Tuesday 3 October 2023

The EU IMPRESS Project holds its first consortium meeting and first workshop in Utrecht

Share this article

The IMPRESS project, co-funded by the European Union and coordinated by the UIC Security Division, held its first consortium meeting on 26 September 2023 and its first stakeholder workshop on 27 September 2023, in Utrecht, the Netherlands and online. At least two representatives from each consortium partner (UIC, DHPol, FS, NS, PKP S.A. and SNCB) attended in person, with even more connecting online. Furthermore, members of the Advisory Board (Euskotren, Infrabel, RPF of Indian Railways, SNCF, COLPOFER, RAILPOL, French fire brigade, German Federal Police) joined the workshop online.

During the consortium meeting, the project team reported on the progress made since the Kick-off meeting, which was held in June 2023. Part of this work has been carrying out a survey to railway operators and infrastructure managers on their security training needs and requirements to combat terrorism and other major events in the rail environment. The survey was sent out to all Security Platform members, and we thank all who took the time to fill in the questionnaire.

The consortium meeting was also an opportunity for the German Police University (DHPol) to report on the on-going work on the State of the Art of existing security training for railway stakeholders. The partners then agreed on the way forward until the completion of the Deliverable “Security training needs in rail environment,” which is due at the end of November 2023.

The hybrid “Validation of the needs and requirements” workshop began with a key-note speech from Ms. Carla Roos, Learning and Performance Training Advisor for NS, who shared why training for security awareness was important for their company and provided some examples of current trainings. She emphasised the important role story telling has in building rail staff’s security culture.

Next, two working sessions were animated by Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, who began by presenting the preliminary results of the IMPRESS survey on training needs and requirements. Then, during a structured debate, participants engaged in lively discussions on the survey results, validating key outcomes or helping find consensus when the survey data were uncertain. This led to the identification of needed topic areas for training, including detecting and responding to suspicious elements, dealing with an armed attack, counter-terrorism awareness, etc. Participants also considered potential target audiences, such as rail station staff, training formats, such as lectures or gamification, and implementation periods, ranging from trainings lasting only a few minutes to full day exercises.

In conclusion, the meeting and workshop offered the opportunity to build a first consensus on security training needs and requirements. This task is ongoing, with a second workshop planned for January 2024 on the topic of “definition of threat taxonomy, identification of feasible scenarios, and definition of training modules per target-group.” UIC members interested in attending the workshop and joining the IMPRESS Advisory Board are invited to contact our team for more information.

Many thanks to NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) for hosting the meeting at their Headquarters in Utrecht.

You can follow IMPRESS on: Twitter/X (@IMPRESS_RAIL_EU), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/impress-rail-eu/), and the project website https://impress-rail-project.eu/

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

For further information, please contact the UIC security division, coordinator of the project at: security@uic.org

5 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Consortium partners hard at work during the consortium meeting in Utretch
The Keynote speech from Ms. Carla Roos of NS
Attendees of the First Consortium Meeting
Attendees of the First Workshop