ARA Offers Risk Management Training to Federal Personnel

Security experts from Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) are offering comprehensive training to help federal employees stay safe from potential threats.

ARA developed the customized training in response to high demand from federal agencies to educate their employees on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Interagency Security Committee (ISC) Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities.

“Consistent application of the process can be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the various components, so training is critical for personnel expected to apply the process or review its application,” said Kenneth Colley, ARA’s director of technical security services.

All federal agencies are required to implement the ISC process, and the Government Accounting Office (GAO) is actively assessing agency compliance.  A number of agencies have been evaluated, and training for personnel implementing the ISC process is one of the evaluation items. 


ARA trainers have performed hundreds of security risk assessments for a wide range of federal government facilities. Their hands-on experience allows trainers to identify with trainees while addressing the myriad issues assessors typically encounter. Their training is both practical and theoretical, offering great value at a lower cost.

“ARA trainers apply the ISC process on a regular basis as practitioners supporting their clients with methodology development, assessments, and mitigation recommendations,” according to Nancy Renfroe, ARA’s director of security risk management.

The ISC Risk Management Process is essentially guidance for developing and implementing a security risk management program. The process identifies the necessary risk analysis components and provides baseline security measures for consideration when evaluating a facility’s security posture based on a wide spectrum of threats. Threats posing higher risk can then be mitigated with additional security countermeasures.

Previously, only the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provided this training course, but classes are regularly at capacity. ARA has been involved with the ISC process from inception and ARA trainers formerly performed training for the OPM classes.

The origins of the ISC date back to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK on April 19, 1995. A subsequent review by the US Marshals Service revealed a number of security vulnerabilities at federal facilities.

As a result of these findings, the General Services Administration (GSA) formed the ISC with a group of charter agencies agreeing to provide support in developing the process. The ISC was moved into DHS upon its formation in 2005.

In recent years, the Department of Defense (DoD) adopted the ISC process for off-base leased facilities. Today, the ISC process is regarded as a benchmark for security at all federal agencies.

ARA training also comes with a tool to assist assessors in determining the level of risk from each ISC Design Basis Threat (DBT).  This tool, based on ARA’s ISC certified tool, FSR-Manager, uses a simple definition-based assessment process that meets the ISC requirements of being defensible, credible, and reproducible.

About ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to offer science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA delivers leading-edge products and innovative solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. With over 1,700 employee-owners at locations in the U.S. and Canada, ARA offers a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, biomedical engineering, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.