G.I. Bill now covers additional security certifications

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--The Department of Veterans Affairs approved Physical Security Professional and Professional Certified Investigator certification exams for reimbursement through the G.I. Bill in late 2005. The partnership between ASIS International, which sponsors the exams, and the VA gives security professionals who are active military, transitioning from the military or veterans an incentive to get certified.
President of the Professional Certification board at ASIS, John Gehrlein, CPP said, "When the VA approved the two professional designations, it added even more credibility to the program." The VA has paid benefits to eligible candidates for the Certified Protection Professional exam, a broad-based designation that covers disciplines of security management, since 2001.
Though the partnership, "the VA will reimburse test takers up to a maximum of $2,000 in exam costs per test. Benefits may also be used to retake a test that was previously failed," Gehrlein said.
Industry members need to be experienced in the field to be eligible for the exams; between five and nine years of experience are needed, depending on the specific certification. PCI is a technical designation for individuals who conduct investigations; PSP is a certification that caters to designers and installers of security systems. The designations are an added screening tool for employers, contactors, governments and clients, Gehrlein said. The G.I. Bill reimbursement also promotes career advancement or a reposition in the security profession, he noted.
The exams measure knowledge and skill sets. Though the end of November 2005, 5,150 people have received the CPP certification, 90 obtained PCI certification, and 406 industry members were awarded the PSP certification.
Already, some military veterans have transitioned into the security industry after active duty, as they have extensive training in robotics and information technology, which converges with the direction of the industry.