Customs Training & Capacity Building

IOS Partners is recognized around the world for our experience as providers of innovative capacity building and training exercises. The key to our success has always been our ability to tailor our “message” to different groups so that they can understand how to further develop skills related to their roles.

This experience is of high relevance to government staff responsible for the operation of Single Window Systems, as well as for the implementation of Simultaneous Inspection Regimes, Investment Tracking Systems, regulatory frameworks governing firms with the AEO designation, and oversight of tools and procedures for cargo tracking. Also of importance is the provision of information and guides to assist key private sector traders understand these new systems and adapt to the changes implemented as a result of our activities.

The key to a successful implementation of the training program is a properly conducted initial comprehensive training needs assessment process. This requires a baseline assessment to be conducted. A Training Needs Assessment (TNA) usually is the starting point of any demand-oriented training management, as such, for all capacity building plans (CBPs) we will design and execute a TNA for all affected stakeholders. IOS Partners works on the precept of delivering lasting and sustainable results, allowing for the ramifications of our mission to continue after the successful completion of our assignment. As part of this ethos, we have adopted a “learning-by-doing” approach in our training and capacity building missions, supported by the assignment of individual team members working hand-in-hand with implementing agency counterpart staff.

Furthermore, we adopt a “training-the-trainer” approach with our “organizational champions” within the relevant ministries and agencies. This approach ensures a transfer of knowledge between our experts and “champions” in order to allow them to learn the systems through practice and continue to pass such knowledge on to other members of their organizations in a ripple effect reaching more stakeholders through less effort. These individuals will be incentivized and made responsible for ensuring awareness is built within their respective institutions, and transferring knowledge to their colleagues to facilitate transition to the new system.

Based on the results of the assessment, our team will work to develop a priority schedule for training course development and execution. Once these programs are approved, it is possible to create an institutional action plan to track activity for the training program, indicate critical milestones, and insure proper loading of staff and resources.

Throughout this process, the IOS Partners team remains cognizant of the key areas for which staff at relevant agencies will require concerted training and capacity building programs. These include the following:

Trade Capacity Building – Training improves the understanding of origin workshops on international best practices for the implementation of trades. In our previous projects, customs staff that participated in the training reported an improvement in their understanding of a broad number of topics, such as auditing techniques applied to origin, training on verification of origin with regard to product cost, tariff classification of goods, and case studies on origin verification.
Risk Management Customs – Risk Management helps Customs focus its efforts on physical inspections for a fewer number of cases, which reduces costs and increases revenues by enabling a more efficient system for evaluating and the transit of goods. The Risk Management activity also improved the detection of infractions and helped the Customs Authority identify critical areas of control, while simultaneously reducing costs and increasing revenues.
Rules of Origin – This activity includes the review of procedures, regulations, and methodologies, as well as the operational relationship to staffing and other departments within customs authorities. In previous projects, this step has led to the development of a proposal to restructure relevant agencies and recommended personnel profiles and skill sets.
International Trade Compliance Manager – This course is a popular session for individuals’ involved international trade and customs compliance in a business from both a management and administrative point of view. It looks at how to promote a strong ‘compliance culture’ throughout the organization from directors through to hands-on staff in order to ensure the requirements of government legislative and regulatory regimes are met.

Measuring the impact of training activity is a key element of any training program process. As with any government investment, the evaluation of the success of a training program must be clearly tied to both the short-term and strategic goals of the program. The team’s training evaluation can occur on many levels starting from the immediate reaction of participants to a specific program through to the collection of data concerning the impact of the training in the long-term. The IOS Team’s priority is to emphasize the necessity for the training to achieve measurable (both quantitatively and qualitatively) results in terms of overall strategic performance.