Executive Protection Training, comes down to the syllabus and the trainers, and ESS has both. Approved by the D.O.E. – Approved by the VA to accept GI Bill Benefits – Trainers with Real World Experience.
Executive Protection Training – A Guide to EP
The very first thing you must ask yourself when looking for executive protection training;
“Am I prepared to enter the world of EP?”
You genuinely need to determine if you are ready, both physically and psychologically, before you begin your search for an Executive Protection Training School (there are very few “schools” most are “facilities” – more on that later)
Additionally, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I willing to take another human being’s life to save my own or the life of another?
- Am I capable of defending another, or myself and then render first aid and/or CPR to the very person I just injured?
- Am I ready to face the consequences of my actions and defend those actions in a court of law?
- What about the effects of my actions on my family and my friends, how will the public view my actions?
No other executive protection training facility will tell you to ask yourself these questions, because each of the answers to these questions should actually create new questions to be answered, depending on which direction you have chosen.
The bottom line is there is much more to think about executive protection training, and how best to choose where to train for this type of occupation.
Let’s clear the air.
Before we get too far, you should know that Executive Protection is one of many names used to describe what we do here at ESS Global Corp. However, you will frequently see or hear terms like Bodyguarding, Close Protection, Personal Protection and Protective Service used interchangeably with Executive Protection. All these terms mean the same thing.
The one term that we don’t use much here at ESS, is “Bodyguarding”. We are Executive Protection Agents, Close Protection Agents, Personal Protection Agents or Protective Service Agents. We are never Bodyguards! Unfortunately stereotypes and the media have spoiled that term.
Whether you take the 3-day Executive Protection Training, or the 28 Mega Executive Protection Course at ESS Global, you will clearly understand the difference between a “bodyguard” and an “executive protective specialist”.
General Traits That Match Executive Protection
- Common Sense and Quick Thinking
- Never Assumes (Trust but Verify)
- Maintains Low Profile
- Always Aware
- Works Well With Others
- Clean Cut/ Good Hygiene
- and above all, Honest
The stereotype we have seen in movies and on TV is a 300 lb. guy with enormous muscles and a pea sized brain, who’s first instinct is to throw punches (or bodies).
Today’s Protective Agent is usually found in a business suit, presenting a discreet and subdued image. They are seen, but not noticed, as they try to maintain a low profile. They are fit, but usually of normal build or stature. This helps them blend into the background of their client’s business and activities without drawing any undue attention. They are highly trained and highly skilled professionals. There are some excellent agents that do look like the stereotype, but they have the intelligence to match the stature, and that makes them professional.
The Purpose of Executive Protection
While kidnapping and assassination are rare (at least in the US) they can occur. With Executive Protection the primary focus is to protect the client from any bodily harm. What we find in today’s volatile climate, that heckling, menacing, rushing and thrown objects are more prevalent than ever.
Typical Assignments in the World of Executive Protection
What kind of work can you expect?
It varies with each and every client, but here are some generalities.
Home/Office Protection: It’s more likely than not that an actual attack will most likely occur at the principal’s home or office. Learn to examine and develop strategies to thwart those efforts using threat analysis, safe rooms, technology, barriers, exterior perimeter controls and more. This is often referred to as “Estate Protection”
Domestic and International Travel: Learn the fundamentals of domestic and international travel security including pre-travel planning, coordination, communication, ground travel and hotel/restaurant/venue security employing a street smart attitude. Study pattern of crime against travelers, counter-surveillance and kidnapping prevention.
Venue and Engagement: Meetings, speaking engagements, concerts, and more. Focus on protecting principals and explore up-to-date concepts including embus and debus, motorcade planning and operation, vehicle escort procedures, protect against dignitary/executive/celebrity stalkers.
The simple fact is as we barrel towards 2019, there is no doubt that “personal protection” is a growing field. As you read this guide to EP, there are thousands and thousands of military and government leaders, business executives, religious figures, celebrities and families are being personally protected. And the numbers grow every day.
Executive Protection is the fastest growing segment of the security industry. There is tremendous growth in the corporate world.
Globalization – The increasing globalization that has taken place means that companies can no longer depend on their home market if they want to grow and sustain their competitive advantage. Much of their growth is now taking place in new emerging markets, including developing nations that are often not as safe as more developed countries.
Income Gap – At the same time, income gaps between the very high net-worth and others continue to widen and threats to the wealthy continue to increase. Add in terrorism, whether it’s abroad or the homegrown variety, an you’ll find a mounting threat to executives, media stars, celebrities, sports figures and the religious that we have not seen before in our lifetime.
Corporate Security – Another trend is that Corporate Security Departments are changing fast and among the diverse and growing range of security services corporations must integrate, executive protection is probably the least integrated of all the corporate security services. Many corporate security directors don’t have experience with writing or implementing an EP strategy, and even fewer of them have conducted Risk, Threat and Vulnerability Assessments (RTVAs), which form the foundation of a Quality Executive Protection Program.
The good news for aspiring protection agents is that there are new jobs opening up, working either directly for corporations or for the Executive Protection companies that service them. Same for some small business owners, like jewelers for instance. And nearly every celebrity, VIP and politician has EP agents.
How to Get Started.
So you’ve read this far and you’re thinking “This is for Me”.
At this point, you need to know that when choosing an Executive Protection “school” – Do not worry yourself with the fancily named certificates they have waiting for you – but rather investigate the certifications the school has. By doing so, you gain far greater insight into the quality of training.
A Guide to Executive Protection Training
Now let’s look at the current state of training.
Perhaps you’ve heard some horror stories or maybe you have experienced them yourselves. The let down and anger you feel when you pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on training courses, only to find out the course material or the instructors themselves were less than mediocre. Unfortunately, this is an all too common experience that many students have and will continue to endure in the Security and Executive Protection industries.
While most states have mandatory courses for Security Guards, even unarmed ones, and these are regulated by the state. But in most states the executive protection training industry is unregulated.
For Executive Protection training, there are a only a handful of states, if that, that have anything resembling a state regulated course. This means that when you attend an Executive Protection school, it’s more than likely nobody is regulating what is being taught or who it is being taught by. This means you are basically taking a gamble and hoping that what you are being taught is accurate, and the person teaching it is experienced. To be honest, this is rarely the case with most Executive Protection “facilities”.
What you will likely find, is that the school was opened by a retired “law enforcement officer” or “DoD personnel” or an “ex Israeli operative” or somebody that took a course at another school and saw the potential to make money. Regardless, most schools are being taught by those who have spent little to no time actually working in the EP industry. And, since the states don’t regulate these courses, this will continue.
This is why it is extremely important when searching for executive protection training, to research your school and your instructors. Make certain that not only have your instructors worked in the Executive Protection industry, but they are active in it now! Remember, the Executive Protection industry is evolving rapidly, especially in the corporate world and EP changes just like any industry. If you are planning on attending a school where the instructor is the same person instructing for the last 20-30 years, you may want to find out how many jobs they have worked in those last 20-30 years. We are willing to bet you will be surprised.
Look for a D.O.E. Approved “School” When Searching for Executive Protection Training
This is why we always recommend that you go through a school that is licensed through the department of education (D.O.E.). Then, you know that both their curriculum and instructors have had to of been reviewed and approved. All instructors have had background checks performed on them and have had to provide credentials that attest to their knowledge and ability to properly instruct. Additionally, the course syllabus is reviewed and approved.
While even this isn’t perfect, it’s better than there being no check and balance system like it is at the majority of EP “schools”.
ESS Global Certifications
- Approved by the D.O.E.
- Approved by the VA to Accept GI Bill Benefits
- Approved by the VA and the D.O.E. for VA Vocational Rehabilitation
When choosing a facility for executive protection training, be alarmed when you see phrases like;
- “Get your protection specialist credentials from ABC”
- “Earn your certificate in executive protection at XYZ”
- “We are the only school where you can earn 2 certificates in one training”
Or any Executive Protection Training School that talks about the “certifications” and “credentials” they have for you, more than they discuss their own school “certifications” and trainer “credentials”.
You have been warned.
Look at the ESS Global Site, and the one thing you won’t find anywhere is anything like that. Because it’s a piece of paper and nothing more.
That being said, there are some real certifications from organizations such as ASP, Red Cross and others that a few EP courses across the nation offer including ESS.
If you are searching for an executive protection training, and if there is one thing you take away from this EP guide;
- There are no EP “certifications”.
- There are EP “credentials”.
- There is no EP “residency” program.
- There are no “degrees”
- Online training is a scam (we’ve never seen someone successfully defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat on a laptop)
There is no “Certified Protection Specialist Certification”, but you have to admit that’s a neat way to get “certify” into a 4 word phrase twice for good measure. Looks impressive, right?
Why do they do this?
Because “Certifications will only be given to people that complete our course.” (we have your money now).
But it’s comforting to know they are not printing them off and handing these worthless pieces of paper to folks walking down the street.
You Need to Know
In the protection industry, there is no “license”, no testing, and no boards in most states. Executive Protection is usually lumped into the same category as Security Guards or Private Investigation and has little to do with either. Yet we see training to earn your “certified protection specialist credentials” advertised online. Unfortunately, nobody is regulating these schools, training centers and trainers. Meaning, nobody regulates or monitors what is taught and who is teaching it. Anybody off the street could be teaching you false and/or misleading information and you are paying for it. So your “protection credentials” at the end of the day is a piece of paper from the trainer and nothing more.
Trademarks and Other Tricks
No single school owns the basic concepts of executive protection training. We’ve seen websites where they have trademarks (TM) on common phrases like “certified protection operator” or “certified protection specialist” to make them look even more “official”.
While some schools and instructors will try to give you the impression they invented, own or somehow refined EP skills all by themselves.
The simple fact is that everyone in the EP industry has learned from someone before them.
The Bottom Line
At some point, anyone that wants to work in EP will need to attend a credible EP School. Here at ESS Global, we’ve spoke with ex-law enforcement, security guards, ex-military and more that heartily disagree with that statement. But when they attend our Executive Protection Training they are in agreement, generally saying in unison, “I never knew any of that.”
The bottom line is there is no school, no facility, no instructor, that can teach you everything you need to know in 1, 3, 7, 15, 30 or 365 days. It’s just not possible.
What you do need to do, to begin a career in EP, is you need to get a solid foundation. That is what matters most. Not a piece of paper. For a building to stand the test of time, it needs a foundation. It’s no different for Executive Protection Training. Down the road, you can focus on other specific training to further your career, depending on the path you take. But you need a solid foundation without the fluff.
ESS Global Corp Executive Protection Training
At ESS Global Corp, we are aware that there are competitors who state that they offer similar Executive Protection Training Programs. However, our Executive Protection School in the only protection training facility certified and approved by the Department of Education in the state of Florida. (and one of just a handful that are D.O.E. certified across the country)
ESS is approved by the VA to accept GI benefits.
ESS Global uses proven methodology, derived from protective security operations, security consulting and of course, security training, in over 60 countries around the world. These operations have been conducted in threat environments ranging from “negligible” to “imminent”.
In addition to being the only D.O.E Certified Executive Protection School here in Florida, we are the only school offering active shooter training as part of our Bodyguard/Executive Protection training via the only VirTra Simulator here in Tampa Florida and the 1 of only 2 pubic installations in the entire country. It’s a close to real as you’ll ever get. And ESS Global is currently the only Executive Protection Training in the country utilizing this state of the art tool.
Why do we use it?
One critical component of a quality executive protection training is the ‘realism’ it provides. Real-world performance is often directly related to the realism and intensity of training. Said another way, the more realistic the training exercise, the more skills are transferable to a real-world situation. Thus, realism is critically important to any close combat tactical trainer. Threats during training – The stress of receiving return fire, can be safely simulated with the Threat-Fire in the VirTra simulator.
Looking for D.O.E Approved – GI Bill Approved Executive Protection Training? Access our calendar of events.
Again, take the time to research your school and its instructors. And while we know there are very few D.O.E licensed Executive Protection schools in the country, we also know it is worth the expense of traveling and lodging to attend a quality school rather than waste your money at a school that gives you below average training (but you will get a certificate you can frame!).
We always say here at ESS Global Corporation: There are two things you never cheap out on, gear and training. These are the two things that may save your clients life, and yours!