Close protection training is a continuous process. No matter what type of training you have attended, there is always more to learn. In this article, we will discuss the aspects of close protection training that are essential for you to excel in your career.
Whether you are looking to become a close protection officer or just improve your skillset, it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities of your role. Yes, we can say that the primary role of CPOs is to ensure the safety of their clients in potentially dangerous situations such as:
- physical attacks,
- unwanted attention, and
- other threatening scenarios.
However, these duties are just a fraction of what a close protection operative is responsible for.
Medical Emergencies and Close Protection Training
Global events have changed the expectations of clients. Nowadays, security providers and close protection operatives are expected to provide more than just physical protection. In fact, according to data, medical emergencies are the most common and likely threats agents face.
Leading companies in the industry are well aware of their clients’ overall well-being and have devised innovative solutions to address any health concerns. Some firms even hire medical professionals to ensure their services meet the highest standards.
If the principal or someone from their entourage suffers from severe ailments, or their children have complex medical needs, a stroke, heart attack, or any other condition could be life-threatening. The CPOs are the de facto first responders in medical emergencies that involve their clients.
Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to provide at least basic medical support.
Location security differs from personal protection in that it entails fostering protective efforts at fixed locations such as an office, hotel, residence, restaurant, public venues, and other places. With principals spending more time in fixed locations, security professionals need to be well-versed in this part of the job.
Let’s look at the recent World Cup held in Qatar – this global event drew in approximately 1.7 million visitors. These included:
- high-net-worth individuals,
- government officials, and
- celebrities and entertainers.
All of them requiring security while navigating through crowds of potentially dangerous individuals, including intoxicated fans and pickpockets.
Any close protection training needs to cover how to ensure the safety of the HNWI, VIP, or other high-profile individuals in similar scenarios. The instructor needs to teach you to make the job of bad actors difficult and the life of the principal easy in similar situations.
However, it’s important to note that the principal is also responsible for their own safety, whether by doing or not doing something. They allow for the prospect of security being commensurate with the threat.
Conducting a Proper Advance
When it comes to close protection training, it’s important to acknowledge the need for technology-driven standards in physical security. According to a recent study, 91% of security, legal, and compliance executives agree that a standard for identifying, investigating, assessing, monitoring, and managing physical security threats is crucial.
An experienced close protection professional should know how to utilize technology to increase the effectiveness of their operations. This can involve managing a security operations center, installing CCTV cameras, using tracking devices, and gathering protective intelligence. It’s also recommended to hire a proficient advance team comprising at least two individuals, as this can help cover more ground quickly and reduce the potential for attacks or assaults.
When planning for an advance in close protection operations, it’s important to consider the level of complexity involved. A complex advance typically involves multiple protectees, multiple venues, several transportation elements, and lasts for three or more days. Such a level of planning is usually necessary for events such as the Olympics, G20, and Grand Prix. In contrast, a simple advance may suffice for less risky trips, such as those to far-off places in the countryside or private residences with no one in sight for miles.
Regardless of the level of complexity involved, the training needs to cover how to find out as much information as possible, as well as measures of extra precaution, and handling logistics and travel arrangements with extreme care:
- Collect plans, maps, photographs, and drawings of the relevant places
- Organize patrols, mount CCTV, and place lights and sensors where applicable
- Conduct comprehensive searches of the whole fixed location to ensure the removal of potential bombs, hidden cameras, or other unwanted items
- Stay in touch with local agencies, such as the fire brigade and police
- Learn how to operate on intruder devices and other equipment to minimize malfunctions and tampering attempts.
In conclusion, you need to approach close protection training as an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and skill development. Close protection operatives are no longer expected only to provide physical protection. They need to be prepared to handle a wide variety of emergencies, from medical to location security.
You also need to be proficient in utilizing technology and conducting proper advances to increase the effectiveness of operations. Likewise, your training needs to cover a wide range of scenarios, from simple to complex, and provide measures for extra precaution to ensure the safety of clients.
Overall, close protection training is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of principals. The type of training you choose will mean the difference between a new job, a job lost and a job well-done.
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