Determining your capabilities needed to build an Executive Protection training strategy can be challenging. Realistically, there are hundreds if not thousands of skills and abilities that your agents need to be able to perform on a routine and potentially emergency basis. From effectively communicating with clients and Principals to performing life-saving medical intervention, there are many human, technical and martial skills that they need to be competent at.
Understanding the needs of the client and Principal are key. This is done through quality engagement from the beginning. Some details are simple while others are very complex with many variables to consider. Effective communication is needed to determine what the priorities and requirements are for protective operations so needed capabilities can be identified and prioritized. In addition to understanding what is needed, the security provider must consider what scenarios and contingencies are possible versus what is probable, all while utilizing their available resources and staying competitively priced.
Since we are talking about training, we believe the “ADDIE” model of Instructional Systems Design (ISD) can be used to determine the training needs of an Executive Protection program.
The Security Provider must first understand what normal looks like. This requires some time devoted to planning discussions with the client and/or Principal. Below are the first things to figure out:
- Who is the Principal?
- What are they tasking us with?
- Where will we be responsible for the Principals safety?
Understanding the above questions will provide context for the next step which is conducting a thorough risk, threat, vulnerability assessment (RTVA) of the known and routine areas of operation. The RTVA is a tool used to educate all parties as to what the playing field looks like so we can determine “how” to develop a game plan.
We should now have enough information to determine “how” to build our protection plan which in turn will tell us what capabilities our team must have. This is where we will need to begin making decisions based on the resources and time available to create the required capabilities.
How do we provide for these capabilities?
- What is my operating budget?
- What specific skillsets and competencies do we need?
- What equipment do we need?
- What training is needed to operate the needed equipment?
- What can we recruit for in an effort to mitigate training costs?
- What training do we need to provide?
- What training can we provide internally?
- What training would need to be outsourced?
- Which skillsets and competencies are perishable and will require ongoing sustainment?
- How will we evaluate our training?
We’ve been tasked with providing 24/7 residential security for a Principal and their family on a large estate in rural area. They want us to provide the below services:
- Provide armed security and emergency response for the family and the estate
- Monitor a complex security system that includes multiple cameras, alarms, and motion sensors
- Perform routine preventive maintenance on security system equipment
- Control access of all visitors and vendors on the property to include communication with house staff and the family
- Conduct perimeter checks to ensure all spaces are secure every evening
- Provide direct coverage for arrival and departure of the Principal and their family
- Post Orders
- Routine operating procedures
- Emergency operating procedures
- Site policy and administrative procedures
- General understanding of general security concepts and principles
- Have good, working knowledge of residential security best practices
- Deep understanding of all aspects of the estate
- First responder medical skills
- Deep understanding of use of force / use of physical response
- Defensive tactics to include use of less lethal weapons and restraints
- Proficiency with a concealed handgun
- Proficiency with running, trouble-shooting and preventative maintenance of the security system
- The ability to control access, communicate and document the presence of visitors
- Know, understand and execute security operations according to post orders, SOP and policy
- Effective communication and emotional intelligence with all stakeholders
- Effective reporting and documentation
Once the requirements / capabilities are outlined, one can start to develop a program to meet these needs. The training program needs to scalable, flexible, and relevant. It is important to identify and train to a standard of what is probable vs. possible. For liability purposes, it is critical to train those areas, which are low frequency but high liability. The training program needs to be organized in a standardized way which is easy to instruct. This program should address both hard skills and the human skills (which will be used on an everyday basis).
The implementation phase of any program can be costly, labor intensive, and take time, but an innovative approach to a training program can off set this. A combination of in person and online instruction can be effective. There are certain topics which have to be delivered in person such as hard skills training, but the human skills training can be delivered via remote/online platform. On the job training is a critical part of any program and the onboarding process should have clear expectations and documentation. Frequency of training is important as training or lack of impacts performance. Training should be:
It is crucial all training is documented and metrics/data are gleaned from performance. Measuring performance is the key to understanding the needs of any EP program and makes the evaluation process objective. Documenting training also may insulate an individual and their employer from liability if physical force is used in an incident.. It is key to look at the work performance of any team to determine if the training program is making them effective in their abilities.
Blog Contributors: Samuel Hovenden & Ryan Fresn, Allied Universal Executive Protection and Intelligence Services
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Allied Universal.