Successful pilot Security Culture Workshop at LFS Schiphol

5 February, 2024
2,5 minutes reading time
Blog posts News Security

For training in security aviation, Special Cargo College is, of course, the place to be. But in addition to well-trained personnel, it is also important in this industry to have a good security culture among employees. But how do you know, as a board or management? Special Cargo College has developed an assessment + workshop to measure security culture. This will also immediately satisfy the annual review requirement as a company.

In this time of terrorist attacks and cybercrime, it is crucial that companies have their security in order. This is all the more important when working with secure air cargo. For example, does your company supply catering products to airlines, or bring goods for aircraft maintenance or other equipment to the secure areas at the airport? Then you must meet strict requirements as a “registered entity.


The United Nations, the European Union and the Dutch government have unambiguous laws and regulations for this purpose. This is in order to take sound precautions against the threat from terrorism directed at aviation.

Malicious insider

“But if a malicious insider is operating within the ‘registered organization,’ then those measures have little chance of success,” said Jan de Bruijn, lecturer and aviation security consultant at Special Cargo College. “Therefore, it is necessary to have a good security culture in the organization after that. That is the best action against ‘insider threat.'” A good security culture, according to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV), is “a culture in which the organization sets aviation security against terrorism as a core value and that all persons within the organization contribute to it. A registered company must develop and implement policies as part of its internal quality system to make that security culture work well. Thereby, conducting (or having conducted) a security assessment (a measurement) is an annual obligation. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee audits on this.

“The best action against ‘insider threat’ is to have a good security culture in the organization”

Defining policies

To support the business community, the NCTV has prepared initial instructions for companies, Jan continued. “However, these are not directly and easily applicable in organizations. Therefore, Special Cargo has ‘translated’ these instructions into 45 clear and unambiguous questions that can be easily understood by everyone within organizations. In this way, companies can quickly and easily measure their security culture and – with our support – define specific policy action points. It is in fact a new advisory service that we provide; we have christened it ‘Security Culture Workshop’.”


How does this workshop work? Jan, who developed the consulting service himself, explains: “We start with a short conversation with our client. Which departments are there and how exactly does the company want to measure, are a few questions we answer together. Then we prepare the assessment and set it up online, for each department that will be tested. Everyone can submit their answers anonymously on a smartphone or computer. This takes about ten minutes. Once this is done, our analysts get to work analyzing the data. Then in a workshop of a few hours, together with the security manager and the management of the company, they draw conclusions. That way we get a good impression of the security culture per department, which we can compile into an overall picture of the organization.”

“Measuring security culture is an annual commitment”

In practice at LFS

Before Special Cargo started offering the Workshop to its customers, the developers wanted to investigate whether the assessment does what it is supposed to do. One of the regular customers, Lift Freight Services (LFS) at Schiphol Airport, was very interested in being the first to test this product says Jan.

Having an independent review

Security manager Bas Elskamp of LFS explains why this workshop appealed to him so much: “I heard about this during the Security Manager Air Cargo course at Special Cargo. Within LFS we do a lot of security monitoring and we feel we have things well in place. Therefore, we thought it would be a good way to have our internal expectations independently tested.”

Three organizational layers

Fortunately, our expectations were confirmed by the workshop, he continued, “The results were very positive! It is nice to see the effect of the actions we had already taken internally. Special Cargo measured the results within three layers in the organization: management, operational departments and the warehouse. In general, everyone was nicely aligned. This is also important to us, so that we can work together toward one objective or ambition. But the feedback also gave us good ideas for further actions, for example ensuring that the measures are logical and easy for operational staff to implement.”

Better quality

What is the value of the workshop for LFS? “First of all, it gives us a good overview of the security culture within our company. It also allows me to make a good comparison between the different layers and departments. This allows you as a company to clearly see where and which subjects you need to work on in order to make improvements and thus increase the quality of your services. Last but not least, it is also nice to have the certainty of being (more than) fully compliant with the legal requirements for a registered company. I can certainly recommend it to other companies within the air freight industry,” Bas said.

Security as a common interest

The pilot was also very useful for Special Cargo, thinks Jan: “Based on this we can further refine the workshop. The questions can be simplified here and there, so that everyone within a given organization has the same interpretation. It is our common interest to keep aviation safe, and fortunately LFS also recognizes that.”

Other sectors

Is the new advisory service only for aviation security, or is it also suitable for other sectors – for example, logistics around dangerous goods? “Very definitely, the problem of insider threat is generic. In this day and age, actually all companies can benefit from this analysis.” Are you then obliged to take the whole package – including analysis and workshop? “No,” says Jan, “Special Cargo can also do just the measurement, and display the results in a so-called spider web. Then, as a customer, you can analyze the results yourself and draw conclusions from them.”


Are you also a registered entity for air freight? Then a good security culture is a must! Want to know what the Security Culture Workshop can do for your company? Contact us at or 085 – 7922885.

Security Culture
Jan de Bruijn and Bas Elskamp: “The pilot was very useful for both LFS and Special Cargo. LFS now knows which areas need to be improved. And Special Cargo can further refine the workshop on the basis of the pilot. It is our common interest to keep aviation safe.”

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