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Certified Protection Professional Progress Report.

Annual CPP Progress Report by Jon C. Paul, CPP

I am once again honored to serve as president of the Professional Certification Board (PCB) and would like to take this opportunity to review the successes of 1990 and look to the challenges of 1991.

For 1990, the PCB set four primary goals: * to increase the size of the PCB from nine to 12 directors * to review and analyze the decline in CPP examination scores * to study the CPP program's visibility and viability in the business community * to increase the number of available items in the examination question bank

Significant progress was made toward each goal. First, the expansion of the PCB was requested for several reasons. Board administrative activities, such as developing the examination, reviewing applications and appeals, and promoting the program, have increased as the CPP program has expanded to include more than 3,400 CPPs worldwide. Standardized exam sites and dates have required board members to be available on common dates, a difficult task considering security's unpredictable nature. The ASIS Board of Directors has approved the change so the PCB now has a full complement of 12 directors.

Second, a significant drop has been observed from the composite pass/fail ratio of the first 11 years of the CPP program to the ratio during the last 18 months. Both the PCB and outside testing consultants conducted studies to determine the reasons for the change.

The studies showed that two primary factors-significant and multiple changes to the exam process and changes in candidate demographics and abilities-have directly contributed to the declining scores. In one year, the following changes were made: * two sections were added * the core exam was substantially revised * 13 of 15 specialty exams were revised * exam sites and dates were standardized

These changes, each significant individually, were implemented in one year-the most extensive onetime revision of the certification program since its inception. Meanwhile, candidate profiles were also changing. Recent candidates had more education but less experience than past candidates, while the exam is intended to be a review of experience rather than a test of education or a learning experience.

Test results also indicate candidates are less capable or prepared for the exam. Candidates in 1989 scored four points lower than those in 1988 when common items were compared. These reasons all account for the lower scores, and the PCB will continue to monitor test results closely.

The PCB is fervently dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of the certification program and the resulting significance of the CPP designation. If lower scores are ever proven to result from poor exam questions or processes, corrective action will be swiftly taken. However, if lower scores are shown primarily to result from lessened candidate abilities or preparation, the certification process will not be relaxed or made easier simply to inflate the pass/fail ratio.

Third, now that the CPP designation is widely recognized and respected in the security community, the business community must also recognize its meaning. Promotional efforts have been primarily focused on this audience for the last two years. Those efforts have included articles in business periodicals, speeches to professional business organizations, and promotional literature extolling the benefits of hiring CPPs.

The efforts have begun to pay off, as the findings of the recent Abbott, Langer & Associates survey of compensation in the security industry show. That survey indicated that certified security directors and managers have median earnings almost 25 percent higher than their uncertified counterparts. That statistic seems to indicate that businesses recognize that a CPP is more valuable-and thus worth more-than a nonCPP.

The PCB's efforts will continue. But each CPP must also work to ensure that the relevance of the designation is realized, at least within his or her own sphere of influence.

Finally, the built-in limitation to maintaining a current, viable CPP exam is the availability of questions. One complete set of CPP examinations requires 575 questions encompassing 25 subjects. So the influx of questions must be steady and substantial.

The test committee chairman has been working diligently with the standing committee chairmen to obtain questions. The biggest, as-yet-untapped resource, however, is CPPs. Your participation clearly demonstrates your commitment to the CPP program and the security profession. So I ask each of you to help develop questions so that the certification process can continue to grow and become even more recognized.

The PCB works to ensure that the certification program is as meaningful and relevant as possible. The CPP designation is the hallmark of excellence in our profession-a fact that is recognized in our industry and is becoming more widely recognized by the organizations we serve. The PCB recognizes its responsibility to maintain the integrity of the certification process and promote the highest ideals of the security profession. Jon C. Paul, CPP, is president of the Professional Certification Board and director of security services for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Paul, Jon C.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Previous Article:A card access education.
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