Introduction to Behavioral Assessments: Preventing Workplace Violence

Introduction to Behavioral Assessments: Preventing Workplace Violence
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-09-16
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Introduction to Behavioral Assessments
Unit 2 Transcript: Introduction to Behavioral Assessments
Unit 3 Workbook: Introduction to Behavioral Assessments
Unit 4 Recording: Introduction to Behavioral Assessments

Violence in schools, workplaces, and other integral organizations costs a lot. From the equipment and infrastructure that is damaged, the business operations that must stop to give way to investigations, the peace and safety of the community, to the people traumatized, injured and lives lost. It only makes sense for organizations to employ proactive measures to mitigate if not prevent violent attacks.

To discuss the value of Behavioral Risk Assessments is Vaughn Baker. Vaughn is the President and Co-Founder of Strategos International and the author of The Church Security Handbook and Active Threat: Workplace 911. He has 25 years’ worth of law enforcement experience and has trained different workplace environments and law enforcement and military professionals on safety, security, and tactical-related topics.

Specifics covered in this webinar are:

  • The challenge organizations are facing with potentially high-risk for violence employees and the lack of an objective process to gauge the actual risk.
  • How Strategos’ Behavior Risk Assessments has the capability to translate these subjective “hunches” into objective and quantifiable assessments.
  • The premise that the BRA operates upon which is that bad acts are preceded by bad behavior – and risk indicators can provide context clues on an individual’s tendency to commit violent acts.
  • The different domain groups that are critical in putting together and making sense of the disparate puzzle pieces related to a person’s propensity for violence.
  • Acknowledging that there is not one single behavior that serves as the ultimate predictor of future violence and that clusters of behavior risk indicators must be taken into account.
  • How indicators provide the basis for an individual’s likelihood for violence but there is no exact guide in terms of the timeline when an individual may escalate and actually commit physical violence.
  • Defining the term “insider” as it relates to insider threats in Behavior Risk Assessments.
  • A rundown of the different risk indicators that the BRA scores to come up with individual assessments.
    • High-risk indicators scored at 10 points each that relate to threats made by an individual – direct or veiled – towards an organization, individual, or one’s self.
    • Medium risk behavioral indicators scored at 5 points each which relates to their beliefs – looking at one’s self as a martyr or aligning with extremist ideologies.
    • Lesser-risk behaviors that are scored one point per indicator that looks into various aspects of a person’s life, circumstances, interests, beliefs, mental health, and self-care.
  • The value of identifying behavioral and environmental protective factors that can be put into place or enhanced to de-escalate the risk indicators identified in the assessment.
  • Recognizing the concept of the Cycle of Avengers Escalation to better understand how an individual may do boundary-probing and the need for organizations to do something about it early on before the risk for violence escalates over time.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • Whether the BRA has been validated by various research and organizations.
  • Specific statements that may qualify as a risk indicator.
  • How current events and circumstances put people under stress that can elevate one’s potential for violence.
  • The frequency of violence committed by laid-off employees vs. domestic violence-related incidents.
  • The team that should be leading the risk assessments and the units that should be incorporated within.
  • Notifying the risk assessment team of concerning behavior from a member of the workforce.
  • Timelines to complete assessments per employee.
  • Putting together mitigation plans to counter the risks.
  • Guidelines and confidentiality considerations when notifying the community of threats.
  • Assessing social media behavior for risk indicators.
  • After-assessment action plan to enhance safety and security once an individual is terminated/expelled/removed from the workplace/school/facility.
  • Applying an empathetic and cooperative approach when interacting and rapport-building with the person of interest.
  • Conducting ongoing contact and surveillance with a subject of concern.




Other Webinars in this Series


Resources and Handouts (Paid Links)


Audience Comments

  • “It’s always great to hear different perspectives and ideas on identifying early enough and working through these types of matters, with the ultimate goal of mitigating and hopefully avoiding an Active Assailant situation.” — Bobby
  • “Excellent presentation, material, and speaker.” — Nathalie
  • “Well done. Impressive speaker with obvious knowledge of the area.” — Daniel
  • I work with domestic violence clients, I was amazed how much the indicators are like that of the abuser. Love this webinar.” — Karen



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