Prepper Certifications, Part 2

Based on some of the comments I received after yesterday’s blog post, apparently I didn’t communicate my idea very well, and that’s my own fault. Let me try to expand a bit on yesterday’s topic to hopefully better explain.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a licensed private detective in my day job. I’ve been working in the security and investigation field for almost two decades now. Within the security/investigation field, there are several different certifications one may pursue, some worthwhile, some not worth the paper they are printed on. An example of the former is the CPP (Certified Protection Professional). Offered through the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), the CPP designation informs clients that the security professional has achieved a high level of training and education in security management. Can someone work in this field without having a CPP? Of course they can. It isn’t any sort of license that would be required to work in security. Instead, what it does is show potential clients that the security professional is serious about their job and is exceedingly knowledgeable in this field.

As it says on the ASIS website, the CPP is the, “Preeminent designation awarded to individuals whose primary responsibilities are in security management and who have demonstrated advanced knowledge in security solutions and best business practices.”

That’s sort of the idea I’ve been kicking around. Would having such a certification for those who seek to teach prepping related skills be worthwhile? At no point in yesterday’s blog post did I even hint at the idea of an average prepper wanting or needing such a certification. I want to make that point clear as obviously OPSEC is a concern for many preppers.

Let me address some of the specific comments I received.

Who is to judge who is “qualified”? Certifications will only bring divisions to our purpose. It is like the NG Prepper series where they have “experts” judge someone’s preparedness. Who are they to judge and why don’t we see the expert’s preps?

Well, the NG Prepper series and their purported experts is one of the things I was thinking about when I came up with this idea. Indeed, who are they to judge? What are their qualifications? I find it interesting that on many of these prepper type of shows, the experts are never really discussed. I’ve done enough digging to find out the name of their company but the last time I checked at least, information about the principals was decidedly lacking.

NO! Doing so would only invite the government to come in and regulate prepping. Next you’ll receive a citation or arresting for prepping without a permit/certificate.

Again, I’m not at all talking about requiring some sort of license or certification to prep. Far from it. I’m not even talking about requiring a license or certification to instruct. Instead, I’m thinking, what if there were some sort of recognized certification that would offer an air of legitimacy.

Absolutely not!!!!! Gotta be a government idea to control even more of our lives! That would be worse that gun control, they would be controlling the food…of course, that’s what they want.

As with the CPP designation mentioned earlier, this wouldn’t be a government controlled anything.

Not to mention the fact that most certifications come from those people already established in an industry to prevent competition.

To a degree, I’d agree with that. To go back to the private detective analogy, most states require a license to work as a private investigator. In some places, this is just a matter of paying a fee but in others it requires a passing grade on an exam. In many cases, this exam really does concentrate on the knowledge that would be required to perform the typical duties as an investigator. But, there are a few exams out there that truly are designed to do nothing more than keep people from passing them, at least not the first time out. I sat through one a few years back that consisted of a little less than 100 questions and perhaps a dozen of them actually pertained to the profession. So yeah, I understand the comment about trying to limit competition. But, with that said, I think most would agree there is a LOT of bad information out there, being written or presented by people who have not one real clue what they are doing.

In my opinion the answer would be “No” I say that because at least for me, and in my mind should also be for others, a fairly private thing. You learn by doing, gathering information from trusted sources / friends etc… and call it paranoia, but you never advertise your prepping. Going to a school or taking any kind of formal class on the subject while a newbie is likely to get good information, or at least a nudge in the right direction on how and where to start, classes and or instructors will do little more than advertise your intentions.

I don’t know that attending a class is “advertising” you’re prepping. Those of us who do regularly teach these types of classes are already “out there” in the public eye so being certified wouldn’t really be revealing much of anything.

To recap the basic points:

–The certification wouldn’t be required to teach at all. It would just be a means of showing the instructor has achieved a certain level of knowledge and experience.

–The certification wouldn’t at all apply to someone who wants to prep. No one, least of all myself, is suggesting a person would need to be licensed or certified to prep.

–This isn’t something that would be run by the government in any way.

Does that all help clear things up a bit?

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

13 thoughts on “Prepper Certifications, Part 2”

  1. I have brought up the same question before in discussing wilderness survival instruction. My thoughts were much like yours only I suggested some type of association or guild. The issue seemed to be that if such a thing existed, who would run it? Then there is the whole problem of how would you regulate such a thing. I think it would be a great undertaking to come up with a comprehensive test that covered all of prepping. Even if you could, how would you keep up with the new ideas and innovation that happens daily in the prepper world?

    1. An association or guild sort of set up is what I had in mind. Nothing regulated by the government or anything. Just a way to lend an air of legitimacy, y'know? But as I said yesterday, I'm just spit balling ideas. I recognize that such an undertaking would require monumental efforts by all involved.

    2. It'd certainly have to be trusted individuals on the board (see, we're already getting into crap) This is where I think it would lead to a lot of different "certifications".

  2. You make your point clearly however the proof of someones ability as a prepper is not in a piece of paper handed out by some one that charged a fee to take a test. their proof is in the way in which they live their lives. are they themselves prepared that is the question. any kind of certification Non- governmental or governmental only serves to better point out where those of us that are prepared are located. If you look deeply into any of the guilds or associations that currently exist they are mandated by the government to report certain types of information. even clubs like the Lions club etc. are required to report information. most certainly an assoc. or guild that is 501 3C must report. and my next question is who certifies the guild members that do the testing.

    1. If there was ever going to be an organization to "certify", it would have to NOT be a non-profit to eliminate government interference. (non-profits have to report/submit records to a bureaucrat [with a politcal agenda?] Is the prepper community mature enough for this?

    2. doing a for profit would also be required to report Income and would require a SIC number most likely educational and this would require a reporting of the students along with income of employ's the point I was making was that any type of organization is required to report even non profit

    3. Wolf Barjkana True. But for-profits don't have the same sidelines they have to stay in between. They are allowed to make money! Funds that can be spent of education for kids and even adults. Put on classes, teach specific skills, fund start-ups in local communities (important). My larger point is that it would be hard for a large group of people to agree (trust) on a "board" that would not use money for reasons other than "passing on the * knowledge".

    4. Survival Gear I do agree with the points you make to an extent however if you look up the Sic Number and guide lines for education businesses they to are very strict. as well if some sort of tuition assistance is offered they become even more strict. I agree about the education points you make they are important. and trust would be the biggest issue faced. inherently People like ourselves that want to be prepared for situations tend to be distrustful of others. I am sure at this point though we may agree on some points you do not trust me. because You do not know me. for this I don't blame you. If you did trust me with out ever knowing me or others that do know me I would think you to be a little to trusting. That said I am very trust worthy as those that know me can attest. the second biggest problem that would be faced with a group such as be discussed would be the fact that like myself and i am sure you we are for the most part all ALPHA type leaders and would be hard pressed to follow other in blind faith or for that matter in any capacity as we tend to be in charge. this is not to say we will not learn from others what they have to teach but we will addapt their teachings to fit our lives not our lives to fit their teachings.

  3. This is an an excellent question you posed, Jim. This would also lead to several or many certifications from the different "experts" that are out there. While there would be no ONE expert, would it lead to people taking sides or companies and businesses forming groups to be the "best" "organization" to get certified from?

    1. I personally think that only YOU can determine whether you are certified, as in you know what your needs are, what worked for you, and what did not. I advocate no idea as an expert but as fellow enthusists who can share tips, ideas, gear suggestions, and things of that nature. The best method is learning by doing, trying out your own gear, reading reviews and evaulating for yourself. A community with dialogue on equipment, your drills, and stockpills, skill sets, etc would be best. Which is what I believe websites like this and others suggest.

    2. I wanted to add that my personal philosophy is that you must cater to your own needs, lean on others suggestions only if they work for you, and constantly strive to be better and to learn more. That is what is necessary for sucess in my book, in all forms of life, prepping included.

    3. Christopher, I'm right with you on that. I know what works. Why? Because it does, for me and my family. Can everyone get chickens? (as an example) no, but they DO what they know they Need to do in order for the themselves and their family to get through an ordeal or an extended circumstance. (which is what prepping really is).

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