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My CP Blog

BearDJ

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#1
I’m writing this blog as a guide, a guide as to why I chose to pursue a career in Close Protection and how I came to choose my training provider in the hope that it will help other “newbies†to the industry not to make any rushed decisions and hopefully show some old hands of the trade that not all of us newbies have stars in our eyes and think that we are going to be the next James Bond and understand that there are real implications to the actions we take with a very real responsibility that rests on our shoulders.

So hopefully without boring you all too much and this sounding like a lecture, I’d like to jump right in.

I first decided that I wanted to do Close Protection when I was 18 and applying for the army, due to reasons that really aren’t relevant I was differed and later cancelled my application to the army to work in the finance sector... And here I sit 4 years later in my second position stuck paper pushing in an office dreading the drive in and longing for the drive home only to feel empty when I get home with zero job satisfaction. I’d decided it’s time for a change. After weeks of networking and some long hours brainstorming I closed in on my chosen role in Close Protection, funny how life seems to turn full cycle. I had no idea that the private sector was a big and booming as it is!

I knew that I had to choose a training provider that would help to give me an edge, especially coming from Civi street with no prior, formal, training! My first recommendation came in… Ronin South Africa, as an Ex-Pat it was back to the motherland and back to familiarisation. I was set. I made my enquiries and thought the course was excellent. Despite this I kept on looking, a few other training providers came to light with cheaper costs, but then again you always get what you pay for. I sat down and reviewed my goals and with advice from the forums, reading as much as I could I knew that I needed to gain knowledge that was relevant to my chosen field of work. I had decided I want to work in London and one name kept cropping up… Excellentia, now this is not to discredit any other London based training provider but Excellentia’s name always came with praise and high remarks so I delved further and learnt that the qualifications I can obtain from Excellentia will stand me in better stead for my chosen style of working environment.

I have now applied for the course in June this year and am raring to get going and make my mark in the CP. Many people have said to me to spend my money elsewhere and that I won’t get work due to my significant lack of experience and age. But I’ve decided I want to take charge and get into something that I have always wanted to do.

My advice to anyone looking to get into being a Close Protection Officer is to sit down and have a long and hard discussion with yourself, not looking in a mirror or any of that Bullshit. I mean really sit down and think about the work.
Don’t kid yourself either, be realistic, know the hours are long and unsociable and there is going to be a lot of shit shoving before you smell roses.
If at the end of your lovely chat, you decided this is still the career for you then as you may have guessed… its time for another chat with yourself. Look at your goals and the different areas of work, Hostile Environment, Remote Medicine, Corporate CP… The list is very long and very extensive so be thorough with it all and think about where you’d like to work and what style of work would best suite your character and skill set.

When it comes to choosing a training provider look at well-known companies that offer the course with relevant training materials and modules that will suit your chosen style of work, know that you do get what you pay for and if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Companies that promise work at the end of it I’d personally take with a grain of salt, I’ve learnt from reading posts by the likes of ‘SCT’ and ‘Nomad’, as well as various other, that the guarantee of work can never truly be guaranteed.
If you are looking to “secure†the potential of work after training (and I want to emphasise that it is only a potential and an unlikely outcome) then in my eyes your best bet is probably to train with an operational company who will look to draw from their students to fill positions within their own company.

This is simply a blog of how I came to choose my training provider, some advice from my point of view as I stand now as well as points I have thought about and answers I have got in doing a bit of leg-work.

I will add more to this once I have more to share, I will be meeting the training team and seeing some of the course, first hand, in March time and will have more to write about then. Until that time I hope that you can enjoy my story (so far) and this will help any newbies who feel a bit lost and overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge that needs to be taken on board, that the answers will come in time. (Trust me I’m FAR from knowing everything).
Be patient and learn from the experience of others, listen to what they have to say, be it good or bad, and draw from their knowledge to help you better make an informed and educated decision. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I’ve barely scratched the surface.


I hope that my “research†into this can help, please do feel free to correct me if I have got anything wrong. (I look to the older hands of the trade for this.)
The points I have discussed and views I have shared are completely my own and this is by no means a complete guide of how to become a CPO, there is however a good sticky on this posted in - New to the Industry under the title – “A Beginners Guide to becoming a Close Protection Officer†by Nomad. It’s a quality read and is very informative and straight down the line, no bullshit, honest advice.

Until next time, I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Bear :cool:
 

Carl Dowd

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#2
I was just wondering what you mean by 'Shit Shoving'..? is this coded language for something?

CD
 

BearDJ

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#3
I was just wondering what you mean by 'Shit Shoving'..? is this coded language for something?

CD
Hi CD,

Well spotted, that is my awful typo! It's meant to read: "Shit Shoveling..." *

And it's more meant as a term of phrase, as in don't expect to get a job earning £60k+ a year with a wealthy business man at first, there will be a lot of graph to do and potentially doing jobs that you may not particularly enjoy before an individual can get a contract or position with a Security company that they really enjoy.

Possibly the wrong terminology to use? But from my personal view it's more of don't expect wonders at first. It takes time to build up a good CV of experience and a strong network within the industry.

Hope this helps?


Bear
 

Carl Dowd

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#4
I know mate :) I'm having some fun with you !!!!!

Try next time: 'Layer Cake'

I'm a film buff by the way!

CD
 

tae1822

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#5
Interesting start to a blog and helpful information for everyone involved or wanting to get involved in the industry.
Hopefully this will help others new to the industry! I will be looking forward to your input on the course as it was one
that I was considering.
 

BearDJ

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#6
CD - Haha, it's all good, and quality film choice! :cool:
Tae - Thanks mate, I'll keep you (and whoever else reads this) in the loop.


Bear
 
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BearDJ

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#7
Update for My CP Blog,

After being in contact with Excellentia I asked if I could meet the training team and run a few things by them and they were more than happy to have me. Travelling up to London, the capital, thinking of all the hustle and bustle of the capital had me feeling… nervous to say the least.

After arriving at Excellentia and a short introduction from JM I found myself sitting in on their lesson, Surveillance training. The training was delivered very professionally and the students were far from spoon fed and encouraged to think on their feet. After some exercises and getting the students to think outside the box it was related back to Close Protection, the core and foundations of this course started to show true with JM not simply reading from slides but demonstrating that the skills that were being taught are very must a real skill that must be developed, this was cemented in an exercise that was carried on one of London’s High street. I even found myself thrown into the deep end just showing the Excellentia do care about their students, future and present.

My day was summed up when they broke for lunch, JM and I sat down and had a very frank and honest discussion. Taking into account my lack of background JM was honest about the options I have. I see this as something to respect he wasn’t there to sell me the seven wonders of the world and promise glory at the end, there was no smoke and mirrors and I could tell he does care about this industry and producing the high calibre students and giving us all the best chance we can have. My questions were answered honestly and was left with “…If you need anything else, just drop us a line.”

After experiencing the course and understanding the high demand of the course and work to come, the focus must now go up a gear and my own training must get harder. The days will be long but rewarding and the friends/colleagues that will be made will be second to none and soon it will be my time, to delve into the world of Close Protection.

Bear

I must again reiterate that I hold NO stake in Excellentia and do not receive anything for writing this blog. Any views or opinions I have shared in this blog are completely my own.
 

BearDJ

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#8
CP course is over and done… For now.

After a very trying CP course moving at a very intense and fast pace I can only say.. WOW.
It seems only yesterday when we started the FPOS and now I've finally caught up on some sleep, I can sit back and truly take in what has happened over the last 21 days, which have all somehow flown by blurred into one long, unforgettable memory.

The skills learned and the standard we were expected to operate at was cemented in the final exercise when we are given a live principal with a live threat, even though we knew the exercise was all set up I found myself still feeling like this was a very live operation and we were always being watched, monitored and drilled and just when we thought we could have a second to breath a new fast ball was thrown at us to deal with, keeping us on our toes. Our team was diverse with people from different walks in life and different experience which we used to our advantage, just as we were taught. Whether it was getting a table at the famous Pizzeria, which is damn near impossible as no bookings are taken, or liaising with the Security manager at the Hilton, we were shown the way and then left to our own devices. The Skills learnt were taught in such a way as to make us truly value their importance and not only by way of example and demonstration but also in practice it was clear that not only the hard skills but the soft skills taught proved to be key to our success.

Excellentia also took the time to reg conduct one to one's and constantly review our progress as well as give us key tips and points to help with our Continued Personal Development. The advice given was always honest and always found to be truthful, the instructors are sharp minded and not only operate but train at a very high standard too.

Needless to say I would strongly recommend this course to any and all individuals who are looking to join the industry, regardless of background or who want to try their skills and push them self to have a strong base to build from as the course and instructors will treat each person as they should be.. as individuals. Building you up as an operator and giving good advice and help with a clear cut CPD plan to give you the best chance you possibly could have as an operator.

All in all, I'll give my current experience in Close Protection training 5 Stars and look forward to seeing you all on the circuit soon. If any one has any questions please feel free to contact me on here and if you'd like to go for a brew I'd be more than happy to meet up and discuss any points/questions you may have.

I wish you all the very best in your ventures ahead.
Stay safe and kind regards,


Bear.
 

BearDJ

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#10
After my recent absence from the forum I must first apologise for not finishing the blog or posting the final instalment about my training…

Allow me to conclude my training chapter and start my next as I now look to start my career in Close Protection and Security.

Excellentia’s 21 day CP course is on that delivers from the get go.
We kicked off with FPOS-I training, with an instructor that will forever be ingrained in my medical training. He was.. is… totally barking mad in his mannerisms but uses his… querkyness to teach and install the techniques of FPOS into us, his students. When testing day came I’d be naive to say I wasn’t nervous but I was quietly confident in what I had been taught, confident in my instructors ability.

Needless to say the final day of FPOS went well and a few students parted at this point having already done their CP/Security license before. Leaving 4 of us carrying on and a handful more to join.

There was no let off the gas pedal at this point, day 1 saw us studying the law and “conflict management†this continued as we moved onto the driving stages and started to learn our foot drills, emus, debus, and driving drills. All tailored to working in London and for the type of cliental in London.
The pace of the course would only get faster and more intense never letting off, roughly mid way were were to deliver presentations on relevant topics with in our industry we were to present this to a guest, a friend of Excellentia’s who hold high standings in the CP world and receive a short talk from him after. I was a good insight into who would be hiring us “new recruits†and the standard we are expected to perform at.

Excellentia had a way to push us, with early morning and late evenings and consistently working and refining our skills, drilled again and again. Any fail wasn’t a fail it was a learning point we were always being given advise and “top tips†in and around the city all culminating towards the final exercise.

The final excretes was upon us before we had even realised it, from the get go receiving our brief first thing in the morning and then we were left to our own devices to do Location and Route Recce’s over two days of malicious planning. JM never lost his good sense of humour even giving us his own dose of “sensory overload†during our planning stages which drove us all slightly barney but kept the spirits high in these stressful hours prepping to deliver a final overview the night before we were due to pick our principal up.

The two days we spent with our principal saw each student taking on different roles within the CP team, but nothing ever goes as planned and the team had a few surprises install for us. With the principal throwing us fast balls and a few pop surprises on the street by some pesky reporters made the day all the more interesting and definitely kept everyone on their toes. Consistently vigilant throughout day 1 and finishing late that evening we were to go to bed reflective and eager to get stuck in during day 2.
We started on a fast ball, principal being concerned about a stalker and we were to put a Surveillance Detection route in place and to carry out SD on possible assailants/stalkers. This task was bonnet briefed and had to be thrown together by the team in morning and quiet literally at the drop of a hat. Referring back to our training this task was accomplished and followed by a day of not much planned besides a fast fingered secretary who managed to cause a lot of logistical trouble for the team in Topshop…. you know who you are. After regaining control and composure we continued with our day to arrive back to the principals house in which we revive our final treat.

At the end of a long day we returned to the class room to write our exam and put it all to rest, before decanting on St Paul’s with our less than holy intentions and certainly questionable dance moves on Reflex’s dance floor.

We concluded the next day with what we should expect going forward and were walked through the process of our application and were given a list of reputable companies to aid us in moving forward. We were also talked through being self employed and left with Excellentia’s trade make of confidence and knowledge that if we did ever need them all we had to do was contact them and they would give us the time of day.


I cannot recommend this course and Excellentia as a who enough, they have been supportive and helpful from the start of my inquiry to this point, always in contact and giving advise and insight. Sharing knowledge and helping operators and their students become truly excellent.

I want to take this time to openly thank JM, PM, DK and Excellentia as a whole for the life experience and incredible learning curve. Your time and dedication you put in shows in the students you produce and the standards you set for the industry.

I am more than happy to answer any questions that anyone may have on Excellentia or their CP training course.
I will again reiterate that I hold NO stake in Excellentia and do not receive anything for writing this blog. Any views or opinions I have shared in this blog are completely my own.

Stay safe and all the best to you, the readers, on your ventures and if you choose to train with Excellentia or not I wish you the best of luck in this industry.

Kind regards,

Bear :cool:
 

DJB176

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#11
Hi, do you think there was enough practical exercises that gave the chance to practise all of the classroom work?

DJB176
 

BearDJ

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#12
Hi DJB176,

CP has it theory bases on which the practical work would stem from, I felt the focus from the instructors was to teach us the theory but then to throw us "in the deep end". What good is it of you have the book knowledge but if you can't put it into practice and do it well, what good would you be as an operator?
I think this is why they keep the classes so small (in comparison to other training providers) it allows them to better keep an eye on us throughout our training and show us our faults.

I'm pretty sure we went out into London 95% of the time. Always in a formation, always told to be vigilant cause they would stop test us! From questions of "which way is knights bridge from here?" to "are we being followed?".

So the short answer is yes I did feel there was a lot of focus on the practical aspect during the course!

Are you currently thinking of training with Excellentia?
 

DJB176

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#13
Hello BearDJ, No is the short answer, I've already done a few courses years ago. I'm more interested in what companies are churning out as 'Consultants', as there are some companies that pass on their 2 minutes of experience having gone from stacking shelves to being 'Trainers'. Their courses cost tuppence and the end result is the same as everyone else (good or bad), an SIA badge. I'm putting together a list of companies with suitable backgrounds to provide training. It seems a joke that some guy having looked at a screen for the required amount of hours and the guy who has spent a great deal of money getting 'quality' training and courses, not to mention a proper background both get the same money, the only time it matters is when the SiHT hits the fan and the classroom guy sits with 'thumb up asre'. Too late for the client, but hopefully answers will be asked of the training provider in a court and prosecuted for providing drivel, and the SIA will be brought to account for certifying these Walters.
Rant over, glad to hear you had a good experience.
 

ShanecB

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#14
Bear
Can I ask.
6 months on from completing your course.
How has the last 6 months gone for you. Job wise and career wise.
 

BearDJ

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#15
Hello BearDJ, No is the short answer, I've already done a few courses years ago. I'm more interested in what companies are churning out as 'Consultants', as there are some companies that pass on their 2 minutes of experience having gone from stacking shelves to being 'Trainers'. Their courses cost tuppence and the end result is the same as everyone else (good or bad), an SIA badge. I'm putting together a list of companies with suitable backgrounds to provide training. It seems a joke that some guy having looked at a screen for the required amount of hours and the guy who has spent a great deal of money getting 'quality' training and courses, not to mention a proper background both get the same money, the only time it matters is when the SiHT hits the fan and the classroom guy sits with 'thumb up asre'. Too late for the client, but hopefully answers will be asked of the training provider in a court and prosecuted for providing drivel, and the SIA will be brought to account for certifying these Walters.
Rant over, glad to hear you had a good experience.
Bear
Can I ask.
6 months on from completing your course.
How has the last 6 months gone for you. Job wise and career wise.
Both,

Apologies I have been away from the forum for a while and have been busy.

ShanecB - Please see your profile page as I have left visitor messages for you, hopefully answering your question. If not please feel free to PM me so we can discuss anything you'd like in length.

DJB - I completely agree with you and good on you for taking the initiative on compiling the list of reputable trainers, i think it's a good idea as it seems the SIA does not aptly 'police' the industry.

My experience with Excellentia was a very good one, and they do go "above and beyond". As a small example (but not limited to this alone!) the SIA dictate that a minimum of 4hours is spent on SV training and knowing some companies will simply put the slide show up and go through it one by one until the 4hrs is filled. Not only did we spend 4 days intensively looking at SV it was something that was drummed into us consistently there after for the remainder of the course.

So please fear not as this is one TP that is doing it right!
- small class number
- intensive teaching with a hands on approach
- consistent monitoring & mentoring from the instructors.

etc. etc. etc.

I'm confident to say that Excellentia are producing good operators.
 

colonel45155

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#16
Seriously? C'mon who planted this little gem? if on the slight chance that this is serious then Excellentia are a great TP as are Ronin and countless others but who's measuring dicks?

Staying in my lane but asking "Why post this?" Most people here have been there and done that.

Saw a guy on Facebook who took a picture of his CP and advanced driving certs, WTF?
 
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colonel45155

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#17
I'm confident to say that Excellentia are producing good operators.
I understand you're excited after the badge but please...

I don't disagree but maybe they feked up this time, you talk too much. Discression is the better part of valor and all that ;)

You should try it sometime.
 
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FredB

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#18
21 days .. it makes me wonder .. i in no way want to disrespect any companies or people who follow courses ..
But my basic security guard training was 14 months .. 3 times a week to school , 2-3 days practical training.
I try to imagine what i can learn in 21 days .. if i think about it... i come to the conclusion that you learn a little basic knowhow and less practical training.
CP training in my country also is a year ... and you cannot (fully)exam if you cannot temporary work for a security company either during your school time.(you get 2 exams, 1 theoretical and one practical)

So my question is .. is 21 days of theoretical training worth it( for a way to high price) , besides the knowledge you gain wich you can lookup on internet for free also?
Please kick my bum if i am wrong :)
 

DJB176

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#20
At last

Thank goodness for this. At last people are seeing that 21 days is NOT long enough. These courses should be designed to have add on's if they are of such a 'blink and you miss it' time period. It would be very interesting to find out what the experience of these 'trainers' are. Did they do a 21 day course, then 6 months in Iraq doing an armoured taxi role, or have they got ten years of experience in different theatres with additional training courses and time served experience to pass on,,,,,,,,, hhmm,,,,,, that'll be a no then.
Stop wasting your money on these crappy courses, there are a few 'with a pedigree' such as the Longmoor course, try them, if they're too busy, ask them for a suitable recommendation. Employers, why not start helping the industry by asking prospective employee's as to where they got their certificate, the only use those with certificates with at least a little experience from the trainers, maybe ask how many people failed their particular course? Probably none.
 
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