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 levels increasing in responsibility and scope: Country, Regional, Global and Executive.

INSSA Security Risk Management Professional – Country Certification

INSSA has launched its certification program for Country level security risk management professionals (Regional, Global and Executive will follow). Gaining certification indicates that an individual has demonstrated a specific level of competence to be certified as an INSSA security risk management professional.

The Country Certification 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

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. INSSA membership includes the requirement to agree to abide by the INSSA Code of Conduct.

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 consists of approximately 100 questions. The exam is based on the competencies outlined in the INSSA Security Risk Management Competency Profile. The exam is offered online. To take the exam, applicants must have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection. While the exam will not be supervised, it must be completed in 3-hours. Preparing for the exam is strongly encouraged. Refer to the Prepare for Exam section for more information.

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 60 calendar days upon receiving their e-mail invitation to complete the exam online. This date will be indicated in the invitation e-mail.

 

Application and Exam Fee

To apply, you must pay a fee of US $99 and complete an online application form. 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.
  • Information about your current role, educational background, and previous work experience. 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:
  1. Organization’s name
  2. Organization’s address in the country in which you are based
  3. Contact person’s name, phone number and email that can verify the work experience provided

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

 

Requirements to Maintain Recertification

  • Retain INSSA membership
  • Earn 180 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) quarter-credits within a 3-year period (45-hours of learning) OR retake the exam

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.

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.

Privacy and 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.

Testimonials

 

"This was a test of my professional experience. I didn’t know if my knowledge of country level security management was globally applicable. Receiving the email that I passed was a very exciting moment for me, because it was a tangible proof that I am a security professional."

Gerardo Cálix - Regional Security Advisor Latin and Central America, Catholic Relief Services

"I found the exam to be helpful and comprehensive, requiring a range of best practices and principles applicable to safety and security management. The reference material provided assists in knowledge-building, and includes good tools for country-level (and all) managers."

Steve Robinson - Director of Operational Security, International Justice Mission