CPP stands for Certified Protection Professional. It’s a certification exam delivered by ASIS International, a global community of security professionals. You may consider it a necessary rung on the ladder to career advancement, and it can be. A promotion or a new job may require the certification. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is A CPP Certification For?
To become a Certified Protection Professional, examinees are tested in “seven broad domains” of security. The surface-level exam is on processes, best practices, and industry standards. The underlying-exam tests how well you, as a security professional, can think for an organization.
This is particularly important because, as you probably already noticed, the nature of an organization dictates the role security has. Airport security is, and is expected to be, much tighter than mall security. Event security will look very different from security in a church building. The seven broad domains of security test how well you know your job, and how well you can adapt to the culture of the organization you are a part of, or are hoping to join.
Who Is Eligible For CPP Certification?
The CPP certification is more of an affirmation of the standard you have managed to reach in the security industry. How do you know if you are eligible? (The full criteria can be found in the ASIS International website.)
- You are eligible if you have 9 years of experience in asset protection in the public or private sectors, or in teaching courses related to asset protection. At least 3 of those years should have been in a supervisory role, or at least a role that allowed independent decision-making.
- Alternatively, you are eligible if you have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, and 7 years of experience in asset protection (or in teaching it). Again, 3 of those years should have been in a role that allowed for independent decision-making.
- Non-negotiably, you should be currently employed as a security professional in full-time capacity, never have been convicted of a crime that would reflect badly on the certification, and of course you should be willing to agree to the ASIS code of conduct and policies.
The level of experience required already gives you an advantage in studying for the exam, if you are eligible. The certification is more of a crown on the head of hard-won experience.
How Can You Use A CPP Certification To Advance?
First, embrace the period of study. A real estate and construction website in the United Kingdom suggests at least an hour of study every day, over a six-month period. That is, at the very least, over 180 hours of study. The test itself is not light, and the seven broad domains of security encompass 225 questions meant to be answered within 4 hours.
Look beyond the exam as you study. It is possible that your experience has not touched all seven domains, and that there are some industry standards and processes you are learning for the first time. If you are looking forward to a promotion, take this opportunity to understand the broader scope of security. If you’re thinking of a job change, it’s a chance to figure out what you really want to specialize in.
Second, thoroughly research what the CPP certification gives you. Other than the possibility of a pay raise and career advancement, what else can you develop? Does it open the door to consultancy on projects? Does it help you create more connections with security professionals you can collaborate with?
Lastly, recognize that the CPP certification equips you to know the seven broad domains of security so that you can tailor-fit the principles and processes for any organization you work in. While organizations will depend on your experience and expertise, your value to them lies in how well you can manage security in a way that benefits their organization the most.