Close Protection Companies – A Service or an Employment Agency?

Close Protection Companies – A Service or an Employment Agency?

employment agency


  1. a business that finds employers or employees for those seeking them.





  1. 1.
    the action of helping or doing work for someone.



“As a business owner or manager, you know that hiring the wrong person is the most costly mistake you can make.”

— Brian Tracy


Close Protection (CP), also known as Executive Protection (EP), refers to security and risk mitigation measures taken to ensure the safety of VIPs or other individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk due to their employment, high-profile status, net worth, affiliations or geographical location. Due to this ‘risk’ which can result in serious injury or death, it stands to reason then that the provision of CP and the manner in which it is conducted is therefore of paramount importance to ensure the safety and well being of those being protected.

More than 40 countries – including the US, China, Canada, Australia and the UK – have more workers hired to protect specific people, places and things than police officers with a mandate to protect the public at large, according to the data HERE. In Britain, 232,000 private guards were employed in 2015, compared with 151,000 police.

The global market for private security services, which include private guarding, surveillance and armed transport, is now worth an estimated $180bn (£140bn), and is projected to grow to $240bn by 2020.

The security industry, both training and and the provision of specialist security alike through Close Protection personnel continues to grow. Newly incorporated Close Protection training companies delivering their 2-3 week courses and CP contract service providers appear week on week. The industry’s economic growth may be ‘booming’ but so are the numbers of ‘facilitators’.


An employment agency or a service?

When a person is exposed to such risk they may decide to seek the ‘services’ of a security company that specialises in ‘Personal Protection’.

Generally on a global scale, Close Protection companies do not permanently employ their operatives on a ‘stand-by’ basis and deploy them as and when contracts are received – but vice-versa; companies receive contracts for which they then source the relevant manpower. Many companies are ‘one-man-bands’. The creation of a slick website, social media advertisement, SEO and Google PPC to cast their net far and wide in the hope that in the very least they ‘catch’a few fish in the process.

The standard approach delivered by many Close Protection companies is thus:


According to definition, this process alone in effect makes the Close Protection company an ‘employment agency‘.



So, what is the difference between a security company that conducts its role as merely an ’employment agency’ and one that actually provides the ‘Service’?



There remains, of course, a huge difference between companies whereby the management has little to no training, little to no knowledge and little to no experience compared with those companies that have been formed on the back of the pinnacle of all of the above (See our Blog Transition of Experience)


“The duration a company has been in business is no gauge as to the operational effectiveness of that business”


When a prospective client seeks a specialist security service – and for serious reasons, they then expect to be ‘Advised’ and ‘Guided’ as to the most effective mitigation of that risk(s). It is this ‘advice and guidance’ specifically that separates those security companies that are ‘services’ and those that are mere ’employment agencies’. They will not only highlight specifics concerning the modus operandi of threat(s) but will determine and explain how to minimise, negate or remove the risk(s) to those threat(s). They will conduct a proper and accurate threat and risk assessment, identify exposure to those threats and order into priority those risks that can be controlled and those that cannot.


The Close Protection company providing the Service will deploy its manpower, systems and procedure according to its own internal policy for operational standards – not according to any government licensing scheme whereby anyone can get a license. It will select, manage and brief the deployed teams, operationally manage and conduct oversight according to the operational complexity whilst providing dynamic updates to the client. It will ensure that the operators they deploy have signed Service Agreements with NDA’s and full Scope of Works in addition to financing the operation professionally and effectively.

Close Protection can be a hugely important service delivery for the client. For the most part, it is sought and utilised for serious reasons.


“A company that is incorporated and directed by those without any formal training or experience in the ‘services’ they offer, who then deploy anyone with a license from an advert on Facebook is not a service oriented company but an employment agency…”


Yet, after all that is said and done on the part of the contract service provider – it is the UK Government body working on behalf of the Home Office, the Security Industry Authority, (SIA) that again are ultimately the main guilty party when it comes to initiating deplorable standards across the board. They are the ones that actually permit the incorporation of a security company by persons with no relative experience whatsoever in the services they are providing…

If you are seeking professional specialist security services then do conduct due diligence on those companies you approach and ask them what exactly constitutes their operational training, knowledge and experience that supports their advice and ‘service’.



Mobius International only provide former government Protection, Surveillance and Intelligence specialists. Our people have extensive international experience in providing all types of protective services to members of royalty, governments, the military as well as influential world business leaders and high profile VIPs – including Forbes top 10.

If you would like us to assess your security with the view to the provision of Close Protection then give us a call. It’s what we do.