What exactly is executive protection services, and why is it important? Executive protection, or close protection as it can often be referred to, is the security and risk qualification procedures taken to ensure the safety of very important people (VIPs) such as, celebrities, executives, government officials, or other individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk because of their employment, celebrity status, wealth, private associations, or geographical location.

The name executive protection was coined in the 1970s by the United States Secret Service when they created the service guard visiting foreign dignitaries.

Executive protection services are its own highly specialized field within the private security industry. Service professionals need to have specific training in protection, driving, marksmanship, and emergency treatment. In the states, executive protection services are controlled at the state level and in most cases, require insurance, licensing, a separate concealed carry permit, and training. Any executive protection service should be able to provide a prospective client with their:

  • State-issued Corporate Business License
  • State-issued registration to deliver protective services
  • Copy of up to date liability protection
  • Personal certificates of initial and ongoing executive protection training for each agent
  • State-issued certifications to provide protective services for each agent
  • State-issued registrations allowing the agent to carry weapons for professional use
  • State-issued concealed carry permits for each agent

Executive protection services might have a team of agents performing in numerous roles to better protect their client, such as detail leader, assistant detail leader, tactical commander, motorcade lead, advance lead, mobile agent, static agent, and protective intelligence agent.

There are various types of executive protection service, that can be divided into three categories:

  • High-threat protection for dignitaries traveling internationally
  • Corporate executive protection for high net-worth corporate officers
  • Celebrity close protection

There is a difference between executive protection services and bodyguards. Unfortunately, it takes one unfortunate event to learn why. A bodyguard is an imposing figure to have to open your door, and executive protection services require a risk assessment, advanced work, and lots of legwork to ensure their clients are protected well.

Executive protection services have a risk assessment for any client they are serving. The risk assessment includes probabilities, such as specific threats, traffic, and prominence. These risk assessment probabilities are something that bodyguards would never be trained on.

Specific Threats

Specific threats to an executive and his or her family always need to be perceived and analyzed to keep them safe. This means that executive protection services need to assess risks that entail more than just recording actual threats. This encompasses proactive intelligence to identify both probably and possible threats from other groups of interest.


Crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and traffic risks are perceived to be higher in certain cities or countries. Also, there is the risk of getting seriously hurt in an accident on the road while driving a car. An essential component of executive protection is secure transportation.


A third key indicator of risk probability is prominence, the more well-known your client is, the more possibility that people will approach them. These communications can range from slight to enormous invasions of privacy. For example, celebrities might deal with enthusiastic fans. The risk is higher for politicians, oil executives, and other religious speakers.

Final Thoughts

Executive Protection Services is responsible for the safety and security of their clients, from executives, politicians, and celebrities are facing new challenges. In the age of social media, VIPs can face instant criticism and scorn for what others may deem a controversial position or statement on a specific topic, and in mere seconds, that criticism can reach thousands of people. With the speed of travel, and negativity in cyberspace, a VIP could be confronted with severe risk from lone activities, and fringe groups who are determined to use extreme measures to make an example of a corporation, political group, or celebrity that is suddenly seen in a negative light.

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