Building Competence Of Future Customs Specialists In Field Of Personnel Risk Management


Modern management strategies of the organization require development of special management approaches based on an analysis of the mechanisms and processes in the activities related to possible personnel risks for customs officials. The authors consider the urgent problem of personnel risk management in the work of managers and staff at customs offices. The factors of personnel risks in the personnel management system of customs authorities are analyzed. The results of an expert survey held among customs officials on the specifics of personnel security in the organization are shown. The results of various sociological studies on the reasons of personnel risks in the work of customs officials are presented. The studies were conducted among students (future customs specialists) and customs officials. The importance of building professional competence in the personnel risk management among students is shown and necessary descriptors in disciplines "Personnel Management in Customs Authorities", "Conflict and Stress Management in Customs Authorities", "Personnel Policy in Customs Authorities" are identified.

Keywords: Managerial competencepersonnel riskcustoms authoritymodel of building competencestructural and functional characteristicsmethods and forms of practice-oriented training


The urgent task of customs management in the field of personnel policy is a timely identification, assessment and minimization of existing personnel risks in customs offices. Therefore, the building, planning, forecasting and implementation of management measures for improving the productivity and efficiency of customs officials' work have to be implemented on the basis of the system of personnel risk management. Makrusev and Dianova (2009) note that one of the specific functions of personnel management in customs authorities is the management function of social activities that includes such components as management of personnel, labour activities, social security and educational activities. The authors of the paper agree that in framework of this function, the managerial personnel of the customs authorities should develop and implement personnel measures aimed at minimizing personnel risks and providing personnel security.

The risks of a personnel management system are differentiated according to subsystems such as planning and marketing of the personnel, labor-management relations; normal working conditions; development of personnel management, motivation management; personnel assessment; social development management; organizational structure development; legal support and information support. Improvement of the personnel policy in customs authorities should be carried out in view of potential personnel risks and existing problems in the field of personnel security.

The research range of studying the issue of personnel risk management in an organization is rather multi-faceted and can be integrated in the problematic fields of various areas of scientific knowledge (Sociology, Personnel Management, Organizational Conflict Management, Psychology, Business ethics, Education Science, etc).

Various aspects of the problem of studying risks were initially reflected in the managerial and economic concepts of many scientists (Brown & Chew, 1999; Embrechts, 2000; Donabedian, 1978).

Risk as a research subject for many Russian scientists was studied in a lot of papers (Kuznetsova, 2011).

The works of such scientists as Esher, (1992), Furnham & Taylor, (2004), Schweyer, (2004) were focused on the improvement of the personnel policy of the organization.

A number of Russian scientists have studied the problem of implementation of the competence-based approach in personnel management (Kibanov, 2014, Esaulova, 2013).

The issues of the development of various types of competences hich are important for labor activity were studied in the papers of such scientists as Mayer, DiPaolo & Salovey, (1990), Kagan, (2005), Matczak, (2001), Jordan & Troth, (2002).

Customs operations are related to country’s economic and national security, so it requires particular attention of personnel management specialists addressing the personnel work. The expediency of the development of a personnel risk management system is based on such key issues as the integrity of social- labor and personal characteristics of an employee; the focus on professional development of employees; support for staff mobility, etc. We believe that at present, certain prerequisites for the effective use of the personnel risk management strategy in the personnel management system at customs authorities have been created.

Problem Statement

The implementation of the organizational and management function in the management activities of the managers of customs authorities is often associated with the identification, assessment and prevention of personnel risks. Personnel risks accompany the activities of customs authorities and may occur in the following forms:

  • personal disregard for labor discipline and ethical code;

  • increase of the stress and conflict level in the organizational environment;

  • increase in staff turnover;

  • conflicts arising in the teamwork;

  • ignoring the need to identify personal qualities including increasing the likelihood of disloyal conduct of employees in relation to the organization;

  • high stress levels in the organizational environment;

  • risks related to the ineffective application of personnel technologies and individual personnel procedures that are parts of the customs service process;

  • financial losses (fraud), equipment losses (breakdowns, thefts);

  • cyber security threats;

  • ineffective labor and rest regimes;

  • risks for unreliable employees;

  • communicative risks;

  • reputational risks;

  • professional and qualification risks;

  • staff resistance to innovations, etc.

Personnel risk management includes the search, identification, evaluation and classification of personnel risks, which provide selecting effective methods for risk management and directions for improving the personnel policy and strategic development of the organization (Brown & Chew, 1999).

The personnel management system of customs authorities must by necessity include a strategy of personnel risk management and personnel security. The conflict consists in the fact that, on the one hand, there is a need to use the strategy of personnel risk management in the customs authorities, and on the other hand, organizational forms and methods of building the competence of the head of the organization in the field of personnel risk management and personnel security are not sufficiently developed in managerial and pedagogical practice. The problem of personnel risks and personnel security arising in the personnel management system reflects the increasing importance of the human factor and the effectiveness of the personnel management system in obtaining the strategic objectives of the organization.

Research Questions

The research undertaken focused on:

  • analysis of the psychological and pedagogical conditions for building the competence of customs specialists in the field of personnel risk management;

  • development of the concept of methodological support of the training module Personnel Risk Management in Customs Authorities within the framework of the disciplines including Personnel Management in Customs Authorities, Stress and Conflict Management in Customs Authorities, Personnel Policy in Customs Authorities;

  • development of methodological recommendations to increase the level of competence in the field of personnel risk management for students (specialty Customs);

  • development of organizational and pedagogical recommendations to increase the level of competence in the field of personnel risk management for officials of customs authorities and building the methodology for a set of trainings on the subject of research;

  • development of educational and methodological recommendations, manuals, varying tasks used in the educational process at university and in the course of training in customs offices.

The analysis of the opinions of managers and specialists of Human Resource Management of customs authorities, as well as students (specialty Customs) showed the need to build a system of personnel risk management and to increase the level of competence in this area for future officials of customs authorities.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is theoretical background, development of methodological and practical recommendations on building competence in the field of personnel risk management for future specialists of customs affairs.

The goal of the theoretical stage of the study is to provide and develop organizational and methodological recommendations, aimed at increasing the level of competence in the field of personnel risk management for students (specialty Customs), officials and managers of customs authorities, and to build a personnel risk management system in customs authorities.

The purpose of the practical stage of the research is to study the opinions of both students (specialty Customs) and customs officials. Discussions and interviews with employers have shown that the customs authorities need highly qualified specialists who are able to develop staff activities for minimization of personnel risks.

In the study, expert surveys were conducted to assess the relevance of building competences in the field of personnel risk management for professional activities of HR specialists in customs authorities. The authors applied Staroverova's method. To collect data, the authors used such methods as a systematic approach, content analysis, social diagnostics (questioning, interviewing), comparative analysis, expert assessments, statistical information processing.

Research Methods

A particular model of personnel risk management should be introduced in the customs authorities where special units (officials) are involved in direct management of personnel risks (identification, classification and assessment of staff risks; analysis of personnel risk factors; building a profile and a passport for personnel risks; systematic monitoring and accounting of personnel risks, development and correction of risk management techniques).

Analysis of numerous studies in the field of personnel management shows that in most cases the reason for personnel risks is a high level of conflict and stress in the workplace. Federal Law of the Russian Federation, dated 27.07.2004, № 79-FZ "On the Civil Service of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter - the Federal Law) establishes professionalism and competence of civil servants as one of the principles of the civil service.

The requirements for the professional conduct of civil servants contain responsibilities for "preventing conflict situations that could damage his/her reputation or the authority of state bodies". The methodology of building competences in the field of personnel risk management should provide the fulfillment of the state's social order, the training of a competent customs specialist and the reduction of the gap between science, practice and education.

On the basis of these requirements, the authors form the module Personnel risk management in customs authorities for students (specialty Customs) within the framework of three integrated disciplines. They are Personnel Management in Customs Authorities, Stress and Conflict Management in Customs Authorities and Personnel policy in Customs Authorities.

The authors outlined the following complex of organizational and pedagogical conditions for the methodology implementation of building students' competence in the field of personnel risk management:

  • providing a versatile content of activities and the possibility of choosing an educational route that allows forming the individual educational space on the basis of a social order and capacities of the university;

  • development of diagnostic tools for tracking the dynamics of individual and personal development and building the competence of the student;

  • development of methodological support for the process of building the competence of students in the field of personnel risk management;

  • high level of lecturers’ competencies for providing individual educational activities of students.


Expert interviews to assess the relevance of competence in personnel risk management for professional activities of customs officials

In 2016 - 2017 the authors carried out various surveys among the customs officials on the subject of the research, one of the purposes was to identify the sources and causes of personnel risks. An analysis of the results of surveys (2014-2015) conducted among officials of one of the customs authorities showed that the most mentioned reasons are as follows:

  • imperfection of the personnel motivation system;

  • differences in the assessment of providing all types of resources for the customs process;

  • disorganization of functional interrelations between structural elements of the customs body and officials;

  • lack of programs for the prevention of destructive conflicts and professional stress;

  • unsuitability of the employee for the position held concerning professional, moral, ethical, psychological and physical qualities;

  • corrupt conduct, etc.

In the study, the expert surveys were carried out to assess the relevance of competence in personnel risk management for professional activities of the managers and officials in customs authorities (2016-2017). The surveys contain the following methodical tasks:

  • empirical confirmation of the importance of competence in the field of personnel risk management for the effective operation of the managers and officials in customs authorities;

  • identification of effective methods and organizational forms of the methodology for building competences in the field of personnel risk management at university and in customs offices;

  • development of a set of verifying tasks specified for professional activities of the managers and officials in customs authorities.

Objectively, the empirical justification for the importance of competences in the field of personnel risk management for the effective operation of the managers and officials in customs authorities involves an analysis of the views of three groups of respondents:

  • managers and officials of customs authorities (external evaluation);

  • graduates of the specialty Customs (internal evaluation);

  • students of the specialty Customs (internal evaluation).

The representativeness of the expert sample of the first group of respondents (9 managers of customs authorities and structural offices, as well as 25 customs officials) was based on the staff with considerable work experience (67% of the total number of respondents have held the key positions for over 5 years). The second respondent group involved graduates of Samara State Technical University with a degree in Customs. 186 graduates (2014-2017), who are permanent employees, were interviewed. The third respondent group included students (specialty Customs) of Samara State Technical University.

The number of respondents is 150 (students attending full-time university courses). The representativeness of this sample was provided by interviewing the students of 2-5 years of study. Thus, 370 respondents in all three groups were interviewed under this part of the experiment. The study was conducted in the form of a questionnaire survey aimed at the assessment of the need for competencies in the personnel risk management for the professional activities of managers and officials of customs authorities.

Randomly chosen competencies (in addition to those in Table 01 ) were proposed for listing, such as competencies in conflict and stress management, economic security, logistics, management, business ethics, etc. It will provide the objectivity of the data obtained.

Table 1 -
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As shown in Table 01 , the practical skills which are important for the research topic were highly assessed by respondents (the average score is 4 or higher; more than two-thirds of the respondents assessed the need for these skills by 4 and 5 points). An analysis of the results of a survey shows that competence in the field of methods for assessing personnel risks, methods of personnel risk management in the customs authorities and preventing corrupt conduct among customs officials have the largest indicators in terms of significance. According to the survey, the most significant competences are in the field of methods of personnel risk management in the offices of customs authorities.

Conducting expert surveys to research the conditionality of personnel risks in the professional activities of a customs employee

In order to find out the reasons for personnel risks in the professional operation of customs officials, the respondents were asked to assess to what extent the personnel risks in the customs body were caused by economical, socio-psychological and organizational problems (Table 02 ).

Table 2 -
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As shown in Table 02 , personnel risks caused by organizational reasons have the highest score. The officials with a key position are required to be highly competent in the personnel risks management to prevent the personnel risks. This fact is one more factor in the need to build competences in the area of personnel risk management for managers and employees of customs authorities.


The results of the research are as follows:


The authors of the article would like to express the deepest appreciation to the representatives of the scientific school of personnel management of Kibanov A.Y. (State University of Management, Moscow, Russia) for suggestions and critical comments.


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17 December 2018

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Kalmykova, O., Trubitsyn, K., Gorbunova, Y., Mitrofanova, E., & Sysueva, I. (2018). Building Competence Of Future Customs Specialists In Field Of Personnel Risk Management. In I. B. Ardashkin, B. Vladimir Iosifovich, & N. V. Martyushev (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 50. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1211-1219). Future Academy.