The current geopolitical context and the rapid development of technology all have an impact on the current aviation security threat picture. Protecting the entire aviation community from acts of unlawful interference remains a top priority. It is, therefore, vital to have highly qualified, competent, resilient, and motivated front-line staff undertaking security activities.
In this interview, we step into the world of aviation security instructor certification with Dorota Broom, our Aviation Security Technical Advisor. Dorota Broom joined CAA International in June 2022 as Technical Advisor for Aviation Security. She is a DfT-certified Aviation Security Instructor in the UK with over 16 years experience in the aviation industry.
In this enlightening discussion, we examine the key touchpoints surrounding Instructor Certification within Aviation Security. Moreover, we unravel Dorota’s invaluable insights into the strategies that States can employ to overcome the multifaceted challenges that often lie in their path.
Dorota Broom joined CAA International in June 2022 as Technical Advisor for Aviation Security. She is a DfT certified Aviation Security Instructor with 16 years’ experience in the industry. Dorota believes passionately that sharing the understanding of Human Factors and promoting Security Culture can improve the standard of aviation security worldwide. She has lived and worked in various countries and is fluent in English, Italian and Polish.
In her current role, Dorota is responsible for providing technical support and expertise to an international audience in Aviation Security through design and delivery of training. She is a pro-active collaborator on various CAAi projects. Currently this includes a three-year research project for EASA on the Impact of Security measures on Safety, ICAO Security Culture and DfT ASTEM framework.
In her previous role, Dorota worked for Ryanair for 16 years in various roles. This included Safety and Emergency Procedures Instructor, Senior Examiner and Quality Assurer for security training. She has been responsible for safety and security training to cabin crew, flight crew and Instructors. She has prepared security instructors for national certification both in the UK and Ireland. She has delivered training for Ryanair in areas of Safety, Security, CRM, Dangerous Goods, First Aid and Survival.
Dorota, what is ‘Aviation Security Instructor Certification’?
Instructor certification is defined by ICAO Annex 17 as a formal evaluation and confirmation that a person possesses the necessary competencies to perform assigned functions to an acceptable level. Picture it as a puzzle coming together, with instructors as the pieces and states and NAAs as the ones guiding the picture. Everyone needs to be on the same page to make sure the aviation security training happens without a hitch. It’s all about making sure that when it comes to keeping our skies safe, we’ve got the right people on our side.
So, why does Instructor Certification matter?
Instructor Certification matters as it ensures that those imparting aviation security training possess the required expertise and skills. These certified instructors lay the foundation for industry standards, ensuring accurate and effective knowledge transmission to new entrants. Instructors wield the power to shape and guide the workforce right from the outset of their careers, frequently serving as the initial point of contact for staff entering the industry. By instilling accurate behaviours and serving as exemplars, instructors possess the ability to elevate standards from the very beginning.
What challenges do States face when approaching Instructor Certification?
When establishing a certification system, which vary according to each State, the maturity of their comprehensive system, and the availability of resources. However, the primary challenges usually encompass factors such as costs, requisite resources, and proportionality of the process to the exiting risk. Therefore, opting for an appropriate approach that is risk-based and avoids excessive regulation is also crucial to progress towards a risk-based and proportionate regulatory approach. Navigating these challenges is the key to moving forward effectively.
Would aviation security instructors benefit from better understanding of human factors?
Yes. Security staff are exposed to stress, fatigue, errors, limitations of attention and perception as well as information processing. Despite this, they are not provided with the same tools to recognise and handle several human factor issues as other aviation staff. Therefore, understanding human factors could greatly benefit aviation security instructors. It helps them address stress, fatigue, errors, and attention limitations that security staff often face. This knowledge is crucial for enhancing aviation security practices.
Are instructors sufficiently prepared to identify and report possible insider activity during training?
This depends from entity to entity. Sufficient training and support should be provided to ensure instructors have sufficient knowledge and skills in this area. The issue of insider risk is presently a prominent concern for international and regional organisations as well as the industry. Instructors must possess the necessary expertise not only to impart knowledge about insider activity but also to identify indicators of potential insider involvement during training. It’s essential they have proper channels to report any suspicious behaviour observed during these sessions.
Finally, the UK has recently implemented a new digital system for AvSec Instructor Certification – Why is it an outcome-based online assessment?
The newly implemented digital system is optimised to meet future demand by streamlining processes, reducing the reliance on paperwork, and minimising the regulator’s resource requirements. Having an outcome-based online assessment will shorten the processing time, making it more efficient for the industry.