A common moment of surprise we often get is "There is executive protection in Canada?"
The answer to this is YES, there is an executive protection industry within Canada. To be clear, Close Protection is the general category of protection and Executive protection is a specialty within that general category.
The major difference between Close Protection in Canada and our American neighbours to the south is the approach to which we prepare operationally.
In Canada, there is a large emphasis on discretion. A professional close protection operative (CPO) should be an invisible layer of security that is not clearly identifiable. You will not normally carry a firearm as legislation prevents this unless you have very specific permits and permissions.
If We Can't Carry Guns, Then What Can We Do?
As Canada is a very different culture than America, it would probably be easier to compare to other countries that have similar restrictions like Australia, UK, Spain, Japan, etc
The purpose of a CPO is to keep their client safe from risk. Risk is defined differently by different clients. Some risks are physical, some are reputational, and event extended to concerns with family or assets.
As you work within the CP industry, you will be expected to identify threats early, have a predefined plan with contingencies, and possibly the most important skills. Verbal De-escalation tactics.
Do I have to know how to fight?
Learning to be effective in physical interventions is definitely an asset, there are many roles within a CP team. Some of the roles include:
Close Protection Specialist (physical intervention)
Forward Advance Team
The above list is not intended to inclusive of all roles, but to provide an example of the specialty subsets. Some times you may work as a team other times you may work solo.
How do I find work within Close Protection within Canada?
There are occasional jobs that do pop up, we recommend one of two options to help you get started in your future career path.
Work with your existing employer. If you are already with your security company, and you have succeeded in completing your training. You might want to work with your operations director and your business development manager to help them identify new market opportunities within their current client base. Now that you have the skills, you might be able to solve a problem for a client effectively.
Networking is a good way to get your name out there. Join ASIS events or HR events. HR departments are a good source for networking, as their executives or other staff may face threats and often the HR departments are involved.
How Do I Get Started?
There are several training providers to help you on your way. We recommend you do your homework first. Remember, you are looking for a training provider that can help you build a level of skills for discreet security. If all they offer is guns and fighting, then you might want to keep looking. At SCOPE Safety & Security we offer an extensive course in Close Protection. Our course is not for everyone, and we always recommend working within a training provider that instills confidence within yourself and is recognized by future and current employers.
Have a Valid Security License, if you don't have a license, then start there
Verbal Internvention Training
Standard First Aid Level C
Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (Recommended)
Documentation and Report Writing
Defensive Drivers Training ( For Safe Driving, not High-Speed maneuvers)