Executive protection first came into being as a specific discipline or line of work in the 1970s. The was the US Secret Service initiated executive training practices for the purpose of providing protection to visiting foreign dignitaries. Those practices continue on today. Select individuals are trained to protect not only foreign dignitaries but also company executives, employees in certain key positions, and those among the rich and famous who feel a need for the type of protection these highly trained individuals can provide.
Executive protection training as it is done today is not solely a responsibility of the federal government. Many state and local agencies also provide this type of training as do a number of private institutions. In fact, those in the military often look to private institutions to provide this type of training to selected personnel.
This type of training will normally cover a wide range of topics. The focus can be on property protection as well as training as a bodyguard. Since a trained specialist is often called upon to exercise a number of job-related skills, and because the skills needed are often unique to a given assignment, the training curriculum is not always that of a one-size-fits-all set of topics, but can vary.
Most training regimens are brief and intense. While online courses are available, the physical nature of the job usually requires on-site coursework and practice. A typical executive training can take anywhere from 6 weeks to a year or more. For some types of assignments, training can be an ongoing process.
Skills Learned are Many and Varied
Protection practices for high profile individuals tend to be patterned after the Secret Service model and include such practices as limiting public access to a specific area, determining the degree of protection required for a given situation, and gaining an understanding of how to distinguish between a possible threats, apparent threats, and real threats. Property protection training might involve coursework in conducting background checks, developing evacuation plans, and understanding the workings of various fire protection and security systems. An executive protection trainee is often required to take basic courses in first-responder techniques and responsibilities including first aid and emergency care. In the area of personal protection, a trainee may be taught how to drive a car in reverse a high speeds.
The list goes on and the longer it gets the more challenging and potentially exciting the responsibilities of an executive protection specialist appear to be.