The IFPO’s Certification and Mentor Programs: Game Changers
Curtis R. Blakely, CSSM
I am a relative newcomer to the International Association of Protection Officers (IFPO); therefore, I occupy a unique position to make a few comments about our Association as well as its ability to help its members prepare for entry or advancement into/within the exciting field of security (as well as its many sub-specialties).
As a long-time law enforcement official and criminal justice educator, I recently decided to return to the security field based upon a growing need for highly trained and motivated experts. As I began to look around at organizations that might support me in this endeavor, I came across the IFPO. Yes, I had previously heard of the IFPO but now, considering my changing professional objectives, it promised to help prepare me for a new and exciting career path.
While I contemplated membership, I spent a great deal of time on their website and, on several occasions, even telephoned their office to get further information. It was after speaking with several officials at the IFPO that I was convinced that this Association was indeed special. Upon reviewing the many educational opportunities they offered, I decided that the Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) course would prove most professionally valuable – so I enrolled. I received course materials almost immediately along with detailed instructions. These materials were first-class as was the support that I was given; in fact, I was able to successfully complete the course in about 4 weeks. The program was challenging but rewarding. I have now earned a certificate that is recognized globally.
Since achieving certification, I have proudly displayed it on my professional credentials. In fact, the CSSM designation has opened many doors for me. Once I achieved certification, I began to apply for various employment opportunities and received job calls/offers almost immediately. These offers provided me with opportunities to oversee security operations in the hospitality industry as well as in the corporate sector. Not only were these positions high-paying but they offered great benefits. They also allowed me to give something back to this great nation. As I received multiple offers, it quickly became apparent that I would have to be selective, only pursuing those positions that were of great personal interest. After careful consideration, I decided to accept a position where I can use my knowledge to help train and educate those who work in national security. This new position allows me to interact with those that are on the front lines in safeguarding our way of life. Each day, I interact with homeland security specialists stationed here as well as abroad. I am making a difference, having fun doing it, and I recognize the role that the IFPO has played in making my dreams become reality.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, I learned that the IFPO was beginning a new Mentor Program. Having worked with students in the past, I sent an email to the Association and asked for more information. To my surprise and after several conversations with Sandi Davies (Executive Director), I was asked to serve as the Inaugural Mentor for this new and exciting opportunity. Since serving in this capacity, I have spoken with several individuals either interested in the IFPO or who are members seeking educational and/or career advice. The people that I have interacted with in this capacity are enthusiastic, dedicated, motivated, and want to excel within this exciting field. My primary objective as a Mentor is to provide guidance to anyone interested in hearing my advice/suggestions. The IFPO Mentor Program is effective in creating relationships and facilitating communication between members – in fact, the program is still in the process of recruiting Mentors. I urge everyone to use this service and benefit from the experience and education/training of others. Let’s support the IFPO’s Certification and Mentor Programs, and in doing so, we can all make a difference!
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.”