NCSC certification program combats terrorism

Following a yearlong effort to expand its certification program for cargo security professionals, the National Cargo Security Council has announced a new training program intended to help combat terrorism. The program was introduced by Council Chairman David Jones, corporate vice-president — security and loss prevention for Tommy Hilfiger USA. The National Cargo Security Council, based in Annapolis, Maryland, is a professional association of cargo transportation and security professionals from the entire logistics spectrum: air, truck/rail, maritime, and intermodal.

NCSC has 1,100 members and has been involved in cargo security issues for 36 years, placing special emphasis on education and training. This is critical, because cargo theft amounts to $15 billion annually in the US and rises to $50 billion globally. The threat becomes more intense when the likelihood of terror attack is added to the mix, the council says.

“Cargo theft and now terrorism are the twin threats to the safety and security of world commerce, requiring an ever-increasing level of sophistication, education, and technology. NCSC has led cargo-security improvement efforts for more than three decades. We are continuing this tradition by formalizing training and certification to combat terrorist activities. We're offering this to the interdependent global transportation community, including professionals involved in commercial transportation, government, and academia,” Jones said.

The new certification program will be international in scope and embody best practices and technology seminars developed by the 26 private-sector and government associations that are partners with NCSC. Certification will be handled online and in classrooms at college and university campuses and at conventions and seminars. Course material will include business processes, federal regulations, management, information technology, investigation, quality assurance, and emergency response. Certification will be tailored to specific transportation modes such as trucks, airfreight, or rail. Completion requirements for the training program will vary, depending on level of experience, says Jerry Zellars, chairman of the NCSC certification committee.

One goal of the program is to help industry centralize and coordinate security management, Zellars says. “Security elements like physical security, information technology, and risk management are generally organized in distinct silos,” he says. “In addition, too few companies have, or even plan to appoint, a chief security officer.”

Providing certified training should elevate the perception of the cargo-security function and security managers in the eyes of upper level corporate officers, Zellars says.

In addition to the new certification program, NCSC has entered an agreement with InternetTrain Inc, an internet-based training development company in Somerville, New Jersey, to develop a series of training programs for council members. Access to this training will be through the NCSC web site. Training will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The program is planned to be downloadable or interactive, depending on the needs of participants. The interactive program is expected to have 10 training modules with built-in testing that keeps an administrative record of the results.

Information on these programs can be found at cargosecurity.com and at internetrain.com. NCSC also can be reached by phone at 410-956-0941.

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