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The Australian Industry and Skills Committee has approved the implementation of a new qualification in Transport Security Protection and Skill Sets for screening officers in the Aviation and Maritime sectors. The new occupational standards were developed by the Aviation Industry Reference Committee (IRC) in response to an inquiry by the Office of Transport Security (OTS) into cargo and people screening functions that identified skills and knowledge gaps in the industry.
The inquiry highlighted the need for the Aviation Training Package to address regulatory requirements and the extension of screening systems and covert testing to large cruise ship passengers and baggage. It recommended the introduction of a screener-specific qualification; a national accreditation test for people making screening decisions; and annual re-certification. Once implemented, the accreditation scheme will ensure screening officers are being skilled to respond to evolving security threats.
The Training Package development project initially focused on the two qualifications and their associated Units of Competency:
However, the Department of Home Affairs Screener Accreditation Working group and Technical Advisory Committee members determined that the original project scope be expanded to include Air Cargo and Maritime Security roles.
Consultation with a wider group of industry stakeholders resulted in replacing the two qualifications mentioned above with a new qualification and four skill sets:
The new accreditation scheme comes into effect in early 2019 with a transition period to allow existing screening officers to be tested to confirm they have the appropriate skills to make independent screening decisions and, if necessary, to update their skills.
Accreditation testing will cover knowledge of the contemporary threat environment and involve an X-ray image assessment as well as observation in the workplace to confirm officers have the appropriate skills to make independent screening decisions.
Before being able to make independent screening decisions, new recruits will be required to:
Chair of the Aviation IRC, Adam Burford, said “The IRC greatly appreciates the valuable contributions and significant feedback that was received from stakeholders and organisations in the development of this training product. Through a collaborative approach from TAC members, the department of Home affairs and other interested parties, a quality product has been developed for the future training needs of the Aviation sectors’ security screening environment.”