance Operator. You now need to increase your knowledge and further your skills.

To be an all-round employable Surveillance Operator you will have to move on from the basic level that you have achieved and practised; and take the next step to complement your status as an all-embracing Surveillance Operator, by learning additional advanced surveillance techniques.

Anti & Counter Surveillance

1 week / £1400 (+vat)

From now onwards you are expected to think as a fully formed covert operative. Having learned and developed the basic skills required to be a competent all-round surveillance operator, you will have also gained some understanding of what surveillance looks like on the street. This part of the course is concerned with strengthening and honing your ability to detect and confirm surveillance in the event that you or your client are subject to it.

Part 1 Anti-Surveillance

Anti Surveillance is an individual skill, one that any decent surveillance operator must be able to draw upon to determine whether or not they are ‘clean.’ During the first part of this intensive phase you will be required to devise and present your own AS routes, to help you to identify whether or not you are under surveillance. The emphasis is again on autonomy and your skills as a solo operative.

Part 2 Counter-Surveillance

The second part of the course is concerned with Counter-Surveillance (CS). This is a team skill and considerably more involved. During this segment you will again be working as a team to identify, plan and execute CS routes to identify surveillance and ‘take on’ the team/ individual which has been deployed against you.


2 weeks / £2500 (+vat)

Enabling the operator to observe subjects once they have been ‘housed’ in either Urban or Rural environments. In order to achieve this, you will need to have the knowledge and skills to be able to set up an Observation Post (OP) in both types of environment.

To a certain degree both types of OP’s (urban & rural) have the same principles and disciplines, however, due to the risk of compromise and the demands of Mother Nature the rural OP is more challenging to insert. Consequently, once you have understood the principles and disciplines of the rural OP the urban OP will follow with ease.

Why do we need these OP’s? The importance of a good trigger can be vital; an OP can give the team this edge. Knowing what goes on once the subject has been housed can give your client vital intelligence. It will also help you as a surveillance team; if for example, you are carrying out a ‘Pattern of Life’ study. Without doubt a well-concealed OP can give you and your team information and intelligence that could otherwise only be gained by technical means.

Part 1 Covert Rural Observation Post (CROP)

During the first part of the CROP course students will be taught the same advanced skills and methods that the UKSF/ Police /Security Services CROP’s Teams use to enable them to infiltrate, set up and collect information and intelligence using a rural OP and covert imagery. The tactics taught are those, which have been learned and practised operationally throughout years of development by both UKSF and Law Enforcement agencies. These same tactics have been taught, adopted and used globally by virtually all the first world Military and Law Enforcement organisations.

Subjects covered:

  • Rural OP Overview
  • Operational Planning & Risk Management
  • Kit & Equipment needed for sustained rural deployments
  • Voice Procedure & Reporting (keeping an OP log)
  • Strategic covert insertion & extraction into the target area
  • Tactical movement to the OP (route selection)
  • Rural OP (hide construction)
  • Camouflage & Concealment
  • Operation from a Rural OP (OP routine)
  • Actions on Compromise
  • Covert Photography (Stills & Video for evidence)
  • Health & Safety considerations

Part 2 Urban Observation Post (Urban OP)

As previously mentioned the methods used in the insertion and sustainability of a Rural OP can be carried across to the urban environment. Working from within a building and construction of an Urban OP (hide) uses another skill set, though there may be less risk through accidental compromise and more comfort due to the lack of pressures from Mother Nature. The preparation and construction of the OP is usually more critical due to the closer proximity of the OP to the subject.

Subjects covered:

  • Urban OP Overview
  • Operational Planning & Risk Management
  • Kit & Equipment needed for sustained urban deployments
  • Voice Procedure & Reporting (keeping an OP log)
  • Strategic covert insertion & extraction into the target area
  • Tactical movement to the OP (route selection)
  • Urban OP (hide construction)
  • Camouflage & Concealment
  • Operating from an Urban OP (OP routine)
  • Actions on Compromise
  • Covert Photography (Stills & Video for evidence)
  • Health & Safety considerations


Once you have mastered these OP skills and they have become part of your skill set; it will make you as a Surveillance Operator a more deployable ergo employable asset to a client or company. This course will also take you one stage further to becoming an all-round Surveillance Operator.

Covert Surveillance Operator Candidate Profile

At Mobius International we give great consideration to the kind of candidate we hope to train. Below is a list of attributes/ abilities we expect potential students to possess. This is not an exhaustive list but it is comprehensive enough for anyone considering a career in surveillance to ascertain whether or not they are suited to this type of role.

  • Observational: As well as having good eyesight/ hearing you will also need to be hyper-observant; as aware of what is going on around you as you are the target.
  • Quick Thinking: You must be able to ‘think on your feet’ and act accordingly, able to alter your plans/ actions or even conversation mid flow without arousing interest or suspicion.
  • Able to blend in: By its very definition covert surveillance relies upon an operators ability to fit into their surroundings and not draw attention to themselves. On any given deployment you are as likely to find yourself sitting on a park bench in Hackney as you are having afternoon tea at a high end hotel. The ability to converse naturally, with anyone, irrespective of age, race, creed or class is a must.
  • Adaptable: You must be able to operate effectively in a range of environments. You must also be as comfortable working within a team as you are working completely alone for lengthy periods of time.
  • Patient: You must be patient, able to manage long periods of inactivity, whilst remaining alert/ ready to react to sudden changes.
  • Unremarkable: As a surveillance operator, your longevity in any environment relies upon your ability to go unnoticed. Distinguishing features such as prominent tattoos, outlandish hairstyles or modes of dress contradict this necessary quality.
  • Responsive: Just as importantly, you must be able to respond calmly to sudden or increasing levels of activity.
  • Confident: You must be confident but not over-confident, able to balance caution with calculated/ moderate risk taking.
  • Memory Recall: You must be able to commit large quantities of information to memory and able to recall that information accurately, sometimes after long periods of time have elapsed.
  • Technically Proficient: Surveillance relies upon the use of a range of technical equipment from computers to covert cameras and tracking devices, you will need to be comfortable using all.
  • Driving Ability: You must be a competent driver to a minimum of RoSPA Silver standard, able and willing to learn and adapt to new techniques. You should be comfortable driving in all conditions, day and night, and on all types of roads.
  • Navigational Ability: You should have experience of map reading.
  • Multi-Tasking: Surveillance relies upon the ability to combine a range of skills which sometimes overlap, none more so than when solo during a vehicular follow. You must be able to balance the use of technical equipment with consummate driving and navigational skills; listen/ respond to, or deliver commentary; whilst also ensuring the safety of your vehicle and other road users around you.
  • Fitness: Whilst you don’t need to be marathon ready, you will need to be comfortable walking long distances, and able to step it up should the target pick up the pace.
  • Emotional Maturity: Surveillance relies upon autonomy, self-reliance, good judgement and, in order that mistakes are learned from and performances improved, the ability to accept and deliver constructive criticism. Life experience is invaluable and the more you have the better you stand to fare in this kind of environment.
  • Interpersonal skills: Working in teams, especially when very tired, under stress or during challenging operational circumstances, requires excellent interpersonal skills, especially the ability to remain calm and act with integrity.
  • Instinctive: Surveillance is often about relying on gut feelings. To be an effective operator you will need to get a feel for what seems right and learn to trust and go with that feeling. The best, most experienced operators will tell you instinct is invaluable in this field.