top of page

QNUK L3 FPOSI (RQF) vs. Qualsafe L3 FREC (RQF) for Close Protection Operatives

The withdrawal of the BTEC suite of First Person on Scene (FPOS) qualifications has necessitated a reassessment of the training programs available to Close Protection Operatives (CPOs). This shift in the educational landscape presents a crucial opportunity to evaluate the suitability of current offerings.

Comparison of QNUK Level 3 FPOSI (RQF) vs. Qualsafe Level 3 FREC (RQF) for Close Protection Operatives

In the highly specialized field of close protection, the training and skills a Close Protection Operative (CPO) possesses are critical to not only their success but also the safety of those they are tasked to protect. Among the essential competencies for CPOs is the ability to manage medical emergencies. This article delves into why the Level 3 QNUK First Person on Scene International (RQF) is a more suitable choice for CPOs compared to the Level 3 Qualsafe First Response Emergency Care (RQF), particularly because of its coverage of specific trauma scenarios such as ballistic and blast traumas.

Specialized Focus on Relevant Traumas

The primary advantage of the QNUK First Person on Scene International course over the Qualsafe First Response Emergency Care lies in its curriculum’s focus on ballistic and blast injuries. These types of injuries are particularly relevant to CPOs, who are often employed in environments where the risk of violence and terrorist activities is higher. Ballistic traumas, caused by firearms and projectiles, and blast traumas, resulting from explosions, require specific first aid techniques and immediate action, which the QNUK course covers comprehensively.

Understanding the specific dynamics of such injuries, like the rapid assessment of entry and exit wounds in ballistic trauma or the consideration of internal injuries from blast shockwaves, equips CPOs with the knowledge to make critical decisions swiftly. This specialization is crucial as the initial minutes following such injuries are often decisive in terms of survival and long-term recovery.

Training Adapted to High-Risk Environments

The environments in which CPOs operate can vary from urban settings to conflict zones where the likelihood of encountering ballistic and blast traumas is significantly higher. The QNUK course is designed with these high-risk environments in mind, offering practical skills and scenario-based training that simulates real-world conditions. This is not just about treating injuries but also about doing so under stress, ensuring safety, and managing potential ongoing threats.

In contrast, the Qualsafe course, while robust in general emergency care, does not focus on these specific trauma types. Its broader approach, while excellent for a wide range of emergency situations, may not offer the nuanced training CPOs require for the specialized threats they face.

Compliance and Confidence

From a regulatory perspective, both courses meet the Level 3 requirements on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). However, the confidence that comes from knowing one’s training is tailored to the specific challenges of one's operational environment cannot be overstated. CPOs trained under the QNUK program may find themselves better prepared mentally and practically, which is essential for effective protection work.

Furthermore, the awareness and operational application of skills specific to ballistics and blasts can significantly impact the protection strategies employed by CPOs. It enables them to assess risks more accurately and integrate medical preparedness into their operational planning.


For Close Protection Operatives, the choice of first aid training can be pivotal. While both the QNUK and Qualsafe courses provide excellent foundations in emergency care, the QNUK First Person on Scene International (RQF) offers a targeted approach that aligns more closely with the realities and specific risks faced by CPOs. The focus on ballistic and blast traumas equips operatives not only with general first aid skills but also with specialized knowledge that can be lifesaving in the environments they operate. This makes the QNUK Level 3 FPOSI (RQF) course a more suitable and strategic choice for those in the close protection field, enhancing both their effectiveness and their capacity to protect lives under the most challenging circumstances.


Something to think about!

bottom of page