Course Descriptors

Course #1 – Air Cargo Security Awareness

The complexity and interactivity of the numerous functional and personal activities that make up the daily operations supporting air cargo security is significant.  Individuals and organizations must understand the environment they are working in, and the numerous threats and hazards that they, both collectively and individually, may have to deal with on a daily basis.

In Topic 1 of this course we will examine the current and future air cargo supply chain and it vulnerabilities to various threats and hazards.  You will understand threats and hazards, their sources and motivations. Also, the legislative and regulatory framework that supports Transport Canada’s new Air Cargo Security Program that comes in to effect Oct 2016.

In Topic 2 we will examine the importance of an integrated and layered security approach, and the need for an effective personnel security capability.  We will also briefly address other components of layered security: access control, screening cargo, procedural security and training programmes.

Each topic will help you to understand not only your own responsibilities, but to also understand how each activity fits into the overall activity of providing security to air cargo.   As this lesson is intended to provide an awareness of each topic, each will be addressed in greater detail in subsequent courses.

By the end of this first session, you will have the required knowledge to understand the:

  • Air Cargo security environment in Canada.
  • Air Cargo supply chain and its vulnerabilities.
  • Legislative and regulatory framework supporting the Air Cargo Security Programme.
  • Basics of threat and hazards to Air Cargo security.
  • Importance of layered security supporting Air Cargo security
  • Security concepts and principles in an Air Cargo Security Plan that are acceptable to Transport Canada from a program participant.

Course #2 – Facility Security and Access Control

A fundamental component of any Air Cargo Security Programme is the need for Facility Security and effective Access Control. This lesson provides an understanding that Air Cargo security has become increasingly important in the daily conduct of all facets of the transportation industry.

National and international expectations require all Canadian handlers of air cargo be fully aware of their individual responsibilities, such assets provide a safe and secure working environment for both the individuals engaged in handling and screening air cargo, and the secure cargo itself.

  • Topic 1 of this course will discuss the various threats and hazards that may impact on the safety and security of air cargo.
  • Topic 2 will define the various personnel security issues, such as identity of individuals, the need for a security clearance, access control of personnel to secure cargo, supporting mechanisms, and roles and responsibilities of specific individuals such as Authorized Cargo Representatives.
  • Topic 3 identifies the fundamentals of facility security and access control, including visitor security and control mechanisms, security of Secure Cargo, security of acceptance and tendering processes, and an individual’s responsibilities in event of an emergency incident.
  • Topic 4 discusses the vulnerabilities and security requirements of Ground Transportation in support of air cargo security.
  • Topic 5 recognizes the need and expectations of Emergency Response Procedures and related individual/organizational responsibilities.
  • Topic 6 will briefly examine the need for periodic security audits to ensure continued regulatory, policy and procedural compliance. It will also provide an understanding of the need for appropriate security measures for the information and material related to the handling and transport of secure air cargo.

Course #3 – Air Cargo Screening

The effective and efficient screening of Air Cargo is essential to providing a safe and secure operating environment for all personnel within the Air Cargo industry; as well as the passengers and crew of the aircraft that moves 80% of all Air Cargo.

Screening is the assurance that what is being uplifted contains no items which may put the transport at risk. This particular lesson concerns Air Cargo screening techniques and processes.

  • Topic 1 describes the principles of Air Cargo screening, concealment methods, access control methods, and threat characteristics.
  • Topic 2 identifies the four primary Air Cargo screening methodologies, Physical Search, X-Ray, Explosive Trace Detection and the Packing Protocol screening process.  Canine searches are briefly mentioned.  It also identifies the need for an effective, well communicated and practiced Emergency Response Plan.  The need for effective record-keeping of all screening activities is also discussed.

Course #4 – Chain of Custody

The reliable and timely movement of Air Cargo has become a fundamental need for Canadian industry and government.  Critical to the success of the Air Cargo Security Program is having the ability to provide an auditable and reliable chain of custody for each item of Air Cargo.

This lesson identifies the various threats and hazards that substantiate the need for Supply Chain security in the form of Chain of Custody.  It discusses the Acceptance and Tendering processes in detail, describing the maintenance and storage of control documents, and the procedures to be followed in the event of tampering or unauthorized access.

With the increasing importance of Ground Transportation to the handling and movement of Air Cargo this lesson also examines various mandatory security measures specific to ground transportation helps support effective Air Cargo security.


Course #5 – Training Development Course

Essential to the creditability and capability of the Air Cargo Security Program is ensuring all personnel having the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively.  This lesson provides detailed information concerning the necessary Air Cargo security training and security training program development. 

  • Topic 1 deals with the types of training (initial, continuous and recurrent) that must be incorporated in any training program, and the specific training topics that should be addressed.  Continuous and Competency assessments are shown to be highly effective in assuring the training program is effective in delivering the required knowledge and skills. Recording the provided training is mandatory within the Air Cargo Security Program and we examine the needed forms and content. The need for exercises is identified and provides detailed information on the planning, development, conduct and evaluation of the exercise.
  • Topic 2 addresses the various steps necessary for an organization’s Training Program Development.  The training subjects and the development of a training plan, training profile and training matrix development.


Course #6 – Oversight, Compliance and Personnel Security

Transport Canada has the legislative and regulatory obligation to ensure that Air Cargo Security Program participants are adhering to the federal expectations of the program.  This is conducted through Transport Canada Inspectors who have the authority to enter and inspect the security posture of any participant.  This lesson provides considerable detailed information how to prepare for such inspections and common points of failure.

  • Topic 1 identifies the legislative requirements related to oversight & compliance clearly identifying the foundational documents that allow Transport Canada Inspectors to carry out their inspections, and the participant’s obligations to comply with, and support, the inspections.
  • Topic 2 recognizes the mandatory Cargo Security Plan as the focal point of any inspection, and identifies the major content requirements.
  • Topic 3 provides information on the conduct of an inspection, preparation, required documentation (Cargo Security Plan) and personnel involvement.
  • Topic 4 addresses Personnel Security the supporting fundamentals and vulnerabilities.


ETD Course

Battelle's Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) training provides screeners the knowledge necessary to effectively use cargo ETD security systems to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), both as a primary method of cargo screening, and in concert with other security devices such as X-ray systems. Specific topics include the importance of air cargo screening and the role ETD systems play in the screening process, ETD safety and maintenance, official Canadian ETD standard operating procedures, and approaches for sampling that maximize the chance that present explosives are detected, among other topics - all developed by trainers with direct experience screening air cargo. Once the course is complete, users complete an ETD qualification test, which tests their learning of critical ETD screening concepts and procedures.  Once the user passes this final ETD qualification test, they are officially certified as a Canadian cargo ETD screener.

X-ray Course

Battelle's Cargo X-ray Screener Training curriculum includes both a traditional online course and a suite of practical e-learning applications that allow what is learned in the online course to be applied in realistic ways.  The online course provides the new security screener with an understanding of the importance of air cargo screening in Canadian commerce, addresses X-ray safety and common operation details, teaches screeners how to interpret dual-view X-ray images, and provides an extensive understanding of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and the Canadian operating procedures that must be followed to successfully detect those IEDs.  The online course includes a final exam that evaluates whether the screener has learned the necessary facts and procedures, as required by Canadian air cargo screening regulations.

Once the online course is complete, Battelle's ProDetectTM application suite provides screeners a deep, practical understanding of what IEDs and their components look like under X-ray, and feedback-based X-ray screening simulations with real air cargo images.  First, screeners can explore the various possible components of IEDs, select them in different combinations, and virtually "build" the resulting IED, which is then presented both as a photograph and X-ray. 

Once the screener has a good working knowledge of the appearance of IEDs, they can apply this knowledge with actual cargo X-ray images in our fully-functional online image interpretation training simulator (IIT).  Screeners will search these cargo images just as they would at an actual X-ray system - using common X-ray image processing tools - and determine whether they believe an IED has been hidden within. Trainees receive feedback about the accuracy of their choices after each image, including the specific location of any IEDs in each image.

Once the user completes both the courseware and ProDetectTM IIT, the user is presented with the final image qualification test, as required by Canadian air cargo regulations.  Screeners apply the knowledge obtained throughout the course to search a set of X-ray images for threats.  Once the user passes this final practical image-based test, they are officially certified as a Canadian cargo X-ray screener.