2020 was an intense year for home-based skills upgrading and domestic instability. For the security industry, the imagined future is one that is complex and inter-disciplinary, with many governments imposing minimum requirements for personnel training and knowledge. Employers favour ‘easy checks’ as to capabilities and experience, and have replaced many simpler roles with technology-based systems. To ensure career potential in the security and counter-terrorism fields, there is now a need to constantly upgrade, and provide demonstrable proof of knowledge and ability in resumes and CVs.
However, not all courses and institutions serve the same purpose. Loosely, anti-terrorist and counter-terrorism qualifications can include work experience, workshop attendance, training, university programmes, certificates, and professional credentials or certification. Choices made, and money and time spent affect outcomes like career potential and practitioner credibility. Here, we clarify what obtaining an Accredited Certification means, and why it could be best for your needs.
What is a Certification?
Unlike a ‘certificate’ which serves to recognise one-time completion of a training programme, a certification is granted after an assessment process. The process identifies the candidate as one meeting a defined professional standard for criteria within the certification’s scope. An authentic certification meets the standards, scheme, or regulations of an international authority, as well as the procedural requirements of the Accreditation and Certification Body (AB and CB).
Therefore, undergoing a certification process and examination is not training or education per se. Rather, passing an evaluation and earning an ‘accredited certification’ act as an assurance for employers/clients that you as an individual are in possession of world-standard competence and skill within your professional discipline. Organisations hiring or deploying a certified individual would have greater confidence in deliverable service, as knowledge and skill are proven by a globally benchmarked credential.
The goal of a ‘harmonised’ international system for certification is to ensure cross-border mutual recognition, and facilitate the global exchange of personnel in a more fluid job market. This was the basis of the ISO/IEC 17024, an International Standard for certification of persons also driven by growing role specialisation and technological complexity (ISO, 2012).
The ISO/IEC 17024 is a personnel certification standard that applies to technical and safety fields including energy managers, medical technicians, business consultants, non-destructive testing workers, and security personnel. An ISO 17024 certified welder would be in a better position to use the certification for international job applications than a welder describing only training and work experience. A client hiring an organisation with ISO-compliant welders would know that risks of error and poor quality work are lower, hence be willing to pay more.
Essentially, an ISO/IEC 17024 certification enables organisations to confidently deploy individuals that have the capabilities, skills, and knowledge to assure competency in their certified scope. It serves as an impartial assessment of individuals, with periodic monitoring and documentation of their competency, to ensure they continuously maintain their compliance with international industry standards. This format includes keeping records of the number of hours of training and/or consultations, which are then used as criteria to evaluate candidates for re-certification every 2 years.
Formed in 1986 with a focus on laboratory standards, the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) serves to fulfil strategic economic policy by building global trust in Singapore’s products and services. This enhances the city-state’s appeal as a headquarter location, and regional node of excellence and technically skilled labour.
Accreditation schemes for personnel certification according to ISO-standards were launched in 2013. The purpose is to ensure a transparent, systematic and impartial approach in evaluating a candidate, such that their credential is:
- Demonstrable proof of knowledge, skill, and competency
- Listed by the Certification and Accreditation Body, and therefore can be checked by interested parties
- Valid on an ongoing basis, as the candidate needs to maintain their certification and the Certification Body undergoes a yearly audit
- Consistent, comparable, and reliable. An international equivalent recognised in the ISO ‘market’, which includes over 100 economies
The Certification Body – Certified Counter Terrorism Practitioner (CCTP)
CCTP is a certification body which operates under its main organisation – Certified Counter Terrorism Board (CTCB)
An accredited Certification Body designs and administers the certification scheme and the examination process.
“A certification body that wishes to be accredited by the SAC is required to set up the relevant certification process and management systems to enable them to assess and certify persons independently. Individuals (e.g. security personnel) who apply to be certified will be required to meet the competency criteria before they are awarded the certification.
The accredited certificate based on the ISO/IEC 17024 standard provides the added assurance to employers or service users that the individuals have been examined and qualified as competent in the specific certification scope.”
The CCTP has been accredited by the SAC to meet ISO/IEC 17024. Meaning: It has established itself as competent to assess and examine individuals in the security field, and is therefore authorised to carry out certification of these personnel according to professional standards.
This is done in accordance to requirements set by ISO 17024, ensured by oversight of the SAC. It is important to note that the candidate undergoing assessment is not ‘being trained’ or qualified by the CCTP itself, but by the CCTP in its capacity as a CB. The examinations and certification are actually global ones, essentially ISO-based, and not exclusively tied to or dependent on the CCTP Institute. Other aspects of CCTP’s role include enforcing strict eligibility requirements for assessment and re-certification.
Nevertheless, as an accredited CB, the CCTP is in fact conducting a globally accepted process in accordance with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) standards. Local, regional, and the global market can thus have significant confidence in the issued personnel certifications.
So: What is an Anti-Terrorism Certification – Standards & Scope
Certification in a specialised discipline such as counter-terrorism and security is important because it acts as proof that personnel perform at or above a defined scope of skills and knowledge. The process involved is transparent, systematic, and impartial with an emphasis on application and technical competency. Anti-terrorism certifications are thus a collaborative effort between industry experts around the world, with the scheme and evaluation process done by the accredited CB.
Currently, CCTP is the only personnel certification body in the security personnel field that is accredited by the SAC to meet ISO/IEC 17024. This means that CCTP is qualified and approved to carry out independent assessments of individuals in the security field for the certification of these personnel. Passing of the annual, in-person audit by SAC is meant to ensure commitment to and meeting of schematic responsibilities and certification standards. Authenticity of the documents, and ability to check the CB’s status and certified personnel, are assured by the presence of the IAF and SAC logos.
For security personnel, skills that need to be proven during assessment include systematic risk assessments and TVRA analysis. As threats and legislation have evolved to intimately involve the built environment and cyber realm, requirements for traditional practitioners and a variety of consultants have increased. Industry standards and job scope have expanded to include security by design, security technology incorporation, big data analysis, and open-source intelligence (OSINT).
The CCTP Certification Body has widened CCTP scheme as well as added more specialised credential types. This Certification Body carefully evaluates candidates for their eligibility to apply as well as maintain their certified status through work experience and training programmes according to a points system, enforcing continued professional development.
Why Choose a CCTP Credential?
If you want something that functions as demonstrable proof of practical knowledge, skill, and competency in the security and counter-terrorism fields, a certification is the best option. This process will encompass eligibility, preparation, examination, and ongoing evaluation.
CCTP Board accredited certifications are evidence of strict compliance with ISO standards and their conditions, therefore reflecting safety, reliability, and superior quality. It is also the only internationally recognised certification in the world in the field of counter- and anti-terrorism.
The benefits of CCTP certification are many, not only to the professional, but also to industry, government and the general public. Bearing a stamp of approval from the SAC assures a world-class, cutting–edge training and service provider for the contemporary security environment. Certification by CCTP proves that you are able to operate in compliance of a particular global standard – which is much more than just being in possession of a certificate. As mentioned above, it demonstrates that your skills meet set international standard requirements, with necessary principles fulfilled and validated with consistency, professionalism and impartiality.
Practitioners selecting this particular form of anti-terror qualification would further benefit from:
- Clear verification of their professional capability
- The internationally validated standard and marketability
- Greater confidence of employers/clients
- The emphasis on tested practical and working knowledge
- Having a credential that requires continuous compliance, ensuring ongoing self-development, workforce relevance, and qualification validity
Thanks and credit to the SAC for their assistance in the creation of this article.
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