The Exciting World of Credentialing

A glimpse at enrollment in the Homeland Security Department’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program provided one very interesting truth: While sexy in concept, the process of credentialing is pretty mundane.

The Transportation Security Administration held a media event yesterday in Wilmington, Del., to show what workers will go through when enrolling for TWIC. (Video of the enrollment process is available for download at the Coast Guard web site. For those who care to take a look, you’ll see people seated, documents being filled out and photocopied, some movement of a computer mouse, and â€" easily most exciting of all â€" fingerprints being scanned. Take away the latter, and it could just as easily be a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Maybe more telling than the actual enrollment preview was the drive into the port in Wilmington. Not surprising, security gates guarded the entry, with cars lined up at all but one of the gates â€" the gate that was reserved for TWIC card holders. That lane moved quickly. Sexy or not, it got the point across.