Michael Allen CPP, CFE, has penned a very informative and inspirational piece for The Professional Security Officer (TPSO) magazine. Launched about a year ago in the UK, the magazine's most recent edition is titled CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and Career Development.
Allen's essay, Lifelong Learning, The Key to the Success of Every Security Professional, delves into the thirst for knowledge that most security professionals share and why it is incredibly beneficial to explore new pathways to knowledge in one's career:
Most security professionals I have met, no matter where they are at in their career, who they protect or what their mandate, they all want to keep learning. It is almost impossible to find a security practitioner who leaves school, completes their training or earns a designation who is content to stop there.
Learning is enjoyable and brings a lot of satisfaction. It can be hard work, challenging and rewarding. Security professionals have several ways to learn. The three E’s are one way to look at this. Education, Experience and Exposure. Learning by experience. These are the lessons we gain by working. Overtime we all accumulate a body of knowledge from repetition. We also learn through exposure. It is one thing to go to school, take courses and spend years on the job. When leaders give their subordinates new opportunities and expose them to different situations, this is exposure. For example, when the director of security sends the manager in their place to a leadership meeting to observe or even present, the manager is exposed to new things and learns something new.
Currently security professionals in the workforce, spanning four generations, have varying degrees of each of these formal and informal learning methods under their belts. There are those with 30 to 40 years of progressive work experience. There are those with 20 to 30 years of experience, college and or a designation. We also have those with 15 to 20 years of work experience who have, a master’s degree and professional certification. The variations to this are numerous.
Professional security officers often continue to accumulate courses to secure, maintain and advance their roles. These may include first aid, emergency response, basic criminal law for security officers and other programs, often found in many licensing courses. Security management and corporate security professionals often earn courses in leadership, management, business and other programs more applicable to the administrative and strategic roles they perform. These may help them advance, or simply meet continuing education requirements they may need to complete annually.
Courses offered by security institutes, associations and private security schools are quite practical. Colleges, universities and even employers offer valuable programs as well.
Michael Allen, CPP, CFE
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.”