Physical Security Professional (PSP)

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Continuing the coverage of ASIS certifications—this organization was formerly known as the American Society for Industrial Security, and now is called simply ASIS International—we examine their physical security professional or PSP certification in this newsletter.


PSP certification focuses on individuals who conduct threat surveys, and who design, operate, install, or maintain integrated security systems that incorporate specific equipment, procedures, and people. The certification focuses on three specific areas of expertise, for which candidates must master various tasks, and acquire necessary knowledge and skills:



  • Physical Security Assessment: this standard risk management, where assets must be inventoried to determine their monetary or organizational value and their overall importance within an asset inventory. Likewise, threat to such assets must be assessed so that preventive or palliative measures may be evaluated and adopted as needed. Physical security surveys are essential for understanding organizational vulnerabilities, as is risk analysis to help drive development of appropriate countermeasures.

  • Selection of Integrated Physical Security Measures: this covers identification of physical security measures needed to offset potential vulnerabilities and avoid loss or damage, and analyzing such measures to make sure they are implemented efficiently and work properly. It also means reporting on options, making recommendations, and assisting in the selection process to ensure that risks are addressed and countermeasures may be implemented.

  • Implementation of Physical Security Measures: this includes providing criteria and requirements to make sure that purchases may be properly let out for bid, RFP, RFQ, and so forth. It also means providing criteria whereby bids or proposals may be evaluated as to their overall fit to stated requirements. Likewise, acceptance testing and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of physical security measures must also be provided, to ensure proper results and compliance with evolving security needs and requirements.


To be eligible for certification as a PSP, individuals must do more than pass a demanding examination (the first such exam will be administered in New Orleans during the ASIS annual meeting from September 15-18, 2003; cost is $300 for ASIS members, $350 for nonmembers). Additional requirements also include:



  • 5 years of experience in the physical security field

  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent

  • A clean criminal record that will not “negatively reflect on the security profession, ASIS International, or the Physical Security Professional Certification Program.”


In short, this is a mid- to senior-level computer physical security certification with a decided emphasis on physical security analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. Those who wish to work the facilities and physical access management side of security would do very well indeed to obtain this credential, provided they can meet its fairly demanding requirements. Visit  for more information.

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