These days, nearly everyone selling any type of security product or service calls themselves a “security consultant” or “security advisor”.
What is the difference between an independent security consultant and someone who is just selling a product or service?
An independent security consultant is a professional who makes his or her living selling security advice. Like your accountant, doctor, or attorney, the independent security consultant charges a fee for his or her services.
Most independent security consultants have many years of specialized training and experience that make them uniquely qualified to act as professional security advisors. Many independent security consultants have professional credentials such as the Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Physical Security Professional (PSP), or Certified Security Consultant (CSC) designation.
In addition to having technical expertise in security matters, a good independent security consultant also has the skills necessary to successfully complete a consulting assignment: project management skills, interviewing skills, research skills, report writing skills, and presentation skills - just to name a few.
Most importantly, independent security consultants don’t sell security equipment, products, or guard services. This means that when the consultant gives advice, it is based on the client's best interests rather than on the consultant's desire to sell a specific product or service.
Independent security consultants also go out of the way to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. This means that the independent security consultant is not employed by or affiliated with companies that manufacture, sell, or install security products or guard services, and does not have any type of financial stake in such companies.
Many independent security consultants belong to the International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC). This organization has strict guidelines on who may join and generally limits its membership to only “independent security consultants” as we have defined them above.