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Certification

INSSA Certification

Introduction

The International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA) has established a certification process to certify that NGO security risk management professionals possess the necessary competence to do their job safely and effectively. At the core of certification is the INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile.

Competencies describe the behaviors necessary to be able to function at a particular professional level, regardless of job or title. They can be used to help identify the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) for a job, to assess whether someone has the required KSAOs at a particular level, to identify learning gaps, and to demonstrate career progression. The INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile includes four certification classes increasing in responsibility and scope: Country, Regional, Global and Executive.

INSSA has launched a certification program for Country level security risk management professionals. Gaining certification indicates that an individual has demonstrated a specific level of competence to be certified as an INSSA security risk management professional.

INSSA Security Risk Management Professional – Country Certification

The Country Certification class consists of personnel operating predominantly in field offices with a mandate of one country or a portion of one individual country.

INSSA certification process and requirements are described in the sections below.

Eligibility Requirements

Policies

Continuing Professional Development

Membership and Recertification

Study Resources

Exam Application

Eligibility Requirements

Before applying to become an INSSA Certified Security Risk Management Professional, applicants must have an INSSA membership in good standing and have no record of criminal activity or professional misconduct.

Code of Conduct

INSSA membership includes the requirement to agree to abide by the INSSA Code of Conduct which can be found here.

Work Experience and Education

To be eligible to apply for Country level certification, applicants must have a minimum of:

·        a secondary school diploma, or international equivalent, and

·        one year experience working in an NGO field capacity, or

·        six months’ experience working full-time in a field-based security risk management capacity.

 

Exam Length and Format

The Country level certification exam will consist of approximately 100 questions each. The exam is based on the competencies outlined in the INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile.  The exam will be 2-hours in duration and will be offered on-line. To take the exam, applicants must have access to a computer and reliable internet connection. The exam will be based on the INSSA-approved reference documents found under the Study Resources section. While the exam will not be supervised, limited time will be available to take the exam; hence studying the reference documents is strongly encouraged.

Applicants will receive an e-mail invitation to take the exam after completing the online registration form and paying the exam fee. Applicants will have 30 calendar days upon receiving their e-mail invitation to complete the exam online. This date will be indicated in the invitation e-mail.

 

Getting Started

Applicants should have the following ready before starting the application process:

·    A photocopy of government-issued photo identification (ID) that has a signature (Driver’s License, Passport, national ID card) with an original signature on the photocopy that must match the signature on the photo ID.

Country Level Certification

·      Description(s) of work performed that demonstrates a minimum of one year experience working in an NGO field capacity, or a minimum of six months’ experience working full-time in a field-based security risk management capacity, including:

o   Organization’s name

o   Organization’s address in the country in which you are based

o   Contact person’s name, phone number and email that can verify the work experience provided

 

Requirements of Certification

Once a certification is granted, the certificant must maintain his/her certification by:

·        Maintaining his/her INSSA membership

·        Obtaining the required continuing professional development (CPD) credits

Policies

Exam Retake Policy

If an applicant fails the exam on his/her first try, he/she may retake the exam once at no additional charge within 60 days of receiving his/her “Exam Performance Report”. If the applicant fails the second time, he/she needs to wait a minimum of three months before taking the exam again. The applicant must pay the fee to take the exam again.

Privacy & Confidentiality

INSSA promotes high standards of ethical, moral, lawful, and civic conduct. Accordingly, members of INSSA, participants in INSSA’s mentoring program, applicants for certification, those issued certifications by INSSA, and all others participating in INSSA’s programs or otherwise with INSSA must abide by such standards. INSSA respects and is committed to protecting all applicants’ personal information. INSSA collects personal information, such as for certification purposes, to keep statistics on its certification program and reporting requirements, and to promote the quality and integrity of INSSA's programs.

Cheating

Unauthorized disclosure of the questions on the exam or any form of cheating is unethical behavior and shall result in sanctions up to and including a failing mark and the denial of certification.

Use of Certification

INSSA certification is voluntary. The INSSA certification credential is awarded to applicants based solely on their attainment of the necessary requirements to achieve the certification credential. The assessment requirements that are part of achieving certification are based on the INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile. The competency profile has been built with input from subject matter experts representing the NGO security risk management profession, and is designed to indicate the level of performance required for recognition of competence. The guidelines for certification are focused solely on recognizing achievements, and on applied knowledge, rather than on, for example, predicting future job performance. Any use of certification results for any reason other than recognition, or to measure knowledge not explicitly described in the competencies, is not considered valid. Any use of the INSSA certification credential for the granting of a license, selection, promotion, or other non-voluntary purpose is also not valid.

 

Continuing Professional Development

The objective of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement is to ensure that members who have earned the Country or Regional certification designation participate in ongoing professional development activities. This ensures that they continue to maintain the standards of practice required by INSSA.

Professional Development Activities

·    Enhance the member’s competencies as security risk management professionals within the humanitarian sector

·    Contribute to the acquisition of new knowledge

·    Build familiarity with contemporary safety and security risk management issues

·    Reinforce essential skills related to safety and security risk management

·    Contribute to the development of new skills that enhance performance as a safety and security risk management professional

CPD represents a commitment to continuous learning in a profession affected by economic, social, business and legislative changes. The CPD requirement is met by accumulating the required number of CPD credits.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirements

Certified members are required to obtain 45 credits of professional development activities for every three-year CPD cycle. There is no requirement to obtain a certain number of credits each year but certified members are strongly encouraged to design a personal professional development plan that outlines an annual schedule. Requirements are based on the same occupational standards set for the initial certification (e.g., INSSA membership requirements and INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile).

CPD Categories

Below are various categories and types of activities that meet the continuing professional development (CPD) requirement. Each activity is allotted CPD credits. Normally, a credit is worth 1 hour, unless specified otherwise. Members do not need to accrue credits in every category as long as they meet the minimum number of credits required for the cycle.

A broad range of activities qualify, including certain types of work projects. Members are encouraged to consider all activity categories when developing their personal CPD plan and must ensure that activities are relevant to the sector. The following list is an overview of the main categories.

·    Continuing Education: Professional development activities may include attending seminars, courses, workshops, and conferences.

·    Leadership: Professional development activities may include, mentoring, and volunteering.

·    Instruction: Professional development activities may include developing or teaching new courses for credit at a university, college, institute, or workplace. Credit is only awarded for the first time a course is developed or taught. This category will be of particular interest to academics, consultants, and corporate trainers (maximum 15 credits a year for each new course developed; maximum 10 credits a year for significant updates of an existing course).

·    Significant Work Projects/Initiatives: Professional development activities include developing safety and security related programs, contributing to sector events such as EISF forums, INSSA webinars, etc., project, secondment or special assignments (maximum 15 credits a year for each significant work project developed).

·    Research or Publication: Professional development activities include conducting research, authoring and publishing of texts or articles (maximum 15 credits a year towards a significant contribution towards a research project or publication.)

·    Volunteer activities: Volunteering as a member of one of INSSA’s committees (e.g., Board of Directors, Exam Committee, etc.). Maximum 5 credits a year.

The INSSA Board of Directors will continue to assess and revise the list of CPD categories/activities and the allocation of credits.

Certified members are expected to choose professional development activities that will best meet their own professional development needs.

Failure to renew certification may result in its suspension after a period of three years. After four years, an individual’s status is changed to “inactive” and those who wish to be re-certified will be required to re-apply and be re-assessed.

 

Membership & Recertification

Members who hold a certification are required to pay a yearly membership fee of US$100. The benefits of certification include free or discounted: networking events, conference rates, specialized courses and/or workshops, certified members only job board, etc.

Each year, certified members must:

·    Attest that they have read and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct

·    Be a member in good standing

·    Pay membership dues

·    Hold one of INSSA’s certification classes

·    Demonstrate that they have met the Post Certification Education Requirements through the Continuing Professional Development Log

 

Exam Application

To apply for the INSSA Security Risk Management Professional Certification - Country level exam you must complete an online application form and pay a fee of US $99. Please be prepared to provide information about your current role, educational background, and previous work experience. See the Getting Started section for more information.

Acceptable methods of payment include: Credit Card, Visa Debit Card, or PayPal.

 

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