Assess Your Skills to Advance Your Career

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By the Security Executive Council

When was the last time you sat down to take a good hard look at your own skills and experience as a security leader?

Many of us don't engage in self-assessments until job searches force us to. But assessing your competencies has benefits beyond interview prep. It can help you determine what training and experience you can pursue today that might advance your career and your organizational goals now and down the road.

One challenge with self-assessments is that it's often hard to see gaps in your skill sets because you can't know what you don't know. That's why we've created this worksheet to help guide your process. It lists useful and expected competencies by category of security program, so you can gauge your skill level and experience level and identify potential gaps.

Use the following worksheet as a sample to guide your process. (The full version of this resource includes 13 categories; we've included two here as an example. Not all categories will apply.)

Consider your existing role in your organization and begin with the categories that fit that role. Then think about your security program's roadmap and your company's strategic plan. Into which categories might your expertise need to expand in the future to enable growth in planned directions?

Think about your career. Where would you like to be in five years? Ten? Which categories might benefit your rise to your ideal position or organization?

This worksheet can also be used to assess potential new hires and staff that is new to you when you've transitioned to a new leadership role.

1 Skill Level
1-10 (low to high)
Experience Level
1-10 (low to high)
2 Investigations:
3 Assets
4 Asset Recovery
5 Behavioral Interviewing
6 Benefits Fraud
7 Bomb Threat
8 Civil Asset Recovery
9 Chain of Custody Procedures
10 Computer Crimes
11 Crimes Against Persons
12 Due Diligence (Financial)
13 Embezzlement
14 Employment Background
15 Evidence Collection
16 Financial Crimes
17 Fire / Arson
18 Information Theft
19 Injury / Death Response
20 Inventory Shortages
21 Insurance
22 Legal - sovereign criminal and civil law, rules of evidence, testifying
23 Litigation, Witness Location
24 Mail / Fraud
25 Mergers & Acquisitions; Due Diligence
26 Network and Systems Intrusion
27 Policy/Procedure Violation
28 Property Crimes
29 SEC Regulatory Offenses
30 Social Media
31 Standard Operating Procedure
32 Surveillance Methods
33 Theft and Fraud
34 Undercover/Informants
35 Workers Comp Fraud
36 Workplace Violence
37 Written Statement Analysis
39 Physical Security Systems, Methods, & Procedures
40 Alarm Response
41 Access Control
42 All-hazards Risk, Threat & Vulnerability Assessment, Awareness and Situational Reporting
43 Alarms - Door, Critical Process, Duress, Life-Safety, Monitoring
44 Biometrics, Readers, Cards, PINS
45 CCTV and Video Management Systems
46 Central Station Management
47 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design CPTED
48 Evacuation and Shelter-In-Place
49 Global Security Ops Centers
50 Identity Authentication
51 Lighting
52 Lock & Key Programs
53 Multi-Tenant Security Systems
54 Perimeter Controls Alarms, Barriers, Fences, Gates, Security Patrol, Signage and Surveillance , Turnstiles
55 Protection-In-Depth
56 Security Officer/Systems Utilization
57 Security Standards e.g., NFPA 1600, ANSI and ISO and US Gov equivalents C-FATS, C-TPAT, Etc.
58 System Integration
59 System Design & Specifications
60 Weapons - certifications, training - Use of Force
61 Workplace/Workforce Notification and Alerting
This exercise can be scored any number of ways. Here are a few options:

Scoring (self assessment)
  • Skill or experience below 5: Requires work. Concentrate training efforts on these items.
  • Weight items more heavily that apply directly to your current, prospective, or ideal position
  • Weight items more heavily that your senior management has deemed important to your organization
  • Totals or averages per category may be compared to provide generalized training guidance
Scoring (hiring/staff assessment)
  • Determine required totals or averages per category for potential hires
  • Determine required ranges of skill and experience for each item
  • Work with HR to discuss using required ranges to assess interviews, applications and resumes
  • Ask potential hires and/or staff to complete this exercise as a self assessment and compare to required ranges.
  • Use staff assessments to guide team training and transitions

The full self assessment is a work in progress that currently includes 13 categories: Investigations; Physical Security; Procedural Controls; Proprietary Information; International Operations; Program Management; Governance and Policy; Business Conduct & Ethics; IT Security; Supply Chain Security; Business Continuity & Crisis Management; HR Security; and U.S. Legal Regulatory Requirements. Which categories would be most helpful in your own career and organization? To talk about the categories not included here, contact us.

Need help finding resources designed to help security leaders address the gaps they find? We can help. Contact us to discuss your needs.

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