Identifying Critical Job Requirements for Transportation Security Officers
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the U.S. government passed critical legislation designed to protect travel for anyone who travels by air in the United States. This legislation created the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) within the Department of Homeland Security. Shortly after its creation, TSA embarked on one of the most ambitious hiring projects ever conducted, hiring nearly 45,000 employees in a very short period of time. Many of those employees were hired into the Transportation Security Screener job (now called Transportation Security Officer [TSO]).
In 2002 and 2004, TSA conducted a comprehensive job analysis that examined critical job duties, the physical requirements for performing those duties, and the medical guidelines used to evaluate individuals for the TSO, Lead TSO, and Supervisor TSO positions. The contractor hired to lead this effort was Human Performance Systems. Since 2004, TSA has expanded the TSO position to enhance the career ladder for incumbents, adding Master TSO and Expert TSO positions. In 2012, HumRRO and our partner, Human Performance Systems, conducted a detailed job analysis of all TSO positions to update the essential tasks and identify the critical competencies for the three positions listed above, and also to establish competencies for new positions in the TSO job series. This comprehensive job analysis also established the worker attributes, working conditions, and physical and medical requirements necessary for validating selection and promotion criteria.