What does it take to become a successful x-ray screener?

Author: 

The evolving threat and innovation of terrorism over the last 30 years has completely changed the security screening landscape.   It was once the case that all an x-ray screener needed to concern themselves with was the detection of guns and knives.

Now, all types of items have to be considered as threats as they may be concealing an explosive device. Whether it is a pair of shoes, a bottle of liquid, a tennis ball filled with TATP explosive or a pair of underpants; terrorists will try any possible means to get past security,

The easiest way to identify a concealed IED is through the use of an explosive trace detector. However, due to time constraints, security screeners are unable to use these machines on every single item that passes through the security checkpoint.

X-ray machines are therefore still the most common way of screening items that pass through security checkpoints. Although many x-ray machines are configured to automatically identify explosives, they cannot be relied on at 100%. They still lean heavily on the ability of the x-ray screener to identify threats.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of the key capabilities required to identify well concealed threats and become a successful screener.

Personality

Security x-ray screening is a monotonous task that requires deep concentration for as much as 30 minutes.

On busy security checkpoints, screeners only have a few seconds to identify each bag. They must therefore find the right balance between analysis and speed.

The perfect screener needs to have confidence in their ability to detect a threat. Not enough confidence and the screener will send too many items for search or deliberate too long on a bag, creating queues and annoyed passengers.

Attention to Details

If an IED is well concealed within an item, the item may only have small anomalies. In a packed bag these small differences can be almost impossible to detect.

The likelihood that a screener comes into contact with a concealed IED is very low and this only increases the level of attention to details that is required.

It means a screener must treat each bag that goes through the x-ray machine with the same high level of attention. Something that after 20 minutes of screening is very hard to maintain.

Visual Dexterity

An x-ray machine generally only produces two x-ray angles of each bag that passes through it. Items will therefore not always be at the optimum angle for x-ray screeners to identify.

Screeners must possess some visual dexterity in order for them to virtually rotate the items in their mind and identify them correctly.

Threat Knowledge

Without knowing what a threat looks like, it’s impossible to identify it. When it’s an IED that’s been concealed in another item, it’s even more difficult.

Given the evolving nature of threats, screeners need to be given continuous training and testing to ensure they can identify them.

Experience

Experience is not something you can get overnight but if you work at it, you can get it quicker. The use of realistic simulators like Simfox can help accelerate the learning process.

Getting experience isn’t always about spending days on end in front of an x-ray simulator. In this case quality is far better than quantity. It’s all about getting focused training that improves the weaknesses of each individual screener.

Knowing your weaknesses helps and with Simfox; trainers are able to identify it quickly through an easy to use statistical interface. The information can then be used to create training that will help the screener improve on their weakness.

Click here to get more information about Renful Premier Technologies and the security training products we provide. 

Advertisements

About Renful Premier Technologies
Renful Premier Technologies is a knowledge based company that specialises in the provision of security training software, security x-ray simulators, employee management software and security consultancy. The company was founded in 1994 by security professionals with the aim of improving the level of training and testing provided to security personnel throughout the world. Since then, we have continuously worked hard to be at the cutting edge of security training technology. By taking on board our customer's feedback, analysing the potential threats from terrorist and criminal groups, and using our understanding of the security industry, we have been able to develop new training products that have greatly improved the level of training provided to security personnel. We now offer: Simfox - Security X-Ray Simulation Software Trefox – Security Xray Theory CBT Pre-M – Employee Testing and Selection Software OpeReady – Operational Readiness Management System (ORMS) Inert, Simulant Explosives, Drugs and Weapons Kits Replica IEDs for Covert Testing & Training Security Seminars & Consultancy AvsecSchool – Online Security CBT Infogence – Monthly Terrorism Intelligence Reports Renful currently operates in over 40 countries providing products and services to airports, cargo / mail, prisons, police, secure hospitals, government buildings and other secure establishments. For more information about any of our products, please take a look at our blog here, visit our website http://www.renful.co.uk, email us on info@renful.co.uk or call us on 44 (0) 208 457 9111

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: