From October 16th to December 5th, 2023 Independent Security Advisors published a series of information papers describing in some detail our seven-day dignitary and executive protection training program. Links to each paper can be found at the end of this article.
Our intention with releasing each paper is to share how we used the ISD process to design our training program to meet the needs of our students and to demonstrate the difference between just a list of classes and a real syllabus.
Often a student researching a program is guided only by tuition rates and this list of topics on a website. ISA feels more information isn’t a bad thing and we hope these information papers/posts will help prospective students ask the right questions about training, training costs, and curriculum.
During our year-long training needs assessment to ensure this course would meet the learning objectives of our students and the clients they would protect, ISA course developers spoke with state and national accreditation and licensing boards and interviewed former USSS agents, corporate EP & security experts, hiring managers, and people assigned a protective detail or agent such as performers, political and government officials, and those of high-net-worth.
Special thanks to those who guided, mentored, or helped with our efforts, Mr. Tony Scotti and Mr. Joe Autera of the Vehicle Dynamics Institute, both strong advocates for standards and professionalism. Mr. Bob Oatman, Mr. Carl Persons, Mr. Rik Kirchner, Mr. Charles Reinhold, and Mr. Robert Mueck each provided advice and guidance on training, accreditation, the transition from government to private sector operations, and other critical topics of advice. And especially to Dr. Richard W. Kobetz, a friend and mentor who helped greatly with our ISD assessment and other advice and guidance.
We looked at the curriculum and instructor requirements of current law enforcement and other government EP training programs and then reviewed well-known private-sector training schools with at least a 10-year history. We avoided any non-accredited programs that did not adhere to a regulatory standard or were not required to test and graduate their students.
With the compiled data and using the Instructional Systems Design (ISD) process, our analysis identified the core critical skills and specific executive protection-oriented learning objectives required to conduct protective service operations in today’s operational environment. We then determined in what order this training would follow, and where (classroom/field) the training would take place.
But as equally important as the basic learning objectives are, we also looked at the average knowledge or experience many of the students attending EP training bring to the table, whether it was from previous training or service with law enforcement or the military.
Finally, we looked at the benefits of using existing and emerging technologies as an element of the course, and in that way, we ensured things like Cyber Security and the Use of Drones for EP were added to the final curriculum.
At the end of this process, the ISA training team selected the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s 11-day Protective Service Operations Training Program as our model, and by doing so we also accepted the quantifiable standards of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for the training of a protective service agent as our own.
During the initial assessment phase, we found there wasn’t a national regulatory or quantifiable standard for EP training of civilians, and state and local law enforcement standards for close protection training varied considerably.
As a result of the findings, the ISA EP training program was designed to meet the requirements and quantifiable standards of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for the training of a protective service agent.
We also decided to adhere to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Agencies (FLETA) standards to conduct that training. This ensured we would meet or exceed the state requirements of the North Carolina PPSB and Virginia Department of Criminal Justice 32E Personal Protection Specialist program. These standards also apply to our instructors and lesson plans.
To ensure our students receive more than just a certificate, our program has both an academic or educational component as well as vocational training. This means our program received University and College recognition as well as state training accreditation.
For many students looking for Executive Protection Training they stop at the surface. They do a google search and read a list of topics off the page. Topic s like formations, threats, advance work etc etc. But what do those classes really cover? How long are they? Classroom or in the field? In order to know those answers you need the syllabus and a detailed description of each class, unfortunately many programs lack this information.
So please feel free to look over our day by day breakdown and contact us with any questions.