This article is part 3 of a 3-part series written by Graham Ludwig addressing integrity, compromise and global standards in the Security and Protection industry worldwide. Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.
What is a “Best Practice Assessment” and how have we approached the implementation of a practical assessment protocol?
While there are numerous globally recognised training entities, there is no formal, universal syllabus that all follow and therefore no way to gauge the level of competence of a Protector trained in American vs. their British or German counterpart. Our assessment protocol was therefore designed to enable an assessor to evaluate Close Protection Officers according to one standard irrespective of the protectors prior training.
In collaboration with other industry professionals, we developed a practical evaluation process to appraise the knowledge, skills, and real abilities of Close Protection “Professionals”. The assessment, based on the occupational requirements expected of a Protection professional in the Protection environment, was designed to be a high-level evaluation of each Protectors actual skill set.
The assessment is not a pass-fail assessment but rather a “where are you at”, in relation to other industry professionals. This assessment does, however, enable the moderator to accurately appraise each candidate to determine the role that the “Protector” should be able to perform within the Close Protection industry i.e. Security Driver, Team Leader etc.
We typically conduct our assessments over a two day period and evaluate the following;
Legal compliance & Certification
We evaluate the Protector’s compliance in terms of the law to operate in his / her “primary” area of operation. The role of a CPO requires individuals to be fully conversant with the law (Use of Force, firearms act, etc.) and the relationships between the Protection industry and regulating bodies. We evaluate each Protectors certification in terms of relevant courses as well as their CV of “real” work.
This part of the assessment looks at a Protectors ability to plan and prepare for a detail based on a given scenario. During the soft skills appraisal, the assessors also evaluate the Protectors communication skills, etiquette, general knowledge, computer literacy, and other proficiencies that add value.
“Hard Skills” / Fundamental Protection Tasks
The “Hard Skills” evaluation is a practical assessment of the applied skills required by a Protector, such as driving, observation skills and walking drills which are assessed during the practical scenarios. Protectors are also evaluated on their ability on the shooting range during this phase of the assessment.
As the level of fitness is key to the performance of a Protector, as it affects Endurance, Concentration, Coordination, Control, Reactions, etc., each Protector is put through a comprehensive fitness assessment. Verbal Judo, unarmed combat, and defensive skills are also evaluated during this phase of the appraisal.
Benefits of this type of assessment
So, what do we believe a globally recognised best practice assessment protocol will mean for Protectors and the Protection industry?
For the Industry;
- Increased collaboration between Industry professionals
- A means for the industry to self-regulate on a global scale
- An industry standard in Protector Recognition
- Access to a credible database of Protectors
For the Protectors;
- Enhanced professional reputation
- Validation of skills and knowledge irrespective of training school
- Increased opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings
- Communicates credibility and serves as a differentiator in a competitive job market
What would be required to establish a Global best practice assessment?
Obviously, the scale of this type of project, if successfully rolled out globally, would require regional company buy-in to a globally recognised assessment protocol and a willingness to assess and make their Protectors accessible to the global community.
We initially embarked on this ambitious project in our region due largely to the compromise in the standard of personnel we saw being used to perform a specialist service and the financial abuse of Professionals in the field.
What we hope to achieve is the acknowledgment of the competent among us and the creation of a truly sustainable future for our Protectors. If you would like to hear more about the assessment protocol we developed and want to be part of this collaborative initiative in your country, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and be a voice of change for the industry your region.