By Catherine Penizotto, The Loss Prevention Foundation
My, how things have changed! Gone are the days when the primary function of the Loss Prevention department was simply physical controls, weeding out the dishonest associates, capturing shoplifters and controlling shrink. No longer is the sheer quantity of resolved cases and a good shrink number, a valid gauge of effectiveness. So what’s on the plate of the LP professional in today’s fast changing, more risky, higher stakes and technology laden world? Physical security, dishonest associates, shoplifters and shrink, are now joined by safety &risk, organized retail crime, fraud, data protection, crisis management, business continuity, supply chain, mobile technology, e-commerce, and workplace violence to name a few. That’s a complex and heavy load, not for the faint of heart, and today’s professional must be equipped and ready handle it.
As leaders of Security Management it is incumbent on us to build a team of talented, driven and diverse individuals with the mettle to handle the complex role of loss prevention. While it was once possible to allow our teams to learn as they grew into their role, it’s too risky to take that approach in today’s world. The bar has been raised for new talent pursuing a career in loss prevention. Entry level LP management positions that require a Bachelor’s degree are now the norm but even that benchmark is being one-upped with many companies now looking for additional credentials that set applicants apart from their peers.
The LPQualified (LPQ), an entry level & junior management certification which provides those very credentials that set applicants apart was developed in collaboration with industry professionals and academic partners powered by The Loss Prevention Foundation. An entry level or college graduate’s LPQ designation tells a story about the applicant even before the interview. It indicates the applicant has an understanding of the fundamentals and broad base-level knowledge of the loss prevention industry. It also indicates the applicant is specifically looking for a career in this field, not just a job until something else comes up. Finally it shows the applicant is savvy and astute in credentialing themselves at the entry level making them a desirable applicant and giving them more choices now and =throughout their career.
While building a talented team is crucial, it is as critical, as a security leader, to continue our own education and stay versed in this ever changing industry. The LPCertified (LPC) is an advanced certification for experienced professionals or executives such as Security Directors wanting to test or broaden their own skill profile. The LPC certification course covers advanced functional areas that the professional may not have been exposed to over the course of their career. In short the LPCertified professional is well prepared for additional roles and responsibilities as companies streamline function and look for ways to do more with less.
As an indication of the credibility of certifications, over 45 companies now prefer LPQ or LPC credentialed applicants over their job-seeking peers.
With the current environment of high stakes, high risk, and high technology, the LP industry, through certifications such as the LPQ and LPC, is now replete with knowledgeable professionals equipped to handle it.
For more information about these certifications visit The Loss Prevention Foundation.
Catherine Penizotto is Academic and Retail Partnerships Liaison at The Loss Prevention Foundation.