Is Your Consultant Qualified for the Job?

Association memberships and discussions with your peers will help you determine if your consultant will be able to handle your project.

There are a number of methods for identifying a qualified security consultant, and many of those general methods were outlined in Selecting the Right Security Consultant for Your Project. However, there are some specific approaches that have a proven track record.

In the United States, one of the primary sources of independent professional security consultants is the International Association of Professional Security Consultants ( The IAPSC also operates a free referral service for consumers of consulting services.

Another excellent source of qualified consultants is colleagues in your industry who have used a consultant and are pleased with the relationship. Additionally, you may find resources through industry trade groups.

A consultant’s publications and professional papers also can provide insight into their knowledge of your issues or industry. Consultants who write for professional publications have to keep abreast of the myriad changes in technology, techniques and trends.

John K. Horvath is the chief of police and director of public safety of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Frank Pisciotta, CSC is president of Business Protection Specialists (BPS) Inc., an international security consulting firm headquartered in New York with an office in Raleigh, N.C. For more information on BPS, visit

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