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Surveillance Qualifications For Dummies Part 2

31/01/13 - Written by Peter Jenkins

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Qualifications for Dummies Part 2

As the first company to design and accredit BTEC qualifications in surveillance with Edexcel, I think I am qualified to dispel a few myths.

Firstly what do the Qualification Terms mean?

Award = up to 50 hours
Certificate = 50-150 hours
Diploma = 150+ Hours

Level 2 – Basic
Level 3 – Boots on the ground doing it
Level 4 – Managing those on the ground

Do not confuse Police Levels 1, 2, or 3 with those mentioned, they are totally different and cannot be compared. As such, a Police Level 1 would be roughly the equivalent to a BTEC Level 3 Diploma.

The First BTEC in Surveillance

We took our first training course to Edexcel for approval as a BTEC Advanced Award. They suggested that it be set at Level 3. The course was designed to what we felt to be a minimum standard to operate in the commercial world. It was also mapped to include the National Occupational Standards for Private Investigation and the National Occupational Standards for CPO work in respect of surveillance. It took nearly 20 months for Edexcel to rubber stamp it! There was a lot of toing and froing in order to get it right (they had had their fingers burned with the CPO training). Anyway, it was approved and we set the standard. The course title was ‘Mobile & Foot Surveillance Skills, Level 3 Advanced Award’.

Now then, as a consequence, a few other training providers also decided to design a Level 3 course in surveillance (mainly those that do CP). I doubt very much that it had taken them 20 months for their course to be turned around and accredited (as we took the brunt and set the standard), more like weeks. Any other TP’s course has to be designed by them, be accredited and have a different title to any other. Therefore anyone using our title of ‘Mobile & Foot Surveillance Skills’ for example, would be out of order (copyright). They have to name it something else.

No Two Surveillance Qualifications are the Same

Therefore, no two surveillance qualifications are worth the same if they are from different training providers. You would expect them to be, but this is far from the truth. ‘Mickey Mouse Surveillance Training Ltd can push out a Level 3 or 4 but it could be all classroom based, no vehicle work or no practical work and total rubbish – but the piece of paper looks nice.

Level 4 Certificates and Awards

I get quite a few people coming to see me in respect of work, one recently had completed someone else’s course and obtained a Level 4 in Surveillance. I asked this guy a few simple questions to which he should have known the answers. He could not answer one of them correctly with any confidence and I was absolutely astounded. He had achieved a Level 4 Award in just 5 days.

I actually felt sorry for him as I thought he had totally wasted his money. I asked him to come back when he had obtained some experience and knew all of the answers to the questions in the back of my book!

Pass or Fail?

Some training providers pass all of their students, we don’t, its a pass or fail. You could argue that if the training team are all doing their job correctly then everyone should pass but this is not so. Not everyone has a natural aptitude for this type of work and cannot reach the required standard in the timeframe. Remember, each company sets its own standards, they set their own bench mark and the amount of practical work you carry out.

Hope this helps....

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