Let’s all stop using the terms “Vulnerability Assessment” and “Threat Assessment” interchangeably, because they are VERY different things!
A “Threat Assessment” is about people. They are conducted when the need arises, respond to “threatening situations in which there is concern about a particular student who has come to the attention of school administrators or other authorities.” –US Secret Service and US Dept of Education “THREAT ASSESSMENT IN SCHOOLS - A GUIDE TO MANAGING THREATENING SITUATIONS AND TO CREATING SAFE SCHOOL CLIMATES”
A “Vulnerability Assessment” is about things. A vulnerability assessment is the “ongoing process through which school districts and schools identify and evaluate potential risks and areas of weakness that could have adverse consequences for schools and school systems.” -US Dept of Education “A Guide to School Vulnerability Assessments”
Schools can schedule vulnerability assessments. Districts often will contract with us to come and look at the physical school building, conduct an intruder assessment, and examine the daily operating procedures in their schools and provide mitigation recommendations.
A threat assessment management system requires the proper training for staff, and the proper adopted school policies. A threat assessment is conducted as the need arises.
Schools should be conducting BOTH vulnerability and threat assessments as components of an all-hazard approach and a comprehensive crisis plan.