Brian Sims

Wilson James completes hat-trick of ‘outstanding’ ratings from CAA

WILSON JAMES, the provider of specialist security services, is celebrating success after the company’s aviation training-focused division was once again rated ‘outstanding’ by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) following a recent audit procedure. This marks the third year in succession that Wilson James has been awarded the highest possible designation, cementing its position as one of the foremost experts in the realm of aviation security training.

As well as delivering courses for members of staff at a variety of international and regional airports, the training offered by Wilson James is also available to any company that has involvement with airports and aviation as part of its operation. Bespoke courses can be delivered at a customer’s premises where individuals are taught about relevant regulations and Best Practice techniques.

The CAA continually aims to drive up standards across the aviation sector and introduced its Quality Assurance Framework back in 2019. Aviation training providers must now achieve a minimum quality baseline, which is assessed after a rigorous external audit.

Companies need to meet six key areas set by the CAA and undergo regular assessment to ensure that stated standards are maintained. Only training providers registered with the CAA to deliver mandatory Department for Transport aviation security syllabuses are permitted to do so.

Critical facet

“Security training has become a critical facet of the aviation industry,” explained Maria Harnett, head of aviation sector training at Wilson James. “All of our instructors, including myself, hail from an aviation security background, bringing real world wisdom and practical insight to our training sessions, while at the same time making the overall learning experience more valuable and relevant. We offer individuals the highest level of training and seek innovative ways in which to plug a given customer’s skills gaps.”

The training is tailored to suit the specific requirements of different roles. Wilson James has developed an extensive suite of CAA-approved courses. These include the aviation ground security operative course, the aviation ground security supervisor course and the aviation security manager course, as well as threat assessor training, airport supplies and general security awareness training.

To enhance the learning process, Wilson James incorporates simulation exercises and practical scenarios into its training, allowing delegates to hone their decision-making skills and response strategies in a controlled environment.

Screening systems

As security threats evolve, so do the techniques and technologies used to counter them. Major airports across the UK have been given until 1 June 2024 to introduce the latest screening systems into their security checkpoints, ushering in a new era of improved security and passenger experience when going through departures.

The new screening equipment uses computed tomography X-ray technology to provide a 3D image of what’s in passengers’ bags, as well as deploying highly advanced threat detection algorithms.

The implementation of this technology will enable passengers to leave liquids and electronics in their hand baggage, thereby helping airport staff to process customers more quickly, and especially so at peak travel times.

Wilson James has updated its training provision to include these latest advancements and the company is working closely with its airport clients to ensure staff are prepared for these changes.

Setting the benchmark

Maria Harnett observed: “The importance of aviation security training cannot be overstated. I’m delighted that we’ve been awarded our third successive CAA rating of ‘outstanding’. We are committed to setting the benchmark for excellence. Our commitment to doing so ensures that security personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to handle diverse security scenarios.”

Harnett concluded: “We look forward to building on our success and will do all we can to make it four in a row at our next audit, which will take place in 2025.”

*Further information is available online at,uk/aviation

Company Info

Wilson James


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