Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a member of IFPO prior to enrolling in the security training programs?

Membership is not mandatory, and is not a prerequisite for enrollment into any of the IFPO programs. However there are numerous benefits to IFPO Membership including discounts and payment plans for all IFPO programs, services and supplies. Click here for more information on IFPO membership.

Can I become a member and enroll in training programs all at one time and take advantage of the discount?

Yes, certainly, and the discount can be deducted upon submission of the order. Add Associate Membership to the “Shopping Cart” then “Continue Shopping” for the course material. The drop-down box in each payment area will indicate the discount for an Associate Member.

Should I enroll in the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) program first?

IFPO encourages students to enroll into our premier program (CPO) prior to the SSMP and subsequent CSSM programs. The CPO is not required, but recommended for anyone wanting a firm foundation in the security guard industry with certification recognized throughout the world.

How do I get started?

Choose the item to be purchased and enter the quantity required. "Add to Cart" and either "Continue Shopping" or "Check Out." Once you select "Check Out" you will be asked some basic questions, including your name, address, phone number and email address together with your payment details. Payment for online orders is by credit card. To pay by check, cashier’s check, or money order please mail your payment and include order details with full contact information. For wire transfers - please contact IFPO for bank instructions. If a Corporation is ordering, IFPO will accept purchase orders. Once an order is received by IFPO, membership and/or course materials are forwarded to the individual within one week. For online security training courses, the login information is sent by email. Candidates ordering course work can then proceed immediately with their studies.

Does the tuition fee for the CPO Traditional Course include the textbook, and related materials?

Yes. However, the Certified Protection Officer Final Challenge does not, as it only includes registration and the final exam. Click here for more information on the CPO program.

What is the difference between the CPO Traditional Course and the CPO Final Challenge program?

The most significant difference is the CPO Final Challenge Program is a 'fast track' method or a condensed form of study in an effort to achieve the CPO designation. Basically, the candidate is simply registering for the CPO Final Examination and no textbook or course material is included. The CPO Traditional Correspondence Course includes the Professional Protection Officer textbook, together with an Interim Examination and other related study guide material that provides assistance in preparing for the CPO final exam. Upon completion of either of the aforementioned programs, successful candidates receive the same completion materials. Click here for more information on the CPO Final Challenge.

What is the CPO testing format?

Presently the CPO final examination consists of 328 True/False or multiple choice questions. There is a four (4) hour time limit to this examination. When the candidate is ready to take the final exam, a Proctor Application must be completed and forwarded to IFPO. If the final exam is to be taken online, the login information will be sent by email to the proctor. In the case of a written final exam, the paper exam is mailed to the proctor. The proctor and candidate then arrange a convenient exam date and time that works for them both. Upon completion of the final exam, all the exam paperwork is returned to IFPO for grading.

Who can serve as an examination proctor?

The examination proctor must meet a criteria set forth by IFPO. The proctor can be someone within your own organization in a supervisory or management position. The proctor could also include an individual that meets one of the following criteria: Human Resource Officer, Staff Development Officer, member of a recognized policing organization, member of a professional security officer association, university/college faculty member, Certified Protection Professional, Certified Protection Officer, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Security Guard Trainer, member of the clergy. Most Libraries, Community Colleges and Universities offer proctor services for independent study programs. IFPO will assist an individual in locating a suitable proctor if necessary. Click here for Proctor Guidelines and Application.

How long does the CPO program take to complete?

Due to the independent study format, completion time can vary. Generally speaking, it is a 80-hour course. On average the CPO Traditional Correspondence Course can be completed quite comfortably within a three (3) month period. The CPO Final Challenge security training course can be completed immediately once the individual has prepared for the final examination. Candidates must pass the final exam with a minimum score of 70% within a one-year of enrollment.

What happens if I fail the final examination?

If a candidate is not successful in the completion of the final examination, the examination may be rewritten after a period of 30 days. A $25.00 administration retake fee will apply. If the candidate is not successful in the second attempt, the exam may be retaken after a period of one year. Again the $25.00 administration fee would apply.

Does the tuition fee for the SSMP include all texts and related materials?


Do I have to be a supervisor to take this program?

No, you do not have to be a supervisor or manager to enroll into the Security Supervision and Management Program. However, six months security supervisory or management experience is mandatory to qualify for the Certified in Security Supervision and Management Program.

Is the SSMP similar to the CPO program?

Yes, both programs are similar in that they can be completed by home study.

How long does it take to complete the SSMP?

On average this program is an 80-hour course but quite comfortably takes between 4-6 months to complete. Candidates must pass the final exam with a minimum score of 70% within one year of enrollment.

What do I get upon completion of the SSMP, and how do I obtain the CSSM designation?

Upon successfully passing the SSMP final exam with a minimum score of 70% the individual is awarded a certificate of completion and a letter confirming the completion of the SSMP. A plaque may be ordered (at an additional cost). The individual may then submit an application for the CSSM Program providing he or she has six months previous security officer supervisory or management experience. The CSSM candidate is expected to address workplace scenario questions that must be replied in a supervisory/management capacity. A series of more than 45 scenarios are presented and a mandatory 10 answers are necessary for completion.

Can an individual apply for the CSSM designation any time after successful completion of the SSMP?

Yes, an individual may apply for their CSSM designation anytime following the successful completion of the SSMP, providing he or she has six months previous security supervisory or management experience. Click here for more information on the CSSM.