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Saturday, October 22, 2016

CPP - Update

I have received a lot of queries regarding the subject from CPP aspirants from all over during the past six years. A google search on 'CPP' throws up some posts from this blog besides other relevant results. I have tried to reply to most of the mails I got but missed out some owing to other commitments/preoccupation/general feeling of being DWL (Disgusted With Life). My apologies to those people whose queries did not elicit a response from me. While I did get some really weird and 'out-of-this-world' queries (which I am not listing over here), the common ones are as follows :

(a)  Will CPP enhance my chances of getting a better job in Security ?
(b)  Is CPP the best certification for employment in Security ?
(c)  How do I arrange the required 'Course Material' ?
(d)  How about sending me some study material ?
(e)  Name the companies which directly employ CPPs ?
(f)  What is the 'value addition' after getting this certification ?
(g)  Did your professional career get a boost after earning this certification ?
(h)  Does it really help professionally or it just remains on your CV ?
(i)   Is it worth spending so much money on membership, test fees and resources ?
(j)   How relevant is this certification in India ?

Well, guys, thanks for the above mentioned bouncers. I am not going to answer these questions individually but the update I have in mind should clear most of the doubts. Firstly let me remind the present CPP aspirants that I got my CPP certification way back in in 2007. After re-certification in 2010 the same was validated till 31 December 2013. I did not bother to get re-certified thereafter, so technically I am not a CPP now (that is why I don't append it after my name anymore). Thanks to my current job profile, my personal preoccupations and problems, the 'low-crime-rate-country-that-I-work-in', advancing old age and general laziness to some extent, I did not think of re-certification after the validity expired.

The tag of being "Board Certified" in Security did not open any doors for me and neither was it my expectation. I was working in the Reserve Bank of India which besides being a premier institution is also a 'corruption free' (in the words of a distinguished former member of the Board) place to work in. It was a "Sarkari" job which paid well and there was lot of prestige attached to it in the market. When I faced the interview board for my current job, the panel (6 senior management officials) was totally clueless about CPP and I had to explain what it was and how that made me a 'tees maar khan'. When I landed in Oman I found out to my chagrin that no one had even heard of ASIS or CPP. So it did not boost my professional career in any way. I took the test to see if I had it in me to earn the credential. In 2007 there were just 7 CPPs in India (myself included) and I was the first in RBI. I can happily state that I did motivate some other colleagues who are Board Certified today and working in the Reserve Bank of India and some who are not. A whole lot of other guys (who got in touch with me through this blog) also benefited by the material which I had.

However, a lot has changed over the past years in terms of exam content, structure and percentage of domains of Security in which one is tested. My earlier posts related to CPP may not be fully relevant today. The study material recommended has totally changed. Now all that is recommended is the 8 volume POA and relevant ASIS Standards which can be downloaded free of cost (once) in case one is a member. The cost of POA is quite high so it would be a good idea to convince your management to foot the bill for the resource. I know the New Delhi Chapter had bought one set of study material, POA (which was 4 volumes at that time) included, in 2008 or 2009. No idea about other Chapters.

The ASIS website is quite exhaustive and one should go through it carefully to get answers to most common queries. Earning the certification is tough but it certainly gives you recognition within the fraternity. Employers in India today (and not only multi-nationals) are increasingly advertising for relevant certifications. Taking the test will ensure that you gain the required level of knowledge in Security Management, give your confidence a tremendous boost and make you visible within the fraternity. Should one go for it or not, spend so much money and whether it will add value or not  is a matter of personal choice and I will not comment on these choices. Hope that I have cleared the air somewhat ! Wishing all the best to future CPP aspirants.

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