Candidate Requirements


Is the SFJ Awards Level 6 Diploma for Certified Security Management Professionals (CSMP®) the Right Choice for You?


The CSMP® Level 6 Accredited Diploma is a demanding, formally accredited, advanced-level security management programme leading to a recognised qualification.  It is a great qualification to have – over 8,000 security management professionals from over 150 countries have enrolled in the past 10 years – but before making your final decision you should be sure that you have the capacity to complete the programme. 


Importantly, you should be aware that CSMP® is an advanced-level security management development programme suited to those operating in a security management role and with the capability to undertake academic studies at a level equivalent to third year university.


Specifically, there are six key factors to consider. 


Determination and Drive

Are you by nature driven by a strong determination to succeed?  Whatever your level of experience, you will find the CSMP® a test of endurance, determination and fortitude. Many graduates of the programme have described it as the most challenging professional programme they have undertaken.


Academic Suitability

Can you produce analysis and application at Level 6 (equivalent to third year undergraduate in terms of rigour?)  The 12 monthly assignments that make up CSMP® are specifically designed to develop and then assess security management proficiency at advanced level.  The focus of CSMP® is not on how much knowledge you can retain for closed book testing of your memory.  Everything is “open book” and applied – with the focus on evidencing proficiency through context-applied analysis.  If you are employed at below-management level, are you confident that you have strong abilities at a more advanced level necessary to complete this programme?



Do you have time to commit?  CSMP® is an accredited diploma, and the UK accreditation system requirement for diplomas is 370 hours, roughly equivalent to 30-40 hours of commitment a month.


Reading Speed and English Standard

Is your reading speed sufficient?  We try to keep the page count of unit textbooks to below 100 pages, but this nevertheless requires a good reading speed of English.  Average readers of English reach around 200 words per minute with a typical comprehension of 60%, and the programme is predicated on this ability level.   Thus, the 30-40 hours allocated to the monthly commitment includes up to four hours to read – and assimilate – the Unit Textbook, plus two to four hours to read additional reference materials.


While ISMI® doesn’t require formal proof of English language ability to be accepted to undertake the CSMP®, if you are not a native speaker of English your proficiency should be at one of the following equivalences to be able to use the course materials effectively:




Do you have relevant experiences?  Recognising that students come from a wide background (commercial security, government service, police, military, contractors, service providers, high-risk security advisors, diplomatic protection, educational establishment security etc.) many of the tasks are designed to be set in contexts that you select, or which are provided by case study.  If you have no security experience this course is not for you, unless your general business management experience is extensive.


If you have military or police experience only, we can advise on a case-by-case basis if the course is suitable.



As the programme is conducted over email there is a requirement for basic IT skills, familiarisation with MS Word etc.


The style of the assignments requires that you have access to either a Windows PC/laptop or Apple computer/laptop.  Other devices such as Android tablets, iPads and Chromebooks, while good for reading the reference materials, are unlikely to be suitable for writing the assignments in the workbook provided.


All assignments have to be submitted as MS Word (.doc/docx) documents.