Saturday, January 2, 2021

Security education, training and certification


 Have you taken the next step to being competitive in the government contracts arena? If not, this article will provide information and tips based on a proven method of studying for and passing the exam. 

Why earn a certification?

There are several reasons to achieve certification. One of which allows cleared defense contractor owners and employees to take advantage of opportunities offered in the recent Presidential Executive Order: National Security Professional Development. The Executive order states: "In order to enhance the national security of the United is the policy of the United States to promote the education, training, and experience of current and future professionals in national security positions (security professionals)..."

The National Strategy identified in the Executive Order provides a plan to give security professionals access to education, training to increase their professional experience in efforts to increase their skill level and ability to protect our nation's secrets.

The ISP Certification is sponsored by NCMS (Society for Industrial Security) a professional organization specializing in protecting classified information. The ISP holder demonstrates a high level of knowledge in this area. The certification is based on the National Industrial Security Professional Operating Manual (NISPOM) but also covers electives such as: COMSEC, OPSEC, and other topics.

Industrial Security Oversight Certification (ISOC) is sponsored by the Department of Defense and information can be accessed at

Both certifications are based on NISPOM requirements. The NISPOM is the government contractor's guidance from DoD on how to receive, process and distribute classified information. It covers how to mark, document, store, disseminate and destroy classified as well as how to set up classified computing. If you have worked with contractors or plan to work with contractors, you should be familiar with the NISPOM. Chances are that you are already familiar with the processes from your military and government experiences.

This certified professional communicates to supervisors, the promotion board, and others that they are committed to the business, the industry and the protection of national interests. It equips the security manager with the knowledge and skills to perform critical tasks as well as relate well to what civilian counterpart requirements. Most of all, it gives the bearer confidence in their ability to apply their knowledge. As this certification program evolves, more and more employers will require the certification.    

What can you do to increase your experience and skills? Professional certification is a great move for security managers. Whether or not you will make security a career, you will find this certification a career enhancer. With the advent of the new Executive Order, certifications may become requirements in the civilian sector and perhaps even in government security positions. Also, consider joining a professional security organization.

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 Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . He regularly consults, presents security training, and recommends export compliance and intellectual property protection countermeasures. He is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "How to Get U.S. Government Contracts and Classified Work", "ISP(R) and ISOC Master Exam Prep", and NISPOM/FSO Training".

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