World class security programs under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) are run by world class Facility Security Officers (FSO) who continually demonstrate their qualifications. It’s one thing to be good at your job, know the NISPOM well, be technically efficient and capable of personally validating security plans. An FSO should be capable of more than just a security clearance pipeline. It’s quite another to become recognized as a leader, recruit assistance company wide and become recognized for the good work.
In the second example, your efforts perpetuate themselves as others become force multipliers and quickly engage and support your mission. One way to ensure such success is to document your qualifications through professional certification. Of itself certification is not the answer, but does complete the picture. For example, there are many leaders in the industrial security community who are very influential and well respected; their work stands alone. A certification for them would continue to demonstrate their dedication to the profession, technical competence and leadership.
When you achieve a professional certification, such as the Industrial Security Professional (ISP) certification, the next step is to validate both the accomplishment and the certification. In other words, the stellar FSO can take the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the certification and why they chose to pursue the challenge of becoming certified. Some certifications are required by contract or government regulation such as the CISSP, while many others like the ISP are added endorsements that help the recipient stand out. Whether or not the certification is a requirement bearer can capitalize on many opportunities to elevate their own status as well as that of the organization they work for.
If you have earned a certification or plan to earn a professional certification, here are four ways you and your organization can capitalize on the accomplishment:
1. Send out a press release-News organizations are always looking for great articles. Newspapers have a mini-section where local industry can announce accomplishments. Write-ups should include your name, the organization you work for and the importance of the certification you just earned. This gives credibility to your hard work and demonstrates your organization supports the certification.
2. Put the accomplishment under the “News” section of the corporate website. This lends credibility to the certification, and demonstrates that your organization values the certification. Be sure to talk up the certification purpose and how accomplishing the certification is important to the organization. When you succeed the entire organization wins.
3. Create a plaque or certificate announcing your accomplishment. “_____ employs Board Certified Industrial Security Professionals”. Visitors will take away the value of the certification and may recommend it to their employees. It also may help sway a potential business partner or customer decision and shows another level of FSO training.
4. Insert language into every proposal that demonstrates the value of your certification. For example, I always ensured our proposals include “The FSO is board certified to protect classified information”, or similar wording. This adds to the appeal, qualification and professionalism of your organization and its ability to perform on classified contracts. Winning contracts depends on a defense contractor being capable of protecting classified information according to the Contract Security Classification Specification (DD Form 254). The cleared contractor benefits from that when their security personnel earn the certification. Again, be sure to explain the certification and why it would enhance a decision to award the contract.
A certification is just another feather in the cap of the recipient. But without the demonstrated work ethic, capability or effectiveness it is just a piece of paper. However a certification paired with a capable FSO is a winning combination. The bearer and the organization can equally benefit from the achievement. Think of some ways you can demonstrate your competency and bone fides.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook", "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual", and NISPOM/FSO Training" See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership, The Ranger Handbook, The Army Physical Readiness Manual, Drill and Ceremonies, The ITAR, and The NISPOM
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