Psychology of a Close Protection Operative

Psychology of a Close Protection Operative

Psychology of a Close Protection Operative

Historically the Close Protection Executive or Bodyguard is a specialist with a wide range of Knowledge and skill Sets. They were perceived as the Warrior Elite. Within this article we are going to take a closer look at the psychology of a close protection operative.

Situational Awareness

Developed and highly tuned to both Rural and Urban environments, whilst being able to read signs of distress in their Principal in social gatherings.

Diplomatic Negotiators

The essential skills for dealing with other VIPS or negotiating with potential hostiles and significant others.

Tacticians Educationally Advanced

Educationally qualified in both Theory and Practical Skills to an above average standard.

Threat Mitigation

Not only capable of dealing with an attack, but can prevent it prior to any loss using a wide range of skill sets.

Skilled Self Defence & Strategy

These are skills that are developed for a wide range of scenario’s and practiced with deadly effect.
The CPO will also have a good knowledge of physical Security Strengthening.

Psychology of a CP Operative

Becoming a Close Protection Operative

The Basics first

Prior to working within the Private Security Industry, it is a requirement for an operative to obtain a course of Training with any training Provider that offers a Close Protection Course, which listed on the SIA website as authorised to deliver the Regulated Qualification. Do not accept their word for this, check that the company has the authority to provide an SIA authorised qualification.

All SIA course must be delivered over 139.5 hours or more, which equate to 12 days as a minimum, but remember this means you will be completing 12 hours work a day. Which is not ideal for learning a new subject.

  • You will be required to produce a Level 3 First Aid at Work Certificate or higher prior to your training.
  • Obtain a Licence prior to starting work.
  • Pass a Criminal Record Bureau Check.
  • This Licence is Valid for 3 Years.
  • The Licence currently costs £190.00.

Industry Requirements

Although the minimum standard is a Level 3 First Aid at Work Certificate, those who will employee you will require a higher standard of Medical Training.

Employers are currently demanding F-POS(I) or Level 3 FREC as a minimum for both the UK and active.

Service overseas

Tier 1 & 2 Medic’s must be registered with the Health & Care Professionals Council

There are many clients that require Close Protection Operatives to be Paediatric First Aid trained.

Other Medical Skills required may include:

  • Geriatrics
  • Mental Health
  • Tropical Illnesses
  • Major Trauma

Psychology of Close Protection Executives

It is essential that you are psychologically sound of mind and able to think outside of the box,as well as be able to assess situations quickly.

  • You should be able to maintain a positive mindset in adversity.
  • Assess peoples Intentions Quickly, without overreacting.
  • Maintain a calm and collected presence, whilst reassuring your principal.
  • You should not be the advocate of doom and gloom.
  • You not be the centre of attention.
  • You must be always alert and sober and drug free.

“Your attitude, effects their Attitude, which effects their actions, which will affect your reactions.”

Preparing for your training

It is our advice that you take a First Aid Course some weeks prior to attempting your Close Protection Course and researching the current requirements of those who you are seeking employment with, you should also consider all the other requirements that have been stipulated and ensure you have these first.

  • Communication, Studying, Reading and Writing. (These skill sets are now an absolute must for the modern Protection Operative).
  • Reduce your Stress levels and have a clear mind prior to attending.
  • Ensure your Physical fitness is adequate for this role.
  • Your Etiquette skills & Behaviour needs to be in line with a professional.

The Security Industry Authority

Working within the United Kingdom.

The SIA requires all applicants to submit to a Criminals Records Bureau Check.

Some Clients may well require Enhanced CRB Checks especially where you will be working with children or vulnerable adults. This will be completed by your employer prior to your start date.

Working as a Close Protection Operative brings with it, a requirement for Trust and Confidentiality, therefore it would be advisable to have a clean Criminal Record.

However, the Law allows for certain crimes to be discounted, therefore candidates wishing to attend a Close Protection course should check with the SIA and or their training Provider prior to releasing any cash or deposit.

The Link below will allow you to check the criteria if you do have a criminal record:

SIA – Examinations

The SIA License to practice is designed for the UK Market and Firearms training is NOT a part of the SIA approved syllabus, nor is advanced driving skills, therefore these should be sourced from your training provider after your SIA training Program.

Until October 2021 there are 3 examinations plus a portfolio that must be completed.

  • Working as a Close Protection Operative.
  • Planning, Preparing and Supporting a Close Protection Operation.
  • Conflict Management within the Private Security Industry.

You are also required to complete a personal Portfolio of evidence that demonstrates your competence in the role of a Close Protection Operative.

October 2021 Changes will be fully announced by the SIA via the Awarding Organisations.


Course Modules – For an approved Course

Close Protection Modules (Until Oct 2021)

  1. Roles and Responsibilities of the Close Protection Operative.
  2. Threat and Risk Assessment.
  3. Surveillance Awareness.
  4. Operational Planning.
  5. Law and Legislation.
  6. Interpersonal Skills.
  7. Close Protection Teamwork and Briefing.
  8. Conduct Reconnaissance.
  9. Close Protection Foot Drills.
  10. Route Selection.
  11. Close Protection Journey Management.
  12. Search Procedures.
  13. Incident Management.
  14. Venue Security.

Conflict Management Module

  1. Avoiding Conflict and Reducing Personal Risk.
  2. Defusing Conflict.
  3. Resolving and Learning from Conflict.
  4. Application of Communication Skills and Conflict Management for Close Protection.

Extended Training Requirements

The Close Protection Operative has always been considered, to be a part of an Elite group of Protectors.

They should be highly skilled in a wide variety of skill Sets.

After your SIA Training Course, you should develop essential skills and knowledge that will set you apart from those who are mediocre, as you must be considered by your Principal/VIP and Peers as a Professional in every sense of the word.

This is not an exhaustive list of additional training:

  • Advanced Driving Techniques (Chauffeur or ROSPA advanced Driver).
  • Physical Fitness which includes Self Defence Techniques.
  • Enhanced Risk & Threat Assessment.
  • Etiquette Skills including Dining and Social Interaction with VIP’s.
  • Ability to understand or engage in VIP pastimes such as Horse Riding, Skiing etc.
  • Enhanced Law and its implications.
  • Advanced Firearms.
  • Explosive Awareness.
  • Scuba Diving (Maritime Assignments).
  • STCW 2010 /Ship Security Officer.
  • Hostile Environment & Survival Training.
  • Physical & Cyber Security.
  • Anti-Drone Training.
  • Languages.

This is only the beginning of your path to being a respected Close Protection Executive.

Just because you hold an SIA Badge doesn’t make you a Bodyguard.

In most other Countries and within Government Organisations the training is far more in depth and can take several months.

The Royal Protection Units can take up to 16 weeks plus Specialist Training.

The SAS basic CP Training is 8 weeks long, then further specialist training.

RMP Close Protection Operatives undergo an extensive 8-week training program that covers a range of disciplines.

Do not settle for second best, develop yourself and your career by investing in quality training that will ensure you work in Close Protection or within a Management position.

Women in Close Protection

There is still a big demand for skilled Women Protection Operatives and women should not feel that there are any barriers to their entry into this trade.

Close Protection is not always about Physical size, there are a wide range of skills that are essential in protecting a principal.

Women can be less conspicuous than their male counter parts, allowing the principal to go about their daily business without appearing to be under protection.

Principals often prefer female operatives to escort females and children, as they feel there will be a higher level of communication and a sense of security, without drawing attention to the protected woman or child.

Women are no longer seen as non-combatants and have proven themselves just as capable as men in Hostile Environments and under pressure.

Women can now pursue lucrative and fulfilling careers within the wider Security Industry.

There is a lot more support today for female Security Consultants than there was even 5 years ago.

Your Future as a Close Protection Executive

There are a wide range of positions within a security team, not all Close Protection Operatives fulfill the actual guarding roles.

  • Operational Planning and Event Management.
  • Aviation or Maritime Protection.
  • Linguist and Communications Officers.
  • covert Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering.
  • Technical Security Counter Measures (TSCM).
  • Cyber Security and Anti-Drone.

Having knowledge & Skills will increase your employability in a very competitive Industry.

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