Certified Protection Officer Program

Are You Ready?

The CPO program is designed for security officers and students who wish to learn more about security/asset protection.  It is for the career-oriented individual. The difference between a guard and a Professional Security Officer? Guard vs. Professional Protection Officer.

Is the CPO right for you? Click here and take a short quiz to find out!

Now Offered by Sorgex: CPO Youtube Course. Click Here to Start Watching!


Candidates must have six (6) months of full time protection officer experience (or equivalent) or one year of part time protection officer experience (or equivalent). Students enrolled into a recognized classroom training program may also qualify for this program.


Students may take the exam first and receive a certificate of completion, applying for certification when they have obtained the necessary experience. Students participating in a security related classroom program at an educational institute may take the CPO Program if they are not 18, however they will receive a certificate of completion. When they become 18, they can contact the IFPO to receive their CPO certification certificate.

Program Alumni Findings

Successful CPOs find that the program significantly improves job performance and job enjoyment by providing a broad understanding of the roles, duties and responsibilities of the security officer. This professional growth also enhances career and earnings potential.

Partial list of businesses and organizations where Certified Protection Officers are employed.

IFPO offers an online version of the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) course. The CPO program provides graduates internationally recognized protection officer certification. This self-paced course offers access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CPO Program provides comprehensive, up-to-date information that improves protection officers’ skills and enhances their efficiency. Our delivery system tracks student achievements and maintains data necessary to provide seamless continuation of learning.

The security profession operates in a constantly changing environment and must provide a wide range of potential responses to evolving and increasingly complex threats. Globalization and technology increase the scope of these threats and accelerate the rate at which they change. Consequently, providing security has become more complicated and the knowledge required by a competent security operative, at any level, has grown. This course will improve any protection officer’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. This highly interactive course includes 12 units covering 45 chapters. Each chapter provides interactive activities, knowledge checks, and concludes with an end-of-chapter test.

The course will fully prepare candidates for the CPO Final Exam that is included in the price of the course. All course materials prior to the final exam remain available for student review at any time prior to starting the final exam.  Successful candidates will receive "State of the Art" digital credentials.   Hard copy certificates and lapel pins will be available for $7.00 each or in a bundle order for $12.00 plus shipping and handling.  International orders please check with the IFPO for shipping charges.

Units of Study Include Topics Such As:

  • Career Planning for Protection Professionals
  • Crisis Intervention
  • The Protection Officer as a Leader
  • Security Risk Management
  • Effective Communications
  • Antiterrorism and VIP Protection
  • Security Awareness
  • Crime and Incident Scene Procedures
  • Automation in Protection Operations
  • Interviewing and Statements
  • Patrol Principles
  • Legal Aspects of Security
  • Environmental Crime Control
  • Use of Force
  • Alarm System Fundamentals
  • Defensive Tactics and Officer Safety
  • Occupational Safety and Health and the Protection Officer
  • Apprehension and Detention Procedures
  • An All Hazards Approach to Hazardous Materials
  • Human Relations in a Global Environment
  • Information Security and Counterintelligence
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Workplace Crime and Deviance
  • And much more

Read the Certified Protection Officer Course Syllabus (PDF format)
*PLEASE NOTE: Course Syllabus may vary from Edition to Edition.

Delivery methods available to complete the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) program

Online Version

In keeping with IFPO’s commitment to presenting quality instruction using the most current, proven delivery systems, IFPO offers an online version of this ever-popular program. Added to the traditional text-based approach, this version allows the student to select the training option that suits his or her personal needs and learning styles. The online version contains the same information in the textbook, so it does not require the purchase of a textbook. The online version has short quizzes throughout the material. The final examination requires a proctor be present.

Traditional Distance Delivery - Home Study / Correspondence Course

Candidates must study the “The Professional Protection Officer: Practical Security Strategies and Emerging Trends” and successfully complete an unsupervised midterm exam and the final exam with a proctor present. Materials included with this program are the CPO textbook, end-of-chapter quiz answers, an interim exam that is taken unsupervised which IFPO grades, and a final exam that must have a proctor present. The Traditional Distance Delivery option is NOT eligible for continuing education units.

Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)

As businesses reopen amid COVID19, security professionals will encounter an unprecedented situation. To face the challenge of “new normal” equip yourself
with essential knowledge and skills. VILT allows similar experience to a classroom situation, as participants will have:
• 40+ training chapters
• 80 hours of blended learning
• CPO certification issued by IFPO
Three scheduling options available:
Easy - Weekends for 8 weeks
Flex - Weekdays for 5 weeks
Stretch - 10 consecutive days for 2 weeks

Which Version Is Best For You

Online Version

The computer-based version works best for people who are comfortable using computers and prefer working on a computer to using pencil and paper.

The computer-based version allows students to train anywhere, anytime. All that is needed is a computer and Internet access. The computer-based version works very well for anyone trying to fit training into an already hectic schedule, especially with irregular hours that can make it difficult to attend classroom training. Students can log in, work on lessons as long as they want, then log back out. When they log in again, they resume right where they left off.

This program can be implemented into a classroom environment and be used to augment an existing training program.

Traditional Distance Delivery - Home Study / Correspondence Course

The traditional, textbook version is best for people who prefer working with a hardcopy of the materials which allows personal annotations and notes. Using a textbook simulates learning in a classroom setting and can allow for more structured approach that allows for preview of materials, pacing plan based on number of pages and written questions and notes in columns.

Virtual Instructor Led Training

This version allows students access to online materials taught by a live instructor.  In addition to concepts introduced in the text, the instructor will be able to interact with students, pace the instruction based on the participants learning and answer real time questions.  Since this version is delivered on specific dates and times, students can easily plan learning and studying into their regular schedule. This version also enhances accountability and ensures completion of the program with in a specific timeframe.

Upon completion of the program, successful CPOs receive:

Upon successful completion of the Certified Protection Officer Program, including achieving a minimum of 70% on the CPO final exam, candidates will receive:

Successful candidates will receive "State of the Art" digital credentials.   Hard copy certificates and lapel pins will be available in a bundle order for $12.00 plus shipping and handling.  International orders please check with the IFPO for shipping charges.

  • Access for the current year to the IFPO.org “Members Only” Area (1 year)
  • Individual or Group Wall Plaque (optional at additional charge)

Additional Information

  • Online testing is now available!
  • For a further discounted method of obtaining this certification, please see the Certified Protection Officer Final Challenge Option.
  • There is a two-year recertification requirement.
  • The IFPO is a Preferred Partner with ASIS International which awards recertification credits for successful completion of any of the IFPO online programs.
  • The Certified Protection Officer Program is a mandatory element for the completion of the Certified Protection Officer Instructor (CPOI) designation.
  • A growing number of academic programs incorporate the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) Program. This provides their students with greater returns on their learning investment. It gives the institution an assessment tool and an enhanced image.
  • Academic Programs who wish to use the CPO as an outcome assessment measure may do so. A certificate of completion may be awarded for the academic portion of the program only. This certificate is available to accredited educational institutions.
  • The Professional Protection Officer: Practical Security Strategies and Emerging Trends” sample reading (PDF)
    • Table of Contents and Chapter Summaries
    • Introduction
    • Promotional Flier
  • Certified Protection Officer Course Syllabus 

Certified Protection Officer


Successful candidates will receive "State of the Art" digital credentials.   Hard copy certificates and lapel pins will be available for $7.00 each or in a bundle order for $12.00 plus shipping and handling.  International orders please check with the IFPO for shipping charges.

CPO 2020 Edition Traditional Distance Delivery (Home Study / Correspondence): Includes Textbook.

CPO 2020 Edition Online Delivery: Includes Online Course and Online Final Exam ONLY (Textbook NOT Included).


CPO 2020 Edition Online Delivery: Includes Online Course, Online Exam, AND Textbook.

CPO Eighth Edition Traditional Distance Delivery (Home Study / Correspondence): Includes Exams & Textbook.


Hard Copy Products

Description Cost Quantity
CPO Hard Copy Bundle $12.00

Certified Protection Officer (CPO) Final Challenge - 2020 Edition

CPO Final Challenge 
2020 Edition
Registration with Paper Exam
(Includes cost of enrollment / registration and paper exam. )

* For Multiple quantities please contact the IFPO office for pricing & shipping information.
Via email: Adminifpo@ifpo.org
Telephone: (239) 430-0534 M-F 9 am to 5 pm EST

The Professional Protection Officer: Practical Security Strategies and Emerging Trends 2020 Edition
(Course text for CPO Final Challenge)

Shipping and handling charges may apply.

Discount programs cannot be combined.

Certified Protection Officer (CPO) training is provided by Smart Horizons.

As an IACET Accredited Provider, Smart Horizons offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.