how to hire a bodyguard

A guide, how to hire a Bodyguard

“It's not all about pedigree and breeding; it's often about hours of training and networks!”

Hiring a Bodyguard is not as difficult as you might think, all professional companies will work with you to provide a service that fits into your lifestyle with the minimum amount of disruption to your family and work life. Some people need to hire a Bodyguard for a single event or business trip overseas, for others it's long-term and the Bodyguard will become part of their extended family.

Every week we have clients come to us from around the world, all different, all facing varying levels of threat from travelling to hostile environments, such as some countries in the Middle East or Africa, through to High Net Worth Individuals and Royal Families. Now, not everyone has had the need to hire a Bodyguard before, so it may be out of the ordinary to do so and you may wonder why we ask so many questions of you when you talk with us…

Bodyguard or Close Protection Operative?

Bodyguards are called many different things by many different people and it very much depends on the role in which they are employed. “Bodyguard” is a very generic term and there are several different types of Bodyguard, such as:

Executive Protection
Executive Protection Services are carried out across the world in every capital city, you might not even notice it. Of course, you will have seen photos in the press and online of celebrities being protected and that is most people's image of Close Protection Bodyguards. Not all Close Protection is as overt, many clients prefer not to attract attention, rather opting for a more subtle approach.

Even within Executive Protection there are a number of different specialist fields and experience, from working with Royal Families, to working with young children. Each job or task requires a different mind/set and selection of skills, and can involve different qualifications such as a Paediatric First Aid qualification for instance.

Soft skills - a good Close Protection Officer in the “Executive Protection” role will be all about soft skills, he or she will have great interpersonal skills, etiquette, but first and foremost, charisma.

Hostile Environment
This is where military skills really do take over. Carrying out Close Protection in hostile locations is all about teamwork, moving fast and reacting to dynamic situations and scenarios which are often totally out of your control. Driving and Medical Training become very relevant and are looked upon as specialist roles.

Questions to ask when Hiring a Bodyguard
It is totally fine to ask as many questions about our service as you like. Every single client has different needs, so it is important for you to get exactly what you want when hiring a Bodyguard. Many questions will be asked of you in order to find out your requirements accurately, to provide the best possible level of service and to match your requirements to the Close Protection Operative(s) with the best skills set.

What we will need to know:

  1. Who is the Close Protection for?
  2. Do we need to protect children or those with special needs?
  3. Where is the Close Protection required?
  4. What is the perceived threat level?
  5. Is Police liaison required?
  6. Do you require Covert or Overt Close Protection?
  7. Are vehicles required? If so, what type might be suitable?
  8. Are you or any other party under any medication?
  9. Are there any underlying health problems?
  10. What hours do you want the service to cover?
  11. How long is the service required for?
  12. Do you have any specific language requirements?
  13. Do you require a trained Security Driver too?
  14. Is food and accommodation provided?

What type of questions should you be asking?

  1. How long has the company been established?
  2. What is the legal status of the company? Is it a Limited Company?
  3. Do we have to agree a service contract?
  4. Do you have a confidentiality contract?
  5. Are the Bodyguards vetted?
  6. What are the daily rates?
  7. Is there a discount for a longer period?
  8. Can you give references?
  9. What insurance do you/they have?
  10. What experience does the company have?
  11. Can you see some CV’s of potentially suitable Bodyguards?
  12. How does travelling overseas work?
  13. Is any equipment included (first aid or communications etc.)?
  14. What is the agreed method of communication for further instruction?

Further Information
Should you have any further question on hiring a Bodyguard or require clarification on any points, please do contact us and a member of staff will assist you. For out-of-hours, Intelligent Protection International Limited can be reached at: info@intelligent-protection.co.uk during office hours, please call: +44 207 4566740

A few myths about bodyguards

They are hard as nails and will beat people up for you!
No, professional bodyguards will not be beating anyone up! A professional bodyguard or Close Protection Operative will act professionally at all times, will obey the laws of the country that he/she is operating in and will keep his/her client safe. Standing and fighting is the very last thing a bodyguard wants to do, or should do. A professionally trained bodyguard will know how to read people, how to read a situation, will try to defuse a situation and will remove you if required from that situation.

Bodyguards are untrained “hard men”
This is far from the truth; all professional bodyguards have to attend a number of training courses before they can work as a bodyguard. These courses cover all aspects of being a bodyguard, from what to wear, etiquette, including when dealing with members of a Royal family, firearms training, first aid, restraint, unarmed combat and defensive driving, plus many other skills.

Every bodyguard working in the UK must attend a Security Industry Authority (SIA) accredited Close Protection Course. They must also undertake a Disclosure Baring Service (DBS) check to insure that they do not have a criminal record.

All Bodyguards are armed
It is not possible to hire an armed Bodyguard in most European countries. Even in those countries worldwide where it is possible to hire an armed bodyguard, this cannot be done overnight, at short notice. Logistically, it can be a nightmare to provide armed security; due diligence needs to be carried out and permits often need to be obtained.

Bodyguards are not Police Officers and have no special powers of arrest or to act outside of the laws of the country they are operating in.

One Bodyguard is enough - he/she can drive me too!
A professional Close Protection Operative, no matter how skilled, cannot be all things to all people. He or she cannot safely drive a client, and protect the client at the same time. Very often one Close Protection Operative is not enough for a client and either two Bodyguards are required, or a bodyguard and a suitably trained (and licensed) Driver.

It is about being professional and knowing boundaries, bodyguards are keen to please but are not a jack of all trades.

Bigger is better
Just because someone is big, does not mean that they can protect you, are fit enough, or have quick reaction times. Often someone too big will stand out and draw unwanted attention. Being a professional bodyguard often means being the “grey man” and not standing out.

Does it matter that they are ex-Military or Police?
Being former Military or Police does not automatically make a person a good bodyguard. However, many companies (including Intelligent Protection International Limited) feel that the skills and discipline taught and acquired during service to the Crown, make for a better rounded operative. Most are able to operate under pressure, alone, or as a team member and have that “esprit de corps” you can only experience in the military.

All Bodyguards are men
Not all bodyguards are men, and not all situations, or clients, require having a man as the lead bodyguard. Many Royals prefer a woman as a lead in the team, as this looks a lot softer as a first impression; often with the rest of the team not in obvious sight.

Women are also a very popular choice when working with young families. Children seem to take to women easier. A point that is often not picked up on is that children have an ability to pick up on fear within the home - taking the right approach at what could be a traumatic period is what being professional is all about.