The International Foundation for Protection Officers recently conducted this interview with Bob Martz, where, in his own words, he discusses the benefits of IFPO certifications:
When did you start your career in security and what motivated you to do so?
I had run a successful corporation in the field of signs and graphics for years, then moved from Florida to Northern California and found that the area had an economic base too small to continue that line of work. I then inquired around the little town of Eureka what I could possibly do, and was directed toward security. In a short period of time, I worked at Social Services, then armed at the county court house, and then was posted to a PGE Power Plant where I worked for almost 5 years.
Describe your first security job -- location, tasks, etc. How about now, what is your current job (if different from the first one)?
My first job was at the Department of Social Services in Northern California. This job and my supervisor at that location, taught me how to be diplomatic and to use de-escalation techniques with difficult and sometimes mentally unstable people. - Now, I'm Director of Security for a large Resort on the gulf coast of Florida. I started here as a rank and file officer, and was promoted to lieutenant after a year, then later captain, and now, director of security.
How did you first become aware of the IFPO and its certifications? What convinced you to pursue an IFPO certification?
I can't really remember how I became aware of the IFPO, but most likely it was an Internet search on security associations that led me to it. The reason why I pursued the CPO and later the CSSM, is that I have always been a big believer in continuing education in one form or another, and I believe that if I should ever decide to seek other opportunities, the certifications can only help. (And the pins look great on my uniform.)
What certification did you achieve and what year was that?
Currently I hold the Certified Protection Officer and Certified in Security Supervision and Management certifications. I completed both of them in 2019.
How did your IFPO certification enhance your career? Did it help you get another job? Impress your employer? Benefit you financially? Any other way you can think of?
I believe that my IFPO certifications was one of the contributing factors in my being awarded Officer of the Month twice in the last six months, and in my being selected as Director of Security at the Resort. I also believe it was a contributing factor in my advancement, as my boss made several comments about how great it was. And of course with the new title came more compensation. The Managing Director of the Resort was made aware of my certifications, and even mentioned them to the Resort staff at a management level meeting I attend each week.
What would your advice be to those who might be considering an IFPO certification?
My advice would be to get certified as soon as possible. Not only will the training be of great value, but I believe it will advance your career. And if your management approves, the CPO and CSSM pins look great on a uniform, and shows the world that you take your profession seriously and take pride in what you do.
One last comment and or observation.... One of the problems in our industry is that many posts do not pay very much, and since companies tend to get what they pay for, officers are not very good and the turnover rate is high. But in my opinion, if you demonstrate that you can arrive to work on time, and in a clean uniform, AND you reach out for certifications like the CPO and CSSM, that there is room for advancement and better pay. And what many people do not understand is that if you look like you are proud of what you do, and you do it well.... you are putting yourself out there in your community and others to see. And what do they see?...They see a person who is drug free and has a spotless criminal record that can be trusted, They also see someone that cares enough to continue their education. And in this day and age, this makes you a very valuable resource.
*The IFPO extends a big thanks to Bob for taking the time to answer these questions and wishes him continued success in his career.*
The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) is dedicated to providing meaningful and cost effective security training for security guards and protection officers.
We believe that education is a necessary and essential part of professional security training and the security officer’s background. IFPO serves individuals, security companies, and organizations that have their own private security staff. Our students and members benefit from the recognition and standing that the prestigious IFPO certification conveys.
International Foundation for Protection Officers Mission Statement
Mission Statement Part I.
The International Foundation for Protection Officers provides professional learning opportunities for security practitioners, to impart the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to maximize job performance and enhance career potential.
Purpose: to make a positive difference in the quality of the participant’s job performance and elevate the professional status of students who partake of our learning opportunities.
Business: to supply committed security practitioners with a quality education to help achieve their highest potential and provide recognized accreditation for successful completion of educational goals.
Values: commitment, integrity, responsibility, and standards of excellence, provide the platform that supports our journey as we pursue our mission.
Commitment to Excellence: To be the recognized center of excellence and primary provider of education and training products and services to the security industry.
Mission Statement Part II.
“The International Foundation for Protection Officers is committed to the support and professional development of protection officers and supervisors. Through advocacy, promoting training standards, and providing accessible training, education and certification opportunities, we seek to enhance their professional standing as well as increase and diversify the value of the vital services they provide.”