UK Border AgencyInterim Operational InstructionIssue
No: BF 01 29 11
Date: 28 July 2011
Subject: Trial of risk-based processes at the
Action: Managers' Cascade
Instruction to Staff:
Border Force operational managers should brief their
staff and cascade the enclosed guidance to staff to support implementation
of a trial that will enable port managers to deploy their resources
more effectively and opportunity to meet the demands of peak summer
traffic pressures whilst continuing to focus on other high harm/high
risk threats at the border. The trial will commence with effective
[sic] from 29 July and operate until mid September. The guidance
will support staff in exercising discretion and professional judgement
in operating this process. Managers should ensure their familiarise
themselves with this guidance in accordance with regional plans.
The escalation options available to managers are
set out below and can be implanted for short periods at a time
- Redeployment of staff from
other port activity, to manage the PCP in the face of lengthy
queues, is not in the interest of dealing with the higher harm/risk
threat. So, where for example there are targeted goods activities;
there are high risk flights with specific goods issues or where
the [sic] are other activities with the balance of risk pointing
to a deployment of staff to a secondary activity and not to deploying
at the PCP, under these circumstances level two is perfectly appropriate.
It is anticipated that level two, in support of the PCP, would
be invoked for periods of time (up to several hours), but would
be entirely dependent on the risk and balance of activity.
And / or where,
- A period at level two will
avert a more serious or critical impact in the port infrastructure
arising from excessive queries i.e. a baggage crisis: risk to
passenger health and safety or good order in the arrival hall,
disruption to flight schedules and the passengers being held on
- Check all arriving passengers
(other than as described below) against the Warnings Index and
take appropriate action.
- Only endorse the document and question visa holders,
where there is perceived to be a risk.
- Ensure maximum use of e-gates.
- ... targeted and/or intelligence led, specific
TC tasked operations or required mandatory EU checks.
- Maintain essential secondary casework.
We will exercise discretion with a particular focus on the high
- Maintain freight searching at the priority juxtaposed
locations through increased use of existing contractors and our
French partners in order to prevent any influx of clandestines.
We will cease:
- Routinely opening the chip
with EEA passports.
- Routinely checking all EEA nationals under 18
years against the Warnings Index where they are travelling in
clear family units or as part of a school party unless the individual
border officer perceives there to be a risk.
- Secondary (customs) activity based upon general
This discretion may be exercised at CIO/HO/SO/HMI
level. If, for whatever
reason, it is considered necessary to take further measures,
beyond those listed above, local managers must escalate to
the Border Force Duty Director to seek authority for their
We believe that adapting our approach to passenger
clearance in this way will allow for more effective deployment
of staff, maintain border security and improve our customer service,
particularly during the peak summer period. A risk-based approach
places more emphasis on the discretion and professional judgement
of our officers, giving them more time to focus their attention
on identifying those seeking to cause the greatest harm to the
UK. This guidance, together with current and future intelligence
briefings encompassing a range of intelligence products at national
and local level, will inform officer's decision making.
New measures are also being introduced to ensure
that we test and validate our assessment of risk on a continuing
basis, including 'randomised' checks (on which further guidance
will follow shortly) and structured risk testing. For assurance
purposes we have also included risk-led decisions within our Border
Force assurance standards, a new version of which will be published