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Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) Awareness is a national scheme to protect buildings, business areas and their surrounding neighbourhoods from the threat of terrorism

Our advice & guidance outlines the steps to take when implementing protective security measures

Project ASCEND: A programme of research to understand how and why people react during terrorist incidents and to identify issues with command and control in control rooms

A global professional membership body for security practitioners

An asset can be anything an organisation deems critical to its success or continued operation. Loss of assets would mean proper functioning becomes impaired or stops altogether. Assets need to be identified, prioritised and protected. They can be people, information, equipment, or places; assets can be tangible or intangible, for example reputation. Essentially, an asset is what we are trying to protect.

Individuals who attend premises and outside spaces with the aim of capturing staff and property on camera, the content from which is often uploaded to social media and video platforms. 

Automatic Access Control System, or AACS, restricts access without the need for human supervision, they provide detection and audit to limit who can go where


British Transport Police (or BTP), is responsible for policing the railways in Great Britain

BIM is a combination of process, standards and technology through which it is possible to generate, visualise, exchange, assure and subsequently use and re-use information, including data, to form a trustworthy foundation for decision-making to the benefit of all those involved in any part of an asset’s lifecycle. This includes inception, capital phase procurement and delivery, asset and facility management, maintenance, refurbishment, and ultimately an asset’s disposal or re-use. See Security-Minded Approach to Digital Engineering


Helps security practitioners identify appropriate physical security equipment. The CSE provides a range of products that have been evaluated against specific NPSA security standards and the performance rating achieved

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives

Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST): The UK's hub for behavioural and social science research into security threats

The Royal Chartered body for public relations professionals

Certification in security offered by the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (CSyP)

New government security groups, each a Centre of Excellence in a particular field

City of London Police

UK Government's counter terrorism strategy to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas from terrorism. CONTEST comprises of four principal strands: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare.

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is the documentation of knowledge and experience and the development of skills within a chosen profession

Items which make up the device being tested, for example a Video Management System is made up of a video server, network data storage and a viewing computer

Deterring, detecting, preventing and protecting against terrorism (CT)

Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) is a collaboration of UK police forces working with intelligence partners to prevent, deter and investigate terrorist activity

The Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network (CTPN) is an international collaboration currently funded by the City of Stockholm

Counter Terrorism Security Advisers, or CTSAs, are trained police officers and police staff, who are qualified to deliver counter terrorism advice. They are tasked by NaCTSO

For those working in proximity to public figures, or requires unescorted access to certain military, civil, industrial or commercial establishments assessed to be at particular risk from terrorist attack (CTC)

The Counter-Terrorism Analysis and Insight Unit (CTAI) produce cutting-edge analysis to support policy colleagues within the CONTEST and OSCT directorates, working across the four P’s (Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare) in the UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, CONTEST

Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems or C-UAS: May be referred to as counter-drone or C-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

Covid Critical Infrastructure (CCI): Infrastructure in any sector which, if compromised, could have a detrimental impact on the UK’s ability to successfully manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Critical National Infrastructure (CNI): The elements of national infrastructure the loss or compromise of which could result in major detrimental impact on essential services, significant loss of life or casualties, significant economic or social impacts, or have a significant impact on national security, national defence, or the functioning of the state

Cyber Assurance of Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) ensures the cyber element of physical protection systems is secure


Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, or Dstl, is an executive agency sponsored by the MOD. They ensure that innovative science and technology contribute to the defence and security of the UK

The intelligent, co-ordinated promotion of protective security provision to the hostile that results in the perception and/or assessment that the reconnaissance or the attack itself will fail

Developed Vetting, or DV, is for those with long term, frequent and uncontrolled access to ‘Top Secret’ information


Electronic and Imaging Systems (EIS): Such as alarms and CCTV

Explosives and Ballistic Protection (EBP): Materials that provide protection or mitigate the effects of blast and weapons

Explosives and Weapons Detection (EWD): Search and screening measures, technologies and processes to detect explosives, weapons and CBRN materials

Also known as ERWT, is terrorism motivated by extreme right wing ideologies such as fascism and white supremacism


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): an investment made by a company or individual in one country in business interests in another country. The aim being to establish a controlling interest or acquiring business assets


Homemade Explosives (HME): Explosives that can be constructed from commercially available substances

Purposeful observation with the intention of collecting information to inform the planning of a hostile act against a specific target

Measures that prevent vehicles accessing areas that need to be protected, including traffic management, traffic calming and vehicle security barriers. 


Improvised Explosive Device (IED): A bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than a conventional military method

A person who exploits, or has the intention to exploit, their legitimate access to an organisation’s assets for unauthorised purposes


Joint Security and Resilience Committee (JSaRC): Formed within OSCT, JSaRC brings together government, academic and private sector expertise to deliver security solutions for the UK


Lone Actor Extremism

Implementing effective protective security measures will help to protect your organisation from threats


Fast moving, violent incidents where assailants move through a location aiming to find and kill or injure as many people as possible

Mitigation is reducing the severity, seriousness or impact of something - making it less likely to happen. To mitigate risks, we apply protective security measures


A police unit that supports the Protect (against terrorist attack) and Prepare (mitigate the effects of an attack) strands of CONTEST and administers the national CTSA network

The UK's national law enforcement agency, leading against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cyber crime; and economic crime that goes across regional and international borders

The UK government's National Technical Authority for cyber security

The process to provide a level of assurance as to a person's trustworthiness, integrity and reliability

The NPSA blog provides thought leadership, latest news and updates on protective security

National Project Servator Team 

National Rail Safety Programme


A Home Office directorate responsible for CT policy and strategy


Other Government Departments

Operational Technology (OT) is technology that interfaces with the physical world. OT monitors or controls industrial equipment to affect a change. Common OT systems include Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published the Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) and guidelines around secure system design for organisations responsible for important services and activities.


Publicly Accessible Locations

Protecting people by shaping and controlling the environment to promote vigilance and an effective security culture, and to influence and deter those seeking to cause harm

Items which need to be added to a system to make it functionally work but in themselves are not assured (for example a CCTV camera connecting to a Video Management System. The CCTV camera itself is not assured, however the connecting of the camera does not adversely affect the cyber security of the Video Management System)

Also known as PII, is Information such as address, telephone number or National Insurance number.

A system of policies and procedures which seek to mitigate the risk of workers (insiders) exploiting their legitimate access to an organisation's assets for unauthorised purposes

Can provide resistance to forced entry and includes for example: doors, windows, walls, locks and locking systems, fences and containers

Can provide resistance to forced entry and includes for example: doors, windows, walls, locks and locking systems, fences, and containers

Refers to measures designed to ensure the physical protection of people, property and assets from actions and events that could cause damage or loss

Preventing, Interdicting and Mitigating Extremist events

Implementing effective protective security measures will help to protect your organisation from threats.


Also known as RSES, is administered by the Institution of Civil Engineers, promoting excellence in security engineering

Risk is a situation that could occur as a result of the threat and vulnerability, causing loss to or damage of the asset. Risks are what your protective security measures are designed to reduce or remove – in other words, what those measures are designed to mitigate. 


NPSA has developed a series of security awareness campaigns, designed to provide organisations with a complete range of materials they need

The Security Considerations Assessment (SCA) process ensures security-related vulnerabilities are considered across a range of activities and processes within an organisation. This includes physical, personnel, cyber and cross-cutting security measures

A set of values, shared by everyone in an organisation, that determine how people are expected to think about and approach security

The design and application of physical, personnel and cyber protective security measures to protect assets and operations against malicious attacks such as terrorism, espionage and crime

Known as SIA, responsible for regulating the private security industry

Also known as Syl, is UK’s largest professional membership body for security professionals

In relation to built assets, security mindedness is the adoption of appropriate and proportionate measures to reduce the risk of loss or disclosure of information which could impact on the safety or security of: personnel and other occupants or users; the asset itself; asset information; the benefits the asset exists to deliver

Also known as SCaN, is a security training package to help businesses and organisations maximise safety and security using their existing resources

A method of policing to deter, detect and disrupt a wide range of criminal activity

Also known as SME, are companies with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £25 million

An urban community that integrates information and communication technologies (ICT), city-wide and other relevant data and intelligent solutions to optimise infrastructure, service delivery and governance in response to the citizens’ needs

Individuals who attend premises and outside spaces with the aim of capturing staff and property on camera, the content from which is often uploaded to social media and video platforms. 

State Actors: Working for the benefit of a foreign country, state actors are responsible for actions that are detrimental to the security, democracy, or economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom


Threat is an intention to cause harm. Threats can be to individuals, groups, organisations, sectors, nations, ideas – anything or anyone, tangible or intangible. The threat is what we are trying to protect against. Those that would carry out the threat are threat actors

Measures to limit vehicle approach speeds to a manageable level

Methods to control vehicle access to a location


Also known as UKNACE, is the UK government’s National Technical Authority for technical (counter eavesdropping) security

Also known as UKSV, is the main UK Government provider of National Security Vetting

Also referred to as drone, remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned air vehicle, which is the aerial vehicle element of a UAS


Also known as VAW is the use of a vehicle to kill or injure people

Also known as VSB, provide proven vehicle impact protection and maintain blast stand-off

Vulnerability is how inherently prone an asset is to the threat. It considers what measures are in place to protect the asset, as well as the state of those measures. A vulnerability could be exploited by threat actors


Cognition, Connectedness, Confidence, Community