EXCLUSIVE: Path to the ASIS International certification


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Abraham Desantiago, ASIS CONNECTS Ambassador discusses his experiences with gaining the ASIS International certification in South America.

This is not a marketing note about an organization that promotes the ASIS values and resources. This is a note about how today, we need to think and go beyond. In South America, there are many security professionals that are unemployed, who are looking for a job through ASIS International’s local chapters, networking and asking for help from others in getting a job within the industry. These professionals are looking to grow their knowledge and to be updated in this ever-changing environment. In addition, there are young professionals who are looking to gain knowledge in this guild of security.

Therefore, I want to talk about my latest experience during my Chief Security Officer diploma course provided by Organization G.D.C from Bogota, Colombia. In March of this year, I decided to join a diploma course. This opportunity was a unique one! My Colombian colleagues Daniel Jimenez CPP PSP and Julian Puentes CPP PSP from Organization G.D.C, who also are the Chair and Vice Chair of the ASIS International Chapter 225 offered to the Venezuela ASIS membership a diploma course to achieve the desired ASIS Certification.

Currently, Jimenez is a professional who is passionate about the humanization of services in aspects of asset protection for entities dedicated to healthcare, a coach in international certifications, motivator, teacher and committed to improving the processes of different organizations, in which he has served as a consultant.

Jimenez is a professional in military sciences, retired officer of the Colombian National Army, member of International Association for Healthcare Security Safety (IAHSS) and ASIS International. As well as being a member of the Healthcare Security Council, he is also currently President of ASIS International Chapter 225 and Advisor and Consultant in Hospital Security Risk Management for healthcare centers in Latin America (LATAM). Furthermore, he is a lecturer and teacher at different universities in Colombia

and was awarded the “Regional Certification Award 2021” by ASIS International.

Julian Puentes CPP PSP has a PhD in Complex Thinking, Master in Security and National Defense, Master in Compliance and Risk Management, completed a specialization course in Anti-Corruption Management, is a specialist in Security Administration and a professional in Military Sciences and Architecture Studies.

He also has diplomas in the Prevention and Management of Terrorist Attacks and Sabotage in Quality Management. As well as his diplomas, Puentes has also achieved a Global Security and Public Policy Executive Certificate and a Cybersecurity Leadership and Strategy Executive Certificate from Florida International University.

His other achievements include being a Certified Specialist Expert in Logistics Chain Management CSCM – ISCEA (International Supply Chain Education Alliance), attaining an Introductory Certificate in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design CPTED – ICA (International CPTED Association) among others.

Furthermore, he has university teaching experience with emphasis in Higher Education, CPP and PSP Certification courtesy of ASIS International, experience as a Forensic Psychophysiologist and is a professional Polygraphist.

As a matter of fact, Venezuela is living through a rough financial situation with high inflation, high rates of crime among other social issues. Currently in Venezuela, robbery and petty theft are high risks, especially in Caracas, where the risk of being killed during an armed robbery is among the highest in South America and criminal gangs are only getting bigger. The states of Anzoátegui, Aragua, as well as many others in the country also have very high rates of crime.

Taking into account the abovementioned, a security professional from the western hemisphere is always looking to stay updated. Jimenez and Puentes offered a way for security professionals to learn again. Overall, many professionals came into the private security environment after a step back was taken from law enforcement corporations or military corporations. For them, this it is incredibly hard to get certification.

They need to be studying and completing activities such as reading the class presentation and then start to record yourself (using any device: smart phone, audio recorder). Begin to assign at least one hour of your time to study. Later, listen to yourself your own recording, there you will find that you are not such a great reader! So, you have to improve your reading skills to get a good comprehension on your own. 

The studying techniques and methodologies given by Jimenez and Puentes to the Venezuela Chapter members who decided to enroll in the diploma course get the ASIS resources and guidelines. Moreover, during the course, given every Saturday morning, we gathered and received classes from a professional certified by ASIS. On multiple occasions, these classes were given by the Venezuela Chapter Board members, such as: Augusto Hernandez CPP PCI (ASIS Venezuela Chapter Chair), Jose David Rivas CPP (ASIS Venezuela Chapter Vice Chair) and Jakson Phillips CPP PSP PCI (ASIS Venezuela Chapter Young Professional Liaison).

The students receive material in a straightforward manner. These classes did not just require you to read a PowerPoint presentation. Everything was about making sure students absorbed information, including by brainstorming within the group.

What is more interesting in this whole experience is that other organizations in Latin America have started to copy or imitate this model of studying without realizing what is the real goal for Jimenez and Puentes, which has helped many of my colleagues already. In years gone by, to be an ASIS CPP or PSP gives you a superior image over other security professionals. Today, these titles carry the same weight.

Nowadays, receiving a certification means that you are a skilled and qualified security professional who is ready to work within any organization. With the arrival of the ESRM, those who came from law enforcement or military corporations have developed a holistic way of thinking which was not previously apparent. I saw how my students understood and created an attitude where the security department is no longer a contractor that accomplished routine missions.

For the closure event I was invited to speak as ASIS CONNECTS Ambassador and Young Professional. There, I shared ideas and points of view about what is coming next for the students that finished this diploma course.

Finally, the students have to challenge themselves by taking the ASIS certification exam and prove that they can be a certified security professional ready to take on challenges from any part of the world. An ASIS Certified professional is somebody who speaks and understands the procedures, manuals from the POA.

It is inspiring how almost weekly a security professional achieves an ASIS certification thanks to these studying ways. The age does not matter, it doesn’t matter if they are a young professional, students will be able to achieve the certification with high scores.

For more information, visit: www.asisonline.org

This article was originally published in the bumper September edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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