Pre-M presented at International Test Comission Conference

This year marked Renful’s first participation at the International Test Commission conference in Amsterdam.

The conference featured a number of interesting presentations from top psychologists on Modern Advances in Assessment including Testing and Digital Technology and recent Developments in Theory of Testing.

Our resident Psychologist, Yehuda Esformes, provided a very well received lecture about his work on Pre-M; Renful’s Pre-employment testing software for security screeners.

The presentation provided a demonstration and explanation of the simulation tests available on Pre-M and the advantages over conventional testing it provides to managers when recruiting security personnel.

Here’s the abstract from Yehuda’s lecture:

Simulation tests for Aviation Security Staff: Incremental validity over conventional psychometric tests.

Simulation tests, like other similar assessment methods, are deemed to have a higher face validity and greater fairness than conventional tests. They are also considered to be more reliable and more valid. Given the continuing threat to civil aviation, and with the aim of improving the selection of aviation security personnel, we developed a computer based test battery tailored specifically for selecting X=ray baggage screeners (BAT-XR).

The battery includes both conventional visual perception tests  (colour perception, mental rotation, visual closure and sustained focused attention), and simulation tests (basic image interpretation, object recognition-superimposition, attention to anomalies).

All tests were designed on the basis of job task analysis. The objective of our study was to determine whether the simulation tests offer additional advantages over conventional tests in terms of incremental validity.

The BAT-XR and a set of four cognitive tests commonly used in Israel for primary selection were administered to 206 candidates for the position of X-ray baggage screener. The criterion was the participant’s ability to quickly detect threat articles in X-ray images of bags.

A series of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that after controlling for age and gender, the simulation tests were significantly more powerful predictors than conventional tests.

And finally…

Our minds thoroughly prodded and probed by a number of the world’s top psychologists, we’ll need to rest our brains for a few days.

Fortunately, we’ve come back brimming with a number of new and exciting ideas and technologies that you can expect to be implemented into Pre-M, Simfox and a number of our other computer based security training and testing packages.

We’ll keep you posted.

OpeReady – A Quick Overview

OpeReady is an operational readiness management system that allows managers to track their employees’ training and testing performance and readiness.

OpeReady is a completely customizable system that can be configured in a way that meets your organisation’s exact training and testing requirements.

The system is therefore able to match your expectations and notify you each time an employee does not reach the required levels of performance and readiness.

Have your employees taken the required amount of training to be compliant with local regulations?

This is a question that must be asked every week. Especially in industries that are heavily regulated like Airports and Cargo/Mail Forwarders.

It is also a question that is not always obvious, especially when the employee has a number of training courses to attend and certifications to achieve.

You’ll often have to look through a number of files or even hire a data analyst to make sense of all the numbers.

As all your employees’ key information is stored on OpeReady, it is able to tell you, at the touch of a button, whether or not an employee or department within your organization has achieved all the training and certification required to work within their job role.

OpeReady will also provide reasoning for anyone that has not met the required level of training and certification. This ensures managers are able to quickly schedule any training that may be required.

How well are your employees performing in training and on the job?

While ensuring your employees are meeting the expected readiness levels, it is also important to get an understanding as to whether they are performing at an above average standard.

OpeReady delivers an extremely useful Employee Performance Monitoring Tool that provides a number of graphs and tables that can be configured based on the criteria you want them to be.

So it is possible to see the average score from one date to another on a specific module within a training course or find out the average readiness level of a specific employee over time. The later is obviously extremely useful in identifying those that are always behind in their certification and training and should be looked into in more detail.

OpeReady is also able to syncronise with any of the technology you use to test or train your employees. For example, we have developed OpeReady to be syncronised with London City Airport’s S.E.M.S. and T.I.P. systems.

This ensures City Airport is able to view the throughput speed and detection skills of each of their x-ray screeners over time as they work within the security operation.

For more information about OpeReady, our employee readiness management software, please visit our dedicated website.

If you would like to attend a demo of OpeReady, please feel free to email us at info@renful.co.uk or call on +44 (0) 208 457 9111.

Simfox Features – Quick Overview

Simfox X-Ray Simulation Software offers a number of features that enable instructors to provide challenging and realistic x-ray machine simulation training and testing to their x-ray screeners.

Huge Image Database

Simfox offers image databases for Rapiscan, Heimann, L3 and Gilardoni x-ray machines.

The system includes over 3000 item images of which 1000 are of Firearms, IEDs, Explosives and Knives.

The added ability to configure which items are threats, and which are not, ensures users are able to use a train their students to the exact regulations they will encounter on the job.

Simfox is also available with 2000 full bag images already configured into well structured training and testing session plans.

A large database of items helps security screeners get experience of a wide variety of both threats and everyday items.

Add to the Database

Simfox offers users the ability to create an almost unlimited number of bags ready to be taken as part of x-ray simulation training and testing.

Through the Bag Creator, users can build a bag from scratch, taking items from the database and virtually packing them into the system’s database of empty bags.

All created bags are permanently saved on the Simfox database and can be edited to create a completely new bag.

Simfox also offers an IED Creator that allows users to create IEDs and conceal them within other innocent objects thus ensuring screeners are getting a continuous stream of new threats to analyse and detect.

The ability to build new bags and IEDs ensures x-ray screeners are not being trained over and over on the same bags and threats and are getting the customised training they require

Customise Session Scoring

Simfox delivers a complex yet easy to use scoring system that can be adjusted if required to suit the skill level and experience of the x-ray operator.

The highly sophisticated scoring system is layered to avoid irregularities and provides scoring for all of the following factors and more:

  • Correct identification of each and every threat or search area in the bag.
  • Correct location of the position of each and every threat or search area in the bag.
  • Correct naming of each and every threat in the bag or reason for search.
  • Time taken for threat identification.

 A flexible scoring system ensures trainers can test screeners on the capabilities required at each stage of screener training.

The Simulator

Simfox offers single and dual view x-ray simulators that provide image enhancements and zoom functions through an on screen replica of the xray machine’s control panel.

The security x-ray simulators provide large, high quality images that create an unparallel level of realism for screeners taking their training or testing.

The realism provided by Simfox’ simulator ensures there is no knowledge gap when screeners move from the training room to the operation.

Review X-Ray Simulator Sessions

After each x-ray simulator session, the screener is able to review each and every bag they have just seen as well as any scoring penalties they have incurred. They are also able to isolate specific items within bags, view their x-ray image and photograph.

The ability to review a session ensures screeners can learn from their mistakes and get a better understanding of what is expected of them.

Analyse Screener Performance

Simfox Net contains a detailed statistical module which analyses the performance of both individuals and groups on a number of criteria including:

  • Threat Recognition
  • Speed of Detection
  • Detection Ability

Trainers can use the statistics to design specific training sessions on the x-ray simulator that will enable them to provide their x-ray operators with the correct level of training.

Contact us for more information about Simfox – Security X-Ray Simulation Software.

Security Seminar – Cancun, Mexico

In August 2012, Renful will be holding a seminar in Cancun, Mexico that consists of 3 separate modules that can be taken together or individually:

‣      Airport Risk Assessment and Operational Design.

‣      Passenger Profiling using Behavioural Patterns Analysis.

‣      Training Management and Readiness of Screeners.

Airport Risk Assessment and Operational Design

Module 1 – (August 20th 2012)

It is commonly known that the design and implementation of an Airport security operation affects the probability of threat detection and passenger throughput.

Participants will be taken on a visit to Cancun Airport during which they will be introduced to a number of training and operational design ideas as well as the use and implementation of various security technologies including CT scanners, single and multi view x-ray systems and trace detection technologies.

Passenger Profiling using Behavioural Patterns Analysis

Module 2 – (August 21st–  22nd 2012)

Profiling ensures more time can be devoted to detecting threats as security personnel are able to target suspicious passengers based on their behavioural patterns and target them for additional searches and questioning.

This module teaches the unique skills required to implement a Profiling System within all high security organisations in order to help reduce delays and increase passenger throughput, whilst actually enhancing security.

Training Management and Readiness of Screeners

Module 3 – (August 23rd – 24th 2012) 

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link. If one component within it is not ready to meet the threat, the whole operation is at risk.

Security managers must, therefore, be able to identify weaknesses within their security system and be able to correct them immediately.

This module focuses on the tools required to manage employee qualification, training, re-training and certification requirements and provide suggestions for monitoring the readiness of single employees, units, departments and equipment within an organization ensuring that compliance and performance standards are being maintained.

Seminar Prices

Participants can select which of the three modules they wish to attend:

‣       Module 1: $390.00

‣       Module 2: $590.00

‣       Module 3: $590.00

‣       Discounted Full Seminar Price: $1,250.00

Fees include lunch and light refreshments daily, airport visit (module 1) and course material. There is a 10% Early-bird discount for payments received on or before 1st of July 2012

For more information about this seminar please contact us on +44 208 457 9111 or rm@renful.co.uk.

Training, Monitoring & Management of Security Screeners

11th, 12th and 13th June, London 

In June 2012, Renful will be holding a seminar in London dealing specifically with the Training, Monitoring & Management of Security Screeners. The seminar lasts 3 days, features informative lectures, multimedia presentation, discussions and expert analysis from our security experts.

Renful is dedicating this seminar to the promotion of creative thinking in the areas of Security X-ray Simulation Training and Testing, Effective Screening Operation Design and the Management and Monitoring of Operational Readiness.

Effective Screening Operations & X-ray Simulation Training and Testing

It is commonly known that probability of threat detection relates directly to the level of training and testing of the X-ray operator, and to the design and implementation of procedures in the operational environment.

Our key note speaker on this subject will be Moshe Cohen, former Director of Training and Commercial Development at TWA, who will introduce a number of training and operational design ideas and technologies that ensure your screening personnel are of the highest possible quality.

Management and Monitoring of Operational Readiness

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link. If one component within it is not ready to meet the threat, the whole operation is at risk.

Security managers must, therefore, be able to identify weaknesses within their security system and be able to correct them immediately.

Benny Landshut, founder and manager of the security training and procedures department at Ben Gurion Airport, will discuss the management of employee qualification, training, re-training and certification requirements and provide suggestions for monitoring the readiness of single employees, units, departments and equipment within an organization ensuring that compliance and performance standards are being maintained.

A compelling argument for Passenger Profiling at Airports

Author: 

A recent failed plot by al-Quaeda in Yemen again shows the lengths terrorists are willing to take to get past security and cause havoc over our skies.

This new underwear bomb provides another challenge to our Airports’ security measures; that would most likely not have been able to detect it

  1. The IED would have been worn by the terrorist, completely bypassing what is considered the most effective tool in the detection of threats; the security x-ray machine.
  2. The IED contains no metallic parts and would have gone through any metal detector without setting it off.
  3. The IED was concealed in underwear, an area that is avoided during initial body searches.
  4. It is most likely that the IED would not have been detected by body scanners given its location on the terrorist’s body. His thighs would most likely have covered the IED making any detection either extremely difficult or even impossible.

These findings do not put our traditional security measures in good light. It is clear to see that terrorists understand what it takes to get past current security measures and are now developing IEDs that will get past them without much risk.

The biggest problem is that security measures are very predictable. Each and every passenger from a toddler to a 90 year old man must get their bag screened by an x-ray machine and walk through a metal detector or body scanner.

In some cases they may be subject to a pat down search or their bags may be subject to additional searches using explosive trace detectors.

However, these extra security measures are very rare and terrorists are able to plan their attack without much fear that they will have to change them.

How do we detect a threat like this?

The first thing we need to identify is the types of security measures that could have detected the threat:

  1. A full strip search would have identified the threat. This measure is only taken very rarely once security staff have sufficient proof that the passenger represents a safety risk.
  2. Explosive Trace Detection systems may have been able to identify the IED if the terrorist had contaminated his luggage or clothes with explosive residue.

Why don’t we just ask all passengers to remove their clothes and get their possessions swiped by a machine?

First of all, I’m pretty sure a number of human rights groups might have something to say about it.

Secondly, if you decide to swipe everyone’s clothes and bags to find traces of explosives, you’ll probably have to ask them to show up 2 days prior to their flight rather than the current 2 hours.

Airports, Airlines and passengers would never accept this.

So what’s the solution?

While this all seems a bit negative, the important thing to remember is that these findings show that the problem is not that we can’t identify a pair of concealed underpants; it is that we don’t have the time.

All we need to do is use our time a little bit more effectively.

For this, we need to forget about detecting the IED and concentrate more on identifying the terrorist.

Past events show us that while terrorists are good at concealing IEDs, they are not so good at hiding the fact that they are terrorists.

For example, although the original underwear bomber, Abdulmutallab, managed to get through security, his appearance at the security checkpoint should have raised a number of suspicions.

He paid for a $3000 ticket in cash; a very expensive transaction that most people would use a credit card for. You might also expect someone who likes to pay in cash to actually have some on him. At least enough for his 2 week stay. In fact, he only had a few notes.

Other strange signs were the fact he had not checked any luggage for his 2 week stay and did not have a coat, despite the temperature at the flight’s destination being sub zero.

In spite of these clear signs, Abdulmutallab managed to clear security and get onto his flight. Fortunately, the bomb failed and nobody was hurt.

How can we stop this happening again?

The use of profiling within the security checkpoint would have been able to identify all these signs.

It involves trained profilers going through the security checkpoint queue asking passengers a set of questions based on any suspicious signs in their documentation, itinerary, appearance and behaviour.

The profiler then decides based on the passenger’s behaviour and answers whether they are a threat to the flight they are attempting to board.

An old lady in a wheel chair, for example, is extremely unlikely to be a terrorist and would most likely be classed as a terrorist.

She should get minimal security checks.

On the other hand, a 25 year old man that cannot tell you the nearest train station to where he claims to live would be considered a high security risk.

He should be screened using all available methods until security staff are satisfied he poses no threat to the security of the airplane.

This effectively means that only those that pose a security risk will be screened using all available methods and ensures only those that pose a valid security risk are kept waiting in line at the airport.

Renful Security Seminaras – Profiling

Renful hold a number of profiling seminars each year that teach security personnel the skills required to perform effective behavioural analysis and questioning techniques.

The seminar is taught by Moshe Cohen, the former head of security at TWA, who has developed a number of profiling systems at Airports throughout the world.

It teaches the knowledge required to implement a Profiling System within all high security organisations in order to help reduce delays and increase passenger throughput, whilst actually enhancing security.

For more information about our profiling courses, please contact us at info@renful.co.uk or visit our website http://www.renful.co.uk/Security-Seminars-from-Renful-Premier-Technologies

Dedicated OpeReady website has been updated

Our OpeReady – Operational Readiness Management website has now been updated.

OpeReady provides a user friendly way for managers to monitor the performance and readiness of employees and equipment within their organisations.

Here are some the most useful features that OpeReady provides:

  • Stores all the training and testing requirements for each employee.
  • Informs you if your employees have achieved the legal training and testing requirements through a traffic light system.
  • Reminds you if training or testing needs to be scheduled for employees or departments
  • Stores all training and testing performance data in one centralised database
  • Provides customisable graphs that give you a quick overview of employee performance and readiness over a set period of time
  • Completely customisable system that works the way you want it to
OpeReady was initially developed for security organisations like Airports, Airlines and Cargo forwarders. however, it is perfect for any organistion that has many training obligations.
We are currently offering free trials so why not find out how OpeReady can help you manage all your training and testing requirements more effectively.