The definition of Executive Protection (EP) services, also known as Close Personal Protection services, refers to a wide and varied set of security and safety measures that a professional service provider takes to ensure the safety and security of personnel, both domestically and during overseas travel, and sometimes in challenging environments.
Selecting the right EP service may be one of the most critical decisions an executive will make in the course of his/her career. It makes good sense to ask, “How do we choose the proper EP service?”
Questions to ask your potential EP service
Here are a few questions that each person entrusted with engaging EP services must ask and have satisfactorily answered before making a hiring decision:
- Quality of Personnel
Not every person with a pistol and a car is an EP professional. Not even every person with former military training qualifies for the complex tasks that define today’s EP world. EP professionals must be formally licensed under the local jurisdiction and rigorously vetted. In addition, they must be tested for performance, judgment and ability to fit in the field and in every business environment.
- Speed of Response
A well-established EP service is able to provide quick response to clients’ domestic and international needs by building and maintaining a network of highly qualified and experienced agents around the world. This enables an EP provider to provide a high degree of rapid response, dependent on the urgency required. These resources must be on call and available at as close to zero delay as possible; otherwise, essential windows of opportunities might close before an effective response is mounted. Maintaining such a network is expensive and complex, and only a few service providers maintain such capabilities.
- Spectrum of Services
Secure escort of individuals or groups from point A to point B is but a small part of the spectrum of services offered by professional EP outfits. In fact, other EP-related services are completely outside the professional capabilities of a regular limousine service. For example, in the event of a military coup or a terrorist attack, a good EP service will offer what is called “Extraction” services. This particular effort spans from simple conveyance (door-to-door) to commando-like operations designed to locate, secure and transport an individual or a group out of a trouble zone, by car, helicopter, plane, or any mode of transportation that is suitable for the job. To that end, a professional EP company should be able to locate, organize, plan and carry out near-military operations in remote areas and under dangerous conditions. It should be noted that these are the expensive and high-risk services that a good EP provider will try to avoid by mitigating against ahead of time, but will still be able to carry out successfully when the need arises. Very few companies have such capability.
- Spectrum of Potential Clients
EP professionals must be able to provide services to individuals (high-value targets, leadership and key employees, health-challenged personnel, travelling personnel, etc), and for important events and meetings, critical infrastructure, international facilities, physical assets and operations.
- Reasonable Cost
“Executive” means “Everybody”. While the term “executive” may sound “elitist”, in reality, titles are meaningless – people and their needs are what really count. Providing professional security services to any employee who needs them makes plain good sense, while exposing employees to undue risk (regardless of their rank or role) is a self-defeating act.EP must not be viewed as an expensive luxury. If EP services look like a luxury, you’re shopping for them in the wrong place. If you’re looking for professionalism, not gloss, bells and whistles, and if you plan ahead and make the safety of travelling personnel a matter of regular consideration, costs can be quite reasonable. In fact, the cost of a car with a trained security driver is often very close to the cost of a “regular” overseas limousine service – this without taking into account the significant reduction in liability that comes with the use of a professional EP service.
And most important of all: it’s essential to remember that EP is first and foremost all about people. Even the most technologically inclined CEO knows that, while technology is paramount to our lives and to our business success, real breakthroughs are brought about by people. It’s people that dream, innovate, develop, implement, push, and end up “bringing home the bacon”. In short, it’s all about people, and we must do all we can to bring them back home safe.
TAL Global’s EP department includes a global network of licensed security professionals covering 80 countries and protecting individuals, high value targets and physical assets against workplace violence, terrorism, and other types of threats. Read more about our Executive Protection services