Monday, June 13, 2011

Why not earn the NCMS ISP Certification


The Industrial Security Professional (ISP) Certification is sponsored by NCMS (Society of Industrial Security Professionals), a professional organization of industrial security members specializing in protecting classified information. This group of professionals works in an industry operating under the NISP. To achieve the goal of providing education and professionalism, NCMS has developed the ISP Certification. The ISP bearer demonstrates a high level of knowledge in topics involving safeguarding classified information. The certification is based on the NISPOM but also covers the following electives: communications security (COMSEC), operations security (OPSEC), Intellectual Property and Counter-Intelligence.

Currently, only approximately 8% of NCMS members hold the ISP certification. In July 2005 there were only 75 ISPs and as of this publication the number has increased to over 290.

As with most professional certifications, earning the ISP certification is recognized as a major accomplishment. Again, there are only a few people world-wide who have earned the certification. The ISP does indeed distinguish the bearer from those not certified and there is emphasis within NCMS to elect ISP Certified national and local chapter leaders. Because of the intense study involved, the certification demonstrates willingness for self-improvement and dedication to the profession. The ISP also communicates to management that the professional is committed to the business, the industry and the furtherance of national security. Employees with certifications help put their companies in a stronger negotiation position while bidding on contracts and lend credibility to relationships with the oversight agency, Defense Security Services (DSS). Most of all, it gives the recipient confidence in the knowledge base and the ability to apply the knowledge to make vital decisions.

As this certification program evolves, more and more employers will recognize the certified industrial security professional during job interviews. In addition, the ISP certification could make the difference between which applicant gets the FacilitySecurity Officer (FSO) job offer and which security administrator gets the promotion.

For Government employees and military personnel, the ISP certification communicates to supervisors, the promotion board, and others that the certification holder is committed to the protection of national secrets. It equips the security manager with the knowledge and skills to perform critical tasks as well as relate well with civilian counterpart requirements. Most of all, it gives the bearer confidence in their ability to apply their knowledge. As this certification program evolves, it is expected that more and more employers will require the certification.


There are many reasons to step out and take the test. From career development to the satisfaction of accomplishment and prestige, the ISP certification fulfills many desires and goals. However there may be many more excuses not to take it. Some excuses include the expense, time involved, embarrassment of failure and just plain fear.

If you follow the principles set forth in this book you will improve your chances of passing, creating your professional legacy, improving your standing, increasing your salary and rising to the top in your chosen field. To find out more about this article and the book ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual, visit

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