As you’ve read from our interviews with professionals in the field, they all strongly encourage individuals to invest in career training. It will set you apart and above from individuals with military or police training alone. Also, to hire someone without professional training can be a liability. I recall a few years ago when a major basketball star hired friends for personal protection-well, there was some sort of altercation and these untrained bodyguards injured private citizens and there were very costly consequences to their actions. The basketball star was ultimately held liable for his friends’ behavior.
First, it is important to understand that “officially” there is no such this as “certification” in this field. There are no government standards to which schools are expected to adhere. It is not like medical school or studying to be an attorney where you must take standardized tests, passing boards or exams to be considered “certified” or “licensed” to practice. However, some educational programs are accredited with the state, and certainly programs teach individuals about the specific licensing requirements to carry firearms, and use of force laws. What this means is that any school claiming that upon completion of their program that you are a “Certified Protection Specialist” simply means that you’ve completed that particular program’s coursework. It is not the same as receiving a diving certification, or even being CPR certified…there are no regulations or standards in the EP field in the United States. If you are already on the inside, you understand this. The “certified” designation is intended more for the benefit of the individual who is hiring you, or to sell newcomers on the idea that said “certification” implies you are in accordance with some regulating body. There is no regulating body that accords individuals “certified” upon completion of EPS coursework.
That being said, it is certainly meaningful when I see Executive Protection course work from a reputable school on an individual’s resume. By reputable, I mean a program that is run by individuals who themselves have stellar credentials and years of experience in the business. At the end of this story you will find our top picks.
There are several important factors to consider when selecting an EPS training program: