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CARVER Target Analysis Training Course Equips Professionals with Strategic Vulnerability Assessment Skills

Luke Bencie, a lead instructor for the USF Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education and managing director of Security Management International, LLC, recently conducted a three-day CARVER Target Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment Training Course at the USF Tampa campus. Twelve security professionals with backgrounds in law enforcement participated in the interactive training, as well as six USF students who are part of SMI’s Junior Research Associate Program.

The CARVER methodology, which stands for Criticality, Accessibility, Recoverability, Vulnerability, Effect, and Recognizability, was originally developed for the U.S. military and Intelligence Community. It uses qualitative and quantitative procedures to determine the probability of an attack on critical assets and a numerical ranking system to identify vulnerable parts of an infrastructure. The assets are assigned a value between one and five (five being the most high-risk) and then categorized and prioritized based on those values. 

Bencie has extensive experience as an intelligence officer and brings first-hand knowledge of the system to the program. He served on the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Emergency Support Team and has worked in more than 100 countries.

a group of Carver students pose in front of a white board

“In a world where people spend a large portion of their days staring down into a screen, CARVER facilitates a mindset that allows for enhanced situational awareness, as well as an efficient way to qualify and quantify threats and vulnerabilities,” said Bencie. 

“If you can better read a person or situation, you increase your chances of successfully navigating or defeating that person or situation,” Bencie added. “CARVER is about knowing yourself and your adversary.”

Participants walked away with an understanding of threat and vulnerability assessments, how to use the principles of the CARVER methodology to create a threat spectrum and conduct a target analysis, formulate risk reduction recommendations, develop Design-Basis-Threat scenarios, and write vulnerability assessment reports. 

They also earned their Certified CARVER Assessment Professional Certificate from CTPE. They received a certificate of completion and a digital badge that can be used on LinkedIn and other electronic CVs to help stand out to potential employers, signaling a deeper knowledge in areas such as strategic intelligence, national security, and public policy.

Participants expressed their appreciation for the lessons they’ve learned in the course.  

“CARVER teaches you to look at security from the lens of a perpetrator,” said Jordan Bentivenga, a junior research associate for SMI and student in the M.S. in Intelligence Studies at USF.

Syler Vaden, a fellow junior research associate for SMI and M.S. in Intelligence Studies student at USF, noted that the training provided him with a new approach to assessing security risks. "It helped me become a better analyst and improve my critical thinking skills," he said.

To learn more about CARVER training, contact Jay Riley at or 941-809-6158. 

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About Corporate Training and Professional Education

USF Corporate Training and Professional Education empowers people to craft their future without limits through engaging professional growth learning and certification programs. Its programs focus on an array of topics – human resources, project management, paralegal, process improvement, leadership skills, technology, and much more.