27 Jul BTEC’s, NVQ’s & IQ ‘Cert Ed’s’, – WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY EQUATE TO IN SPECIALIST SECURITY SERVICES?
Security industry applicable BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) qualifications are in theory equivalent to other qualifications, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) (levels 1 to 2) and A Level (level 3).
BTECs are undertaken in vocational subjects ranging from business studies to engineering. Examples of qualifications include:
- Animal Management
- Applied Science
- Art & Design
- Children’s Care and Learning
- Creative Digital Media Production
- Early Years & Education
- Hair And Beauty
- Health & Social Care
- Music / Music Technology
- Performing Arts
- Public Services
- Sports Science
- Travel & Tourism
But, can ‘BTEC’s’ per se and the like, be accurate gauges for knowledge and performance within specialist areas such as Close Protection (CP) & Surveillance (SV)?
The need for such specialisms as CP and SV stem from a Government arena requirement to provide or gain something required, keeping it (and it’s country), productive in a safe and progressive state. These ‘specialisms’ have also been required within the commercial world for a multitude of reasons – to protect the wealthy, the famous and those at ‘risk’ from those that wish to do harm and to gain information on commercial or personal adversaries for whatever reason.
Why Do We Bother With Qualifications?
In 2016, the OECD, (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development conducted a study on that very question.
“Qualifications are useful because they make skills visible. It is confidently assumed that the holder of a school-leaving certificate can read and understand instructions, and make calculations, and that those with university degrees can do much more. This confidence allows employers and others to decide how to make the best use of the skills of the labour force.”
They further went on to state;
“Qualifications do have a point, but that means they need to reliably signal skills. Employers need reassurance that qualified young people, including university graduates, have adequate literacy and numeracy. This report argues that, in England, this calls for a rethink, particularly on the role of university education. With a bit of effort, qualifications might come to mean a whole lot more.”
To summarise the survey conducted, it concluded that regardless of the level of qualification – including those at university graduate degree level, that those students still strikingly had low levels of literacy and numeracy.
Getting back to the context of specialist security then, ‘BTEC’s’ and the like, have been decided upon by a group of individuals, whom may or may not have experience in those relative specialist subject matters, and with whom have mapped a list of security training requirements over into a level pertinent to that of a qualification.
In regards to Close Protection and Surveillance specifically, the difference between the list of chosen training core competencies that form the standard BTEC Level 3 or 4 remains far different to the practical application of such within a Government service. ‘Lists’ have not been devised with a focus on providing a ‘BTEC’ – or any other qualification at the end of training. The government Training Objectives, (TO’s), have been formed as a result of the focus in deciding what is required by the operator to perform his function as effectively as possible in any given scenario that may present on the ground. These TO’s range throughout the full gamut of Tactics, Techniques and Procedure adopted by those various specialist units utilising specialist vehicles and equipment to fulfil their role in the full freedom of operational capability.
When one leaves the ‘service’ to embark on their similar chosen career within the private security industry sector, it is not the BTEC’s or NVQ’s that have been miraculously created via a paper transference of their government courses that is recognised, but that it is their government service within that particular specialism that is. They have operated at the pinnacle that that subject matter can be that no BTEC or NVQ can equate to in it’s full appreciation.
Training Needs To Satisfy The Point Of Training
In consideration to Close Protection and Surveillance and all those associated subject matter topics that involve their own specific training such as Firearms, Driving, Medical etc. – is it not the bottom line that training needs to satisfy the point of training?
With regards to the very fact that it is a BTEC Level 3 in Close Protection that is the required and imposed standard, it does not include:
Physical Intervention T.O.
- Close Quarter Combat/ Defensive Tactics involving protection of a third party
- Reaction to Attack (CPT & IBG)
Surveillance Detection T.O.
- Counter Surveillance
Close Protection Driving T.O
- Tactical driving
- Defensive driving
- Protective Mobile Skills
- Third Party Protection
The BTEC Level 3 Close Protection is not a focus on what is right for the Close Protection Operator in the real world but is focused on what is the minimum amount of training required in order for that student to have a qualification. The Security Industry Authority, the Body that works on behalf of the Home Office for the imposition of training standards and to act as industry regulator, has to adopt the same manifesto as that of the HO insofar as not creating barriers to employment. The qualification of ‘BTEC Level 3 Close Protection’ is not only detrimentally affected by the very fact that it is for ‘UK Only’ environments (thereby negating any training requirement for high-(er) risk operations [firearms, high-risk anti-ambush driving attributed]), but also disaffected by the low-level training to appease the bottom line in reducing unemployment in the UK.
“Training hasn’t satisfied the need of the point of training but solely for the need of a BTEC qualification”
A further example within this context is the standards required to enter these professions. Other than the legal age of 18, as with most industries, – there are none.
No Minimum age
No Mobility and Physical Impairment/ disability tests
No tests for:
- Upper limb(s) disability
- Lower limb(s) disability
- Manual dexterity
- Disability in co-ordination with different organs of the body
No Mental health impairment tests
No tests for:
- Personality disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
No tests for:
No Physical Fitness Standards
No tests for:
No Driving License required
Qualifications & Standards Based On Anyone Being Able To Meet
The private security industry has absorbed this ‘need’ to adopt and focus on these BTEC’s as a means to prove compliance and sell a product to it’s customer, to offer something tangible on a CV in order for it to be recognised as a ‘standard met’.
At Mobius International Training, we do the opposite. We have zero interest in qualifications and standards that mean nothing in the real world. Qualifications & Standards based on anyone being able to meet, standards that watered down specialisms to the point of incapability. We believe that it is these standards that have been adopted that have brought the industry to the point of fanfare of little substance. An industry awash with ineptness in duty – a conveyor belt of BTEC’s. We understand the need that some may have for ‘qualifications’ but training needs has to satisfy the point of training.
How are our courses re-defining industry standards?
- We implemented rules and standards based on UK government training.
- We set the highest commercial benchmark.
- We focus on client needs.
- We understand operational requirements.
- We have designed our courses so that they are fit for purpose at government level.
- Our courses are not dictated by outside influences or statutory content by any industry authority or regulatory body.
- We do not provide ‘off the shelf’ courses for the sole purpose of obligatory licensing.
“The Mobius Training Wing Courses are the most comprehensive, advanced, and demanding courses of their kind found within the private sector.”