What Is Close Protection Security And How Can I Gain Professional Qualifications?

Private security is more popular than ever due to terror threats, geopolitical upheaval, and unwanted attention in public. Statistics in the UK show this trend, with private security services growing every year. Close protection security is the elite security role. It helps to protect individuals from these physical dangers and threats.

People like celebrities, executives, political figures, and high networth (HNW) clients all use it. If you want to start a career in close protection security, now is the right time. However, you must have the qualifications to offer this high-end security service. Taking the proper close protection training is essential.

Read this article to learn more about close protection security. Also, discover the importance of qualifications and how you can get them.

What Is The Difference Between General Security And Close Protection Security?

It’s important to note that close protection security is not the same as general security. For example, a general security guard will provide security and protection at a particular event or security for a building. In contrast, close protection security is for a person. Also, close protection security training is usually more rigorous than general security.

However, all security roles, i.e. static security, doorman and close protection, require a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA is a statutory organisation that regulates close protection training in the UK. The authority only issues SIA licenses to accredited training providers.

Working As A Close Protection Operative

The responsibilities of a close protection operative (CPO) depend on the task. Some people who want close protection security will have full-time security teams 24/7. CPOs can deliver security in a residential capacity or when a client is on the move in public.

The Different Types of Skills a CPO Needs to Learn

Here are a few skills a CPO needs to learn to become SIA-certified:

  • How to conduct Threat and Risk Assessments
  • Carry out surveillance and counter-surveillance
  • Conflict Management
  • Terror Threat Awareness
  • First Aid Training

Why Is Close Protection Security Important?

It’s fair to say that close protection security has been in existence for over 2,000 years. For example, the Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Roman army. It served as a personal guard for the Roman emperors. Leaders have always had people assigned to protect them.

This need for protection has continued to spread throughout the security industry. Specialist security is so popular it is now not only for public or national leaders. It is for anybody who wants close protection to feel safe and secure. Here are some modern-day examples of people who need close protection security:

  • Contractors working overseas may need close protection, as it is an insurance rule. The employee or employer might pay for this.
  • VIPs and famous people, such as film and rock stars, can attract attention from the paparazzi and criminals. Security can help them move safely from A to B.
  • HNW clients always like security. They sometimes use it as a convenience rather than to deal with a threat.

Why Is It Important To Gain Professional Qualifications In Close Protection Security?

To gain professional qualifications, you must do an accredited course. If you want to work in the UK as a CPO, it is mandatory to have a SIA Level 3 Close Protection Operative Licence. You are open to prosecution if you don't have a licence and work in the UK as a CPO.

Also, if you have worked in close protection for many years, you still must have an SIA qualification in the UK. These same rules also apply if you are providing residential 24/7 on-site security.

Working as a CPO Abroad

Outside of the UK, if you want to work as a CPO, you are not required to have an SIA Licence. More companies are now requesting certification from CPOs. Remember to follow the rules and regulations that apply to the country you are in.

What Accrediting Bodies And Institutions Offer Close Protection Security Courses?

SIA is a non-departmental public body. It reports to the Home Secretary under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. SIA handles the issuing of SIA Level 3 Close Protection Operative Licences. You must train with a company authorised to deliver SIA qualifications.

At Blue Mountain Group, we offer the SIA Close Protection Security course. We are specialists in the industry, offering high-quality training. Our instructors have over 20 years of security experience. This hands-on experience helps us to deliver engaging, real-life situational training.

Extra Training: ECFR and First Aid

You can do the Level 3 Emergency Care for First Responders (ECFR) course in your training. This qualification is mandatory to work in close protection security. You won’t be able to secure work without it. Also, you can’t apply for your SIA licence without a relevant first aid certificate.

Medical upskilling is also mandatory for people working in close protection security. Most people working in security will have a certain level of medical training. CPOs must maintain the standard of their first aid knowledge. It is also possible to update this medical training as part of the close protection course.

People new to close protection security must do first aid training. New CPOs can do the formal Level 3 First Aid training before starting the close protection course. This process ensures new CPOs have the mandatory qualifications to work in security. It is a more proactive approach than doing the first aid training at a different time.

At Blue Mountain Group we offer the ECFR course as part of our Close Protection course. We also run it as a separate first aid module for those who only require first aid training.

What Is The Significance Of Continuous Learning And Re-certification In The Security Industry?

Continuing professional development (CPD) or upskilling in the security industry must be proactive. It can help you to stay on top of any changes in security practices and stay compliant. It is a rule by law to renew your SIA licence every three years. This three-year rule also applies to first aid certification.

Blue Mountain Group also offers evasive and defensive driving training. This course is on top of the SIA Level 3 Close Protection Security Licence. This extra skill can help boost your close protection career, as you can apply for more jobs.

Close Protection Security Top-Up Courses

CPD has made an impact on training requirements in the security industry. Anybody who gained an SIA Level 3 Close Protection Security Licence before April 2022 must now complete an upskilling course. This course is known as the Close Protection Top-Up Course. This course brings license holders in line with current legislation.

As practices change over time, CPD or upskilling is essential. For example, physical intervention training has changed radically. In the past, you could put people into a wrist or arm lock. Now, you have to handle things differently. Training is now mandatory in this area as part of a top-up course.

Free Courses Online To Deal With Changes In Threat Assessments

The government built two courses, ACT Awareness and ACT Security. These courses support the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) initiative. These courses are accessible and free online for people who want to work in the private security industry. The syllabus covers up-to-date practices for counter-terrorism and security in the UK.

The Counter Terrorism Alliance, comprising the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), the Home Office, and Pool Reinsurance, has an easy-to-use portal to access these courses.

Next Steps: Make A Career In Close Protection Security A Reality

Pursuing a career in close protection security can be challenging and very rewarding. If you feel ready to train for this role, it’s time to book professional training. Take the time to select the best close protection training. Choose the one that can help you secure the mandatory SIA Level 3 Close Protection Security Licence.

Gaining qualifications from reputable organisations, like Blue Mountain Group, makes a difference. You can start your career full of confidence. You will have the necessary skills and credentials to protect others and will help in creating a safer world. Get in touch with us today and start your new security career!

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