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CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, focuses on the strategic design of the physical environment to emphasize learning, deter criminal activities and enhance overall safety. CPTED for schools promotes the well-being of students and staff, and helps create a conducive learning atmosphere.

With CPTED for schools, we can positively impact how the physical and social environment of a school influences the behavior of its students, and aims to deter criminal activities and enhance overall safety.

Let’s explore why CPTED training is crucial for improving school safety, explore the concept of a CPTED School Assessment (CSA), and identify those who benefit from earning a CPTED certification in a school setting:

Empowering through Knowledge

CPTED training is about empowerment through knowledge. It equips educators, administrators, and the school community with the tools to effect positive change.

The physical environment of schools can significantly impact the safety and well-being of students and staff. Factors such as poor building and classroom design, areas of concealment, graffiti, and limited surveillance opportunities can allow for conflict and contribute to an atmosphere where learning becomes secondary.

CPTED interventions focus on four overlapping strategies: controlling access through design, increasing opportunities for surveillance, promoting a sense of ownership, and site maintenance. By implementing these CPTED strategies, schools can enhance positive social interactions, improve the learning environment , create a sense of care and responsibility, and reduce opportunities for crime and violence.

What is a CSA?

To assess the extent to which schools adhere to CPTED principles, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the CPTED School Assessment (CSA). This standardized tool evaluates various aspects of school environments, aiming to identify areas that may be associated with violence-related behaviors and perceptions.

Who earns a CPTED certification for schools?

CPTED training and certification are not limited to a specific group; anyone who plays a role in creating safe and orderly educational spaces can become CPTED certified.

The principles of CPTED are applicable to architects, school administrators & staff, security personnel, law enforcement officers, and community members involved in the planning and maintenance of school facilities.

By earning a CPTED certification, these professionals gain a deeper understanding of the four CPTED principles: Natural Surveillance, Natural Access Control, Territorial Reinforcement, and Maintenance.

4 CPTED Principles

Natural Surveillance

Natural surveillance involves designing and placing features and persons to maximize visibility. The goal is to eliminate hiding places, increase the ability to monitor and respond, and enhance feelings of security.

Natural Access Control

Natural Access Control involves utilizing design strategies and features to guide people along appropriate paths and restrict unauthorized access. This principle aims to increase comfort and decrease prohibited behaviors.

Territorial Reinforcement

Territorial reinforcement involves using physical attributes to delineate space, express a sense of ownership and pride in the area. Communicating that an area is claimed and cared for helps deter unacceptable behavior.


Maintenance involves repair, replacement, and general upkeep of a building or area to convey a sense of ownership, allowing for continued use and fostering a caring environment.

Sign up for CPTED training for schools today!

CPTED training, guided by the NICP, is a powerful tool in the pursuit of creating safe, orderly, and comfortable schools.

By understanding the importance of CPTED, implementing CSA assessments, and earning CPTED certifications, educational communities can actively contribute to the enhancement of school safety, fostering an environment where students, educators, and communities thrive.

Ready to sign up? View our online CPTED courses, upcoming in-person events, or inquire about our custom solutions.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Joelle Hushen

CPTED Specialized Topics - Houses of Worship is now available!