National X-ray Competency Test

The international regulations ICAO Annex 17 and EC300 Chapter 11 require persons implementing security control processes to have the appropriate competencies, and for appropriate assessments to be taken. Our National X-ray Competency Test (NXCT) was developed by organisational psychologists to help airports meet these requirements. Used by all UK airports, NXCT provides screener certification for cabin baggage, hold baggage, cargo and mail that is recognised by the UK transport security regulator.

National X-ray Competency Test

Airport security screeners have to identify potential threats whilst maintaining an appropriate level of throughput. To achieve this, they need to reach a minimum level of competence before working in an operational environment.

In 2003, on behalf of the UK transport security regulator, Department for Transport (DfT), our organisational psychologists developed the first National X-Ray Competency Test (NXCT) to certify the competence of airport security screeners. NXCT was designed to encourage more effective selection and training, and to maximise standardisation across the industry.

Since 2003, we’ve developed and validated versions of NXCT for cabin baggage, hold baggage, and cargo and mail. Linking to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Annex 17 and EC300 Chapter 11 requirements, the NXCT allows airports to demonstrate adherence to international regulations and industry standards.

With images annually updated to reflect the changing nature of threats, and evolving airport security regulations, NXCT provides airports with a reliable and valid measure of screener competence – at the point of initial training, and as part of ongoing performance management.

Structure of the test The NXCT comprises three sections:

  • Recognition of threat/prohibited items
  • Recognition of everyday items
  • Knowledge-based assessment


  • NXCT is not manufacturer-specific, so can be used for a wide range of X-ray screening equipment
  • Available for cabin baggage screening, hold baggage screening, and cargo screening
  • Available as either a stand-alone tool, or as part of a full testing support package
  • Option to translate the test into local languages