Security Education, Awareness and Training: SEAT from Theory to Practice

By Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP

***** Security Education, Awareness and Training: SEAT from Theory to Practice. By Carl Roper, Joseph A. Grau, and Lynn Fischer; published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS International, Item #1646, 703/519-6200 (phone), (Web); 400 pages; $50 (ASIS members), $55 (nonmembers).

Three former employees of the Department of Defense Security Institute (DODSI), which closed nearly a decade ago, came together to write Security Education, Awareness and Training. According to the authors, it is based on the Strategies for Security Education Seminar course taught at the DODSI, now retooled for security professionals across all specialties.

All training programs have a common factor—people. All other factors are secondary. As such, this book focuses on delivery over content in developing a security training program. The authors divide security education into three elements: installation, maintenance, and enhancement. Installation education introduces a new or changed practice, or motivates others to embrace the practice. Maintenance education, fittingly enough, involves maintaining (not necessarily correcting or enhancing) one’s skill sets through regular use and practice. Enhancement education is akin to continuing education; the authors say they use it “whenever we want to raise the level of performance from unacceptable to acceptable and when we want to boost it from acceptable to even better.”

By encompassing the TEAM (training, education, awareness, motivation) model, security instruction can be tailored to the specific needs of the audience: Training is the introduction of new concepts or practices (rote memory), or the “what.” Education, “the most neglected aspect” of security instruction, according to the authors, is the explanation process, or the “why.” Awareness is the process of developing the security mind-set in others, or the “oh.” And motivation is the creation of buy in or the overcoming of complacency, what the authors call the “Just Do It” factor.

As the book progresses, readers learn to problem-solve performance deficiencies by identifying not just a cause, but all causes, be they environmental; based on skills, knowledge, or information; or related to motivation, attitudes, or incentives. By performing a so-called front-end analysis, educators can identify and compensate for the root causes of imperfect or undesirable behavior.

Not only does Security Education, Awareness and Training introduce and enhance valuable development concepts, but it also delves into behavioral analyses to theorize how the human psyche affects understanding, comprehension, recall, desire, and performance. By better understanding individuality in terms of intellect, emotional needs, motive, and ambition, security educators can tailor their training and education programs to increase efficacy, thereby correcting poor, enhancing adequate, or reinforcing positive performance.

This book is, foremost, a study of people, and secondarily, a model for effective security training programs. This is a must-read for every security educator and instructor, and even some human resources professionals. The concepts presented here might just redefine how educators develop and teach their curriculums.

Reviewer: Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP, is president of The Treadstone Group, Inc., a security risk-mitigation consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a member of the Education Committee of ASIS International’s Physical Security Council as well as the Physical Security Measures Guideline Committee.


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Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing such a nice and informative post. I'm presently working in a sector which deals with the employees documents. Sometimes it is found that the job seekers are producing fake university degrees. Is there any security measure or surveillance process to detect the manipulation instantly? I think your Employee Screening system has the answer. waiting for more security measures.


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