What is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

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According to ASIS International:

Throughout the world, the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) designation is acknowledged as the security profession’s highest recognition of practitioners. It is evidence that an individual is “Board Certified in Security Management.” The CPP is awarded based upon experience and passage of an examination that provides an objective measure of an individual’s broad based knowledge and competency in security management. Ongoing professional development is required in order to maintain the credential. The CPP is administered by the ASIS International, the preeminent international organization for security professionals, with 32,000 members worldwide.

So why is this certification so important? There are many security practitioners out there, and many claim to be experts in the security field. Obtaining the highly coveted designation of a CPP truly demonstrates the expertise in security management and physical security. You can be assured that a professional with the CPP behind their name has achieved the highest possible certification level.

Certified Protection Professional Qualifications

The Certified Protection Professional (CPP)® credential provides demonstrable proof of knowledge and management skills in eight key domains of security. Those who earn the CPP are ASIS board-certified in security management.

CPP Eligibility Requirements

  • Nine years of security work experience, with at least three of those years in responsible charge of a security function
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher and seven years of security work experience, with at least three of those years in responsible charge of a security function
    Source: ASIS International

Why Obtain Your CPP?

For security practitioners there are several reasons why you should consider becoming a Certified Protection Professional.

First, there is a level of accomplishment that comes with becoming Board Certified. Remember, you have worked hard in your field over the years and obtaining your CPP can be the crowning moment that caps your career’s goals. Not everyone can attain this level, and once they do they have to continue to learn and grow in their profession to maintain it.

In 2002 ASIS International advised that about 45-50% of those that sit for the exam actually pass it the first time. However, with any exam it really comes down to the time spent in preparation and studying. This is not an exam that you can pass without a lot of effort, which will include studying, studying and more studying, even if you think you know the material.

The second reason you should consider getting your CPP is because it will open new doors for your career. For those that are considering changing employers having your CPP may mean the difference in getting the new position or not.

Several years ago many organizations wrote the requirement of CPP into their job descriptions. Since then even more have included it as a “Desired” trait, or something that will be required within a designated time frame upon hire.

For those not considering a job change getting your CPP may open new doors within your organization as well. We have heard of stories where security practitioners have moved up the corporate ladder once they became a CPP.

Another reason to get your CPP is the fact that often times it will mean a raise in pay. Although not every organization will give a boost in salary when someone on staff gets their CPP, it does happen often. Did you know that according to ASIS International the average pay for a CPP in 2012 was $130,000?

General Benefits for Security Professionals

  • Expanded Career Opportunities
  • Increased potential for positions with higher responsibilities
  • Enhanced Income
  • Personal Achievement

CPP Exam

The CPP exam consists of 200 scored multiple-choice questions and may contain 25 “pre-test” questions randomly distributed throughout the examination for a total of 225 questions. The time allowed takes into consideration the review of pre-test items.

The exam cover tasks, knowledge, and skills in eight broad domains that have been identified by CPPs as the major areas involved in security management.

CPP Exam Domains

  • Business Principles and Practices
  • Crisis Management
  • Information Security
  • Investigations
  • Legal Aspects
  • Personnel Security
  • Physical Security
  • Security Principles and Practices

Certified Protection Professionals

When you are looking for a security expert to assist your organization with protecting your assets you should require that anyone that you hire in or contract with have the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) certification. Why? Simply put, you want the best qualified professional to assist you with protecting your company assets.

Look at it this way; let’s say you are looking to bring in a security consultant to review your security measures and operations. Since security can be such a substantial risk factor, wouldn’t it be prudent to bring in a board certified expert verses someone that has not been vetted? There are thousands of self proclaimed security experts advertising their services, and yet there are only about 4,500 CPP’s in the world. There is two ways to look at that number; first, the number of CPPs is low compared to the total number of practitioners world-wide because only those that have mastered their field and met all the qualifications to sit for the CPP exam can actually obtain their CPP upon passing the exam.

The other way to look at it is that ASIS International set the standards for the Certified Protection Professional very high so as to insure the integrity of the program. If the eligibility requirements were set lower, and the exam process was made simple, there would be more CPPs around the world but the value of such certification would be diminished and fall into the same category that many credentials find themselves; easy to get and very little credibility. For security professionals, having the CPP behind your name is a true indicator that you are in the elite group of practitioners that have been Board Certified in Security Management.

If you really want to determine the value of attaining the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) level and becoming Board Certified in Security Management, ask a current CPP for their opinion.

Note: Please check www.ASISonline.org for the most up to date information

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