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Personnel reliability

  1. 1

    Personeel_vraag_1_CMS

    During the selection procedure for new personnel, it is important to look not only at professional qualifications of a candidate, but also whether a candidate fits within the group and whether the person has not caused any safety or security problems elsewhere in the past. For good biosafety and biosecurity practises, personnel who work and cooperate in high-risk laboratories must be able to trust each other.

    How is the selection and application procedure for new staff set up?

    How is the selection and application procedure for new staff set up?

    By following this selection procedure, a complete picture as possible can be obtained of the applicant. This can prevent your organization from being unpleasantly surprised. For example, it appears that the new employee has caused safety or security problems at a former employer, or that the applicant may not fit well into the group, or may undermine the safety culture.

    Risks

    • Not applicable

    Measures

    • The presentation of relevant cases during the application procedure can give an indication of how the candidate could contribute to the safety culture.

    By following this selection procedure, a complete picture as possible can be obtained of the applicant. This can prevent your organization from being unpleasantly surprised. For example, it appears that the new employee has caused safety or security problems at a former employer, or that the applicant may not fit well into the group, or may undermine the safety culture.

    Risks

    • Not applicable

    Measures

    • Verify references, and ask about integrity and biosecurity incidents in the past.
    • Include application for a Certificate of Good Conduct as requirement in the job vacancy.
    • The presentation of relevant cases during the application procedure can give an indication of how the candidate could contribute to the safety culture.
    • Offer employees in the organization the opportunity to meet the applicant. Trust is very important for safety and security in high-risk laboratories.

    It is important to develop a selection procedures that aids in obtaining a complete a picture as possible of the applicant. This can prevent your organization from being unpleasantly surprised. For example, both CV and diplomas of the applicant contain inaccurate information, the applicant has caused safety or security problems at a former employer, may not fit well into the group or may undermine the safety culture.

    Risks

    • An employee without the proper qualifications, who does not fit well into the group or does not contribute to the safety culture, can make your organisation vulnerable.
    • CVs and diplomas can be counterfeited. Through proper checking, the organisation reduces the risk of fraud and hiring unqualified personnel.

    Measures

    • Check CVs and diploma for authenticity
    • Verify references, and ask about integrity and biosecurity incidents in the past.
    • Include application for a Certificate of Good Conduct as requirement in the job vacancy.
    • The presentation of relevant cases during the application procedure can give an indication of how the candidate could contribute to the safety culture.
    • Offer employees in the organization the opportunity to meet the applicant. Trust is very important for safety and security in high-risk Laboratories.

    This question is not applicable

  2. 2

    Personeel_vraag_2_CMS

    There are various ways to obtain background information on new and already employed personnel. For example, a peer evaluation within your organisation. In addition, two types of screening by government institutions are available in the Netherlands: a Certificate of Conduct (VOG) and a Statement of No Objection (VGB). A VOG background screening looks primarily into potential criminal records of a person. A VGB background screening is needed for positions involving confidentiality, and not only looks into potential criminal records, but also at a person’s financial status, vulnerability to blackmail and risks to national security. These types of screening can be performed (periodically) for both new and already employed personnel. Both VOG and VGB apply for the situation in the Netherlands. Please contact your competent authority for which type of screening is possible or needed.

    How is background information obtained for personnel working with high-risk pathogens?

    How is background information obtained for personnel working with high-risk pathogens?

    By introducing periodic evaluations, for example monitoring extracurricular activities or renewing a screening procedure, safety risks can be reduced. For the situation in the Netherlands: if the position involves confidentiality appointed by the minister, additional security screening by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is necessary. For more information: https://english.aivd.nl/topics/s/security-screening

    Risks

    • Employee behaviour can change, which may affect security within your organisation.
    • Without appropriate screening, your organisation may be vulnerable to unsuitable persons gaining access to vital areas, information and materials.

    Measures

    Screening can complement existing security measures and procedures. However, employee behaviour can change. By introducing periodic evaluations, for example monitoring extracurricular activities or renewing a screening procedure, safety risks can be reduced. For the situation in the Netherlands: if the position involves confidentiality appointed by the minister, additional security screening by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is necessary. For more information: https://english.aivd.nl/topics/s/security-screening

    Risks

    • Employee behaviour can change, which may affect security within your organisation.
    • Without appropriate screening, your organisation may be vulnerable to unsuitable persons gaining access to vital areas, information and materials.

    Measures

    • In addition to monitoring changes in behaviour, periodic screening can help reduce security risks.
    • Develop policy for employees who have conflicting extracurricular activities.
    • Develop policy for employees who do not pass a background screening.
    • Appoint confidential counsellors to whom employees can report undesirable behaviour and situations.
    • Only available in Dutch: The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security has drafted a “Manual for Screening Personnel CBRN”, which includes different profiles and different pre-completed VOG forms {link: https://www.nctv.nl/binaries/j-23977-nw-handleiding-screening-cbrn_tcm31-32681.pdf).

    Screening can complement existing security measures and procedures. However, employee behaviour can change. By introducing periodic evaluations, for example monitoring extracurricular activities or renewing a screening procedure, safety risks can be reduced. Moreover, in certain cases it may be valuable to request the employee for a VOG (or even VGB). For the situation in the Netherlands: if the position involves confidentiality appointed by the minister, additional security screening by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is necessary. For more information: https://english.aivd.nl/topics/s/security-screening

    Risks

    • Employee behaviour can change, which may affect security within your organisation.
    • Without appropriate screening, your organisation may be vulnerable to unsuitable persons gaining access to vital areas, information and materials.

    Measures

    • In addition to monitoring changes in behaviour, periodic screening can help reduce security risks.
    • Develop policy for employees who have conflicting extracurricular activities.
    • Develop policy for employees who do not pass a background screening.
    • Appoint confidential counsellors to whom employees can report undesirable behaviour and situations.
    • Only available in Dutch: The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security has drafted a “Manual for Screening Personnel CBRN”, which includes different profiles and different pre-completed VOG forms {link: https://www.nctv.nl/binaries/j-23977-nw-handleiding-screening-cbrn_tcm31-32681.pdf).

    Screening can complement existing security measures and procedures. Extracurricular activities can be monitored and references questioned. However, employee behaviour can change. By introducing periodic evaluations, for example, monitoring extracurricular activities or renewing a screening procedure, security risks can be minimised. Moreover, in certain cases it may be valuable to request the employee for a VOG (or even VGB). For the situation in the Netherlands: if the position involves confidentiality appointed by the minister, additional security screening by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is necessary. For more information: https://english.aivd.nl/topics/s/security-screening

    Risks

    • Employee behaviour can change, which may affect security within your organisation.
    • Without appropriate screening, your organisation may be vulnerable to unsuitable persons gaining access to vital areas, information and materials.

    Measures

    • In addition to monitoring changes in behaviour, periodic screening can help reduce security risks.
    • Develop policy for employees who have conflicting extracurricular activities.
    • Develop policy for employees who do not pass a background screening.
    • Appoint confidential counsellors to whom employees can report undesirable behaviour and situations.
    • Only available in Dutch: The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security has drafted a “Manual for Screening Personnel CBRN”, which includes different profiles and different pre-completed VOG forms {link: https://www.nctv.nl/binaries/j-23977-nw-handleiding-screening-cbrn_tcm31-32681.pdf).

    This question is not applicable

  3. 3

    Personeel_vraag_3_CMS

    Temporary or external personnel may have access to sensitive information or high-risk pathogens. Temporary or external personnel include foreign employees, interns, maintenance staff, or temporarily hired personnel for a particular task. Depending on type of work that has to be performed and current authorisation, a confidentiality agreement and additional governmental background screening (VOG or VGB), may be required. The application of these control measures depend on the type of security layers and barriers in key areas of physical security, and information security within your organisation.

     

    How are temporary or external personnel treated if they have access to vital areas, sensitive information or high-risk material?

    How are temporary or external personnel treated if they have access to vital areas, sensitive information or high-risk material?

    By screening permanent personnel and establishing procedures focussed on external personnel, and by providing supervision in vital areas, the risk of misuse of confidential information or high-risk pathogens is mitigated.

    Risks

    • Not applicable

    Measures

    • When unscreened personnel (temporary or external), work without supervision in vital areas in your organisation, your organisation may be vulnerable to misuse of high-risk pathogens or confidential information.

    By screening permanent personnel and establishing procedures focussed on external personnel, the risk of misuse of confidential information or high-risk pathogens is mitigated. It is important to consider if screening is needed, when they have access to vital areas regularly.

    Risks

    • When unscreened personnel (temporary or external), work without supervision in vital areas in your organisation, your organisation may be vulnerable to misuse of high-risk pathogens or confidential information.

    Measures

    • Supervision by experienced and screened permanent personnel of temporary and external employees working in vital areas.

    By screening permanent personnel and establishing procedures focussed on external personnel, the risk misuse of confidential information or high-risk pathogens is mitigated. It is important to consider if screening is needed, or if working with confidential information under supervision only is sufficient.

    Risks

    • When unscreened personnel (temporary or external), work without supervision in vital areas in your organisation, your organisation may be vulnerable to misuse of high-risk pathogens or confidential information.

    Measures

    • Supervision by experienced and screened permanent personnel of temporary and external employees working in vital areas.

    By screening permanent personnel and establishing procedures focussed on external personnel, the risk misuse of confidential information or high-risk pathogens is mitigated. It is important to consider if screening is needed, or if working with confidential information under supervision only is sufficient.

    Risks

    • When unscreened personnel (temporary or external), work without supervision in vital areas in your organisation, your organisation may be vulnerable to misuse of high-risk pathogens or confidential information.

    Measures

    • Supervision by experienced and screened permanent personnel of temporary and external employees working in vital areas.

    This question is not applicable

  4. 4

    Personeel_vraag_4_CMS

    It is possible to screen employees in advance, however, personal situations and subsequent behaviour can change. It is important that deviant behaviour can be detected. For example, changes in personal circumstances, that potentially can influence biosecurity, can be detected by paying attention during performance reviews. This could include, for example, a sudden increase in working hours, an expressed desire to work alone (or at night), or an increase in the expression of severe frustrations.

    How is change in behaviour of an employee with access to high-risk materials detected?

    How is change in behaviour of an employee with access to high-risk materials detected?

    It is important that employees detect deviant behaviour expressed by colleagues, and know where it can be reported. The confidential counsellor of the organisation could play a role in lowering the threshold to file a report, on which action can be taken. Make sure there are clear agreements and it is accepted that people keep an eye on each other (in a positive way), and can express accountability for their behaviour. This way, the likelihood that security incidents occur can be mitigated.

    Risks

    • Safety regulations are essential in preventing incidents. When employees do not comply with the rules, the risk of security incidents might increase.
    • An open and pleasant atmosphere contributes to a positive attitude towards security, because employees feel free to express accountability for observed behaviour.

    Measures

    • In security policies of the organisation, specific attention can be paid to reporting undesirable changes in behaviour.
    • Develop clear agreements on rules of conduct.
    • Develop procedures for dealing with undesirable behaviour.
    • Facilitate an open and pleasant atmosphere that allows gut feelings to be discussed.
    • Make sure that undesirable behaviour can be reported to a confidential counsellor.

    Expressing accountability for behaviour is possible to a limited extent. If people can communicate in a positive way, and monitor each other's behaviour and/or working methods, the likelihood of a security incident is mitigated and deviant behaviour can be detected quickly and addressed accordingly. It is important that staff detects deviant behaviour expressed by colleagues and knows where it can be reported. Confidential counsellors of an organisation can play a role in lowering the threshold to file a report, on which action can be taken.

    Risks

    • Safety regulations are essential in preventing incidents. When employees do not comply with the rules, the risk of security incidents might increase.
    • Security culture is important: an open, pleasant working atmosphere contributes to a positive attitude towards security, because employees feel (more) free to call each other to account for behaviour.
    • Clear agreements on rules of conduct contribute to a positive attitude towards security. It is difficult to identify undesirable behaviour if it is not exactly clear which rules and standards apply.

    Measures

    • In security policies of the organisation, specific attention can be paid to reporting undesirable changes in behaviour.
    • Make clear agreements on rules of conduct.
    • Develop procedures for dealing with undesirable behaviour.
    • Facilitate an open and pleasant working atmosphere that allows gut feelings to be discussed.
    • Make sure that undesirable behaviour can be reported to a confidential counsellor.

    It is important that employees detect deviant behaviour expressed by colleagues, and know where it can be reported. In addition to being able to report deviant behaviour, it is also important that action is taken. The confidential counsellor of an organisation can play a role in lowering the threshold to make a report. If people can communicate in a positive way, and monitor each other's behaviour and/or working methods, the likelihood of a security incident is mitigated and deviant behaviour can be detected quickly and addressed accordingly.

    Risks

    • Safety regulations are essential in preventing incidents. When employees do not comply with the rules, the risk of security incidents might increase.
    • An open and pleasant atmosphere contributes to a positive attitude towards security, because employees feel free to express accountability for observed behaviour.
    • Clear agreements on rules of conduct contribute to a positive attitude towards security. It is difficult to identify undesirable behaviour if it is not exactly clear which rules and standards apply and where deviations can be reported.

    Measures

    • In security policies of the organisation, specific attention can be paid to reporting undesirable changes in behaviour.
    • Develop clear agreements on rules of conduct.
    • Develop procedures for dealing with undesirable behaviour.
    • Facilitate an open and pleasant working atmosphere that allows gut feelings to be discussed.
    • Make sure that undesirable behaviour can be reported to a confidential counsellor.

    This question is not applicable

  5. 5

    Personeel_vraag_5

    Occasionally, employees work alone (without colleagues) in vital areas, or at irregular hours such as at night or on weekends. Biosecurity risks can be mitigated by monitoring who performed which actions in vital areas. From a security standpoint, proper registration of activities can help to clear up any misconduct (in retrospect), such as misuse or theft of high-risk pathogens or confidential information.

    Are there procedures for working alone or working outside regular working hours in vital areas?

    Are there procedures for working alone or working outside regular working hours in vital areas?

    It may be necessary for employees to work alone or outside regular working hours. Using a registration system, it is possible to track who is working at what time in vital areas. Security staff can also monitor presence outside regular working hours.

    Risks

    • Working alone not only increases the risk of safety and security incidents (especially at night when people are probably less alert than during the day), but also misuse or theft of materials.
    • Without regulations describing how to work alone or at non-regular hours, it is unclear how and if people can call each other to account in undesirable situations.

    Measures

    • Establish procedures regarding working alone, which provides clarity to staff regarding the agreements on working alone or working outside regular working hours.
    • Prior notification of working outside regular working hours provides options for monitoring by security staff or supervisors.

     

    It may be necessary for employees to work alone or outside regular working hours, and it is recommended that employees report upcoming experiments or assignments in advance with proper justification. Using a registration system, it is possible to track who is working at what time in vital areas. Security staff can also monitor presence outside regular working hours.

    Risks

    • Working alone not only increases the risk of safety and security incidents (especially at night when people are probably less alert than during the day), but also misuse or theft of materials.
    • Without regulations describing how to work alone or at non-regular hours, it is unclear how and if people can call each other to account in undesirable situations.

    Measures

    • Establish procedures regarding working alone, which provides clarity to staff regarding the agreements on working alone or working outside regular working hours.
    • Prior notification of working outside regular working hours provides options for monitoring by security staff or supervisors.

    It may be necessary for employees to work alone or outside regular working hours work. It is recommended that employees report upcoming experiments or assignments in advance with proper justification. Procedures for working alone and working outside regular hours contribute toward gaining insight into work performed. Using a registration system, it is possible to track who is working at what time in vital areas. Security staff can also monitor presence outside regular working hours.

    Risks

    • Working alone not only increases the risk of safety and security incidents (especially at night when people are probably less alert than during the day), but also misuse or theft of materials.
    • Without regulations describing how to work alone or at non-regular hours, it is unclear how and if people can call each other to account in undesirable situations.

    Measures

    • Establish procedures regarding working alone, which provides clarity to staff regarding the agreements on working alone or working outside regular working hours.
    • Prior notification of working outside regular working hours provides options for monitoring by security staff or supervisors.

    It may be necessary for employees to work alone or outside regular working hours work. It is recommended that employees report upcoming experiments or assignments in advance with proper justification. Procedures for working alone and working outside regular hours contribute toward gaining insight into work performed. These control measures can be documented in procedures to ensure security. Using a registration system, it is possible to track who is working at what time in vital areas. Security staff can also monitor presence outside regular working hours.

    Risks

    • Working alone not only increases the risk of safety and security incidents (especially at night when people are probably less alert than during the day), but also misuse or theft of materials.
    • Without regulations describing how to work alone or at non-regular hours, it is unclear how and if people can call each other to account in undesirable situations.

    Measures

    • Establish procedures regarding working alone, which provides clarity to staff regarding the agreements on working alone or working outside regular working hours.
    • Prior notification of working outside regular working hours provides options for monitoring by security staff or supervisors.

    This question is not applicable