Security Driving and Executive Protection describe a profession, a job description that defines a skill set needed to save lives. It is our opinion that social media have twisted them into marketing terms with no regard for the skill sets that define the profession. In the present training environment, unsuspecting individuals are trained in skills that have no market value. Social media is filled with complaints – ranging from certification, standards, to pay scales and unethical behavior.
For some in the industry, especially those just entering the business, there is a misconception of the definition of security driving – in particular, the job description of a security driver. Security driving is more than driving a vehicle. It requires the skill and knowledge to move a principal from point A to point B in a safe and secure manner and a variety of environments. In fact, security driving is more accurately called secure transportation, which encompasses in-depth knowledge and a measured level of skill to conduct route surveys, recognize and develop safe havens, create alternate-route plans, and develop emergency evacuation plans. Advanced first-aid skills are also essential.
Recently, bodyguard and CP/EP training doctrine suggests that security driving is a secondary skill, many times described as an “add-on” or training you may want to consider after you have been to a CP/EP training program. The fact is, it’s not the training community that determines the skills necessary for employment. It’s the job market. The most important members of the protection industry – the decision makers who have supplied protection-based jobs for decades – have recognized that those who supply secure transportation are value-added members of the security team. Why does this market seek out those with secure transportation skills? The simple answer is that most events that have continued to be problematic are vehicle-related.
The logic is inarguable. History and common sense dictate that security practitioners address incidents that have the highest probability of occurrence. For decades, every credible study indicates that the overwhelming majority of security incidents involving corporate executives and high-profile individuals, including government officials and the military, have occurred while the targeted individual was in or around their vehicle.
One of the most exhaustive studies to date, conducted by Gavin DeBecker, Tom Taylor, and Jeff Marquart and published in the book Just 2 Seconds, indicates that 43 percent of all security incidents in which an individual was the target of an act meant to embarrass, harass, or cause harm, occurred while the target was seated or riding in a vehicle.
According to this study, which examined more than 1,000 incidents worldwide, security-related risks are far more prevalent when the intended victim or target is in their vehicle than at any other time or location. On April 20, 2014, IntelCenter, a private group that provides intelligence to private-sector and government clients, released a study that found that in the first months of 2014, most targeted kidnappings (34.15 percent) worldwide occurred while the intended target was driving. It’s also worth noting that the experts at IntelCenter expect that trend to continue for the foreseeable future. Given the clearly defined risks associated with traveling from point A to point B by car, it stands to reason that managing those risks should be a priority.
Standards in Protective Services – The IRS and K&R Insurance.
There seem to be endless discussions concerning standards and training in the EP business. EP Practitioners want standards but they want standards that correspond to the training they have received. Also, keep in mind that it is the job market that determines the skills and experience needed for employment – not the training provider.
Although there is no federal license for the EP industry there is a government agency, the IRS, which has standards that a large and important segment of the job market must follow. Also, that same market segment must also follow the procedures as outlined in their Kidnap &Ransom (K&R) policy.
If a provider supplies “Secure Transportation” they must be in compliance with the IRS code that defines Secure Transportation. If a supplier of protective services does not comply with the IRS code, they expose their client to financial risk.
The International Security Driver Association has authored IRS Compliance white papers.
The objective of personal security is to mitigate risk. The job market must address the incidents that have the highest probability of occurrence. The overwhelming majority of security incidents against the principal have occurred while the individual was in or around their vehicle. History has shown that the market seeks those with a skill set that mitigates that risk. So consider enrolling in a credible and professional security driver training program as part of your CP/EP 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 your 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.