Episode 169 – The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results


Last year ISDA conducted an Executive Protection Security Driver Training Survey.

Our goals were to determine the dollar value of the Executive Protection and Security Driving training market. To acquire metrics concerning what motivates potential students to attend one program over another- such as – How did they fund their training? – How many training programs have they attended during their career? – What was their motivation to participate in the training programs?

We also wanted to determine what training subjects were covered and the average length of the training programs. We looked at the number of practitioners that use their GI Bill to attend training and how much GI Bill money goes to training providers.

The purpose of the survey was to supply those looking to enter the profession and those who want to expand their education with data that assist with the decision-making process. Also, to help those who provide training to determine the best methods of reaching their potential audience.

The survey is separated into five sections – GI Bill – Training Course Metrics – Financial  – Motivation, and Jobs after Training. This podcast will cover three of the five topics. Our next podcast will cover what motivates students to attend a particular program and numbers concerning jobs after training.

GI Bill Training

While conducting the research, we collected some interesting information. We looked at a government site that gathers data on Executive Protection Training schools that offered the Post-9/11 GI Bill; the data is from 2018.

These are pieces of information from the website:

Out of the eight programs that offer the GI bill, three recorded no students and no income. 

The other five recorded a total of $5,181,311 of income from a combined 381 students. That works out to $13,599 per student. Keep in mind that this data is two years old; an educated estimation would be that that number was significantly higher in 2020.

As we mentioned, three hundred eighty-one students attended EP training programs using the GI bill. This does not include those who borrowed from Sallie Mae to attend the programs.

The survey indicated that the majority of those who attended EP or Security Driving Training does not use the GI Bill

Training Course Metrics

Q1 How many training programs have you attended – Executive Protection and Protective Driving only?

  • 1 – 5 programs                65.33%
  • 6 – 12 programs              21.33%
  • 13 – 20 programs           6.67%
  • 20 – 28 programs           2.00%
  • More than 28 programs 4.67%

Looking at the results of the question – those who attended one to five programs were 65.33% and 6 to 12 were 21.33%. Adding those two numbers together, we get 86.7% of all those who participated in the survey attended anywhere between one and 12 training programs. Those training programs were spread out over several years. We find that a surprisingly high number.

From a training provider’s perspective, consider that your potential student attends more than your school, and the market attends not only your school but others.  Consider that you’re competing against another training program and that the person may go to two programs, or at least 65% will go to one or more.

The following was not part of the survey, but it pertains to the EP and Security Driver training metrics. In researching the EP/Secure Transportation training business, ISDA came across an interesting metric. Without even searching for Executive Protection or Security Driving training, we encountered over 70 training providers during a two-week time frame. If we extended the time frame, the number would be higher; our non-scientific estimate would be around 100.

Q5  What was the length of the Executive Protection Training program(s) in days?

  • 4 – 7 Days                            38.29%
  • 1 – 3 Days                            27.12%
  • 8 – 15 Days                        17.16%
  • More Than 32 Days           9.80%
  • 16 – 24 Days                      4.01%
  • 25 – 32 Days                       3.62%

Another question we asked, what was the length of the executive protection training program you attended –  27.12% attended a program one to three days in length, 38.3% participated in a program that was four to seven days in length, and 17.2% went to a program that was longer than seven days and less than 15.

By combining the numbers, 65.4% went to a program anywhere between one and seven days in length. Add 8 to 15 days, and we have 82.6% of all those who attended EP or Security Driver Training were no longer than 15 days. And 55.5 % went to a program that was four to 15 days in length.

14 Did the training program(s) you attended offer certification or certificate? See Training to a Certificate on ISDACenter.Org

  • Certification       31.33%
  • Certificate          68.67%

Another question we asked – Did the training program(s) you attended offer certification or certificate? This question was rather telling. I think most all practitioners would agree that there is no standard executive protection certification program, but yet approximately 69% of those who graduated from the executive protection program feel they are certified. Also, the answer to this survey question proves a disconnect between our industry from others. As we (ISDA) have been saying for many years, it brings up the need for those entering the profession to understand the difference between certification and certificate.

Training Financial

A survey question asked What is the approximate total cost of all the training programs you have attended? Executive Protection and Protective Driving only, not including travel and lodgings. The total amount spent was $3,297,900.

We asked – What was the approximate total cost of traveling to/from the training location and lodgings for all the training program(s) you attended? The amount was $452,500.

The combined cost of training and travel is $3,750,400, which gives us 12% of the total cost of training is traveling. 

We also asked – Did you use your GI BILL Benefits for Executive Protection or Protective Driving training program(s)?

  • Yes 2.67%
  • No 97.33%

Considering that 97% of the participants don’t use the GI bill and using some simple mathematics, we come up with a potential dollar market of a minimum of $8,375,585.

When you consider that our Survey is US-centric and reaches a specific market, we would say that the total dollar training market number is low. 

Although our network reaches across the globe, it is fair to say that our network is US-centric – also it is fair to say that our network does not include the new an inexperienced practitioner just entering the field – but still, that is a significant amount of money spent on training

The question arises with all these new training providers; are they entering the market because they see a financial windfall, or are they doing it for ego gratification? That is not a criticism; it is a question.

That will do it for me this week, thanks for hanging out with me. Just another reminder to tune in next week as we go over the remainder of the Executive Protection Security Driver Training Survey. You won’t want to miss it.

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