Moving toward certification: a review of the certified protection professional program.
To meet the intellectual and technical challenges of training and equipping an all-volunteer Army at war, the Military Police Corps is pursuing several initiatives to quantify the skills of military police. The goal of these initiatives is to develop and certify the intellectual capability, professional knowledge, and technical expertise of leaders to meet the ever-growing demand for military police who are recognized as security professionals meeting industry standards.
There are several certification programs available. According to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Command Provost Marshal Directorate (CPMD), one of these is tailor-made to prepare military police for the myriad of tasks they are called upon to accomplish in installation and expeditionary environments. The Certified Protection Professional (CPP) Program, an internationally accredited program sponsored by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), offers a comprehensive certification and training program that tests and develops an individual's technical and security management skills and encourages lifelong learning in the fields of law enforcement, physical security, investigations, information security, and asset protection. The Army recognizes the CPP Program in the Credentialing Opportunities Online System, Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support System, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs systems for continuing education.
To earn the coveted CPP moniker, an individual must have seven to nine years of experience and pass a rigorous qualification process and exam in which proficiency must be successfully demonstrated in several law enforcement and security functional areas including security principles and practices, personnel security, physical security, emergency practices, investigations, information security, legal aspects, and business principles and practices. (1) The application and exam are evaluated by a preeminent, internationally recognized panel of professional security specialists who are on the ASIS accreditation board. Once security professionals are awarded CPP certification, they become industry-recognized certified professionals. However, as part of the commitment to maintain rigorous standards and ensure that certified professionals remain current in the field, the CPP Program requires that its members become recertified every three years. (2)
ASIS was founded in 1955. With more than 35,000 members worldwide, it is now the largest organization for security professionals. It is an organization dedicated to increasing the productivity and effectiveness of security professionals by developing educational materials and programs (annual conferences, seminars, and exhibits; daily e-mail updates on security training) that address broad security interests. ASIS also promotes the role and value of the security management profession to business, the media, governmental entities, and the public.
As the TRADOC program manager for Career Program 19 (physical security and law enforcement), the CPMD initiated a pilot program designed to improve the skills of security and law enforcement professionals through the credentialing process. To date, the success rate for candidate acceptance into the CPP Program is 100 percent--five staff members and one member of the local ASIS Tidewater Chapter have completed the CPP certification requirements.
There are about fifty Career Program 19 military, civilian, and Department of Defense contractor personnel assigned to execute law enforcement, physical security, or force protection missions within TRADOC. Following the pilot program, a search began for a recognized organization that could provide these personnel with a program to achieve certification and continue the development of their specific skill sets. After reviewing various accrediting organizations, the CPP Program was determined to be best-suited for the diverse requirements of TRADOC law enforcement and security professional missions.
The CPMD also assessed resources suitable for the training of personnel in preparation for certification. To make use of limited resources and reduce the overall certification cost from $3,000 to $250 per CPP candidate, the CPMD conducted a resident, two-day course at Fort Monroe, Virginia, to prepare Hampton Roads area candidates for the certification test. The CPMD hopes to offer this training annually at various TRADOC locations. TRADOC (CPMD) has willingly shared knowledge of the CPP Program with other military organizations such as the Military District of Washington, which conducted an examination preparation training session in May 2008 for eighteen military security professionals scheduled to take the CPP examination.
In addition to the accreditation of law enforcement and security professionals, there are numerous other benefits of membership with ASIS. These include monthly training courses on law enforcement and security issues offered through local ASIS chapters, worldwide videoconference courses taught by leading authorities, reduced costs for educational and training seminars taught by some of the Nation's leading experts in the fields of security and law enforcement, and access to members-only data on emerging technological and best business practices from the Nation's top security professionals.
Although it has only been eight months since the CPMD started the CPP process, the five recently certified staff CPPs have already made their mark on several TRADOC real-world incidents and training exercises. The TRADOC Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (G-3/5/7) recently hosted an awards ceremony recognizing the CPMD and its new CPPs.
The following Web sites contain more information about ASIS, the CPP Program, and Army recognition of CPP certification:
* ASIS: <http://www.asisonline.org/certification/cpp/index.xml>.
* Credentialing Opportunities Online: <https://www.cool.army.mil/>.
* Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support: <http://www.dantes.doded.mil/Dantes_web/DANTESHOME.asp.
* Department of Veteran Affairs: <http://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/lcweb.htm>.
(1) Complete CPP eligibility requirements are available at <http://www.asisonline.org/certification/cpp/steps/eligibility.xml>.
(2) All certified CPPs may submit credit reporting forms and accompanying documentation anytime during their terms; they are encouraged to do so on an annual basis. The ASIS Web site at <http://www.asisonline.org/certification/recertification.htm> contains additional details.