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Evaluating the Need for Private Security Accreditation

Jay C. Beighley
Jay C. Beighley

How would you like to develop a security operation that can be benchmarked and based on reliable standards reduces liability, improves professionalism and makes a positive impression on the C suite. Wouldn’t it be nice if a blueprint for such an organization existed?

CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, has an interest in developing such a program for proprietary security organizations. Much like the process for police departments, CALEA is considering developing the standards to be measured as well as the audit program to measure compliance and provide the certification.

I recently spoke with Jay C. Beighley CPP, CFE, AVP, Corporate Security for Nationwide Corporate Security, about the viability of such standards and a program. Beighley is spearheading the effort to gauge interest in security executives about the need for the standards and certification program. Beighley sees the need for standards, as his security department, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, employs 400 full-time security officers. Nationwide is ranked number 13 in the Finance/Banking/Insurance sector in this year’s Security 500 report.

Security: Why is this program needed?

Beighley: A program of this nature would be a milestone in the security industry. A set of industry-accepted standards to be measured against would level the playing field in terms of benchmarking. For the first time, professionalism and effectiveness could be truly measured and documented without having to resort to data that may or may not directly apply to your specific industry. Much like an individual professional designation signifies that the security practitioner is on the leading edge, the accreditation of the security department will signify to the world that they have attained a higher level of professionalism.

Becoming an accredited organization may make the security operation more defensible from a litigation perspective. An organization can more easily prove that the security operation measures up to the highest standard available and one that is generally accepted by the security industry. The accreditation by an objective third party proves that rigorous governance is in place.

Security: Don’t police organizations already have such a program?

Beighley: Police organizations figured this out a long time ago. They understand CALEA and its methods. A security organization who can meet similar standards as our police counterparts may be more accepted and respected by our police partners.

Many of us conduct our business in highly regulated industries. Our senior executives understand the regulatory environment and what it means to meet certain established standards. Obtaining accreditation from a respected, reliable source makes the C suite aware that their security division is operating at a high level by meeting tough standards just as other parts of the company must do. The process would give them measurable and actionable data from which decisions can be made in terms of investment in the security organization. It just might also give them bragging rights when comparing their security department to their competitors!


Security: What’s the next step?

Beigley: In order for this significant program to be developed by CALEA there needs to be an indication as to the level of interest and support for the program that exists in the security industry. Like any business, CALEA needs to be assured that the resources they expend to develop the program won’t be wasted.  To that end a survey has been designed to measure the interest level for the program has been developed and included below. Please take the few minutes required to answer the survey and help drive an initiative that just might be the most impactful, positive thing to happen to the security industry in the modern era.

The survey is located at It’s short – only 10 questions. Please let us know if you have any questions as you complete it, and thank you in advance for considering the benefits of this program.   

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