Two topics of discussion that dominate social media, both in the U.S. and abroad, are certification and the state of training in the protection industry. In reality, the two subjects cannot be separated. In our (ISDA) opinion, the job market wants and will support a certification that meets standards set by respected industry and government organizations. Those who supply job opportunities welcome a certification that withstands the scrutiny of the corporate, legal, and insurance community.
Nonetheless, there are still global job markets in the protection business where certification, insurance risk, and liability are not major concerns.
Many protection practitioners, new and old, who seek certification do not clearly understand the concept as defined by most other industries. That is because of the huge number of bodyguard/EP training providers who use the word certification as a marketing tool without any real idea of what it means.
Training and Certification
In other industries, it’s common practice to conduct training and issue a certificate. That is a reasonable and accepted practice, evidenced by the number of certified seminars and events covering a particular industry or subject. But that’s not the same as a certification. For decades the EP/Security Driver training available does not confer certification. It is training for a certificate. There is an enormous difference. This does not mean that the certificate is not valuable, but it is not a certification as defined by the accrediting organizations that are the standards in many other industries. And that is the key issue.
The simple fact is that the training community does not set the criteria for certification. Suppose the EP/Security Driver industry wants to be recognized by the job market as credible and professional. In that case, the industry must do what other industries do – follow the guidelines recognized by credentialing organizations. These organizations require a combination of experience and a certification process that ensures an individual has been tested and measured against an objective standard.
The quality and legitimacy of certification are determined by the standards used to govern the program. Hence a question, and maybe the most important question, you ask the training provider –
What are the standards that I will be trained to, and where are these standards documented?
The major issue is experience vs. certification. It may be hard to accept, but you cannot enter a training program with little or no experience and, at the end of five, seven, or whatever days later, be certified by those who have conducted the training.
This post is brought to you from the International Security Driver Association (ISDA) Membership. ISDA is an association comprised of protection professionals who represent all slices of the profession, Corporate, High Net Worth, Private Security, Entertainment, Government, and Law Enforcement from all parts of the globe.
The members share their knowledge and experience for the education and benefit of the membership and the Protective Services Community.
The website is an essential resource for anyone at any stage of their EP career. Whether you are exploring a career in executive protection, new to the profession, honing your expertise, or an established security executive, ISDA offers its Members benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs, as well as access to the ISDA Knowledge Center. The Center is the gateway to the industry’s most extensive collection of educational information and resources for the Protection Professional.
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