Nannyguards Upcoming Training this fall in Atlanta, GA

Athena Academy announce NANNYGUARDS (SM)  a premiere and elite company that not only aids families with placement, through our network of NANNYGUARDS authorized placement agencies, but also provides the world’s first Certified Child Protection Specialist training (CPS).  No other agency in the world meets our stringent training and placement guidelines.

NANNYGUARDS offer a distinct service over traditionally trained nannies.  With training in ways to protect your family from stalkers, paparazzi, kidnap attempts and more.  NANNYGUARDS are not acting in the capacity of a bodyguard, rather a nanny whose training is equivalent to that of a bodyguard but their overall responsibility is the care and keeping of children as dictated historically and in modern times.  Not only do Nannyguards have the necessary training to mitigate exposure to negative events, but in the rare event they are faced with decisions on how to ensure the safety of the children they look after NANNYGUARDS are prepared to do what it takes to ensure children’s safety.  With training that is far superior in the management of intentional or unintentional acts of harm, NANNYGUARDS are fulfilling their role as overall caregiver.

Services are provided to families of all types, including: celebrity, executive, reality TV, and dignitary families.  Additionally, our services are even used for those families that maybe travelling often times in hostile parts of the world.

All nannies have a responsibility to carefully look after the direct and indirect actions of the children they are responsible for.  This includes supporting the physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual development of the children of the family.

NANNYGUARDS  company started by a group of security consultants, nannies, bodyguards and private investigators, is an answer for those that would like more peace of mind when hiring a nanny/manny. Our collective experience in protecting people, working in federal law enforcement, investigating identies and habits of individuals, travelling in foreign countries, training bodyguards and working with children uniquely qualifies us to help shape the next generation of nannies.

Not only are we keen professionals in background investigating all potential Nannyguards, but we also are very experienced in teaching and training, providing protective services for individuals and families, working in high-risk situations and more.  Although Nannyguards is not a security service provider, we are a security training group that provide nannies with the ability to look at their position from a different point of view.

Nannyguards is borne from the changes occurring in our world today.  With strange, unusual, violent and unforeseen circumstances occurring on a daily basis, Nannyguards is the answer to ensuring quality childcare.  Not only do we surpass every nanny agency in “screening” (we investigate) we also bring the future of childcare through the introduction of increased situational awareness.

If all nannies/mannies are experienced and come with good qualifications this makes things equal.  However, if the nanny has this background and then goes through Nannyguard certification, all things are no longer equal and we have just raised the bar in childminding services.

Athena Academy offers you the only training in the world that qualifies a NANNYGUARD by completing the Child Protective Specialist (CPS) course.  This unique and certified 7 day course will challenge nannies in ways they may have not thought possible.  For those who are interested in NANNYGUARD training, please contact deni@athenaworldwide.com

Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS

Founder, ATHENA Academy

http://www.athenaacademy.com

Being a Close Protection Operative: Your relationship with the client

Sometimes maybe you wonder what kind of relationship you are allowed to have with your client because of the nature of your profession. You are spending many hours with him, sometimes good moments, sometimes bad. You are the one who is in presence in his important business meeting, or in his ‘’private and personal meetings’’. So what is the role of you in those kinds of situations?

I have been asked many times by new professionals how they can deal those kinds of challenges. ‘’what if my client asked me to go for a drink with him? Should I accept?’’ or ‘’ what if my client ask me to do things that are out of my responsibilities?’’.

If you are a female close protection operative then be prepared to deal with even more difficult situations.

First of all, it is very important and primary action when you accept a job proposal to do all the necessary Intel about your client’s case. Try to learn as many information you can about the client, his/her family and professional background, (in our days with the internet is very easy to gain a lot of information). Do your own research on the threat level, no matter what client is revealing about the threat he/she is dealing you need to do your own threat assessment based on your work education and experience, so you know what situation you are dealing and most important what is the threat level.

Times are hard and security industry is a cut throat work industry…but you must not accept any position just because someone is paying you well. Ask from your client to be honest with you, you are there not to make him reveal his secrets and feel embarrassing but to understand the true risks and take action. There are different risks levels for different people (pop stars, politicians, businessmen).

After you have done your threat assessment ask from your client to have a conversation, explain him the real situation, don’t hesitate that you will make him be afraid. He needs to know exactly what he is dealing with and what else he may need to do, or what different actions he need to take. After he has understood the threat level, explain him what are your responsibilities. Don’t rely on the fact he has worked before with previous close protection operatives and he will know. Also do not expect all your suggestions on security matter that will be taken into consideration from all the clients, some are open to hear from security professionals and trust their opinion, some let’s say will give you just few ‘’tools’’ to work with and you have to adjust to it.

During your working hours you have to be serious and pay attention on your duty, not paying attention to the lady at the bar.

You are not there to eavesdrop when your client has business meetings or any other dates.  Whatever you see or hear during your duty remain secret. This is something you have to mention to your client. We don’t talk about our client’s personal life or professional details to others (remember how unprofessional is for some bodyguards to reveal their ex clients personal hot details to the press after they have been fired or quit, if you were in a need of a bodyguard would you hire someone like them? I’m sure you not). First is not ethical, second is not professional, third it will cost you your reputation in security industry.

Keep secret from others the identity of your client. Even if it is ex client, don’t brag about who your client was. If someone wants to hurt him he will come to you for details. So silence and privacy are the most important characteristic of your job.

As a close protection operative your job is to protect client’s life and image. You are not there to: take your clients clothes from laundry, carrying his briefcase, shopping bags, etc. How can you protect his life when you are carrying his briefcase? How long it will take you to drop the briefcase and take out your gun to shoot if it’s needed? It sound unprofessional but we are seeing it even today that some colleagues are doing it.

Don’t be afraid to say NO when you are asked to perform duties which are out of your role, the client is hiring a bodyguard not a maitre or a battler. It makes you more professional to deny something like this instead of accepting it and put in danger his and your life. He has hired you to provide security services not any other kind of services.

That’s why it is very important you earn your clients professional respect. He must see you as an educated, well trained, experienced and professional person, and that’s only up to you to earn it. If your client respects you then any of your suggestions over the work are will be accepted by him positively.

Keep secret from others the identity of your client. Even if it is ex client, don’t brag about who your client was. If someone wants to hurt him he will come to you for details. So silence and privacy are the most important characteristic of your job.

Now what about your relationship with your client? Should it be strictly professional or also include a friendly relationship?

To be honest being in this profession for 11 years now, I have found it hard to answer it myself. Every one of us, client or close protection operative, we are different, have different social background and if you add to that a different culture then be ready to deal more difficulties.

What I use to do far now is imagine there is a line, on the left is the Strictly Professional, and on the right is Friendly. I decide to operate somewhere in the middle. From my personal experience I found out when I was acting strictly professional the client was ‘’afraid’’, my position there was to make them feel safe but when you appear ‘’untouchable’’ they believe you don’t understand their fear or you don’t feel what they’re going through. It is very important for them to feel you understand them. Is not easy to be the client….Sometimes they will open up and talk to you and you must show you can hear them.

From the other side if you go on the right side and be Friendly…then automatically your professionalism level will be down on your client’s eyes, not because he doesn’t trust you anymore but because your professional suggestions in future won’t be dealing as in a serious way. Have in mind how Psychologists work, they cannot offer professional counseling to people who belong in their family or friends and one of the reasons is that’s because sometimes listening someone who is out of your environment and an expert in that specific part gives his words more credibility and makes him more reliable.

Not to mention if you pass the friendly level, your client will start to ask for favors or do things out of your duties again.

It is understood that you may have to have many hours with the same person, your client. Can you start and have a friendly chat or gossip? NO, talk to him only when he talks to you or you have to say something that include his safety. During the hours you are spending with him you may need to have lunch together, this is ok, but remember to pay at the beginning in case you need to leave quickly. Your relation also with his family members will have to be the same. Don’t look too friendly cause both of you will be emotional involved and maybe it can cost you your viability. Don’t look too untouchable because he will think you don’t care. Have a middle position toward your client which is addressed by professionalism.

Alcohol? Well we don’t have to mention why it is forbidden during your duty hours. But if your client calls you for a drink or coffee while you’re not on duty what would you do? In that case you have to have in mind why he is calling you? Does he see you as a friend or do you think he is flirting with you or he just want to talk about your work? You have to take the decision by using your common sense and professionalism.

And last but sometimes the most dangerous trap a close protection operative may fall is to have sexual relationship with his client or the client’s wife. Remember Kevin Costner in the Bodyguard movie sleeping with his client? Oh yes art sometimes copy real life.

Being emotionally involved with your client no matter how unprofessional we see it, it has happened with some colleagues. We can’t judge someone’s heart, but we must make you aware that in a relationship like this the one who is in a negative position is the client. And that’s because he/she is ‘’depended’’ on you. Just imagine it as a relationship doctor-client. However if you think you found the love of your life, someone else can take your professional place and you can always protect them from another perspective.

Now if you are a female close protection operative then you better be prepared to deal also with some cases of sexual harassment, either from your clients, their family members or even your colleagues. Sometimes there are people who believe that because they hired you to protect them you are there also for ‘’extra services’’ (that’s a belief some clients have in countries with a different cultural treatment on women). There have been cases like those which have been unreported to authorities but a common secret within female professionals. This is something that is up to you how you want to deal with and how far you want to go with it.

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

Female Close Protection Operatives Training, Level 1, September 1-9, 2012, Atlanta, GA

Athena’s Close Protection Operative certification is the next generation in Close Protection training. Our course has been adapted to meet the particular training and educational requirements, specific to female close protection operatives.

Basic Training:

Including:
-Principles of Executive Protection/Code of Conduct
-Solo Protector & in a Detail -Physical Security
-Protective Escort -Surveillance & Countersurveillance
-Protective Intelligence & Advance Operations
-Armed and Unarmed Combat/Krav Maga
-Anti-Terrorism (identification and and the terrorist cycle)
-Improvised Explosive Device
-Basic Pistol Training & Firearms Safety
-Event & Estate Security
-Behavioral Intelligence and Attack Recognition
-Dealing with Media & Paparazzi
-First Aid & CPR/AED

Our instructors are from Israel, Greece, and the United States. They brings ATHENA students unparalleled real world experience in protective service operations. Instructors that have served Prime Ministers, celebrities, CEO’s and other influential leaders will be teaching you.
We have an excellent success rate and once the course is completed we continue to work with our students to progress their development and assist their entry into the Close Protection world.

To learn more please visit: http://www.AthenaAcademy.com/

For additional information and applications please e-mail: charla@athenaworldwide.com

Athena Academy official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Athena-Academy-International-Female-Security-Training/267075996663008

Course cost is $2,000 with payment schedules available to those who qualify. Deposits for this course are $500, and full course fees paid 3 weeks before starting date.

Application date open until July 30

What does a former student from our latest CPO training say about Athena Academy?

What does a former student from our latest CPO training say about Athena Academy?
“I attended the CPO Level One Feb 2012 training, and left it much richer in knowledge and experience. Having had a former Law Enforcement Career I have attended and participated in many specialized courses in the past and found the training provided at Athena Worldwide Academy to be one of the “very special” ones. It’s organization is of a very high quality, well thought through and presented professionally. There are many “body guard” schools out there and claim to teach you all you need to know in a three day weekend including your photo op time, this is not one of those. If you are looking to collect a certificate and expect to sit and listen to someone tell you how great they are and ” I’ve worked for this celeb and that celeb”, then this is not for you.  If you expect to participate and demonstrate what you are learning in how to elevate this profession you are engaging in and not feed off of it, then this organization IS FOR YOU. I so look forward to my continued training and association with these professionals and proud to have trained at Athena Academy.”
M Sue Moyer, Athena Academy Graduated CPO Student, March 2012.
Find out more about what a former student from 2011 said about Athena Academy:

http://femalebodyguards.info/2012/02/14/what-does-a-former-student-say-about-athena-academy/

Female Close Protection Agents are increasingly sought after because of their ability to offer unparalleled versatility. They are trained to be low profile, strategic and careful. Athena Agents do the same job as male operatives and fit very well into urban surroundings. If you are looking for a new challenge, a change in direction or you want an exciting and fulfilling career, then Athena Academy can help you achieve your potential. If you think you got what it takes to become a CPO/Bodyguard, don´t hesitate to contact Athena!
Charla, Close Protection Operative

Athena Worldwide

Recruitment and Development

charla@athenaworldwide.com

http://www.athenaacademy.com/

Bodyguards stop exposing your clients!

I know that by this article many colleagues will be unhappy toward me but i have to say what it bothers me as a close protection professional and by that i take full responsibility of my words: 

 

One of the main characteristics that a close protection agent should have is being silent about his/her client. Who the clients are, what are their daily actions, what they like or dislike etc. But instead of protecting the clients and keeping safe their personal details and making their image confidential,  we are more and more experiencing every day close protection agents acting like celebrities because of their celebrities clients.

Many times i wondered myself why they do it? Why are they exposing their clients whom security and safety they have take over? Many of our colleagues are using their pictures with their clients on social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and twitter accounts. 

As i personally see it, by using in public the pictures of them with their famous client they probably think how ‘’cool and professionals’’ they will look to others, they use their clients to get more clients or students for their close protection schools (Yes they do are many professionals colleagues in our industry who don’t need any celebrity picture to prove how good they are but doing it it damages their hard work). Because some students are misleaded to believe that by attending in their classes they will work one day for the same famous clients.

Because some clients will think the specific close protection agent is more professional since the ‘X’ celebrity has hired him/her and prefers him/her. So why not hiring the same bodyguard?

So what is the problem of exposing in public the client you are working for? Well let’s think this: if I’m a criminal or just someone who looks to assault a celebrity and I know that you are his/her bodyguard what would stop me to come and find you, threat you, your family to get the information I want? Do you find this scenario unreal? What if you get a phone call telling you not to go to your work that day or you’re your family will get hurt? It happens before a couple of years in Greece, when a colleague received a message with his children picture and was asked not to go to work that specific day, otherwise his family would get hurt.

If you are there to prevent an attack you are the first target that will be monitoring, and planned to get ‘’taken care off’’. Working in security industry mean being well prepared and aware for every threat, and not waiting how to react when a gunfire occur. Preparation and prevention are our number one ”weapons” against criminals. 

We are bodyguards, we are not bulletproofs, we are humans and we have families behind us, families who are awaiting we get back home safe and secure, some of us have children to raise and take care. Even if you ready to give your life for your client, what can guaranty you that after you being killed when you put yourself as shield your client will survive and they won’t get to him?

What about the cases when a bodyguard after he/she gets fired he suddenly discover that has a writter in him/her and write a book about his/her ex-client’s spicy life details? How professional this person can be considered after this? How many clients he/she thinks he/she will get after this? How many clients will trust to hire him/her? Our profession is delicate, we are in presence during different situations and life moments of our clients and they need to feel those info are secure and respected, and most important they don’t get outside their room’s door….who haven’t read about Britney Spears ex bodyguard Fernando Flores who claims to have signed a million dollar publishing deal for the book, which is expected to reveal intimate new details on the pop princess’ life behind closed doors? (http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/celebrity/celebrity-news/2012/01/18/britney-spears-bodyguard-to-write-tell-all-book) or about Kris Herzog the bodyguard of Oksana Grigorieva and Mel Gibson who decided to write a book about them? (http://www.celebdirtylaundry.com/2011/exclusive-interview-kris-herzog-gives-truly-explosive-details-new-book/)

By keeping your client’s names list hidden during your contract and after your contract doesn’t make you look less professional to those who are exposing their clients, it makes you the PROFESSIONAL who is protecting his client and himself/herself. Of course there are always recommendation letters from your ex clients that can prove to whom you have work for and you can pass them to the new client who is interested to hire you. 

By closing, just take a minute to think why, the public cannot identify the close protection agents of let’s say, the President of a country, or the governors? Simply because they know the importance of working in shadows and not ‘’bragging’’ about their client. They have learn how important is not to be identified as the bodyguard of the ‘’X’’ president. Instead of this I will say we all know who some celebrities’ bodyguards are…

 

Denida Zinxhiria 

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

London Olympics…Are you ready ladies?

A big event that brings many job openings and career opportunities for many professionals in security industry. Maybe the only event in the world that can combine visitors from show business, politicians, businessmen, royal families and what we use to say all the VIPs.

Mostly of them (if not all of them) will be in need for close protection services and security escorts, even those who will be traveling with their own security teams will need to hire someone local, so if you are looking for a job, or sending CVs to different companies maybe you should need to start thinking how you will break into this big social and athletic event.

Being aware and on time informed for athletic, fashion, movie openings, awards events etc is a must in our work. Sometimes you need to ”chase” job opportunities and apply for. Unfortunately only those who advertise and spend a lot of money in advertising are well known and their phone will ring first, so when people don’t know you exist make the first step and make yourself and your services known to them.

For an event like London Olympics, first of all you must be willing to travel and work abroad, not many female close protection operatives are willing to do that.

Secondly you need to start and make a research on UK based security companies that provides close protection services. Make a contact with them, send your resume and make them know you are able to work with them. Of course you wont receive an answer from all of them, but you must know that during an event like the Olympic Games there will be a huge need for specific professionals, so why not giving your self a step ahead?

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

 

When a Secret Agent goes bad…

The last days all we in security industry have been receiving a lot of shared links with the story of the secret service agents and military personnel who were in charge for President Barrack Obama’s trip to Colombia security detail. According to the news, 12 recalled officials were involved in this incident and accused for hiring and bringing to their hotel rooms (in the same hotel where the President was staying as well), prostitutes.

As we all can understand, something like that is let’s said unprofessional in many ways and putting the whole detail in danger. Not to comment at all the unethical part of it… Human history has shown us the power of female sex on males, a woman using her ways can learn from a man whatever information she is looking for. Many women have been trained from different secret services around the globe and used to gather Intel from the ‘’enemy’’. Knowing your enemy’s deepest secrets gives you always one step ahead, so by this fact is not surprising at all, how much some information can costs, in money or let’s say in paying with other ways…

During our close protection training classes we all have heard about cases such as the ones of Ronald Reagan assassination attempt or the assassination of Anwar Sadat, according to rumors, their close protection agents were ‘’women victims’’, women who were sent to gather Intel about their details. Rumors or true stories? Well where a smoke there is is a fire too.

What is important to comment is the fact that when it comes to this kind of ‘’seductions’’ a man will be a victim no matter his training or professional background, secret agents, military or private security agents. It takes a lot more than good professional skills to know your limitations and stay professional and ethical during your detail. And when we say your detail that also includes your colleagues who work with you. If we think about it, it takes only 1 man from the whole team to break down, and you will have Intel and access to the whole team.

So is very important to not only be aware and in alert for ourselves but also observe and guide our colleagues as well. When it comes to the detail’s safety and benefit, it will be times when you need to be strict and tough with your colleagues who seem to have lost their way and professionalism. Remember what keeps your client safe keeps you safe and vice versa.

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

So you are trained to protect your client, but are you good enough in protecting your family too?

We chose our profession and we are fully responsible for the risks we are taking on our own life, but what about our family?  The people who love us and are part of our life either by blood or personal choice… Those who accepted our way of living because they love us.

So we got through our professional development course, we got skills and experience and we can provide safety to our client, but are we sure we know how to provide safety for our family?

It is sad to see nowadays many professionals who work in security industry exposing their family members in social networks. Trying to stay in touch with friends or other family members and sharing your children’s or your spouse photos and info is something who give to all of us joy but if we think about it, it is very risky, especially when we do it in social networks when everyone can have access and we can’t control who is watching what.

Tagging your child, spouse, mother, sister etc is like targeting them as well. If someone would like to hurt your client he will first get to the one who is standing in between him and your client, and that person is you and everyone related to you. He will try to get intel about you and use it against you, make you weak cause your presence makes his action more difficult.

Before many years we had a story going in Greece, when a colleague was sent his child photo with a note: ‘’don’t go to work today….’’ He had to decide between his family, his own child and his client safety. If we think about it, it can happen to anyone, what would we do in this case?

Instead of thinking what we would do in a situation like that lets think what we can do to prevent it and provide to our loved ones more safety. Being in security industry we must learn how to work in low profile, try not to talk about your job and most of all about who your client is!!!

If you can use a different name while working, nowadays is way too easy to have access to anyone info online in USA that has to do with their marital status, financials etc.  

Do not wear your wedding ring while working, do not talk about your family even to your colleagues, they may be trusted but you never know what someone can reveal by mistake.

Do not keep in your wallet photos or anything that would reveal information about family when you go to work.

Try to use different mobile phones, one for your personal life and one for your work. And the most important…KEEP AWAY SOCIAL NETWORKING any information and photos about your family. If you must use social networking places for your job then make sure you have two accounts, one for personal and one for business use and make sure those two have nothing in common. Nothing that would connect the one account with the other. Keep business contacts for business account and family members for your personal account. 

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

 

http://www.athenaacademy.com

Train to Protect? What you need to know

Lately we are getting some questions from prospective students and we would like to answer to those questions and give to those who are interested to join the industry  more information about our profession and what to expect.

– How fit you need to be to manage the CPO-training?

Being in security industry you have to be in good health condition, have good resistance and ability to react fast. There is no specific height or weight scale that you must fit in in order to become a Close Protection Agent. Some security service companies when they want to hire may ask for specific height and weight, although this have been very rarely. What you have to have in mind is that you need to be ”in shape”, our job is very demanding not only physically when it comes to conflicts and maybe hand to hand combat but also being many hours standing up out of a door or a vehicle waiting for the client.

Some training providers also use to put specific standards on their application like push ups, sprint etc in order to be accepted to their training course. Personally, i don’t agree with the idea. As i believe the majority of our profession is based on mental awareness and brain skills than physical skills (of course you need also physical skills, but you don’t have to be the best weightlifter or sprinter!). Neither you can make a student in 8 or 12 training days during CPO course super fit or change his shape maze. That is something that every CPO has to be responsible and work hard day by day to achieve it.

– How the job market currently lo0k for bodyguards, would you get any jobs/job chanses after the CPO-training?

In order to answer to this, you have to think that attending a CPO course you are getting professional skills and education like attending in a College. Before you spend your time and money you have to think it well if this profession suit to you and also study the market. No training provider can guaranty you will find a job after the training or when…(if some do so consider it as a red flag), can anyone guaranty you a job position after your BSc achievement? No.. it is up to you to do your homework and market yourself accordingly.

Security industry is considered as a ”well paying industry”, but until you make it up there you need to start from down steps and work every time.

 

-Why the CPO-training is “so expensive”?

Actually, CPO training’s are not expensive at all if you consider the fact that by attending one you will receive the skills and knowledge to do a job that is well paying. Maybe it seems expensive because people see the short term educational program in combination with cost, so an 8 or 12 days courses for $2000-$3000 may look expensive for some prospective students.

Having gone through University education and Security Related courses the last eleven years of my life i can definitely say my University education cost me much much more.

You have to have in mind as well the fact that in our profession we need to go under more training courses all the time to develop our skills and be prepared better. Don’t think just because you attended a CPO course you are ready to go, that’s only a course to start. But would be more easy to you when you are already working and making some money to attend in more courses later.

 

-Why some training providers don’t run trainings in their (prospective students)  city/hometown, as some think its a long way to different training facilities.

Running a CPO training requires specific training facilities, something that has costs a lot for the training provider to built. In some states and countries you even need a specific license from the government to run a training facility like that, so as you understand it is not easy to ”move all equipment” in another part of the country that would be closer to some students.

If you are interested to become a bodyguard your first step is to be willing to travel a bit/long way to get a good CPO-training. If you´re not ready to travel to a new city, or perhaps a new country to take this kind of training, then you are probably not ready to be a bodyguard and travel with a client either, cause traveling is a big part of beeing somebodys protective shadow. You as a BG/CPO always follow your client whereever he/she goes, and it can continue for hours, weeks, months and even years, depending on the contract.

Sometimes you may even need to move into another area, state, city that can offer you more job vacancies than the one you are living in.

 

-And last but very important the LICENSE issue….

There seems to be some confusion around the topics of bodyguard certifications and licenses. I think this is a result of prospective female bodyguards trying to break into the industry and trying to sift through the multitude of training schools, associations and the “puffery” being perpetuated by misleading marketing language. I seem to answer this question a lot from prospective students. So I would like to put this out to all those who haven’t asked for some reason or another, but want to know.

There are multiple ASSOCIATIONS for bodyguards, most of which charge a fee to be a member. Some are better than others as far as what benefits they offer their members. An Association is nothing more than a business created by someone who thinks they can provide a service and try to make the bodyguard industry better. They usually have experience in the field and would like to further the industry as a whole. Some do a good job of that and some don’t. Either way, there is nothing special needed to create an Association other than the desire, willingness and a business license. They are not usually “sanctioned” by an overarching authority. They intend to BE the authority.

Most Associations are trying to “standardize” the industry by offering their own CERTIFICATION. Their Certification is a set of knowledge, skills and abilities that they think a bodyguard should have to be successful. There again, the association chooses what to include in the Certification, there is not one set of standards. They are trying to create that set of standards. There are many differing opinions in this industry so you have to weigh how much credibility each one has. A Certification is NOTHING MORE than a piece of paper proving you attended a course that you can put on your CV to show to a prospective employer. Some Certifications will make you look better than others because of the school’s credibility.

A LICENSE is what the governmental unit of your area grants to individuals that allow them to work as a bodyguard legally within their jurisdiction (area). Certifications are not Licenses. Every governmental unit has different requirements to get a license. Some may not even require you to have a Certification because it doesn’t mean anything to them.

There are some students that are coming to us saying that they want an international bodyguard course because they want to work internationally. Keep in mind though that just because the course is called an International Bodyguard course, it does not give you any more privileges than a course called Bodyguard Training. They might give you instruction slanted towards how to operate across country lines but there is no international license. There is no authority that could grant such a license because there is not a governmental unit that governs the whole earth. You still have to get a license in every country, state, area, province, etc that you want to work in.

Some of prospective students have been led to believe that they will be trained by US Federal Agencies. This is not true. US federal law enforcement agencies do not train bodyguards. If a school makes that claim, it should be a red flag. Pay careful attention to the language. It may be that one of the instructors used to teach at a US federal law enforcement academy prior to training bodyguards, but the curriculum you will learn is not sanctioned by that agency. There are companies that have contracts with the federal government to provide training, but again, if you are not part of the agency they are training, you won’t get that training material. You will get a civilian version or a close protection version, but not a military or law enforcement version.

So, as far as associations and schools go, no one can tell you which one to join or which school to attend. Only you can decide what’s in your best interest for your career. You should get as much knowledge as you can from many different sources. Just make sure the source isn’t making you think it is more than it really is.

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

American war reporter Marie Colvin killed in Syria, another victim added to the long list of killed journalists.

Another fallen reporter in Syria, is added to the long list of killed reporters around the globe while corresponding from hostile environments.

According to Committee To Protect Journalists within two months of 2012 only have been killed 14 journalists http://www.cpj.org/killed/2012/

Meherun Runi, ATN Bangla Television

February 11, 2012, in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Golam Mustofa Sarowar, Maasranga Television

February 11, 2012, in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Nansok Sallah, Highland FM

January 18, 2012, in Jos, Nigeria

Christopher Guarin, Radyo Mo Nationwide and Tatak News

January 5, 2012, in General Santos City, Philippines

Shukri Abu al-Burghul, Al-Thawra and Radio Damascus

January 3, 2012, in Damascus, Syria

Rémi Ochlik, Freelance

February 22, 2012, in Homs, Syria

Marie Colvin, Sunday Times

February 22, 2012, in Homs, Syria

Rami al-Sayed, Freelance

February 21, 2012, in Homs, Syria

Mazhar Tayyara, Freelance

February 4, 2012, in Homs, Syria

Hassan Osman Abdi, Shabelle Media Network

January 28, 2012, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Enenche Akogwu, Channels TV

January 20, 2012, in Kano, Nigeria

Mukarram Khan Aatif, Freelance

January 17, 2012, in Shabqadar, Pakistan

Wisut “Ae” Tangwittayaporn, Inside Phuket

January 12, 2012, in Phuket, Thailand

Gilles Jacquier, France 2

January 11, 2012, in Homs, Syria

 

Being in a hostile environment even if you are not belonging to military personnel you are in the same danger as well, journalists, religious representatives, humanitarian organization members have been killed, kidnapped or tortured. Before you decide to take a mission in a country where safety is unstable make sure you are prepared for what you will deal with and most important seek for some training that will maybe be useful when you need it.

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com