G4S Custom Protection Officer (CPO) Certification Program
Candidates for security solutions provider G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.’s Custom Protection Officer (CPO) Certification Program must either be a graduate of an accredited college or university with a degree and concentration in criminal justice, police science, or security administration or formerly qualified in one of the following disciplines:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Career Military/Elite Military/Military Police/Combat Arms
- Police Academy Graduate
- Corrections Officer
- Federal Agent
The intent of the CPO is not to present a militaristic “environment,” but to apply prior military and law enforcement qualifications to select the best of the labor market and utlilize their prior experience to ensure G4S is securing its clients’ worlds.
Once accepted into the certification program, participants are required to complete a two-phase program. Phase I consists of a 40-hour classroom instructor-led course. The classroom portion includes lectures, videos clips, case studies, role-play and scenarios, discussion, quizzes, a final exam, and feedback sessions. Phase II requires participants to complete 16-hours of on-the-job practical application training under the supervision of a G4S Field Training Officer.
Security officers must successfully complete both phases of the certification program, including testing and practical application/demonstration, before being awarded the Custom Protection Officer Certification.
In the last three years, G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc. has certified 15,334 security officers as CPOs.
Employee turnover is one key performance indicator G4S uses to measure the success of the CPO program. Even with a large variance of size for firms within the security industry, the average industry turnover is still high: typically more than 80 percent. Reduced turnover is instrumental in ensuring client retention, as well as decreasing overall operating expenses. G4S has an average employee turnover of 26 percent due to the success of the CPO program; one-third of CPOs have been with G4S for six-plus years, and three out of eight of the firm’s regional vice presidents began their G4S career as a CPO. G4S consistently maintains a 98 percent client retention rate of those clients utilizing Custom Protection Officers.
The Employee Engagement Survey is another key indicator. In G4S’ 2013 annual survey, 99 percent of its security officers responded positively to the question: “I understand the procedures I should follow to do my job.”
This program created and registered by G4S has proven to be a successful model for corporate success. In fact, G4S North America Training Institute Corporate University has benchmarked the success of the Custom Protection Officer Certification Program as the stepping stone to build other certification programs.