How will this programme assist me with my career development?

Any reputable professional development programme demonstrates to employers and clients, current and future, that the holder is committed to professional development.  The CSM®, specifically, demonstrates that the holder has studied and is proficient in the application of a standard set of security risk management practices which are widely adopted as best practice across the globe by leading organisations. 


What are the acceptance criteria?

There are no minimum academic entry requirements in order to register for this certification, but you will need to be a fluent reader/writer of English.  There are also no definitive experience prequalification criteria, but in order to be successful, you should have experience in the management of security or a related field, e.g. police or military.    Each application will be reviewed on its merits and advice will be given (refer to next section).


Who, specifically, is CSM® aimed at?

  1. Those in a management or supervisory position and for whom the CSMP® Diploma is too time consuming or, for other reasons, unattainable/unsuitable.
  2. Multi-hatted managers, who are the focal points for security alongside other areas of business responsibility will also realise much benefit from completing the CSM®.
  3. Organisations with a CSMP® Diploma security leader may also achieve considerable value from sponsoring selected talented individuals through the programme.  This has the dual benefit of identifying those who are potentially ready for promotion and standardising security management best practice across the organisation.
  4. The study programme may also be suitable for those who are not yet at supervisor or manager level but have exceptional talent and who aspire to a role in security management.


Is the content applicable worldwide and across different sectors?

The best practice in the 12-volume ISMI® Security Management Body of Knowledge is universally applicable and not aligned to any specific jurisdiction, country or sector.  As such, the reference materials, and thus the examination questions and subsequent survey report are applicable and relatable wherever you are in the world and to whichever sector you practice security management in.


Does CSM® have a specific level?

CSM® isn’t aligned to a specific level as ISMI® has chosen not to have it accredited by an awarding organisation in order to allow ISMI® complete flexibility to continuously adjust and modify the examination questions in order to keep the process current.  However, for the purposes of benchmarking, you can assume that the questions and second task (survey assignment) will be set at about Level 4 on the UK curriculum (Level 6 equivalent for those countries that use the South African scale).


Can I use the postnominal CSM® upon completion?

Yes, upon successful completion of both elements of assessment: the examination and the security survey report.


Where can I obtain the Registration Form and what is the registration process?

Please email enquiries@ismi.org.uk and please be sure to ask for the CSM® registration form.  If you can send a CV or LinkedIn profile also, it may help ISMI® make a faster acceptance decision.  Once notified of your acceptance you will be required to pay in full, whereupon the course materials will be issued.  Concurrently, you will be registered with the examination hosting contractor.


How long do I have to complete the course?

From date of payment to ISMI® you will have 12 months to complete the process and pass both elements (examination and security survey report). 


Are there specific intakes?

No.  You can register and start at any time. Once registered, you have 12 months to complete.


What is the preparation (study) time?

For a fluent reader of English, the study hours required to assimilate the contents of the 12 volumes of the ISMI® Security Management Body of Knowledge are about 40 hours.  For most people, this equates to a preparation period of about 3-6 months.  Time planning and setting a regular schedule to read each subject matter volume in turn is critical to success.  There are no monthly assignments so study time planning is in your hands, with guidance from ISMI®.


What reference materials do I need?

The fee of £ (GBP) 785 (+ VAT where applicable) is all-inclusive, meaning that there are no hidden costs for study materials etc.  Your fee covers one attempt (further attempts if necessary at a discounted retake fee) at the examination and all of the reference/study materials (12-volume ISMI® Security Management Body of Knowledge as individual .pdfs, once for each subject area)


Can I take a study break between the two parts, the examination and the survey report?

Yes, from point of registration you have 12 months to complete both parts.  You should study for and aim to pass the examination element within six months, leaving you six further months to complete and report on the security survey element.


Where do I sit the examination and how does it work?

The examination and your supervision will be the responsibility of Certible, ISMI®’s online examination partner.  You can sit the examination from a quiet room of your choice but it is important that you are able to meet Certible’s conditions for remote proctoring, which are standard in examination processes such as this.  Some of the key points to be found at ……..

Certible’s examination software will link up with your computer – which must have an active camera – and you will be remotely proctored via that camera.  If a work PC, you should ensure with your IT department that it isn’t set by default to block live streaming of examination software.  It is important that there is a stable power supply and constant internet access so that you meet the conditions for remote proctoring.  If the signal drops for any reason, the examination will be terminated.  There must be no disturbances, distractions or other persons present in the room.  A pre-booked meeting room is ideal. As the examination is closed-book, there must be no books on the table, no notes, no tablets or smartphones etc.  A full list of conditions will be communicated upon registration.


How much notice is necessary to book an examination?

This will depend on demand, but it in some cases you may be able to book an examination with as little as 48 hours’ notice.  However, we would recommend trying to book at least one week before your desired date/ time.


Will I need to show ID?

Yes, a government-issued photo ID card or similar (e.g. passport or driver licence).  


Can I take a break during the examination?

No.  The examination, during which you are allowed up to two hours to complete 120 questions, must be undertaken without a break and without interruption or disturbance.  If you have a medical condition which prevents you from meeting these requirements you must declare it on the registration form and ISMI® will advise accordingly.


What are the examination hours?

The examination service operates on weekdays during European working hours.  The first available two-hour slot is usually at 0900 hrs CET, and the last available booking is usually 1630 hrs CET.


Are the examination questions hard?

If you have studied in depth the study materials (The 12 volumes of the ISMI® Security Management Body of Knowledge) you should be able to tackle the questions successfully.   However, unlike many other multiple-choice examinations, CSM® questions are generally not based on knowledge recall, but instead they test your ability to apply.  As such, in the CSM® your proficiencies as a practitioner in applying the contents of the study materials are more important that how many facts you can store.  Review sample questions here.


Do all candidates get the same questions?

The questions (known as “items”) are different for each candidate.  Certible’s (the contractor) software generates a different set of 120 random items for each candidate sitting.  There is a large item base from which the items are selected and all 12 subject areas will be addressed, however.


What is the pass mark?

The pass mark for the examination is 75%.  However, the multiple-choice examination forms only one part of the two-part process.  Upon successful completion of the examination component, you will then be required to demonstrate your skills in applying the contents of the ISMI® Security Management Body of Knowledge through undertaking and producing a report for a security survey, which will be assessed and fed back on.


Can the CSM® be used as a pathway to the CSMP®?

Undertaking the CSM® will give you an indication of whether you can progress to assimilate the extensive materials necessary to achieve the CSMP® Diploma, but as the latter is a UK regulated qualification at Level 6 (undergraduate), you are unable to be exempt any part of the CSMP® Diploma and if you wish to progress to the CSMP® Diploma after completing the CSM® process you would have to apply along the normal route. 


Are there any taught elements?

In the future, it is envisaged that there will be optional add-ons in the form of Zoom coaching and taught sessions.  News will follow in due course.


What if I don’t pass first time?

We hope you will be fully prepared and able to pass first time, but if you don’t quite reach the pass mark you may apply to resit the examination for a reduced fee.  The items (questions) will be different.


What level of English proficiency do I need?

While there is no requirement to provide evidence of your proficiency in English, you will need to be a fluent reader to be able to assimilate the contents of the textbooks and understand clearly the questions.