Securing the Best:
Raising the Bar with IFPO Certification
By Dan Mendelson
What’s in a name? Everything, if your mission is to raise the branding profile of the security industry.
Guards are called protection officers by the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO), and for good reason. The term guard does little to command respect or convey professionalism to the public who encounter them on a daily basis.
“There’s a shadow cast upon the whole industry due to the misconception surrounding guards,” Sandi Davies of the IFPO said. “In truth, these hard-working, highly trained men and women are our first responders who have a wide range of skills.”
The IFPO’s main weapons in the fight against the stereotype are training and education, tools that have made it a leading security educational institution and an authoritative voice in the field. The not-for-profit membership organization has provided professional development opportunities to many of the country’s protection officers, with over 80,000 guards gaining some type of certification through IFPO programs. These officers represent a mix of proprietary and contract officers working in industries that include hospitals, campuses, nuclear facilities, cultural properties and gaming. Businesses that employ what is known as Certified Protection Officers (CPO) are diverse: Dow Chemical, AFLAC, American Red Cross, Ralph Lauren, Ohio State University and the United States Marine Corps have all hired officers who went through the rigors of IFPO certification programs.
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