Tips For Effective High-stress Security Training

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New Leaf Technologies looks at the critical touchpoints South African organisations should embrace to ensure robust security personnel and service. High-stress security training has become a necessity as we unpack how eLearning is leveraged to ensure invaluable insights into the essential components of robust security which is focused on both physical and cybersecurity attacks.


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Amid South Africa’s crime scourge high-stress security training is no longer a nice-to-have but a prerequisite.

This type of training is no walk in the park, however.

Because companies and organisations face security risks on many fronts, including physical and cybersecurity attacks, skills programmes need to be intensely focused and detailed to address any incident.

South African learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies, which works extensively with companies to roll out tailor-made eLearning solutions, has established a useful framework for high-stress security skills training, what it should entail and what boxes need to be ticked.

“Unfortunately, security risks are an everyday reality in our country. Every organisation will have risks that are more prevalent than others, so it’s important that these are identified. This will allow them to tailor their high-stress security training accordingly,” says New Leaf Technologies MD Michael Hanly.

Following are New Leaf’s recommendations for this type of training.

Core skills and competencies

  • Risk assessment: The ability to identify, assess, and prioritise security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Crisis management: This includes incident command, decision-making under pressure, and co-ordination of resources.
  • Physical security: Access control and surveillance systems as well as facility security measures.
  • Cybersecurity: Protection of digital assets, including network security, malware analysis and incident response.
  • Emergency first aid: Basic medical skills for providing immediate care in emergencies.
  • Communication: Skills include radio proficiency and clear, concise reporting.
  • Legal and ethical knowledge: Understanding of laws and regulations related to security.
  • Physical fitness: Levels should be able to handle physically demanding situations.

Key touchpoints

  • Realistic preparation: High-stress training needs to prepare affected parties for real-world situations.
  • Quick decision-making: There is no time for indecision in real-world crisis situations. Training under stress offers individuals the ability to make effective decisions in high-pressure environments.
  • Composure: Individuals who have experienced high-stress training are more likely to remain calm to make effective decisions.
  • Confidence: Personnel who have performed well in high-stress training will feel well-equipped to handle real-world emergency situations in the event of them occurring.

Simulation in training programme design

  • Scenario-based training: Simulated security breaches, cyberattacks, or physical security incidents can be built into the programme.
  • Time pressure: By introduce time constraints, individuals learn how to make quick decisions.
  • Role-playing: Humans respond differently to crisis situations and personnel can learn how to handle unpredictability in role-players’ responses.
  • Environmental discrepancies: Train in various weather conditions and environments.
  • Live exercises: Full-scale simulations, including emergency response teams and equipment.

Use of eLearning

  • Scalability: eLearning allows organisations to train large numbers of individuals simultaneously, reducing the time and resources required.
  • Consistency: It ensures all learners receive the same information and training materials, maintaining consistency in security knowledge.
  • Flexibility: Learners can access training materials at their own pace and convenience, accommodating different learning styles and schedules.
  • Interactivity: eLearning can include elements like quizzes, simulations, and case studies to engage learners and reinforce learning.
  • Tracking and assessment: Platforms are equipped with tools for tracking learner progress and assessing their understanding, making it easier to identify areas that need improvement.

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