As president of ASIS, I am asked at conferences and work events about my vision for the organization and our
profession. I am also asked about my CPP and what it has meant to my career. I’d like to take this opportunity to share my story and hopefully convince those of you that have been holding out, to consider earning your board-certification.

When I was hired by Pfizer in 2001, I quickly realized I needed to broaden my security management knowledge and felt that the CPP certification was the way for me to attain that knowledge. I attended a CPP review and picked up strategies that helped me prepare for the exam. I devoted the next 12 months to studying. Each night I spent at least 30 minutes reading and reviewing my study material. When I thought I was ready, I sat for the test and passed on my first try. It was one of the proudest moments of my professional life! 

I believe that those who prepare for the exam will be better professionals as a result of the process. Over the course of my career, I have found it’s not just about having the CPP credential after my name on a business card and project plan, more importantly, it is about the knowledge, credibility, and proficiency the certification represents; the continuous learning that ensures I'm a more well-rounded practitioner.

The benefits of certification are many. For government, military, and law enforcement professionals, ASIS certification provides a way to build on previous security experience, develop a proactive orientation, build a professional network, and when the time comes, to successfully transition to a second career. For private sector managers, security is a global issue. ASIS certifications provide a common language for practitioners, whether working with colleagues down the street or locations around the world.

Interested yet? There are a number of ways to get started.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the CPP, PCI, and PSP certifications and decide which makes the best sense for you and your professional goals, and apply to test for the appropriate credential. Then, immerse yourself in the reference materials. If you can’t afford to purchase them, check with your local chapter to see if they have material available in their library. In addition, ASIS offers classroom programs and online reviews, which provide important opportunities to assess your strengths and identify areas of weakness. Next, and most important, set a date to test and working backwards develop a study plan. There are several routes you can take to prepare including

  • Study on your own. The ASIS Store and possibly your local chapter can provide the resources you need to get started.
  • Form or join a chapter study group. Working together is both enjoyable and effective. Studying with peers will help keep you motivated and can provide a means to benchmark your skills. 
  • Join an ASIS LinkedIn Certification Study Group. Network and share challenges with peers in similar situations. In addition, you may discover local practitioners and can create an informal study group. CPP, PCI, PSP groups.

The only barriers are your determination and the willingness to dedicate time.

As an indicator of qualifications, certification is documented evidence of competency and experience. It can open a lot of doors and requires you to continually educate yourself in our constantly changing security environment. Attaining the CPP, PCI, or PSP will demonstrate that you measure up to accepted standards and are willing to make the commitment to excel in your career.