FDA Protective Security Management. Bucks University.


Longterm Registered User
Hi All

I am looking for some advice I am looking for a qualification that is relevant to a close protection role either corporate or other wise.

My ambitions will rise to team leader or possibly management roles but definitely team leader role. I have seen there are lots of security management qualifications at all levels up to and including masters degrees and varying costs.

What I want is something relevant to my needs and have looked at the FDA Protective Security Management course from Bucks University and so far it looks relevant and the price looks reasonable to as this would be something I would be doing distance learning.

If there are any course gurus out there that could help me I would appreciate any advice or guidance or make me aware of other relevant courses.

Many thanks.



Full Registered User
I have quite an academic background, including porstgraduate study at Bucks.

I applaud anyone who wants to take a step towards bettering themselves through academic work, but ask yourself some basic questions;

Why do I want to study?
What do I want to gain from the study?
Will the qualification give me professional kudos / open doors (if that is something you want)?
Are other training options more suitable to my needs?
Is this program seen by employers as useful / credible?

I have been employed in a position with a recognised PSC responsible for managing / employing CP operators; an FD from Bucks had / will have had no bearing on my employing an operator or TL, no FD would.

Academic courses are great, and they have their place; as a point of interest this course may be something you find very interesting and rewarding; professionally I question what it will achieve for you. If I was looking for a TL or Operations Manager within a protective security environ, and academic quals were a prerequisite, I would be far more inclined to look for a generic graduate applicant or an individual with postgraduate security qualifications, PLUS the required professional competency - of which there are many. An FD by itself would not get a look in. An FD is below a Bachelor's degree and to me has little if any standing by itself.

That is not to dismiss the course; as I've said I value the place of academic study, even in a theory based working environment. But ask yourself some hard questions; research the tutors. With any training / education, tutor background is important, especially with a subject as fine as protective security. A tutor with security experience is not the same as a tutor with credible protective security experience, I emphasise credible.

In short; as an academic course in CP alone, that's not even a Bachelor's - No way, no point, not ever; as a replacement for law / mil training in protective security - No chance, wont wash; as a stepping stone to further academic study; go for it, without a doubt!
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Longterm Registered User
Hi Carmdale

thank you for your reply and your response which has some very relevant points some of which I have considered.

To give you a little of my background briefly I have quite a long history of experience in the security industry from all roles from an operator to a team leader in a protective i.e. close protection role which for the last five years has been in hostile environment. My aim eventually will be to move across into the corporate environment which as I am in my forties is I think the best way to develop my personal development and goals for where I want to work and to adapt too.

I have done various courses in the past including close protection courses from AKE, Ronin South Africa and a hostile environment cpo course from CRG their HECPO course and recently to aid in my progression as a cpo last year my FPOS-I and last month my MIRA course with EXMED.

So as you can see I have done quite a lot to maintain my qualifications keep them current and relevant to my role.

To answer some of the points my aim is to enhance my skill set and add some new ones yes to make me more employable but also show I do not just want to sit on my laurels but to improve my abilities. I left school with no qualifications joined the British Army which taught me life skills and also how to mix with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

When I was promoted to a junior NCO level I also learned the art of humility and respect of the guys I was in charge of and responsible for being somebody that would not ask anything of his guys that he was not prepared to do myself.

I have also led mixed teams in Iraq in a protective role and again had to organise run and talk to people with a different culture language and mind set and get them to trust and follow me in order to successfully achieve the clients requirements and needs and get everybody back safe at the end of the day.

My current role in Afghanistan has found me working in a protective role in the south Helmand and currently in Kabul from protecting people from the FCO British military and very high ranking diplomats to civilian consultants.

Coming back to what I want to achieve it has been some time since I did any form of long term academic study it has been several years since I left school but I still want to progress with some form of qualification in my chosen career which I have a passion for.

So to that end I take on board a normal degree may have more clout with some employers but for me I think to step towards that qualification with a foundation degree at a slightly lower level will still show I have made progress in my CPD and it can be a step towards the higher degree that I may look at achieving later on down the line.

I also did very basic French at school but am looking to get some more lessons as and when I can to aid in my skill set that is not just purely academic.

So to end apologies if I have rambled on slightly but I have always believed in being open honest and upfront in what I want to do and achieve and my aspirations for the future.

Best regards



Full Registered User
Alex, again I applaud you for your aspirations and desire to upskill and change direction slightly. From what you say I dont think the FdA is for you, or rather I doubt it alone would give you what you are looking for.

Take a look at courses like the Security Institute's certificate and diploma in Security Management, or the CSC (Certified Security Consultant) delivered again by Bucks Uni, accredited by them and the Institute of Risk Management. I would argue that these are both much more credible, at or about the same academic level and will teach you more broadly. However, consider them as stepping stones (better stepping stones none the less than the FdA) to broader training / education later.

Its really not unheard of now for guys to have a "vocational" type course such as the above and to be working towards a Masters of some sort - such guys are still in the minority; but no longer does a master qualification entitle you to be considered "expert", that being said the top 1/3 in this industry are probably routinely working on some CPD or other - credit where its due, CPD is one thing the wider security industry is very good at compared to others, it just makes for a confusing plethora of courses when there is no professional standard.

Good luck and if I can be of any help just ask.


Longterm Registered User
Hi Carmdale

thank you again for your advice and guidance a friend of mine is on his way to completing the security institute's diploma in security management. I think I will look at the CSC you mention I remember when it first came out and a lot of people were talking about it.

For me it will be a progressive step I am all for pushing myself to achieve more but don't want to get too far out of my depth if that makes sense.

Again many thanks for your advice and guidance I will look at the courses and see what suits my needs and aspirations best.

Best regards



New Member
Alexi if I can offer some advice as someone who employs corporate CP. The problem I have with people who have worked in Iraq Afghan etc is that they find it hard to adapt to the softer corporate world, where diplomacy politeness and softer skills are paramount. Most do not know which knife and fork to use when presented with a table setting of 5 courses, they shout as oppose to speaking quietly and cannot talk to the client with an degree of confidence. My advice would be to take language courses, if you have basic french then expand on it. I have a law degree but it hasnt helped me with running teams, I also am not looking at peoples academic skills when I employ them but rather the skills I need for the deployment which are all of the above plus skiing if thats where we are going, horseriding, advanced driving etc
Hope this helps


Longterm Registered User

thank you for your advice I appreciate it especially as you employ people in the role that I am looking to move across too.

I totally understand where you are coming from with regard to some people who have worked in hostile environments i.e. Iraq/Afghan etc.

Many years ago when I first came out of the Army I went to a CTP workshop for people leaving the forces and the advisors there told us to look at the skills you mention i.e. languages, horse riding, skiing and basic child care etc.

With regard to the study i.e. the management courses I still may do one to improve my academic skills but completely understand FBG there has to be balance with the other skills you mention or shall we call them real world skills.

I am fortunate that as I am in my forties and have worked with all types of people consider myself a humble cpo with the ability to talk to most people without any dramas. Also totally agree about the softer skills yes as a professional cpo we need to extract the client out of trouble when required but also need to blend in or morph into their lifestyle.

Again many thanks FBG appreciate your help and advice.

Best regards



Longterm Registered User

I am Head of the Department that runs this programme. Carmdale is correct in some ways but wrong about FDs. They are degrees, designed to be work-related and validate your experience and capability. The subject areas in the FD are designed to provide knowledge and understanding of management and some of the soft elements in the context of the roles that our learners undertake. Also, the programme can be used to access the BA top up (ie year 3) of our BA Security Consultancy.

The course is run by a current CP practitioner alongside her academic role - I have two such senior lecturers on my team; therefore the programme takes an academic approach with an applied focus. As Carmdale says, you could do the CSC or SyI Diploma. The CSC is set at 90 credits at level 5; the Diploma can be used for module exemption at some Unis, including ours, against the FD. As a guide, Portsmouth offer 90 credits off one of their courses. Both the CSC and Diploma offer less in scope, level and academic rigour than the FD.

Progression: several of our FD grads are moving on to BA studies, most are employed now in role and some have secured country manager roles at least. Several of our FD grads are also now MSc holders.

The course is relevant to your area and I directed a full rewrite for the last academic year. You will find nothing more relevant to your role from any UK University. In general, if you want to study Business Management orientated security - Loughborough. If you want a criminology and risk management security degree, Leicester/Portsmouth. If you want to do crisis/emergency management there are a few of those.

If you wanted to discuss this then please let me know by PM - I know our programmes and my team, I also know other programmes and courses and I am more than happy to point you at them if that's what you need. But no hard sell from me - we work with the SIA, SyI and run the CSC, all elements and offerings have value - perhaps I can help you to decide. I could also put you in contact with some of our current and graduated FD students so that you can get an idea of their considerable levels of achievement.

This is an extract from one of our assignment briefs to give an idea of the level of questions that need to be answered and discussed:

'Corporate Protection offers many challenges and poses various risks from a range of vulnerabilities. The Protective Security Manager needs to fully understand these, plan and implement an effective strategy for mitigation and align this strategy with corporate objectives.

In order to demonstrate an understanding of effective Corporate Protection within the Protective Security environment you are required to provide a 2000 word document as follows:

"Textar Oil and Gas Ltd” is a multinational corporate organisation which sources and exploits oil and gas reserves globally. It has a total of 20,000 employees who operate in all the areas where the company works. In addition to its routine exploration, transport, refinement, storage and sale of oil and gas products, Textar is also committed to growing its business activities through exploration and business development.

The majority of the emerging markets in oil and gas are in difficult and dangerous locations. However the company remains resolute that it must take risks in order to maximise profit in what is a very competitive market. The company aims as much as possible to use local labour for lower grade work activity in its operating areas. As part of its expansion, Textar is planning to push extensively into the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union.

As part of a fact-finding mission, the company plans to send its CEO and Chief Financial Officer to the region. In addition, it is planning to deploy an expatriate team of 25 workers for six months to the region to become familiar with drilling and engineering techniques commonly in use in that area.

This task requires you to write a 2000 word account of the threats facing Textar employees who are travelling to the region and to propose a business orientated protective security solution which will not only maximise protection for the employees but will also ensure their freedom to conduct operations in the region.

Completion of this task will enable you to:

• Understand the planning requirements to control and manage a corporate protection activity
• Explain the specific protection requirements of corporate organizations and their employees
• Understand the requirement to communicate effectively
• Demonstrate the requirement to gain specialist subject matter advice
• Identify the potential incidents & dilemmas involved

You should ensure that you pay full attention not only to analysing the problems but also to describing your solutions and ensuring that you explain your reasons and rationales for choosing a particular course of action.

Should you wish to complete this task in the context of your current employing organisation, please contact the tutor'


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Longterm Registered User
Hi Archie

thank you very much for your informative message it has certainly made me think again with regard to the FDA as I did not know you could put the work towards the third year of a BA degree.

My aim was a qualification that was relevant to the close protection sector as this is where I work and my passion lies for what I do.

I have taken on board what other people have said about security management qualifications and real world skills for me I think a balance of the two improves your aspects and shows a broader skill set and ability to learn I personally think that we never stop learning from fresh cpo just finishing their course to the seasoned operator who has done the job for years.

I believe we all bring something to the table in order to achieve to best results for our client and the team looking after them. I agree with FBG when she stated that she had a law degree but it did not help her in running teams but respect for doing the degree in the first place. Others are important to i.e. real world skills that the cpo needs advanced driving, skiing and languages etc. My personal view is if I can blend both then it will make me a more rounded experienced operator if my ambition to transition to the corporate side I think this broad skill set will help me achieve a better service for my client.

So for me and what I want to achieve in a qualification I think the FDA is at this time is the direction I will look to study. My friend is doing the Diploma in security management and will shortly finish I have seen the work he has done and the way the course is structured I think for him it is relevant as he wants to move into security management with a normal security company. From what I have seen it gives you a little of everything across a broad section of the security management skills and areas you require to know about and operate as a manager. For me my requirements are different and want something specific and relevant to close protection and the role.

So in closing again many thanks for the information you have given me food for thought and inspiration too.

I will look again at the FDA on the Bucks university website and come back to you by PM.

Best regards

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Full Registered User
Hi Archie,

An old thread I know, but are FDA graduates still able to access the BA Security Consultancy?

Best regards,