Close Protection Qualifications


3D shield version 1 non-editable web-ready fileIn part 1 of this article we look at the basics - what qualifications do you need.

Choosing a close protection course can be a daunting decision. In part 1 of this article we look at the basics. What Qualification do you need to gain a license to work with the Close Protection Industry.

Close Protection Course Essentials:

What Qualifications do I need ?


The term close protection can be used by anybody. In fact anybody can run a close protection course and qualify you as a Close Protection Officer. However, in the UK it is a legal requirement that all individuals working within the sector have a Security Industry Association (SIA) licence. If you want to work in the close protection industry in the UK or Europe – the SIA license is an essential basic qualification.

NO SIA licence = NO work.

Unlicensed Close Protection Courses

You still occasionally see unrecognised/unlicensed close protection courses run over 5 or 10 days. Avoid them. You can’t get work after them – certainly not in the UK. SIA requirements are not difficult to meet for any reputable company.  Other countries may work differently but the UK Close Protection training is arguably one of the best anywhere due to Government Regulation. So dont get sold on an unlicensed course because they make promises of work abroad. Get your SIA License, its required to work in the UK, recognised Internationally and most importantly you will be far more employable.

The Basic Close Protection Qualification

Reputable courses are based around a Level 3 Close Protection Qualification. You need this level 3 qualification to apply for an SIA License unless you can have accreditation for prior learning through the Military or Police. At the time of writing (Jan 2012) there are only 4 awarding bodies for the Level 3 Qualification.

There are only 4 awarding bodies for a Level 3 Close Protection Award (Jan 2012)

HABC - HABC (0845 226 0350)

EDEXCEL - Edexcel (0844 576 0026)

City and Guilds - City & Guilds (020 7294 2800)

Buckingshire New University -Buckinghamshire New University (0800 0565660)


The SIA Licence

Once you have completed a course that includes a Level 3 Award in Close Protection you may now apply for an SIA license. You need to apply to the SIA for a Front Line Close Protection License. It's expensive - £245 for 3 years (2011). There are currently no requirements to do any form of professional update for continued professional development training.

How to apply for your SIA licence

Once you have done your course and received your certificate from the awarding body, fill in your SIA licence application as instructed in black ink and print. Make sure all details are correct. If you have lived abroad or are currently living overseas, make sure you have a police record check completed for each country you have lived. You can never supply too much information but omissions can lead to delays and rejections leading to frustration for all concerned. It will not be quick with the minimum processing time being six weeks but in practice a lot longer and sometimes up to six months, so be patient. At the end of it you will be a proud owner of a CPO licence and legally ready to work.

If you find any difficulty with your application, emailing the SIA proves to be the most effective as the phone lines are busy and you may find you are on hold for a considerable amount of time. Try to keep composure even if being delayed as your case worker will be more compliant to your needs.

Link - SIA



SIA recognition is not a mark of quality.


It simply means the Close Protection Course has a level 3 in close protection attached to it. The course should meet certain very basic minimum requirements as laid out by the SIA. In real terms this translates to a minimum of 150 hours training and passing a 40 question multiple choice exam. Remember – SIA recognition simply means that an individual is recognized as having demonstrated basic knowledge.

Interesting Links

Close Protection Training  CQB Training for Close Protection Resources for Close Protection

Goty a question ?


0 #3 profile 2016-12-19 11:14 Quote
0 #2 Paul Grey 2014-02-07 15:53
Hi Simon.

It would be difficult, for us to choose a competitor to recommend to you as we sell courses ourselves and obviously have a vested interest.
+1 #1 simon Defreitas 2014-02-07 14:44
can you recommend a recognised good company to get trained by ?

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