The importance of conducting ‘quality’ pre-deployment hostile environment CP training
The nature of the typical security contracts now being awarded to the many Private Security Companies (PSC’s) on the hostile environment circuit today, has seen a dramatic shift from well-funded government regeneration/infrastructure type contracts to those of a more commercial nature, such as the oil and gas industry contracts in Iraq.
How does this affect us as Close Protection Operatives (CPO’s)?
In the past, those well resourced ‘cost plus’ government contracts allowed the PSC’s to have in place an in-country induction training team. Those teams were tasked with the induction training (typically 7 to 10 days) of former soldiers, many of whom had no formal CP training or qualifications, in order to get them up to a minimum standard to then take up a position as an operator in a security escort team.
This was an excellent and vital package for any newly hired CPO, as those of us who enjoyed quality military careers, certainly then got to appreciate the different skill-set required to be applied in order to become a Hostile Environment CPO (HECPO). Although related, and critical for anyone considering a career in HECP, our military careers do not fully prepare former soldiers for them to hit the ground running on their first contract.
The industry standard Level 3 CP courses (or rather, the more reputable ones), do go some way in delivering the basic (softer) skills of close protection through the fifteen modules as laid down by the SIA, but this course was specifically designed for those wishing to embark on a career in executive protection, typically in the UK, and is a requirement in order to then apply for the SIA front-line licence in close protection. As is commonly known, the SIA licence has now largely become a requirement for most contracts on the HECP Circuit, since the unfortunate event in Baghdad a few years ago when an unlicensed CPO with no CRB checks attacked and killed two colleagues after a drinking fight.
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