Interview with Isabelle Devereux, LPC
With five years of profit protection experience, Isabelle Devereux currently works as a regional profit protection manager and oversees the security operations center for British retailer John Lewis. She first worked at the local branch level and has been in her current role for the past two years.
Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification?
I am lucky enough that John Lewis really invests in partner development. Our Head of Profit Protection Mark Crowley identified the LPC certification as an accreditation that would enable us to be a truly professional and qualified loss prevention team. I wanted a professional certification and believed the LPC was key to enable me to fulfill my role with as much industry knowledge as possible, expanding upon areas for personal growth.
Was the coursework what you expected?
I was pleasantly surprised at the length of detail and the varying topics contained within the coursework. The coursework involved all aspects of loss prevention, which is great for my role as we take a total loss approach to shrinkage at John Lewis. I won’t skirt around the fact that the coursework involves a lot of reading, and if that is not your preferred learning style, it could be a bit daunting. However, I would suggest just taking one subject at a time, reading a bit, and reading often to get through the content. Technology advancements may allow you to have the content read to you, and more information can be provided on how to accomplish this by the Loss Prevention Foundation.
Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam.
I took the “one subject at a time” approach and spent a couple of hours a week reading and taking the quizzes at the end of each section. Before sitting for the exam, I did the practice exam quite a few times and reread any of the sections where I got questions wrong. It was nerve-wracking taking the exam, as I haven’t taken any formal exams since university. However, due to my prep work, I felt as prepared as I could.
Looking at your own background and knowledge, what information in the course helped you the most?
The section in the course that helped me the most were the on leadership and business principles. Finding ways to promote loss prevention and make it relevant for commercial leadership teams will always be a fundamental principle. These sections really helped me to consider how I should set up my regional strategy and how best to get others engaged to support our programs and initiatives.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
The most eye-opening part for me was the crisis management section. As part of my role, I manage our newly built security operations centre, which has centralized access to the majority of our estate’s CCTV, intruder alarms, and access control. The crisis management section really helped me widen my view on the types of crises I could be managing from this location. I have taken the opportunity to update our response plans to enhance our process and prepare for scenarios after completing this section.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
The main benefit I have gained from taking the course is that I am more confident in my knowledge of loss prevention and therefore apply that knowledge more in my everyday role. I now feel I have the theoretical knowledge to back up my experiences.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone considering getting certified, what would it be?
Take the course at your own pace to ensure that you take in all the information. You have a year to complete the course, which is plenty of time if you invest regular time in completing your qualification. I have been able to develop better and more productive business relationships with the knowledge offered to work with the sites to build an effective program, to improve all our key performance indicators, and for everyone to be equally invested in them.
How has certification changed your expectations of LP as a career, for yourself and for others?
It has shown me that loss prevention can be such a varied role. At John Lewis, we take a total loss approach to shrinkage, so I am aware of most aspects of loss prevention. However, there were still parts of the course that were new to me, showing me that I could diversify my career into other areas of loss prevention.
Would you recommend certification to others?
Yes! Whether you are new to a LP career or established in a role, there is plenty the LPC will teach you, and you will be a better professional for it. Invest the time to benefit both yourself and your organization.
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