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Top 11 Facility Security Officer Certifications

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 18 min read

Certifications are important for a Facility Security Officer in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competence and knowledge that employers look for when hiring. Having certifications can give an applicant an edge over other candidates who don’t have them, as it shows that the candidate has taken the time to learn and understand the necessary skills and knowledge required to perform their duties effectively. This makes them more attractive to employers, as they can be confident that the applicant is qualified and able to carry out their role well. Certifications also demonstrate commitment and dedication, as obtaining them requires hard work and dedication, which are qualities employers highly value in potential employees.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain the value of certifications for Facility Security Officers, and how they can help further their career.

What are Facility Security Officer Certifications?

Facility Security Officer (FSO) certification is a credential that recognizes individuals with the knowledge and experience to effectively manage security for government-controlled facilities. This certification is offered through organizations such as the International Association for Professional Security (IAPSC), which provides comprehensive courses and testing to ensure FSOs are properly trained and qualified.

The primary responsibility of an FSO is to ensure the safety of personnel, property, information, and physical assets in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards. They must also be familiar with the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), which outlines security requirements for contractors working with the U.S. government on classified projects.

Having an FSO certified by IAPSC or other accredited organization demonstrates a commitment to security excellence, as well as an understanding of the importance of protecting sensitive information and assets. It also ensures that all necessary security measures are being taken to protect resources from malicious actors or accidental damage. Furthermore, having an FSO certified can provide peace of mind that your facility is secure and safe from potential threats.

Pro tip: When seeking facility security officer certification, it's important to research the requirements and qualifications for your particular area of expertise. This will help ensure you meet all the necessary standards and can provide the best service to your customers. Additionally, be sure to stay up-to-date on any new laws or regulations that may affect your certification.

Related: What does a Facility Security Officer do?

Top 11 Facility Security Officer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Facility Security Officers today.

1. Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

Certified Protection Professional (CPP) is a certification program offered by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in security management, operations, and practices. The CPP credential is highly respected in the security industry and is seen as a mark of excellence.

The CPP certification requires a minimum of four years of professional experience in the field of security management, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Applicants must also pass an extensive examination that covers topics such as physical security, personnel security, information security, crisis management, investigations, and legal issues.

In order to become certified as a CPP, applicants must complete an application process with ASIS International. This includes completing an online application form, submitting supporting documentation such as transcripts and letters of recommendation, paying a fee for the examination, and passing the exam itself. The entire process typically takes six to nine months to complete.

The cost for the CPP certification varies depending on your membership status with ASIS International. For non-members it costs $495 USD; for members it costs $395 USD; and for students it costs $295 USD.

2. Physical Security Professional (PSP)

Physical Security Professional (PSP) is a certification program offered by ASIS International, an organization dedicated to the advancement of security management professionals worldwide. The PSP certification is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of physical security principles and practices.

The PSP certification program consists of two parts: a written examination and a practical assessment. The written exam covers topics such as risk analysis, access control systems, physical security systems design and implementation, and emergency response planning. The practical assessment requires candidates to demonstrate their skills in physical security system installation, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete the PSP certification program. Candidates must first register for the exam with ASIS International and then complete a study guide or take an approved training course. After passing the written exam, candidates must complete the practical assessment within one year of passing the written exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost for taking the PSP certification program varies depending on whether you are taking it through self-study or through an approved training course. Self-study costs range from $200-$500 USD while courses can cost up to $2,000 USD depending on location and duration of the course.

3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an internationally recognized certification for information security professionals. It is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². The CISSP certification is designed to validate an individual's knowledge and experience in the field of information security.

It typically takes six months to two years to prepare for the CISSP exam. Preparation includes studying for the exam, attending training courses, and gaining hands-on experience in the field of information security.

To get certified as a CISSP, you must pass a rigorous three-hour exam that covers eight domains of knowledge within the field of information security. The domains are: Access Control, Asset Security, Communications & Network Security, Cryptography, Identity & Access Management, Risk Management & Compliance, Security Architecture & Engineering, and Software Development Security.

The cost of taking the CISSP exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $699 USD to take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or $599 USD at an (ISC)² authorized testing center.

4. Certified Facility Manager (CFM)

Certified Facility Manager (CFM) is a professional certification program offered by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). The CFM credential is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of facility managers who demonstrate excellence in the field.

The CFM program takes approximately 12-18 months to complete and includes passing an exam. To qualify for the CFM exam, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements. Applicants must have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in facility management, or a combination of education and experience totaling five years. They must also hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, or have completed at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university.

To get certified as a CFM, applicants must complete an online application on IFMA’s website and pay the $295 application fee. After submitting their application, they will receive access to study materials and can begin preparing for the exam. Once they have passed the exam, they will receive their official CFM certificate from IFMA.

The cost of becoming a Certified Facility Manager is $295 for the application fee plus any additional fees associated with studying for and taking the exam.

5. Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)

Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) is a professional designation that recognizes those who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of emergency management. It is awarded by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), which is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the principles of emergency management. To become a CEM, applicants must meet certain criteria and demonstrate their commitment to the profession through education, training, and experience.

The process for becoming a CEM takes approximately one year from start to finish. First, applicants must complete an application form and submit it to IAEM with all required documents. This includes proof of completion of at least three years of full-time paid work in the field of emergency management, as well as transcripts showing successful completion of at least two college-level courses related to emergency management or homeland security. After submitting the application, applicants must pass an exam administered by IAEM in order to receive their certification.

The cost for becoming a CEM varies depending on your country or region. In the United States, the cost is $250 for members of IAEM and $400 for non-members. Additional fees may be required if you are taking the exam outside of North America or if you need special accommodations during testing due to disability or other factors.

Once certified, CEMs must maintain their certification by participating in continuing education activities every three years in order to stay up-to-date on new developments in the field.

6. Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)

Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) is a professional certification designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of individuals who have demonstrated expertise in business continuity planning. The CBCP credential is offered by the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), an international organization dedicated to promoting best practices in business continuity, disaster recovery, crisis management, and risk management.

The CBCP certification requires a minimum of two years of professional experience in business continuity planning or related fields, such as IT disaster recovery, emergency management, or risk management. Candidates must also pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as developing a business continuity plan, identifying risks and threats, assessing potential impacts, and implementing strategies for responding to disruptions.

The CBCP certification process typically takes three to six months from start to finish. Candidates must first submit an application form to DRII along with their resume and proof of work experience. Once approved, candidates can register for the exam online. The exam fee is $495 USD and includes access to study materials. After passing the exam, candidates will receive their official CBCP certificate within four weeks.

Overall, the cost of obtaining the CBCP certification can range from $495 USD for the exam fee up to $1,000 USD or more when including additional fees such as application processing fees and study materials.

7. Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)

Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in government auditing. The CGAP designation is offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and it is recognized as an international standard for government auditing professionals.

The CGAP program requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge and understanding of government audit principles and practices. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions, case studies, and essay questions. It takes approximately three hours to complete the exam, and it must be taken at an approved testing center.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least two years of professional experience in government auditing or related fields. Applicants must also submit a completed application form with supporting documents such as transcripts or certifications from other organizations.

The cost of the CGAP exam varies depending on the country where you take it. Generally, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,000 USD per attempt. There may also be additional fees for registration or other administrative costs associated with taking the exam.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also agree to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics for Certified Government Auditing Professionals before they can receive their certification.

8. Certified Homeland Security Level III (CHS-III)

Certified Homeland Security Level III (CHS-III) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association for Certified Homeland Security Professionals (IACHS). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in homeland security.

The CHS-III certification requires a minimum of three years of full-time, paid work experience in homeland security or a related field. Applicants must also demonstrate mastery of core competencies such as risk assessment, emergency management, critical infrastructure protection, and intelligence analysis. In addition, applicants must pass an online examination and submit two letters of recommendation from peers or supervisors.

The cost to take the CHS-III exam is $395 USD. The exam can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center worldwide. It typically takes about three hours to complete the exam. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CHS-III certification within four weeks after completion of all requirements.

9. International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC)

The International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC) is a professional organization that provides certification, education, and networking opportunities for security professionals. It was founded in 1988 and currently has over 1,000 members in more than 40 countries.

To become an IAPSC Certified Professional Security Consultant (CPSC), applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum of five years of experience in the security field;
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university;
  • Successfully complete the IAPSC Certification Exam; and
  • Meet all applicable continuing education requirements.

The IAPSC Certification Exam is administered twice per year and consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral presentation. The written portion covers topics such as risk management, physical security, legal issues, and emergency preparedness. The oral presentation requires candidates to present their own security plan for a given scenario.

The cost to take the IAPSC Certification Exam is $500 USD for members ($650 USD for non-members). Additionally, there is an annual membership fee of $100 USD for those who wish to remain active members of the organization.

Once certified, CPSCs are required to maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years. This includes attending approved conferences, seminars, workshops, or other events related to security consulting.

10. American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS)

The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) is an international professional organization dedicated to advancing security worldwide. It was founded in 1955 and has since grown to include over 38,000 members in more than 140 countries. ASIS provides education, networking opportunities, and certification programs to help security professionals stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in the field.

To become a member of ASIS, you must meet certain requirements including having at least three years of experience in the security field or a related field. You must also pass a background check and adhere to the ASIS Code of Ethics. Once you are approved as a member, you will receive access to exclusive resources such as webinars, publications, and discounts on conferences and events.

In order to obtain certification from ASIS, you must first complete an application process that includes submitting your resume and passing an exam. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as physical security, risk management, investigations, and emergency preparedness. After passing the exam, you will be awarded either a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) or Physical Security Professional (PSP) designation depending on your area of expertise.

The cost for membership varies depending on your country of residence but typically ranges from $50-$250 USD per year. Certification exams range from $400-$600 USD depending on the type of certification being sought after.

11. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 730).

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 730 is a standard that provides guidance on the design, installation, and maintenance of security systems in residential and commercial buildings. This standard covers topics such as access control systems, video surveillance systems, alarm systems, and other security-related components.

It typically takes around two to three weeks to obtain NFPA 730 certification. To get certified, you must first complete an online application form with the NFPA. Once your application has been approved, you will need to take a written exam that tests your knowledge of the standard. After passing the exam, you will receive a certificate of compliance from the NFPA.

The cost for obtaining NFPA 730 certification varies depending on the provider you choose. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $200 to $500 or more for the entire process.

Do You Really Need a Facility Security Officer Certificate?

Whether or not you need a Facility Security Officer Certificate depends on the type of job you are applying for and the requirements of the employer. If you are applying for a position as a security officer, then it is likely that having a Facility Security Officer Certificate will be beneficial to your application. This certificate is an indication that you have been trained in security principles and have had experience in protecting people and property from potential threats.

Having a Facility Security Officer Certificate may give you an edge over other applicants who don't possess such credentials. It shows that you have knowledge of security protocols, laws and regulations, and experience in managing security-related issues. Additionally, this certificate enables employers to know that they are hiring someone who understands how to protect their business from any potential threats.

However, if the position does not require this certification, then it may not be necessary to obtain one. In addition, some employers may prefer candidates with more general skills or experience in other areas instead of someone with specific training related to facility security. Ultimately, it is up to the individual employer to decide whether or not having a Facility Security Officer Certificate is important for the job they are looking to fill.

Related: Facility Security Officer Resume Examples

FAQs About Facility Security Officer Certifications

1. What is a Facility Security Officer (FSO) Certification?

Answer: The Facility Security Officer (FSO) Certification is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates proficiency in the field of security management and compliance. It is designed to equip FSOs with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage security operations for organizations in regulated industries.

2. Who should obtain a FSO Certification?

Answer: The FSO Certification is ideal for individuals who are responsible for managing the physical, personnel, information, and operational security of an organization, or those who are looking to enter into the field of facility security management.

3. How do I obtain a FSO Certification?

Answer: To obtain a FSO Certification, you must complete an approved training course from an accredited institution and pass the associated exam. Upon successful completion of both requirements, you will be awarded your certification.

4. How often do I need to renew my FSO Certification?

Answer: Your FSO Certification must be renewed every three years in order to remain valid. Renewal typically requires completing an approved continuing education course or retaking the exam within the three-year period prior to expiration.

5. Is there any cost associated with obtaining a FSO Certification?

Answer: Yes, there are costs associated with obtaining a FSO Certification including registration fees, course tuition fees, and exam fees which vary depending on the provider offering the certification program.

Editorial staff

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Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

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