Admiralty code

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The Admiralty System or NATO System is a method for evaluating collected items of intelligence. [1] The system comprises a two-character notation assessing the reliability of the source and the assessed level of confidence on the information. The Admiralty system is used by NATO member nations and members of the AUSCANZUKUS community.


Evaluation occurs in the processing stage of the intelligence cycle recognising that collected information cannot be accepted at face value. Each item of information used in the creation of an assessment is given an indication of source reliability and assessed accuracy, based on corroboration or other assessment. Each descriptor is considered in isolation to ensure that the reliability of the source does not influence the assessed accuracy of the report.


A source is assessed for reliability based on a technical assessment of its capability, or in the case of Human Intelligence sources their history. Notation uses Alpha coding, A-F:

  • Reliability of Source
A - Completely reliable
B - Usually reliable
C - Fairly reliable
D - Not usually reliable
E - Unreliable
F - Reliability cannot be judged


An item is assessed for credibility based on likelihood and levels of corroboration by other sources. Notation uses a numeric code, 1-6.

  • Accuracy of data
1 - Confirmed by other sources
2 - Probably True
3 - Possibly True
4 - Doubtful
5 - Improbable
6 - Truth cannot be judged


An assessment will provide a candidate course of action based on the coding of the items of collected information used to compile the assessment. The hypothesis will not be coded but the wording will caveat conclusions based on the levels of confidence indicated by the code.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) (March 2003), Joint Warfare Publication 2-00 Intelligence Support to Joint Operations, Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre: Ministry of Defence (UK)