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Selecting a Training Provider

Selecting a Surveillance Training Provider

We have browsed many industry forums on the internet and every so often see the question, 'There are so many surveillance training providers out there, so how do I choose the right one?'  Hopefully this page will help you decide as you research the internet.

Some are excellent and extremely good at what they do best, such as their primary subject of close protection training but it is not always the case about surveillance training. If you contact any company, be sure to ask them the following questions and ask to see their training programmes.

Questions to Ask

  • What are the backgrounds of the instructors? Are they still carrying out operational surveillance?
  • How long has the company been running and teaching surveillance?
  • Are you accredited by an Awarding Body? Some training companies make use of an awarding bodies logo but are not one of their Centres.
  • Do your instructors carry out surveillance as well as teach it?
  • Can you see a detailed copy of the course training programme?
  • How many hours do you spend in the cars?
  • Do you have full insurance?
  • Do the students use fully covert radios? (don't accept curly earpieces, iPod style earpieces or mobile phones).
  • Do you carry out full mobile exercises or is it just foot or classroom based?
  • Are your vehicles regularly inspected, serviced and insured?
  • Do you offer nationally recognised qualifications, awards or certificates?
  • What are the costs? Do you offer free accommodation?
  • Do you have quality assurance to at least British Standards Institute?
  • Does your training certificate have credibility and weight when applying for a job?
  • Do you carry out operational surveillance work?

Treat these advertising terms and phrases with caution:

'SIA Registered' or 'SIA Approved Supplier'. This has nothing to do with surveillance training, only door supervision, CCTV Control, static guarding and close protection. Some companies use this to suggest that their surveillance training is approved by the SIA. This is illegal and should be reported.

'Approved'. Ensure that their surveillance training is approved and accredited by an awarding body, otherwise you may be misled. Some offer a Level 3 Award or Certificate but it is not approved by anyone but themselves.

'Level 3 or 4 Training'. If it is not accredited by an awarding body, it means that the training company has set the level themselves and there is no official certificate.

'We can offer you surveillance work after the course' or ‘We will add you to our Database of operators’. Please treat with extreme caution. Many people have a natural aptitude for this type of work, some do not but they will not find out until they have finished the course and parted with their money. How can a company who trains 150 people a year expect to give all of them a job offer? It's not rocket science. Do not be fooled by anyone that promises you work or being added to a 'special group' or database.

Telephone your training provider and talk to them. If they discredit any other training provider, you are talking to the wrong people.