CSMP® is accredited by SFJ Awards/IQ as a Level 6 Organizational Diploma for Corporate Security Management. The Certified Security Management Professional CSMP® (Advanced Concepts) delivered by the International Security Management Institute®, United Kingdom.
‘’On behalf of the ISMI® Professional Assessment Board, it is my privilege to congratulate you on achieving the Certified Security Management Professional (CSMP®) and admittance as a full member of the International Security Management Institute (M.ISMI®). Achieving the ISMI CSMP® Diploma is an outstanding accomplishment and puts you in the premier league of security management professionals worldwide’’.
Please reach out to me about the ISMI® CSMP®, The Security Institute, or any other enquiry or question you might have, I shall get back to you as soon as I can, my contact details are below.
If you only read two paragraphs of this, just read these;
This is the first meaningful qualification I have earnt in 35 years, since leaving school in 2001. I left school before my GCSE’s, my parents never pushed me to continue my education, they never forced me to attend college, or university, which I am incredibly thankful for, instead they supported me when I told them I wanted to be in the security industry and be a doorman at sixteen.
At school I only enjoyed art and going to the school gym when I did not have art classes, which was most of the time, the teachers left me. I excelled in art, and in physical education, I was guaranteed a future in the Royal Marines, this was my goal, due to my physical attributes and incredible ability to run long distances, but decided to become a doorman instead.
My father died when I was 18, which had a significant impact on my teenage years, in the early years of my security career I was mixing with some dangerous people, who made a significantly positive impact on my life.
Only at the age of 33 when I met my wife did I truly value my vast experience, and thanks to her, put value on my potential, studying of any sort was not on the agenda prior to meeting my wife, sometimes it takes someone to motivate you to reach your true potential, but you need to believe in yourself first....
It's never too late to learn, embrace everyday with the opportunity to learn something new, either about work, in your personal life, or any other walk of life.
“An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until finally he knows everything about nothing.”
Firstly, I would like to thank my fellow network, and all of those whom have taken the time to either, or also, read my journey and followed me, and sent a congratulatory message or posted a comment, I am sincerely grateful to you all.
I recall embarking on this journey in June 2020, after two years of debating, and holding off from enrolling, mainly belief in myself, and other priorities in life, or perhaps, laziness on some accounts.
In February 2020 myself and my wife were blessed with a son, and in March 2020 I was blessed to still have my job for the UAE Government, after a significant cut-back in resources due to CV19, I was blessed to still have employment, doing what I love, for a project I love and is a positive challenge on a daily basis.
2020 was a tremendously hard year for many, and 2021 has started the same for so many, it still surprises me how many people are still unemployed, who have lost businesses, homes, cars and other assets due to the global pandemic.
I often think of this when I need to kick myself sometimes about how lucky we are, not only personally, but professionally. I am living in Dubai, where the sun is shining daily, where the weather is hot, the country has everything you could wish for, my family are healthy, the roof over our heads has everything inside we could wish for, we have two luxury sports cars, the bills are paid, and we have a holiday home in Southern Spain.
Recently I have found the importance in stopping frequently, without distraction, and without the outside world distracting me on social media, and think about how fortunate I am, or we are, because often we are all too busy to digest how fortunate we are sometimes, often complaining about the smallest things, or always wanting more, because we are never happy with what we have.
Chapter 7 of 7
My decision to enrol on the ISMI® CSMP® was based on my anticipated time working remotely, as the UAE went into a full lockdown last summer. After one week of enrolment, and awaiting the unit one content, I was asked by my Vice President at the time if I wanted to return to the EXPO 2020 Dubai site and support the site security operation, which at the time were working during the height of the pandemic as front-line workers when numbers were significant.
The decision to return to site was based on my wife’s blessing, and my intent to use the opportunity to work my way around the empty building site and understand every single area, and building within the site itself as many of the workforce only knew/or know from drawings and from behind a desk, which was an opportunity that today, has paid off ten-fold as I am able to fully grasp the site geographically, and it’s content.
I returned to site, and operated on three shift patterns, including overnight work (0000hrs to 0800hrs), which impacted heavily on my studies, and my personal life, as my wife was left at home with our new born, the next day I was forced to rest, leaving my son with my wife yet again, and then resorting to studying that night, leaving me with only a few hours to see my son and wife.
I also had newly appointed fatherhood responsibilities, which also added to the pressure of work and studies. So much so, in unit two, four and five I almost referred onto the self-paced option, but I considered this a failure, as I was determined to stick to the motivational deadlines and course window.
Many would contest that the referral is not a fail, however the course was designed to run over twelve months, the deadline is enforced to test the student, as is the unit content, not being able to stick to the twelve-month benchmarks would have meant me failing in my view, so I pushed on through.
Unit five witnessed a significant increase in challenge, ironically the unit material was made available just after I returned to desk duty, allowing me to study after work, and late at night, once my wife and son had gone to bed. That being said, unit five took me several reviews and a complete revision to understand the requirements, so much so, I finished the unit once, and then re-wrote it after feeling that what I had put together was not correct or sufficient.
In unit five I was able to integrate CV19 risks which really boosted the quality of work I feel, I did this because I believed that the other students may have missed this opportunity to add this into their work, and add value to my submission, an example of how you will be required to ‘’think’’ is outlined below. You will pick up the level of detail you require to add within your analysis as you progress, but it takes time, and can often be strenuous to think outside of the box.
‘’CV19 is a significant threat to the organization, and it’s assets, many of which form asset clusters, for example ‘relative criticality’ and ‘external dependencies’, such as guardforce, do we rely on a single guardforce provider? And if so, do they have the resources to backfill posts? Or do they need to pull manpower from other sites, impacting other city-wide operations and critical infrastructure such as airports, ports and power plants?
What if a large cluster of guardforce is wiped out by CV19, how will this impact operations and business continuity for our operation? what impact does this have on both the integrity of the security operation, and maintaining a secure and sterile site, thus bringing the organization into disrepute should this occur, and improving accessibility to adversaries with criminal intent, wishing to harm high-value tangible assets (people, buildings, machinery and computing equipment for example).
What is the impact on the service provider, and or business financially (contractual, service deliverables, or KPI’s), and how would an outbreak affect external stakeholders? should an outbreak occur, are emergency services asked to step in and support? Do onsite medical facilities have sufficient staffing and equipment? Are other security companies already procured and notified to be on standby through prior agreements to ensure support is always provided and the security operation continuous?’’.
Just from this very brief example, you can see how detailed answers need to be, and how you need to think as a practitioner, as a security manager, or head of security, you will be required to have these details documented, risks identified and mitigated, imagine, if the above scenario came to light, and you, as the head of the security program had no plan in place, what then? This course will teach you how to think like a security leader, not a manager, and lead on details such as these, to optimize business continuity and implement an effective, inclusive, collaborative and professional security program.
By unit six, I found myself studying nights, and on a Saturday, I no-longer studied when my wife and son were awake, because I found that I was able to focus more at night, despite going to work without much more than an hour’s sleep in some cases, that is just one of many sacrifices you should be prepared to make.
I removed myself from any Netflix, or platforms where I would be distracted, and made a commitment to study the textbook and content, rather than turn the TV or iPad on when given the chance.
It is not possible to complete the units without fully digesting the textbooks in full, or reading supporting documentation relevant to the unit. In some cases, you are provided with a significant number of background documents, it is your job to decipher which are relevant to what you aim to write, and what is not, this will only be evident to you once you skim the surface and narrow the content down in the library.
Once I did this, I moved the content into a dedicated folder and shared this throughout my devices on a cloud, One Drive worked well for me. You should also get to grips with PowerPoint for your drawings, this is a must have program for this course, this helped me present drawings such as this example below, outlined by the accessor as ‘’Best in Class’’.
Unit six was another unit I ‘’exceeded’’ in, this was a unit which required a substantial investment of time in relation to drawings, and use of PowerPoint. The below is an example of the level of quality and detail the assessors need to see, noting that most for this unit are in fact head of security for such sites, which have likely done the same but in real life for some of the most high-risk sites in some of the world’s most hostile environments, an outline of an assessor’s background is below.
Be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time into the drawings, the ones in unit six, respectively took me six hours each, as I recall the second example was an overnight effort, without stopping. Do ensure you see the examples of ‘’unacceptable’’ drawings by David, many of which will make you wonder what was going through the student’s mind, as they would not be acceptable in any professional arena, or a study program at this level, let alone be presented to an executive board.
The assessors for the course have excelled in the program, exceeding in 11 of the 12 units. Many of which are industry leaders, from some of the most complex security environments globally. They are paid assessors, meaning that quality is maintained throughout.
I have included here a biography of one of the leading assessors for the program to outline the level of assessment and scrutiny you shall undergo, along with valuable support and feedback on drafts and submissions.
‘’BS is a current regional security manager in the oil and gas sector and the former defense attaché in Middle East during a period of unrest. He has extensive experience in the Middle East oil and gas sector, specializing in strategic security management, policy development and expatriate security.
BS’s role involves providing senior management with risk analysis and assessments, threat forecasting and regional travel advice, ensuring individual site security through security auditing and emergency response training and drills.
BS liaises with security guard force providers to ensure guard force KPI’s are maintained, providing best practice security advice for new build sites including perimeter security and CCTV systems and ensuring emergency response documents are up to date.
He also delivers training to the Crisis Management Team in dealing with security situations up to a full evacuation’’.
Computers and software are not for everybody, however, this is the time to learn, not only the content, but use of tools to enable you to achieve the qualification and to improve outside of the course, for use in your place of work, to enable you to design better presentations that you may put forth to colleagues, the higher committee or even for job interviews. I was proficient in PowerPoint before, now I am at coaching level I believe, as I now know the capabilities of the software inside out, it is rather staggering.
Not only have I been able to walk away with a valuable, meaningful qualification, my first since leaving school in 2001, but I was able to incorporate my 19 years of experience into this study program.
A university education does not always guarantee employability, nor does it provide the technical ability in some cases, it may also be costly, and people may also not have the chance to enrol due to poor schooling or lack of funds, the ISMI® CSMP® is accessible to all, providing the candidate is proficient in English and the small fee can be met.
At the age of 18 I was already involved in Executive Protection, primarily within the entertainment industry, at the time the owner of the company was the Head of Security for a globally recognized recording artist, which leveraged me into the opportunity to travel as part of a tour, and then progressed into venue security coordination and advanced security detail for several other recording artists in the early to mid-2000’s.
This at the time, whilst I was fit, young and worry free, seemed like the ideal career, little did I know that the life on the road is not something for someone who had bigger aspirations, life on the road is not for everybody, and the security aspect of touring is overly glamourized, as is Executive Protection overall, with many still assuming that this is the only ‘’exciting’’ side to the industry, usually by those whom have either not worked in it extensively at a high level, watched too many YouTube videos, reluctant to upskill or branch out into other areas of the industry, yet to realize you do not become rich from doing it, just overworked and underpaid, or still think girls are impressed when you tell them you are a ‘’bodyguard’’.
The money is poor, for the sacrifices you need to make, the guys earning really good money have been with their clients for years, and are either divorced, single or they have an incredibly supportive wife! The ones making good money will also likely tell you they are not being paid enough for what is expected of them, the others, whom have done the job full-time in the past, jobs on occasions but have a full-time corporate job in security, or act as a consultant in another security facet.
19 years on, and back in the UAE, having first arrived in 2005, with various stints away in Australia and Spain, I found myself back in the UAE and contemplating future opportunities and coming to the realization that the market is inundated with university educated people, with no ‘’real-world’’ experience, whom now I find myself indirectly competing with, in some shape or form, with many employers in the region now seeking a formal education, not only experienced professionals.
My aim was to complete my studies before I concluded work at EXPO 2020 Dubai in 2022, as the market is tough, my competition is average, but not as high as it once was, due to many having to relocate back to home countries, the ability to present a meaningful corporate security qualification allows me to compete for roles I may have once not had the opportunity to apply for, despite my experience speaking for itself.
I have found that over the past few months, much of what I have learnt from the ISMI® CSMP® is being used in my daily activities at work, and I have also seen a vast improvement in my writing abilities, having struggled with spelling and grammar most of my life, this course has also helped me to read, write and concentrate on lengthy documentation for longer periods of time without being distracted.
Below are just a few reasons why you should consider enrolling on the course, I could try and convince you that the ISMI® CSMP® is the best course in the market, but the quality, reviews, and detailed course outlines speak for itself, so should this post.
Improve your English skills (reading, writing, talking).
Improve your Computer skills (overall usage, and use of PowerPoint, Word and other programs).
Push yourself beyond boundaries you once never knew existed.
Challenge your commitment, application, analysis, ability and proficiency.
Providing those with no academia, a pathway to a meaningful qualification at a minimal cost, compared to a university degree for example, which is time consuming and may not guarantee employability.
Ability to gain technical skills, which a university may not teach.
Moving away from standard academia where theory is applied and summarizing what is written elsewhere, rather, the ISMI® CSMP® focuses on application, contextualization and analysis to evidence practitioner ability.
What is very important to consider, I rarely went onto the internet to find content for my studies, other than in unit 10 when I needed to re-read articles surrounding some 20’th century terrorist attacks which may not have been widely remembered like 911, other times would have been for me to review the OSAC website for updated city/country threat levels for units five and six for example.
Be very careful with the Internet David states; ‘’It is packed with rubbish, falsehoods, bias and sensationalism, so you run the risk of presenting an incorrect answer or evidencing incomplete understanding. There are also many examples of security technology products that are not fit for purpose, or phony. Presenting any of these as a solution could cost you marks if they detract from the value of what would otherwise be a good answer’’.
The above statement applies to all aspects of the course, from units one to unit twelve, unless you are seeking some background on a historic event for example, or looking for information from the OSAC website for your country/city threat level, which is considered factual information, avoid the internet at all costs.
The ISMI® CSMP® has also enabled me to now apply for my MSyl via The Security Institute two days ago, which should be under process as I write this, which again, was not possible previously due to my lack of academic qualifications. Since becoming an ASyl in March 2020 I have also become a member of the Middle East Members Group for the Syl, where I conduct a voluntary role as Communications Representative.
I have also been featured in the ISJ Magazine in January 2021 as ‘’A Top 25 Leading Figure in The Security Industry’’, which was a truly wonderful gesture by them, another magazine I write for time-to-time, when I find the time.
In a few weeks, upon an external validation of my papers, the awarding body should issue my award, which I shall frame in my living room here in the UAE, which will remind me of the sacrifices I made during my studies, and achieving something I once not thought possible before. I truthfully believed I did not have the patience, skill, commitment and drive to accomplish something like the ISMI® CSMP®.
Thank you once again to David, Janet, Bill, Robbie, Andrea and the assessors for their time, albeit, I did not conduct a one on one coaching session once, and only sent a handful of emails asking some questions, the time invested in ensuring papers are assessed fairly is obviously no small task, but one in which that requires applause as this is a well-oiled, professionally ran study program that is worth every penny.
Thank you to those whom followed my journey, those whom sent messages over the twelve-month journey, and of late upon hearing of my completion.
If you have any questions for me, please reach out anytime about enrolment on the ISMI® CSMP®, either via email or LinkedIn, and an introduction to the directors, if you wish to have one, I am happy to talk about my experience personally with you, or if you have any questions prior to enrolment, my details are below, along with those from ISMI®.
Remember, I shall not share content, textbooks, workbooks or any other details relating to tasks, including background and supporting documents, anybody asking for such material shall be reported directly to the board for investigation, even if you are a former, current or prospective student, consider this, if it is not worth doing properly, it is not worth doing at all.
Thank you and regards.
Adam WG Green ASyl CSMP®
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