How to find the right close protection course

3D shield version 1 non-editable web-ready fileAs the SIA Close Protection Qualification has become more common, the close protection industry faces the point of course saturation. Competition for work is high, and a good training course is an essential pre requisite to getting work. This article was written to help you identify what you need to look for in a course, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Caveat emptor – Buyer beware


The absolute minimum


Level 3 Award in Close Protection

Al UK Close Protection Courses must result in a level 3 Award in Close Protection. A Level 3 award is required to register with the SIA, (Security Industry Authority) as a Close Protection Officer. This is a legal requirement to work in the UK and is generally considered the very minimum basic qualification for Brits working abroad. Even if you are planning on working abroad only – you are unlikely to be considered for work without an SIA licence.

There are a range of courses abroad, (typically South Africa, Eastern Europe, Israel or the USA) offering Close Protection or Bodyguard courses with no externally recognised qualification. The chances of obtaining work off these courses is extremely poor and actually illegal here in the UK. So avoid these courses at all costs. A level 3 budget course with no First Aid, no frills and absolute minimal training will take at least 14 days.


First Aid at Work or FPOSi

A minimum of First Aid at Work (3 days) is required to register with the SIA or to work in the UK. To work abroad in a Hostile Environment, FPOSi (First Person on Scene – Intermediate) is required. FPOSi focuses on more serious injuries such as gunshot wounds, trauma from I.E.D’s and so on.


SIA Recognition

No Close Protection company can offer you SIA accreditation. The SIA requires a CRB, (Criminal Records Bureau) check, Level 3 Close Protection Award and First Aid/FPOS. They do not recognise companies, just the qualifications.  


Firearms and Hostile Environment packages

Many companies sell Firearms packages as part of their courses. These are aimed at those wanting to work in the Hostile Environment sector. It makes for great marketing and great images. However, for civilians or those without significant military experience (usually a minimum of 5 years and 2 active tours (E.G Iraq, Afghanistan), these courses are pointless. No companies will employ you.


Given the number of highly trained and experienced military personnel now available, a civilian with a 3 or 5 day course wont make the grade. Most C.P companies have a policy of only employing experienced Military staff for these environments.

If you do have recent military experience, there is no requirement for additional hostile environment training which will in most probability not be taught to the same standard as current military training anyway. If you have previous military training but are out of date, this type of training will be a great refresher and enhance your chances of getting work.


You get what you pay for

Like any other area of commerce – price is usually an indicator of quality. Generally speaking, good courses cost more than poor courses. Course prices usually reflect what you will get out of your training.

It’s possible to run a class room based course. In fact it’s not uncommon on a budget course. Companies running budget courses need to reduce costs so may skip large and expensive elements such as driving and counter surveillance, professional equipment or scenario training and drills. However the single most significant saving is often the standard of the trainer. Skilled and experienced operators are expensive. To get a top notch trainer such as a special forces trainer costs money and is typically not on the programme with a budget course.

Budget courses will still deliver a level 3 in Close Protection but reputation is everything and graduates of these will find it extremely hard to get work in an oversubscribed sector.


The course Trainer

It is impossible to underestimate the value of the trainer.  A good C.P trainer will have extensive operational experience. They are unlikely to make their living as a trainer and will usually be active on the circuit when not teaching your course. Look for a trainer with a proven track record in the industry. Its your money - be clear about what you are paying for.  Avoid like the plague any trainer who is vague or elusive about whether they still work in the sector.


Interesting Links

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


0 #3 James C. 2013-08-19 16:02
Do you recommend any particular course for CQB training ?

I also notice you require a fitness test, why do you do that when its not in SIA requirements ?

Just curious ?
0 #2 British Krav Maga As 2013-08-19 15:59
Quoting George:
So i am interested to work like bodyguard, vip protection or air marshal, whats the best school to go?

We cant advise you there as we sell CP courses and would be commenting on a competitor which is unfair. Sorry.
+1 #1 George 2013-08-19 14:29
So i am interested to work like bodyguard, vip protection or air marshal, whats the best school to go?

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