I have written this short article to promote ASIS as a benchmark in security and also to touch on security training, accreditation and qualification in general and the variances therein. My motivation for the latter is to promote discussion and encourage comment.
Mike Franklin CPP®, ADCertED&CP, SAFE AP™, LCGI. Lions Gate Vice President Risk Management & Community Safety
As a proud sponsor of ASIS InternationalPacific Chapter 190, Lions Gate is an advocate for ASIS certification in the security industry. Certification as an Associate Protection Professional (APP®), a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI®), a Physical Security Professional (PSP®) or Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) or any combination of the above is, as it says on the ASIS Website, ‘a visible acknowledgment that you possess a mastery of core security principles and skills essential to the best practice of security management’. We also fully agree that, also drawn from the website, ‘It shows you are committed to excellence, professional growth, and a code of conduct’.
The reach of ASIS International gives any of the above certification’s global exposure. The required study and exam integrity, means the post nominal letters, carry an industry trusted value, seldom replicated elsewhere. Pre-qualification criteria for each certification also ensures the experience bar is appropriately high.
It is for this reason many Request for Proposal RFP, now require bidding companies to have professionals with PSP® and CPP® certification before they can submit. I cannot dispute the sense in this given the hoops those carrying ASIS post nominals have to go through. Clients looking for quality service provision have quality assurance backed by a code of practice.
Here at Lions Gate we have a growing team of CPP® Board Certified in Security Management so we are not excluded from competing for these contracts. We are actively promoting ASIS Certification as an industry benchmark. ASIS certification has outstripped most other security certifications by producing global standards. Hypothetically, you could hire a CPP® in Nigeria and another CPP® from France, and save a language difference, expect the same quality and consistency and ease in collaboration.
Outside of ASIS, there are security industry qualifications in all parts of the globe, deserving of recognition, that also carry post nominals and a status. Perhaps a future and valuable exercise for ASIS would be in identifying those courses with weight and integrity for inclusion in a qualification table. That would be a great point of reference for the security industry.
Also, outside of the excellent ASIS framework, security training can be haphazard. It is not all plain sailing. Not all training is equal; not all training is accredited; not all training is delivered by training professionals, educators, institutions. Not all training requires successful exam or assessment completion. The imparting of and sharing of knowledge is always useful but there are levels from lunch and learn to university degree and all shades of security training in between. So long as the differences are recognized and understood this is not problematic.
When it becomes problematic is when training courses that are not accredited, not delivered by training professionals, not backed by an institution, not assessed or examined under controlled conditions, feature as a requirement in competitive tendering. This has happened recently and, in a municipality, public service RFP.
In my professional opinion this state of affairs infringes on fair competition, is discriminatory and precludes better qualified i.e. PSP®, CPP®, proponents by design. This matter should be addressed but, by whom? Where does that responsibility lie?
In British Columbia Security Consultants are required to meet a criterion to be licensed to operate. This means that anyone submitting for a request for proposal to undertake a security risk assessment/CPTED assessment must also be a licensed security consultant.
BC SECURITY SERVICES ACT[SBC 2007] CHAPTER 30Part 1 — SECURITY WORKERS SECURITY WORKER LICENSE REQUIRED – 2 – An individual must not engage in any kind of security work, or hold himself or herself out to be so employed or employable, unless (a) the individual holds a valid security worker license for that kind of security work, (b) the individual is exempt by regulation from the requirement to hold a security worker license, or (c) the registrar determines that the security work in which the individual is engaged is incidental to the individual’s primary work.
The only ambiguity in the extract above is how to interpret (c). Notwithstanding (c) and in British Columbia, licensing as a security consultant is not required to be an ASIS member nor is it required to become an APP®, PSP® or CPP®. It is however required to deliver security consultancy services underpinned by those post nominals.
In Alberta where there is no requirement for security consultants to be licensed, no quality safety net exists. An individual with a handful of days training and potentially zero pre-qualifying experience may be let loose on your security project.
I believe security consultants operating in Canada should only do so once they have met a criterion and obtained a security consultant license. For that to happen security licensing would either need to be Federal or remain Provincial/Territorial with a standard qualification criterion, for all Provinces and Territories.