You might think that all security teams and protection agents are created equal, but this could not be further from the truth. While some elite executive protection companies provide only the best protection agents with years of experience and regular training, other companies are only in it for the money or they may provide improperly trained agents that do not know how to do their job correctly.
Previously, there had been no way to know the true standards of a security or protection company because they might be falsely advertising or promoting their services. There are also many different levels of security and protection guards out there and you need to know the differences between them in order to make an informed decision about the level of protection you should be hiring.
Thankfully, this may all be about to change for the better. There is a special group called the Board of Executive Protection Professionals which wants to challenge the status quo and bring about special certification to the executive protection industry.
If everything goes ahead as planned, this will be a game changing advancement for the industry and is the best way to ensure clients receive the right level of professional protection support and services.
How will this be accomplished? To begin with, the Board of Executive Protection Professionals has already begun work to create an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved official “Standards for Providing Executive Protection” which will be approved by the American National Standards Institute. By establishing this level of formality within the industry, a new era of executive protection will begin because companies will then have to meet stringent and exact standards rather than any freewheeling policies that they individually put in place.
To create these standards, the Board of Executive Protection Professionals is in collaboration with high quality companies and professionals within the sector, seeking opinions, advice and insight to ensure the standards are relevant, strong, and thorough across all vital areas. The process will take about two years to complete which will give the industry plenty of time to adapt and revise the standards as required and also prepare for any changes that may come with them.
Who is sitting on and leading the Board of Executive Protection Professionals? Members of the board come straight from the security and protection industry and are some of the leading experts and chief executives from high quality and well known protection companies. As stated above, the board will be consulting with many of the top executive protection groups and leaders to ensure that only the best expertise is used when determining the new standards.
What is the American National Standards Institute and Why Does it Matter? The American National Standards Institute is a private and non profit organization designed to oversee the creation of standards for a very wide range of things, such as services, structures, policies, and personnel. It is a very important organization as it can provide needed guidance and support when an industry is trying to formalize and create more stringent and strict guidelines and standards for those working within that industry or sector. Most businesses within the United States prescribed the standards that have been approved by the American National Standards Institute, which shows how valued and respected the organization is.
The Dangers of Unregulated Buddyguards
At the moment there are no official standards to hold executive protection companies to. This has led to widespread employment of so-called ‘Buddyguards’. These are undertrained and unqualified bodyguards that are so unprofessional that they are actually more like buddies, hence buddyguard.
How do buddyguards come about? Well for one they are not properly trained or have the wrong type of training. But more importantly, buddyguards are motivated by the wrong things, usually money and fame. They often get too close to their clients and become friends in the process of carrying out their job. This can lead to them getting used to the at times lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous and craving the same type of luxury.
When this happens, buddyguards choose to be more friend than protection agent, which inevitably puts their client’s life at risk. Instead of focusing on staying alert and aware of their surroundings, the buddyguard will be hanging out with their client as if they are friends or even carrying out other jobs like grocery shopping or running errands. Doing so leaves the client alone and at risk rather than protected.
How to Differentiate Between Security Guards and Executive Protection Agents
There is a huge difference between uniformed security guards and executive protection agents but without the key standards and policies in place, clients may not know exactly what they are hiring.
One of the key differences is that a uniformed security guard is usually trained to simply observe and report rather than actually take any action to prevent or stop a threat. On the other hand, an executive protection agent is a highly trained professional who is armed and knows how to not only prevent a threat but also how to keep their client safe and as far away from any danger as possible.
A properly trained Executive Protection Agent is proficient in multiple areas. Their main goal is always to protect their clients from harm and embarrassment. Executive Protection Agents also need to know how to provide gold standard customer service and provide added value far and beyond simply providing protection
When these new official standards are created, it will allow the sector to grow and adapt and provide the clients exactly what they need in terms of security services.
The Sector Needs Certification
The executive protection sector needs official certification and standards to be put in place in order to regulate the industry. Proper certification will be a strong step toward differentiating between different types of guards and agents and will ensure that clients stay even safer.
Following certification, clients will be able to differentiate the real executive protection agents from those who are looking for a quick buck or for exposure from high profile executives and celebrities.
The Board of Executive Protection Professionals are making huge progress in the industry and will turn the tide away from buddyguards and toward real, trained and qualified executive protection agents who know how to keep their clients lives and properties safe and secure. The next two years will bring around a lot of exciting changes for the industry and will ensure better quality across the board. The Board is still looking for insight from industry leaders so if you work in the sector and want to collaborate, you can connect with the board and have your knowledge shared.