Certification programs draw security experts.
Certification hopefuls. Before the excitement of the ASIS International 49th Annual Seminar and Exhibits began, hundreds of hopeful security professionals attended the ASIS Certification Review Program and exams. With numerous certification programs to choose from, security experts from around the globe sat in on review programs For the Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Physical Security Professional (PSP), and Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) certifications Then, examinations for the international CPP, Spanish CPP, PSP and PCI designations were held on Sunday.
The review courses are designed to provide an overview of each test's subject matter, as well as individual guidance from the instructors. For those who did not feel ready to take the exams the following day, the reviews helped candidates identify topics for further study and formulate a study plan. The CPP review also provided a study guide and a practice examination.
The CPP review, offered in both English and Spanish, was attended by nearly too candidates from around the world. More than 125 attended the review for the PSP examination, and 30 attended the PCI review.
Four dedicated security professionals traveled to New Orleans to take the CPP exam in Spanish. The number, smaller than in previous years, is due to the testing sites in Latin America--more than eight exams are being held this year.
Those taking the exams for the newest certifications--the PSP and the PCI--were pleased to have an opportunity to expand their professional credentials. David L. Rogerson, facilities manager for the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, found the PSP exam a bit easier than he had expected and found the review informative. "The new certification is a great idea," he said. "It gives people who already have the CPP something additional that they can specialize in."
For others, like Tom Parrish of TVA in Farmington Hills, Michigan, the PSP allowed him to obtain a certification. "The concept is great," he said. "I came up on the fire alarm side and really wasn't suited for the CPP because of its broad scope. But the PSP is perfect. It allows me to be certified in my field."
Bill Keleher, CPP of Lucent in Murray Hill, New Jersey, attended the PCI review and took the exam to broaden his credentials and continue learning. "Working toward new certifications keeps me current on industry practices," he said.
Steve Wehofer, sales manager for NTC Electronics, Inc., in Alsip, Illinois, attended both the review course and the exam for the PSP designation. Wehofer did not know what to expect from the exam hut was pleased to learn that the review course was on target. "In the review course, the instructor offered some sample questions and they were very similar to those on the test," he said. "I felt prepared."
Wehofer, like many of his peers at the review, is pleased that the new certifications are being offered. So is his employer. "My boss encouraged me to take the exam," said Wehofer. "He said that at least one person on our team should be PSP certified."
Head of the class. Geoffrey T. Craighead, CPP, president of the Professional Certification Board (PCB), which oversees the certification programs of ASIS International, was the master of ceremonies for Tuesday's opening session. In his introduction, Craighead described leadership ability as "a capacity for caring, a willingness to sacrifice, a knack for persuasion, and a talent for generating inspiration.
Craighead pointed out that in 1977, when the CPP designation was launched, "it represented the kind of forward thinking that was right for its time." Not only has the CPP program regularly expanded and modernized to keep up with the times, but, Craighead noted, the Society's new specialized designations meet head-on the special challenges the world faces today. These designations recognize "that there is a critical need for competent professionals who can effectively manage complex security issues that threaten assets, corporations, government, and public and private institutions," Craighead said.
Craighead's colleagues on the PCB were recognized for their efforts in creating and maintaining the Society's certification programs. The newest group of CPPs was then introduced, followed by the first group of security professionals to achieve the PSP and PCI certifications. He singled out Jeff Spivey for special recognition. Spivey, a member of the PCB, was among the first individuals to earn the PSP designation, which he now adds to the CPP he already holds.
A certified celebration. For those holding one of the three ASIS certifications, New Orleans was a hotbed of activity. At a special Tuesday luncheon, the charter group of newly certified PSP and PCI recipients was recognized along with the newest CPPs.
Additionally, the PCB honored an array of individuals and groups for their efforts in developing and promoting the ASIS certification programs. First, PCB member Michael Knoke, CPP, was recognized for "his efforts and commitment to the security profession" and to the Society's certification programs. Then a host of members were honored for promoting the certification programs within their regions and chapters.
Also, members of the Montreal Chapter received Distinguished Achievement Awards for their work in developing a new degree program at Andre Grasset College in Montreal. The group worked with a team from the college to develop a security management undergraduate program that simultaneously prepares students to take the CPP examination.
Implementation of the two new designations evolved over 18 months of dedicated work by two task forces. For their tireless efforts, members of both task forces were honored with Distinguished Achievement Awards. The PCI Task Force was led by Edward De Lise, CPP, and members included Martin Biegelman; William Hill, CPP; Sean Mulholland, CPP; Thomas Sumner, CPP; David Traniello: and Fritz Weidner. Chairman Roy Bordes was joined on the PSP Task Force by Frank Carpency, CPP; Bob Granger, CPP; Ken Grover; Larry Rankine, CPP: and Jeff Spivey, CPP, PSP.
The 2003 PCB President, Geoffrey Craighead, CPP, was honored with a Leadership Award for his work on and dedication to the hoard over the past year. Numerous outstanding achievement awards honored individual efforts to create and maintain strong certification programs. (For a full list of award recipients, see the January/February 2004 issue of ASIS Dynamics.)
Finally, the PCB presented a newly created Award of Honor to Don Walker, CPP chairman of Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. According to the award, Walker is "without equal" in his professional and personal dedication to the promotion of the ASIS certification programs. A member of ASIS since 1968 and a CPP From the first year of the program, Walker has ensured that the CPP designation is recognized throughout his company and the businesses it serves. For instance, the Securitas Web site displays the CPP logo and includes links to further information. Additionally, Walker has ensured that company managers receive corporate support and recognition as they work toward and achieve certification.
In addition to the luncheon, special seminar sessions only for certified attendees were well attended each day. Session topics included how to build a successful partnership with vendors, presented by Ed McDonough, CPP. Such an effort must begin with communication, said McDonough, noting that the biggest breakdown between a vendor and customer is "that we don't truly understand what the other party wants." For that reason, goals, expectations, and measures of success must be defined.
McDonough described a preferred vendor relationship, in which a strategic partnership fosters cooperation, with long-range mutual targets, a nonadversarial relationship, open communications, and shared expectations. In this paradigm, customers and vendors are truly working with one another, and each party's successes begin to mirror the other's.
Another certification-only session was titled "RAM-CPP: Cajun Style," presented by Howard A. Moster, CPP, of Practiced Protection Associates. The RAM in this case does not refer to computer memory but rather to risk assessment methodologies. Moster presented a condensed version of these tactics, which include the process of quantifying risk.
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|Date:||Nov 1, 2003|
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