Like most companies with a board, at the end of the year look back and review profits, productivity, growth and for the training division, we look at each program conducted and graduation rates.
Instructors looked at student comment cards and social media posts for trends and in general feedback was good to excellent from students. Guest speakers and instructors all reported they were satisfied with how their presentations went and for student participation in exercises and Q&As. Auditors reported we followed the lesson plans, and met the training and administrative requirements for each course of instruction as well as stayed within time limits.
The curriculum gets a review this month to ensure it’s up to date with current and future laws & regulations as well as to ensure we are teaching the operational procedures and methods used in the field or being taught at the federal training centers and law enforcement academies. Interviews with executive protection agents from across the industry will take place all month and we will visit fellow instructors to watch and learn their best practices.
On the business side we can report profits were up, productivity was excellent, and growth was controlled and steady. And while that’s all good news, the training division reports graduation rates were only ok, but trending down. For instance, the dignitary and executive protection specialist course had a graduation rate of 74% with written exam failures and peer drops up from last year.
The biggest number of non-grads in 2018 were those that prefered and attended training programs whose curriculums were more “shiny object” like shoot house training or range time. They really did a disservice to their careers when they attended programs without even the basics of EP mission planning like advance work or threat assessments.
With that said, you can’t blame the school or its instructors, the students knew what the program was and they wanted the “fun” and “excitement” of running around shooting sims. But that only got them so far and when they had to plan a mission or do an advance they were unprepared. Not just for doing basic EP tasks, but also for understanding the philosophy of close protection.
Peer drops were up in 2018 as some students didn’t like to work with others or to take part in team exercises. If a team votes out a peer they get reassigned to another team for another try, if they are voted out again we send them home.
In 2018 the teams voted out some students with years of EP experience because they just couldn’t work well with others of a different demographic or background. There were communication issues and a lack of effort by some.
Solutions: The lesson plan will be adjusted this year with an additional focus on homework that better prepares for the written exam and additional team exercises will be added to work soft skills and interpersonal communication training.
New guest speakers will be vetted and submitted for approval to DCJS and our other accreditation bodies and all our instructors will be recertified by the regulatory agency that issued their instructor credentials.
End state, we have our 2019 schedule, we have target goals for attendance and graduation rates and we will have a fresh new updated curriculum and course lesson plans.
Now, all we need is you, if you have been interested in executive protection training we would like an opportunity to share our syllabus and course outlines for your review and to answer any questions you have.
Hope to work with you in 2019.