NaCTSO – ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness e-learning
NaCTSO (CT Policing’s National Counter Terrorism Policing Office) is a police unit that supports a network of 190 counterterrorism security advisers who work within local police forces to provide help, advice and guidance on counterterrorism protective security to specified industry sectors.
In 2017, NaCTSO, working with the Crowded Places Information Exchange (CPIE), identified the need for an e-learning course to help individuals within UK businesses better understand and mitigate against terrorism.
Highfield e-learning was commissioned to develop counterterrorism e-learning that would eventually be offered to all UK-registered businesses for free. In particular, NaCTSO wanted to draw on Highfield’s experience of developing high-quality and authoritative learning systems capable of delivering training to high volumes of learners within short time frames. Named ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness, the e-learning replaced previous campaigns that involved issuing businesses with slide presentations so they could self-deliver to their own employees, with a digital offer that provided a more cost-effective and efficient method of delivery, which would improve learners’ confidence when dealing with situations. Throughout its development, Highfield was aware of the sensitivities and nuances around counterterrorism information, and sought to create a course that recognised these considerations without scaremongering or generalisation.
The e-learning includes interactive video scenarios and instructional tutorials, combined with visual and audio footage, to create engaging learning, with modules covering key areas such as identifying security vulnerabilities, responding to suspicious behaviour, dealing with a suspicious item, how to deal with a bomb threat, and responding to firearms or weapons attacks.
Within three months of launching the e-learning, it had reached over 1,200 businesses, comparing favourably with the previous approach that had engaged with 400 businesses over two years. This course is now available to over 4 million learners and can be accessed for free via https://www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning, https://counterterrorism.police.uk/ and https://act.campaign.gov.uk/ ACT has been hugely supported by Marks & Spencer, who sponsored the development of the e-learning – along with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
We are currently working with NaCTSO to further expand the reach of this course to the public.
In their own words:
Speaking on the overall success of the campaign against the set performance objectives, National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Policing, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth at NaCTSO, stated:
‘We are facing a terrorist threat which is rapidly evolving, with new methodology and tactics which require us to adapt at pace if we are to protect our people and infrastructure.
This e-learning is a perfect example of how we are adapting to meet the threat, and it has revolutionised how we deliver vitally important safety information to the private sector.
This package will have a positive impact on how we train industry staff for years to come and is actively helping to boost our collective security through its unique ability to reach millions of people in a matter of months.’