Physical Security Certifications: Which One Do You Need?

By Bernhard Mehl
July 02, 2020

The future of access control looks bright. However, as system configurations and modern video and alarm solutions become more efficient, it also tends to grow more complex. This is why forward-thinking businesses, like Kisi, offer free physical security classes to help end-users get to grips with the tech. 

Understanding and learning is a vital part of implementing a modern security system successfully. Yet, most of us don't really know what to look for. This is where physical security and workplace technology classes come in. They help you to understand the intricacies of the technology at play, and pave the way for more informed decision-making. 

You could also take it a step further and get an official certification in this field. Here is a list of the most popular certifications that can help you to grow your skills in physical security in 2020. 

Physical Security Certifications: Your Best Options in 2020

1. PSP Certification 

PSP stands for 'physical security professional'. A certification of this kind sets you apart by demonstrating that you have knowledge of various aspects of this specialized field. This includes the assessment, design, and integration of physical security systems, as well as the implementation thereof. 

Gaining this certification normally involves an exam. This comprises questions pertaining to the tasks, knowledge, and skills that underpin a position in physical security management. Areas in which your knowledge may be tested could include: 

  • The development of a physical security assessment plan. This includes risk assessment models and assessment methods as well as a breakdown of resources required in this regard. 
  • The identification of assets (both tangible and intangible) to determine value, criticality, and the impact of a potential loss. 
  • The assessment of threats as it pertains to the nature, type, likelihood, and severity thereof. 
  • The assessment of a given organization to identify and quantify its unique vulnerabilities based on relevant data and proven methods.
  • And more. 
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2. PSC Certification 

PSC stands for ‘physical security certification’. Earning this certification will indicate to current or prospective employers that you have a proven understanding of vital security concepts, principles, and practices. It also shows that you can apply these principles in practice.  

The exams you’d need to take to gain this certification will most likely include questions that test your knowledge and abilities in terms of: 

  • Physical security concepts.
  • Physical security standards.
  • Security system devices.
  • Key-, combination-, and lock-control.
  • Site design strategies. 
  • Physical security planning and implementation.
  • Emergency management.
  • And more. 

Examples of positions in which a certification like this will stand a recipient in good stead are numerous. They include cybersecurity architects, security operations managers, test administrators, source strategies analysts, and cryptologic technicians. 

It’s also valuable to project delivery managers, engineers, safety officers, security officers, administrative screeners, correctional officers, assembly technicians, and security operations managers. 

3. CPP Certification 

CPP stands for ‘certified protection professional’. To a certain extent, this certification is the gold standard in the physical security industry. To be eligible to take the exam, you'd normally need extensive experience in the field. Some certification boards require an employment history of up to nine years.  

Areas in which your knowledge may be tested could include: 

  • The management of an organization's security program to protect its assets. This includes the planning, development, and implementation thereof based on proven security theories, processes, and techniques. 
  • The development and management of financial controls and budgets to adhere to predetermined fiscal responsibilities. This includes an ROI analysis, as well as plotting out lifecycles for budget planning purposes. 
  • The identification, development, implementation, and management of investigative operations. This includes policy and procedure development, as well as the application of internal and external resources to support investigations, etc. 
  • Personnel security as it pertains to important background investigation processes in the lead up to hiring and promotion. 
  • And more. 

These are some of the most popular physical security certifications available on the market today. Use this information to weigh your options and make your enrollment decision an easier one. You can also check out Kisi’s physical security guide for more essential information.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.