The following story was written by Dario Balca
Graduates of Carleton University’s Master of Infrastructure Protection and International Security Program (MIPIS) have received professional certification for the first time in the program’s history.
Seven graduates of the program received the Professional in Critical Infrastructure Protection designation from the Critical Infrastructure Institute (CII), an Ottawa-based group that trains and certifies people who go on to work in the protection of hydro stations, transportation systems, telecommunications, and other infrastructure deemed critical to the functioning society.
Fifteen more graduates, who weren’t able to attend the May 30 ceremony, will receive the PCIPs within the next few months.
MIPIS, which began in 2010, is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary program that aims to simultaneously teach students the engineering, policy and intelligence components of infrastructure protection.
“What we like about this program is that it incorporates a practical component,” says CII project manager Ian Anderson. “That’s why we’re acknowledging what this course has done.”
Wayne Boone, a MIPIS professor, says the two-year program was born from a need to improve notoriously poor communications between various parts of the infrastructure protection field.
“Engineers don’t talk to policy people, policy people don’t talk to intelligence people, and so on,” says Boone. “Every time there’s a communication gap, it introduces a vulnerability that could be exploited by a threat and cause a risk.
“Our job is to reduce all of that and the only way that’s going to happen is if the knowledge becomes integrated and everybody is contributing—that’s what we’re trying to build in this program.”
Recognition from the CII makes the degree much more valuable, says graduate Teresa Nadon.
“The MIPIS program is so new that it isn’t very well recognized, so this certification is really important for us,” says Nadon, who works with the federal government in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. “We need to get the word out about what this program is doing for people across Canada.”
Anderson says that more people like MIPIS grads are needed in the field and that the CII itself is taking a more integrated approach to their infrastructure protection training.
“We’re creating a core of people who have the skillset and an understanding of the interdependencies and the steps you can take to mitigate the risk of something going wrong,” says Anderson.
Additional details on the MIPIS program are available at carleton.ca/ipis/.
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