Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important to undertake this qualification?

It is important that security managers, as other professionals, achieve a widely recognised and widely adopted practitioner qualification that confirms to management, clients and colleagues a high degree of practitioner proficiency, benchmarked to a standard adopted by many countries across the world (see here ).  The CSMP® Accredited Diploma incorporates peer assessment and the focus of studies is on context-applied solutions, rather than knowledge verification alone.


Q: Is the CSMP® Diploma formally recognised?

A: Yes. The CSMP® is a nationally-regulated qualification in the UK and sits on the Qfqual Framework of qualifications.  Ofqual is the UK Government education and qualifications lead body.

A regulated Level 6 qualification in security management practice is a very senior/advanced qualification and so the assignments are commensurately challenging.  The programme is formally accredited by the awarding body SFJ Awards.  You should note that a Level 6 qualification on the England framework is equivalent to third year undergraduate and equates to Level 8 in South Africa, for example.


Q: Are there any prerequisites?

A: CSMP® is an advanced, demanding programme, so approval to participate is not automatic.  Before acceptance, ISMI® will satisfy itself that applicants meet the candidate prerequisites and that the programme is a good fit in all respects.  The prerequisites can be viewed here.


Q: What is the method of payment?

A: You can pay by bank transfer (BACS) or by credit card (Mastercard, Visa and Amex). 


Q: Why is the cost lower than many other diplomas?

Demand for CSMP® is very high indeed – approximately 800 security management professionals register annually – and so ISMI® is able to leverage economies of scale.  This doesn’t compromise ISMI®’s ability to provide continuous coaching by subject matter experts in every subject area.  Moreover, ISMI® foundational ethos has been to make acessible high quality, formally-recognised qualification to those who have limited budgets.


Q: What is the study requirement?

A: This depends on how well you can read English.  Each module comprises approximately 40-60 pages of text which you are required to study.  If you are competent in English (see here) the module reference material reading should take you about 3-6 hours.  You are then required to evidence proficiency iin application by answering tasks in a workbook.  As this is an accredited diploma, the total monthly commitment is designed to be 30-40 hours.


Q: What level is the CSMP® certification aimed at?

A: The CSMP is accredited by SFJ Awards and formally regulated by UK Government education lead body Ofqual as a Level 6 Diploma qualification.  In terms of difficulty level, it is regarded by experienced security management professionals as an advanced programme and correlates to a typical third year on a university undergraduate programme.  You should be aware that the term Level 6 is not universally applicable.  In South Africa, for example, UK Level 6 corresponds to South African Level 8.


Q: Do I need to undertake a Level 5 before undertaking your Level 6 programme?

No, ISMI® education professionals will assess your suitability for the programme based on the information you supply in your application form. Direct entry onto the Level 6 CSMP® is the norm.


Q: I have, or am pursuing, an MSc. Is this overlap?

A: No, the materials in each module are set out in such a way to be of both practical value and as a useful source of up-to-date, relevant references ideal for anybody pursuing a security management MSc.  However, if you are in full-time employment it is not recommended to undertake CSMP® alongside another demanding programme such as a university degree.


Q: Is the course suitable to those new to the profession?

A: The course has been specially written to be of value to both those new to the security management profession and to the more experienced, subject to those with limited experience nevertheless having exceptional ability or a proven background in a leadership role in the uniformed services.  Specifically, for those new to the security management profession there are candidate entry requirements, and all candidates must go through an applications process in which suitability for the programme will be assessed and a determination made.


Q: Does the course have a UK focus?

A: Not specifically.  Although formally accredited and regulated in the UK, the course seeks to bring together best practice in security management that will be applicable to all environments, drawing on best practice reference material from the lead bodies of many countries.  The material writers and markers, who represent many different nationalities, have had direct personal experience in security management in diverse parts of the world. Students on the programme extend across 150 countries.


Q: Can I begin the course at any time?

A: There are specific entry points so that you can join a cohort of learners.  This is important in benchmarking yourself against your peers and in shared learning.  Entry points are six times a year, February, April, June, August, October and December. 


Q: Are there security professionals at the end of the phone, or will I have to go through administrators or a switchboard?

A: You will have direct access to security professionals, calls with whom can be pre-booked.


Q: Are the course materials delivered all up front, or one module at a time?

A: One module at a time, building into a very “extensive body of knowledge.” One module at a time is better for learners, as it allows us to keep the materials completely up to date.


Q: Is there an examination at the end?

A: No, the Diploma qualification is through guided learning and continuous monthly assessment.


Q: Is there a need to demonstrate perfect English in the written submissions?

A: No.  We do not assess you on your written English.  As long as you have the ability to understand the modules and successfully express evidence of that understanding in English, you will pass the course.  However, you will need to be a good written communicator and guidance is provided throughout the course. The recommended English level can be found here.


Q: Is there a recertification requirement?

A: No.  Once you have your CSMP® Diploma is it yours to keep.  You just need to ensure that you adhere to the professional code.


Q: What is the word count of each monthly module?

A: This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the extent to which you want to illustrate your answers with practical application. As assessment is through task responses and not essays, there is usually no specific wordcount requirement, but instead there are guidelines for many task responses. By all means email us if you wish to see an example of a past task sheet so that you can gauge the work required.


Q: Is fee all inclusive?

A: The fee covers all materials, assessment, coaching and final Diploma for the 12-month programme onto which you will enrol.  If you need to pause studies and defer to a later intake, there is a small administrative fee for doing so.  If you fail any of the 12 modules, you can apply at course-end to retake it/them and there is a fee payable to do so.


Q: What is the difference between the CSMP® and the ASIS CPP?

A: ISMI® doesn’t comment on the programmes of other organisations, but the focus with CSMP® is on “open-book” assignments specially crafted to develop and assess learners’ ability to analyse problems and produce context-specific solutions, develop policies, produce conceptual designs etc.  Aside from being a Diploma, it is a complete and immersive professional development programme.