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Which BSA course should you choose?
For the kind of career you're looking for you need to select the proper kind of training and study course in order to achieve that individual goal. Thus, your first step is to take some time to reflect exactly WHAT your personal goals are.
The main points in that regard most probably are the following:
- Which kind of career do I really want?
- What kind of prior training, quals and experiences do I have?
- How long do I want to study in order to reach my goals?
- How can I sign up for internship/try-out course to see if the BSA training suits me?
1. your personal career goals
Security is a business with a relatively broad spectrum with many different sub-areas of work. There really isn't just ONE kind of training or study course that would prepare you fully for ALL these different areas. At the same time, it really wouldn't make sense for any course to include it all, as that would take a very long time to complete such a course and by far not everyone really wants or needs the WHOLE possible training. So, it does make a lot of sense to check and see exactly what YOU individually want to achieve. Here's an overview which is designed to help you with your personal decision:
· PSM (Professional Security Manager, BSA) - a security manager usually either works as an independent counselor or as an employee either directly for one company seeking his service or for a security company offering such counsel to one or several companies in need for such counsel. The main tasks of a security manager are the coordination of the security force of a company, developing and implementing a security plan, internal investigations, risk prevention and management and loss prevention as well as crisis management. The BSA course includes all the above of course, with an additional focus on counter-espionage, white-collar-crime, investigation, crime-scene handling, and cooperation with law enforcement, information security, travel security and close protection. You could say that "corporate security" in the broadest possible sense is the job of a security manager, albeit on a more administrative level, leading and supervising the security operators.
· PPO (Professional Protection Officer) - this course includes the complete training to become a professional close protection expert on an international level. The course is aiming high; our model is the US Secret Service and similar agencies. This profession of course is much more "practical and hands-on" and possibly includes a substantial personal risk. You need to ask yourself: are you willing to risk your life in order so save someone else's? That is, bottom line, what it comes down to. Private security is unlike any official government work. You won't get to command your client around, most of the time he will not even properly cooperate with you and will do the darndest things at times. You will accompany the client from A to B, waiting for him, and then escort him back to A or maybe to C. This is NOT a glamorous kind of job. Also, you should NOT seek the limelight at all but always act extremely discreet. "Thinkers" are preferred, not "fighters". Fighting means risks, since ANYONE can lose a fight... Planning, checking, planning and again checking and lots of waiting... THAT is the true work that awaits a CP professional. Yes, "action" might happen... - sometimes it will, too. But if you are looking for adventures, this is NOT the job for you.
· PIO/PEWO (Professional Intelligence Officer) - we are living in the "communication age" - data, information or, as it's being called "intelligence" is the most vital asset of anyone doing business or politics. Collecting, analyzing and protection such intelligence are the most important tasks for any management of any modern company in the world. With so many foreign agencies and individuals, companies and freelance "spies" around, it's of paramount importance. Intelligence work can range from reading (lots of reading...) and simply collecting bits of info from various media up to the actual "spy business" of covertly "running sources", i.e. obtaining information from humans in other countries - sometime undercover, by all sorts of means. This may involve personal risks. Cryptography, learning languages, handling data bases, learning how to analyze info and write up reports properly are other fields of this kind of work. This is a very special mixture of academic work and action. You must be very flexible as regards travel and time, you might well get into some "hairy situations". On the other side, here's also room for the pure analyst type of person mainly working in an office, if that's your preference.
· Private International Investigator (PII) - the PII graduate will be a certified expert international investigator on the same level as an FBI or LADP detective. That might sounds a bit boastful, but it's not as we include AT LEAST the amount of training such agents receive - in fact we include a whole lot more training. This course is one of the very few courses worldwide on this kind of level; it might very well be the most comprehensive private training for international investigators available worldwide. Private investigators are the ears and eyes on the ground for lawyers, law enforcement, security teams and protection teams. The expert investigator needs MANY skills which may include some level of scientific training. Investigators travel a lot, interview people, try to find "sources" and keep them on board, they need to know "the streets". Investigators think and analyze a whole lot, collect data, find the truth with scientific means that stand up in court, they need to know their criminal science, criminology and law and must know exactly how to process a crime scene and evidence and how a court of law will look at it. Investigators must be able to communicate well with all kinds of people. An investigator must be 100% loyal; leaving the legal course might easily destroy "a case" in court. This work involves hardly any personal risk but lots of "brain work". The PII course is an excellent choice for cross-training for other security staff such as close protection or ex-military as this kind of knowledge will expand and multiply your options to find jobs and clients many times.
· PMO (Private Military Officer) - a PMO is much more than "just" another mercenary or PSD. There are just too many simple “mercs” and ex-military around in order to make a career with just that kind of background. A PMO is a TRUE private military officer, in the sense of leader, coordinator and manager. Our main focus is on Land Warfare, Special Operations und Military Intelligence in the PRIVATE sector. The private world is absolutely not to be confused with official military. If you are planning on any kind of long-term career in the private military, this is the course you’ve been looking for. There is no other course like this around on the private market including these comprehensive studies and training - others try to copy us but no-one really offers this kind of training or studies. Officers’ training includes a lot of strategy, tactics, operational think and knowledge of many other skills. The complete PMO course also includes various seminars, including special operations training. Other important areas are politics, cultures, social studies, languages and economics. The PMO must be able to think like a manager, know what's going on in the world of economics and politics, know his history of the world, must be able to communicate well and lead soldiers accordingly. Since you are NOT the "official army", you simply need to know the ropes in the private market or you will very soon run into many problems. PMO is simply the BEST course of this kind around if you are looking for a long-term career in the international private military sector. We are also the ONLY institute guaranteeing each graduate a full-time employment upon completion of the course - this goes for EACH other full BSA study course, too, by the way!
· PASO - Professional Air Security Officer - although the course title may infer that this is mainly another air marshal training course: PASO is the most comprehensive travel security study and training course privately available worldwide, comprising the air/sky marshal training as well as aviation security in general, maritime and port security, anti-piracy, travel and tourism security and more. Thus unique study and training course is designed to obtain the full skills set necessary to build up an international career in this very interesting security sector. Apparently this kind of work includes quite a bit of traveling around the world. A PASO will be responsible for developing specialized security plans, risk management, loss prevention and so forth, as well as implementing those plans, leading specialized security teams, handle the crisis management and run emergency evacuation operations and other extremely interesting tasks.
· PTD Professional Tactical Driver - this special study and training course is NOT another run-of-the-mill driver's course. There are plenty of those around, even some good ones. THIS course however includes (beside the security driving instruction of course - comprising convoy security, extreme situations and evacuation driving etc.) some extremely hard to get training such as tactical driving and advanced use of the car as a defensive weapon, advanced medical training and advanced explosive device handling. If you like driving nice cars AND want to acquire a very specialized training, THIS is the course for you. It's an excellent course for security staff with prior training as close protection operator, to broaden your skill set. You should have a driver’s license, of course, with a clean record. You should have at least a basic technical understanding of cars and you should be able to present yourself well and deal with VIPs and leading managers, CEOs etc. - by the way, the PPO course includes training of basic and advanced close protection skills as well. This course is equally suitable for corporate or limo drivers etc.
2. Course pre-requisites
BSA courses usually involve some pre-requisites in order to be admitted as a student. Please refer to the web page of the course(s) of your choice to find out the details of the pre-requisites of the particular course(s).
In general, BSA course have been structure in a way to even allow beginners to start the studies or training – but any prior raining won’t be a problem, of course. You must have a clean bill of health for most courses (this relates to the fact that we guarantee you employment upon graduation and/or to the fact that some courses include rigorous physical activities) and you must have a clean criminal record. Some courses do require a high school and/or college diploma. If in doubt, please contact us to check what kind of pre-requisites a certain course includes.
Other than that, you need to be able and willing TO LEARN. Studies do include learning, through books and other media. Personal fitness surely is a plus, but you will receive necessary training - to register for a course, you need to be healthy - all the rest will be provided for. Your willingness to learn always is the #1 pre-requisite!
There will be much to learn and also a number of pratical training classes, "seminar" as we call them, duration 1 to several weeks, depending on the course chosen.
Both the studies AND the practical training are equally important.
3. Course duration
It probably won't be a surprise to you that of course the duration of the various courses vary from course to course. Most of the cheaper courses on the market take from a couple of weeks up to 2, 3 months, rarely more than 4 months. In our book, it's absolutely not possible to learn a complete trade, let alone one with such a level of responsibility as a close protection officer or a true private military officer, in just 12 or 16 weeks or even less.
Our main study courses have durations between 18 and 24 months, including studies and the seminars. If a students devotes more than 12 hours per week to the study phase, the total duration may be shortened somewhat. You cannot expect to learn a complete profession in less than maybe 14 months. Please make sure you understand that it simply not possible.
As an example, please look at the close protection service of the US Secret Service compared to certain private close protection courses on the market which run over just a couple of weeks to some 2, 3 months maybe. The BEST agencies in the world (such as the USSS) only accept fully trained investigators into their CP training programme. That means, you'd need to run through the complete agents' training and work a number of years as an investigator first before you can even sign up for the CP training course! And in order to become a USSS agent you need to have a college degree, a law degree or have other or additional qualities. You CANNOT just go and join ANY high-class CP training programme in any professional agency in the world.
This is the kind of level we are talking about. You simply can't train to become a CP expert in just a few weeks. The BSA PPO course is comprising the kind of training the US Secret Service asks of each of their protective team members. It can't be done in a few weeks - thus the COMPLETE BSA training, including an internship of 6 months, following the 6 months basic training and a 6 weeks intensive training in a training camp, plus a full year of provisional status in one of our CP teams, takes up to 2 years before we will call you a full CP expert. If you try to cut the training short, you will later on discover that you won't be able to find decent employment and will be forced to chase for jobs all of your professional life.
Before signing up for any BSA course, ask yourself if you are willing to fully engage in the studies, really apply yourself totally, spend at least 1.5 to 2 hours per day studying! That is the only way to success.
4. Financing the tuition fees
After completion of at least 1 semester, provided your learning results have been satisfactory, you will be offered opportunities to start working with our security agency. That will allow you to earn your first money on a part-time basis. The possible monthly income will vary, depending on the course chosen and on your flexibility to travel and possibly work in risky or high-risk situations. The daily pay ranges between 200 and 1000 USD, depending on the country assignsments take place in and the risk level; all travel expenses will be fully paid.
We can only discuss such job option in detail upon your completion of at least 1 semester into any course, since we need to make sure that you'll be able to offer a minimum set of skills and quality. Thus, we cannot offer a certain kind of guaranteed income before you have reached a certain level of expertise.