How we audited an executive protection program

Protection details are sometimes started on short notice, bypassing critical foundational work required for effective programs. What’s worse, such programs can then run for years without any quality assurance evaluation. So, while security directors know they have programs in place, they may not have the means to know how effective the programs actually are in preventing and responding to emergencies and thus no way to measure program ROI. Third-party audits address these critical situations by providing expert evaluations of operational and tactical readiness, then suggesting actionable improvements that lead to measurable quality corrections.


The challenge: Evaluate the operational readiness of an existing executive protection program.

Our client is a major international corporation with a comprehensive executive protection program that includes travel, campus and residential security for its prominent CEO.

The corporation’s director of security approached Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services because he wanted objective, third-party expertise to audit the executive protection program and suggest actionable improvement opportunities. The focus of the audit was operational and tactical readiness.

Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services experts recommended auditing executive protection, campus and residential security programs in one comprehensive assessment to provide an up-to-date, real-world assessment, optimize the usefulness of the audit, and deliver maximum ROI. Even if the corporation’s EP program proved to be robust while the principal was on the road, for example, if the campus or residence were not examined then significant tactical vulnerabilities would remain unexposed.


The solution: A comprehensive audit that encompassed all aspects of operational readiness.

Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services partnered with the client to assess the entire program, recommend improvements, assist with implementation and provide ongoing readiness evaluations.

Our onsite audit and review of SOPs quickly revealed that executive and residential protection procedures had been implemented per cookie-cutter guidelines without any basis in perceived or actual risks, threats and vulnerabilities. We furthermore discovered that executive protection and residential security had been outsourced to two separate companies, neither of which coordinated with the other in any methodical way.

The lack of a risk-based strategy makes security’s efficacy (and cost efficiency) anyone’s guess: because there had been no RTVA, there was no effective way to determine whether the provided security was too weak, good, or over-dimensioned relative to effective mitigation of identified risks. Good compared to what?

The poor coordination between EP and residential teams was also problematical, as it resulted in gaping holes where the two programs interfaced and an array of consequent security vulnerabilities.


The results: Immediate corrective action and ongoing quality control.

Effective preventive procedures can only be designed, implemented and monitored once the vulnerabilities that could increase the opportunity for a critical event to take place have been identified; emergency procedures, in turn, rely on a solid foundation of preventative procedures. That is why our first corrective action was conducting a comprehensive RTVA with detail leads. Upon completion of the RTVA and the subsequent redesign and implementation of preventative and emergency procedures, we re-audited what was essentially a new protection strategy. Once satisfied, we then partnered with the director of security to send a specialist “red team” to test the agents’ knowledge of their procedures, use of specialized equipment and overall operational preparedness.

The follow-up audit and red team exercise confirmed in the field that the protective program had achieved a much higher level of tactical readiness to prevent, identify and respond to emergencies.

Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services now conducts frequent quality assurance activities for the client, including regular procedure reviews and repeated and varied red teaming to check specific program aspects.