ASIS Security Certification for Professional Security Careers

June 10, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


The American Society for Industrial Security, better known as ASIS International, is a globally recognized professional organization for members of the security industry. The organization got its start in 1955 and has spent the intervening years updating its security certification offerings and hosting networking and educational events.

Today, the organization boasts 34,000 members around the world. In 2020, ASIS reached a new milestone in its continuing rollout of modern, standard-setting security profession certifications.

Welcome the Class of 2020

In May 2020, ASIS International announced the first round of graduates from its new Associate Protection Professional (APP) certification. This is the newest of the four security professional security certifications offered by ASIS.

This class of more than 150 individuals studied a range of techniques and procedural best practices, and then took a two-hour examination to prove they’d retained the material. Some of the knowledge domains covered in the APP certification include:

  • Security terminology and theory
  • Project management
  • Security program assessment
  • Data and intelligence collection techniques
  • Testing and auditing
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Travel security
  • Industry-specific standards and regulations
  • Surveillance techniques and technologies
  • Budgeting and cost-benefit analysis

Of the 2020 graduates and the program, William Moisant, president of the ASIS Professional Certification Board, said, “I am incredibly gratified to congratulate the first batch of APP certificants. Developing the APP was a huge undertaking … I look forward to the APP joining the CPP, PCI and PSP certifications as the security industry’s stamp of professionalism across the globe.”

What Other Security Certifications Does ASIS Offer?

The Associate Protection Professional certification is the latest one to join ASIS’s selection of modern security credentialing programs. Here are some additional details on the APP program, as well as the other three certifications ASIS offers:

Associate Protection Professional (APP)

ASIS considers its Associate Protection Professional certification a first step for security managers who want to enhance their careers. Eligible participants should have one to four years of security management experience. This certification focuses on the fundamentals of security, including business operations, response management and risk assessment.

Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

The CPP certification is what ASIS calls the “gold standard” for advancing one’s security management career. Because it calls on and tests for knowledge on wide-ranging security topics, eligible candidates must possess between seven and nine years of experience in the field, plus three years of leadership in a security function.

Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)

The ASIS Professional Certified Investigator certification tests applicants’ knowledge on report preparation, collecting evidence, managing cases and gathering testimony. To be eligible, applicants must have a GED or high school diploma, as well as five years of investigational experience and two or more years in managing cases.

Physical Security Professional (PSP)

For those who want to demonstrate and test their knowledge of physical security, there’s the PSP certification. Topics include physical security assessments, understanding modern security applications, and designing and integrating physical security systems. Requirements for applicants include a high school diploma, GED or associate degree, plus six years of security experience or a bachelor’s degree plus four years of experience.

Why Are Professional Security Certifications Important?

Like similar programs in other industries, ASIS certifications serve first and foremost as a visible, public acknowledgment of relevant experience and subject matter expertise.

Each program caters to security professionals at different points in their careers. They also prove the applicant’s willingness to further their education and recommit to top-tier, professional conduct, even after becoming gainfully employed. According to ASIS, graduates from these four programs enjoy 20% higher salaries than those without a certification.

Certification is just as valuable from the employer’s perspective, too. Having certified individuals on staff makes it easier to build a dedicated security team with a strong culture and a focus on personal and professional development. Certification also elevates an organization’s reputation and improves peace-of-mind that employees are using their best judgment along with regulation-compliant best practices.

Who Benefits From ASIS Security Certification?

Those on active duty in the military or law enforcement, those targeting employment in the private sector, or those transitioning back to the civilian workforce are especially well-served by pursuing ASIS certifications.

As threats grow more persistent and industry standards more exacting, professional-grade certifications are more in demand by employers seeking qualified job applicants. For a modest price, ASIS helps interested professionals fulfill their ambitions while bringing confidence and competence to their organization’s security landscape and incident response.