Is your CTPAT security training program up to date?

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Security program continues to provide benefits to member companies. In response to the updated program requirements and ever-evolving supply chain security threats, however, CTPAT members must also continue to improve upon their established CTPAT measures. This includes ensuring proper training for internal personnel.

Education, training, and awareness: Key facets of CTPAT

Since the inception of the CTPAT security program, members have been required to train personnel on relevant security programs. This includes general awareness training to foster awareness of the program requirements and potential vulnerabilities in the supply chain.

It also includes more detailed and specialized training for employees in key roles related to CTPAT activities. Key audiences for role-based training often include individuals handling: 

  • Cargo receiving
  • Global sourcing, especially as related to supplier selection
  • Facility security, including both physical security and security technology
  • Transportation and logistics, especially as related to service provider selection
  • Access controls, including procedures for vetting drivers and visitors accessing the facility

With the implementation of the new Minimum Security Criteria (MSC) in 2020, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) further expanded upon the requirements related to education and training. Training programs must adapt accordingly.

Be prepared to present evidence of your ongoing training programs

CBP has placed heightened focus on evidence of implementation for all aspects of the CTPAT program. If you are a CTPAT participant, you can expect that your assigned Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) may request additional details on your training and awareness programs as part of your next validation meeting or annual Security Profile update.

In addition to training logs, you may be asked to present your actual training materials, additional information on how employees are trained, as well as steps for measuring training effectiveness, for example.

Approach your CTPAT training with continuous improvement in mind

Training content and materials for CTPAT members should continue to evolve as your internal processes and procedures change. You will also want to incorporate additional content on how your company has implemented the new MSC and requirements.

Any trainings you implement should be updated on a regular basis and reviewed annually to ensure they’re still effective and compliant. Look to use real-world scenarios or examples in your updated CTPAT training to make it more impactful, for example.

Incorporating your CTPAT trainings into your Learning Management System (LMS) can allow for the efficient rollout, tracking, and completion of training requirements—requiring less administration time to manage effectively.

Connect with a CTPAT expert if needed

When in doubt, consider working with experts experienced in the CTPAT security program requirements. Ideally look for groups that regularly assist shippers in creating, implementing, and continuously improving their CTPAT security programs.

If your company requires assistance with CTPAT, connect with one of our team members. The trade policy team at C.H. Robinson offers customizable CTPAT solutions for your company. Tailor your program with live training events, get help developing training materials, and/or develop customized, recorded trainings to share with your teams.

Stay informed

Developments in customs and trade continue to evolve—stay informed to be prepared:

Sarah Stock
Principal Trade Policy Advisor
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