Since we posted this article we have received both positive and negative feedback from former students, industry peers, clients, and competitors.
On the positive side: Students have been extremely happy with the costs of our programs, the scholarships we offer, and the efforts we take to reduce lodging and meal costs. Many of our clients and program sponsors have been happy with the quality of the training our students receive and have hired a few into their own executive protection programs.
On the negative side: Some of our peers have voiced some “concern” over the effect our reduced tuition may have on “the market”. Some felt it weakened their own marketing efforts and profit margins. And while I understand the concerns, we are not a “retail” commercial training provider. We use our training division to find good agents for our other programs and clients and don’t normally compete with anyone. So we have continued our tuition programs and expanded our course offerings for the remainder of 2022-2023, and hope given our partnerships with Community Colleges to offer even more programs in the future.
Take your time and do your research before you waste your money. We are always in short supply of both so don’t waste either.
On September 7th, I was tagged on a thread started on the Facebook group Close Protection, asking about the cheapest executive protection schools.
And of course, there were dozens of posts about the cost of training being an indicator of the quality of the training. Allow me to summarize, “a less expensive course is not as good as a more expensive one”.
I have in the past refrained from getting pulled into a social media battle to discuss the cost of our programs because we are not in the commercial/retail training market. We don’t train for profit so why try to explain to someone who spent $4000.00 to attend a training course why our tuition is 50% less, and our program is accredited.
But this thread really irked me because people who should know better continue to push this myth with no basis of truth or facts. All they know is if they paid X $$$ so dammit anything less is not as good as the course they attended.
We have a $2300.00 tuition price point on our accredited seven-day course. That is module one of our full 32 day EP specialist program. We are at the low end of the average for most seven-day courses we see marketed. But we reduce tuition for veterans, law enforcement, and members of partnered organizations and associations to under $1200.00 for the full 70+ hour course.
Why? Because I am a veteran and I believe in taking care of our own, and because I support law enforcement, and I own the company. When I retired from the service there were plenty of schools willing to take my money, but not very willing to help me find a job and I remember that.
So this isn’t about profit; this is about building a network of graduates across the country I can call on when our operational teams come to a town near you with a client. Graduates that are 85% – 90% law enforcement and veterans, with the remaining 10% private and corporate security.
You receive Virginia Department of Criminal Justice training credit towards the personal protection specialist credential, college credit from a national university, continuing education credits from a community college, and in-service or continuing education training credit hours for members of law enforcement. Private investigators receive 12 CEUs from the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board and that is also honored in South Carolina as well.
So all that training from vetted and certified instructors, following a vetted and audited curriculum that is a small part of an accredited 32-day training program. And for less than $1200 if you meet certain registration requirements.
That does not include lodging, instead, we negotiate with the local hotels for the best deals, and we don’t accept kickbacks. We ensure there is total transparency so you know what you are paying for, as opposed to an all-in-one price some others use to get you in the door.
So you want to keep paying 2-3-4 thousand dollars for a course go ahead, but you’re not attending a better program because of the cost. A $45.00 dollar hamburger is not going to be remarkably better than the one you get at Five Guys.
Just my 2 cents.
Matthew Parker is the CEO of Independent Security Advisors LLC and the director of training operations for the ISA training division. He can be reached via email at [email protected] and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Independent-Security-Advisors-LLC-1293724307388514/
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