New Year’s resolutions come and go every January. Some of the most popular resolutions include:
1. Lose weight
2. Get in shape
3. Quit smoking
4. Learn something new
5. Eat healthier
6. Get out of debt
7. Spend more time with family
10. Drink less alcohol
One statistic shows that only 41% of people have ever kept a New Year’s resolution. Will you be one of them? Number 4 says “learn something new.” You can (and should) do it! Learn something new in relation to your job in retail loss prevention. Author and educator Stephen Covey talked about “sharpening your saw” in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Simply said, “sharpening your saw” means looking for and working on ways to improve yourself, be it formal or informal.
Fortunately, in today’s LP world, many formal courses are available to provide training for those committed to getting ahead by improving their job knowledge and skills. It wasn’t always that way. When I started in retail loss prevention (a LONG time ago), there was really only one formal organization that even remotely related to our field. That was the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Then, as now, ASIS mainly focused on physical security as it relates to general industry, not specifically retail. And ASIS certification training wasn’t available until 1977.
So, in the “old days,” retail loss prevention education was basically on the job training. One might have been fortunate to work with or work for the likes of Jim Lee, Jim Bridges or King Rogers (among others). But most upcoming loss prevention professionals were on their own – learning as they went and hopefully learning the right things. Not so today. Just Google “retail loss prevention training”. I quit counting at 30 entries but there are hundreds listed. Some are articles, some are books, some are seminars. And a few offer formal certification on various loss prevention subjects.
Full disclosure: I am a bit partial in that I am on the board of directors of the Loss Prevention Foundation, but below is just a sampling of resources available to “sharpen your saw”:
1. LPQ (Loss Prevention Qualified) Certification – The Loss Prevention Foundation. Designed for entry-level LP personnel, LPQ covers a wide cross section of retail, focusing on the basic components of retail loss prevention.
2. LPC (Loss Prevention Certified) Certification – The Loss Prevention Foundation. More advanced loss prevention and retail training aimed at those with a solid base of LP experience.
3. CFI (Certified Forensic Interviewer) Certification – Wicklander-Zulawski. In-depth interview training relevant to retail loss prevention.
4. CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) Certification –Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Covers fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. Broader than just retail but relevant.
5. CPP (Certified Protection Professional) Certification – ASIS. Focuses on all aspect of security. Much broader than retail but has relevant parts. ASIS also offers PSI (professional certified investigator) and PSP (physical security professional) training.
Not all loss prevention/security training results in formal certification but, as mentioned before, the amount of educational material available in today’s world is virtually endless. Check with your management and see what kind of assistance is available through your company. Some retailers pay for formal loss prevention training, some do not. Either way, if you are truly dedicated to a career in retail loss prevention (or retail in general), it behooves you to take advantage of all the training and educational material available to further your professional development. Make it your New Year’s resolution. And don’t be one of the 59% that never follow through on that resolution. Get going now and good luck.