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Understanding what is professional certification or post-nominal letters


Professional certification or professional designation, often called certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure competency to perform a job or task. Not all certifications that use post-nominal letters are an acknowledgement of educational achievement, or an agency appointed to safeguard the public interest, so the reader will need to do some research. In the meantime let me explain the following:

The BTEC L3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative in the Private Security Industry (QCF) totalling 16 academic credits is an acknowledgement of educational achievement by Pearson regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and authorized by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) appointed by the UK government to safeguard the public interest by ensuring that private security operatives are ‘fit and proper’ persons who are properly trained and qualified to do their job.

Key purpose

To establish and maintain a safe working environment in which a Principal(s) can live and work whilst continually managing risk. Therefore, there should be standard Occupational Requirements (OR) for all Close Protection Operatives or Bodyguards irrespective of the country they provide their services in.


The occupational requirements devised by the Professional Bodyguard Association define the competencies we believe to be necessary to carry out the functions of a Close Protection Operative anywhere in the world.

These occupational requirements are intended as a high level strategic overview of the competencies requisite to fulfil the tasks required in the workplace. The occupational requirements are not designed to describe specific roles; role definitions are normally based on a number of the functions and therefore a number of the occupational requirements.

There is no expectation, therefore, that a job role would encompass all the performance requirements across every standard, rather that specific jobs utilise appropriate occupational requirements.

These occupational requirements have been devised based on best practice; each comprises a number of performance criteria which an individual should be able to demonstrate proficiently to be considered competent in the sector. Each standard also has underpinning knowledge and understanding, although in the criterion there may not be an immediate and direct relationship between an individual performance criterion and knowledge and/or understanding statement; the latter underpins the whole of the operational standard.

It should be noted that the approach to working may differ across the world, so the occupational requirements have been written to enable differences to be accommodated and to enable different terminology to be applied as appropriate. However, regardless of the proprietary context, at the heart of work is the "maintaining a safe" environment in which a Principal(s) can live and work whilst continually reducing or minimising risk.

Our Commitment

The Professional Bodyguard Association is committed to working with you or your organisation to assist with any area requiring the development of these skills from basic training through to advance training. In doing so, we will provide you the ability to bring increased value to your security portfolio by offering internationally recognised BTEC qualifications accredited by Pearson, and IHCD qualifications accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for those who wish to be recognised as specialists in their respective fields.

The Security Industry and the SIA stress that it is essential that people working in the private security industry undergo a structured training programme that results in nationally recognised qualifications depicting a competent and professional workforce which will improve the public image of the Private Security Industry. We say that this is not enough!

Training should be ongoing and a skilled 'Security Professional' will be prepared to demonstrate this by continued professional development applicable to the job at hand thus making him or herself relevant on an international level.

It has been stated many times that there are not enough good Bodyguard jobs out there for all the 'Bodyguards' that want to be one, though the truth is disappointingly there are not enough ‘good’ Bodyguards out there for all of the jobs that need doing".

Why? Because they fail to continue with their professional development. Don't let this be you!

The real skill to being a Bodyguard is reflected in the actual performance of a given role, individually or within a team, and can only be assessed by professional peers for whom this is a lifestyle and not just an occupation. These skills will be developed over time and with continuous practice in the field working with real professionals on an international platform. They simply cannot be learnt with just a few days of training.

To maintain CoPD certification and membership with the Professional Bodyguard Association, members are required to demonstrate continued professional development (CPD) at regular intervals throughout their career.

This is where many fail due to complacency and misplaced allegiances, eventually find themselves doing everything other than what they initially trained to do.

We sincerely hope that we have given you more than enough information for you to understand the significance of the professional certifications on offer, but please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information you may require.

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