This is another in a series of interviews with working Loss Prevention professionals who have earned their LPQ or LPC certification from the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) to hear in their own words why they decided to pursue loss prevention certification, and how that decision has benefited their loss prevention careers.
Andrew Radak, LPC, is starting his second year in his career as an asset protection agent for Rite Aid. Before that, he spent seven years with CVS Health. An Ohio Army National Guard veteran, Radak holds a bachelors of arts degree in criminology from John Carroll University.
When did you get certified?
I earned my LPQ certification on November 21, 2014, and LPC on February 23, 2015.
Why did you decide to pursue certification? Was there something specific that influenced your decision?
I originally became interested in becoming certified when I read about two other associates becoming LPQ certified in our company newsletter. After researching the certification process, I noticed that several of Rite Aid’s asset protection directors were either LPC or somehow involved in the Loss Prevention Foundation. That’s when I knew I needed to become certified myself.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
The majority of the LPC coursework was very eye opening. As an agent, I was not aware of the scope of business functions included in loss prevention. I have an even greater respect for loss prevention directors and managers above me now that I better understand all that they are responsible for.
How has going through the loss prevention certification process influenced the way that you approach your job?
I’ve had to take a step back and see how my role fits in with the operations of the store. I take the time to work more closely with store management and have found that it makes for greater impact and much smoother operations within the store. My coworkers also seem to appreciate this approach and understand better when I relate my responsibilities with their own.
Looking at your own personal development, what information within the course helped you the most?
The segments covering mentoring, networking, and communication have helped a lot. It’s far too easy to stay focused in our own department and routine, so much so that we end up ignoring other departments and other colleagues. I’ve always understood communication to be important, but I hadn’t considered reaching out nearly as far until I took the course.
Do you think loss prevention certification offers a professional advantage over those that have not been certified?
Yes. While the courses themselves are very informative, earning the certification shows others not only that you have a desire to learn, but also that you take your work seriously and that you’re willing and able to push yourself to higher levels. The certification reinforces that knowledge and expertise and gives not only our industry—but also each individual—additional credibility as specialized business professionals.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
It’s never too early to become certified. The information provided in the course is clearly helping those at the highest levels, but this isn’t only for executives. Store detectives and agents can learn a great deal that can be applied in their work as well as prepare them to grow further in our field.