Sunday, January 22, 2017

TSA Security Training NPRM – Training Program Requirements

This is part of a continuing series of blog posts about the recent TSA NPRM on security training for surface transportation organizations. Earlier posts in the series included:

In this blog post I will look at the requirements laid out in the NPRM for the training programs mandated by Congress.

General Requirements

The training program general requirements are included in three separate modal sections of the proposed rule; §1580.113 (FR), §1582.113 (PT), and §1584.113 (OTRB). The requirements under each of these sections is essentially the same and include information on:

TSA is being very careful to be as non-prescriptive as possible in each of these requirements. For the most part they are simply outlining what information that will be submitted to TSA as part of the training plan approval process. For example, in the preamble discussion about methods for determining effectiveness of training, TSA explains:

“TSA would afford flexibility to each individual owner/operator to measure effectiveness of their security training program using methods and criteria appropriate for their operations. TSA does not prescribe the method in the proposed rule, but does propose that every training program specify the manner and method by which the effectiveness of the training program would be evaluated by the owner/operator.”

Even where there is specific requirements for actions on the part of owner operators, for example when changes in security plans or operations are made, the rule calls for the owner/operator to provide information about how those changes to previously received training would be communicated to employees. It does not prescribe how those changes would be communicated.

Security Training and Knowledge

Again, the specific training requirements are spelled out in the three separate modal sections; §1580.113 (FR), §1582.113 (PT), and §1584.115 (OTRB). Most of the wording in the three separate sections is the same except where the freight railroad requirements include specific information supporting current security requirements of the existing §1580 and §174.9.

In addressing the knowledge requirements to be covered in the security training, TSA breaks those elements into four broad categories: prepare, observe, assess, and respond. Interestingly, the preamble discussions of these requirements frequently refer to ‘security plans or measures’. This rulemaking does not mandate the preparation of security plans; that is being addressed in a separate rulemaking.

Other Training Programs

Congress mandated for the freight railroad and OTRB training programs that TSA should “take into consideration any current security training requirements or best practices” {6 USC §1167(a) and §1184(a)} in establishing this training regulation. The preamble to the NPRM addresses this issue while noting that they expect that “additional training would be needed for some of the knowledge required by the ‘prepare’ category of training in proposed §§ 1580.115(c), 1582.115(c), and 1584.115(c)”. The other training programs discussed include those addressed in:

Additionally, the TSA recognizes that there are existing security training programs that are voluntarily in use by many organizations that could be used to fulfill portions of the training requirements outlined in this NPRM. They include:

First Observer™; and

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