For several years now there has been a groundswell of opinion within the industry that the 12-14 day SIA compiant CP courses just weren't adequate for this highly specialised role.
Having worked for several training providers and having my hands tied by those controlling budgets and putting profit before quality I made the decision to form my own company and produce a course that was truly fit for purpose.
That is how Galahad Associates was born just over two years ago and how we started to make a very real difference to the training that's availalble in the UK and Europe.
Initially we ran courses from our 100 acre training centre near Poole. At 25 days, we offered one of the longest and most in-depth courses availalble anywhere and quickly gained a reputation as one of the best quality providers around. This was achieved in the following ways:
- By not using the SIA criteria as a standard for the course, but purely as the minimum level to be attained.
- By using only instructors who had extensive and real worldwide experience as Close Protection team leaders
- By never putting profit before quality or cutting corners in any way
- By prodicing a training package that covered all aspects of CP - hostile, executive and celebrity - rather than trying to separate them
- By adding modules that weren't just there as a marketing gimmick, but actually lead to enhanced qualifications such as Covert Surveillance
- By insisting on the very highest standards from our students and making it a pass/fail course rather than a box ticking exercise
- By insisting on including essential elements that the SIA deemed unneccesary such as unarmed combat, physical assessment and protective driving
Its very easy to design a course of this length and quality, but actually getting it to the point of delivery and running it successfully is a very different story. Anyone who imagines that being a training provider is a licence to print money should talk to my accountant. The only thing that keeps Galahad Associates going is the passion and will to succeed and make a difference. Not only to standards within the industry, but also in the employability of students and their chances of finding quality work after the course.
By training for the role, rather than for the SIA piece of plastic we are producing men and women who understand the job and who can safely operate anywhare in the world.
This summer we made the exciting move to the Czech Republic. This move perfectly illustrates our desire to get good people into the industry. It is a lot cheaper to operate in CZ, however rather than using this as a chance to raise our profit margin we took the opportunity to lower our prices and make the course more affordable.
Working in CZ also brings other huge advantages in training:
Realism - CP is a global role and therefore the benefits of training in a foreign country with a language barier, different culture and different driving styles are massive. The adage "train hard - fight easy" definitely applies in CZ
Live firearms - In CZ we have our own 300 metre, 20 lane range facility. As part of the course students do a 4 day live fire package. As a standalone course this would cost in the region of £1000. We offer it as standard on the course.
Intensive training environment - By having all the staff and students away from home it is much easier to develop an intensive training atmosphere. On a UK course you will probably start at 0900 and find yourself finished and in the bar by 1800, on the Galahad course that would be considered a half day!
We are training men and women to put themselves in harms way...that is our job. By putting yourself into the role of a CPO you are also putting yourself onto a path that will potentially lead to you having to face an adversary who wants to do your principal harm. Right now that person is out there, probably training themselves. When the day comes for you both to meet, it is your training, conditioning and will to win that will make you victorious.
If you are serious about a role in Close Protection then train for it...don't just tick the boxes for the SIA licence.
To view a video from the last course please follow the link below:
For more information on our course please visit www.galahad-associates.com