Enabling the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

Certification Launch

INSSA launches competency-based security risk management professional - country level certification

December 13, 2017

“As you read this, people trapped in the throes of war are suffering. Civilians in urban areas are struggling every single day to find food, water, and safe shelter, while airstrikes and shelling drive more from their homes, subjecting them to greater vulnerability, prejudice, and abuse. Children are recruited and used to fight, and their schools used for military purposes. Women live in fear, are sexually abused by fighters, then shamed by their villages. Even as humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers treat the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and unlawfully prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.”[1]

The International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA) is an association of NGO security professionals and those committed to addressing the safety and security challenges facing humanitarian and NGO field workers.  Through advocacy, collaboration, standardization, and professional development INSSA seeks a world where humanitarian and development assistance are safely accessed and delivered to people in need.  INSSA, in support of its members who often bear the responsibility of supporting colleagues and partners to deliver life-saving assistance in hostile and insecure environments, has created a competency-based framework to enhance the professional development and build the safety and security risk management capacity of members working in the humanitarian aid and development sector.

With the generous support from Irish Aid and following intensive work over the past eighteen months, involving security risk management professionals, humanitarian practitioners and thought leaders, INSSA has launched the Security Risk Management Professional - Country level certification. INSSA has created an NGO Security Professional Development Program to define key Security Risk Management Professional (SRMP) competencies at four management levels (Country, Regional, Global, and Executive), and to develop a process to certify that an individual professional has demonstrated the capacity to meet these competencies at each level.  INSSA defines competency as “the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary for an individual to be able to function at a particular level in their management of the security needs of their respective organization”.

The Security Risk Management Professional (SRMP) certification is the only international certification program designed exclusively for NGO security risk management professionals. The certification, developed through a rigorous process compliant with the ISO 31000 standard for risk management and supported by seminal security risk management documents developed by ICRC, EISF, HPN, and SMI will cover the following competency areas specific to NGO security risk management:

Competency Area


A: Risk Assessment

A1: Communication and Consultation

A2: Establishing Context

A3: Risk Identification

A4: Risk Analysis

A5: Risk Evaluation

A6: Risk Treatment Plans

B: Principles, Policies and Protocols

B1: Policies and Standards Design and Development

B2: Accountability and Responsibility

B3: Planning and Budgeting

B4: Compliance, Performance & Effectiveness

B5: Information Management

C: Leadership, Management and Implementation

C1: Resource Management

C2: Professional Development

C3: Communication

C4: Diversity & Inclusion

C5: Employee Engagement

C6: Innovation & Change Management

D: Critical Incident Response








D1: Incident Identification and Response

D2: Stakeholder Engagement

D3: Incident Management

D4: Incident Follow-up

D5: Incident Review

Reflecting the critical importance of effective safety and security risk management throughout the humanitarian and NGO sectors, the Professional Development Program and certification process are designed to support and demonstrate members’ long-term commitment to continued professionalism and accountability in their roles in security risk management at all levels.  Certificants are required to demonstrate minimum experience through an assessment process, and commit to a code of ethics and professional conduct. Moreover, to maintain the validity of their certification, they agree to meet continuing education requirements.

INSSA has engaged leading experts and innovators in the development and delivery of the certification programs to ensure that the INSSA Security Risk Management Professional certification at all four levels meets established international standards as applied in the NGO and humanitarian program context. The certification assessment will include 100 multiple choice questions covering the competency categories, and will be accessible in English via the internet from anywhere in the world.

A variety of resources will be available through INSSA to prospective certificants to help them prepare for the certification exams, including sample questions, study guides outlining key points, and links to learning resources from a variety of providers.

Qualified INSSA members should go here now for more information and to register for the Security Risk Management Professional – Country level certification.

[1] United Nations World Humanitarian Day Petition 2017

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