A Positive and Natural Evolution of the Executive Protection International Conferences
As has been announced recently, the annual conferences that EPI and ESI have been co-sponsoring for the last 4 years will now be hosted by a new organization, the International Protective Security Board (IPSB) under the name, Close Protection Conference (CPC). I thought I would explain some additional details of how this all came about and the benefit it will provide for our industry.
During the second Executive Protection International Conference (EPIC) held in San Antonio, an open forum discussion session based on the positive success of ESI and EPI working together to co-sponsor one annual conference together took place. I suggested the idea of using the EPIC conference as the basis of forming an EPIC “council”. The idea behind this was that based on the broad support of alumni from the top two EP schools and all the other attendees of the conferences, we could form an organization that would be an advocacy group to support the Executive Protection industry. The response of those in attendance was very positive and this discussion lead to additional meetings, dinners, and discussions. Prior to my suggestion of a council, many other members of the EP community had also been having discussions about working together to elevate our industry. I strongly believe that EPI and ESI forming a working relationship centered on the annual conference created a strong catalyst that promoted more EP professionals coming together in a like-minded manner.
At the end of the 2015 Conference in Orlando, the momentum was very strong and several members of our industry gathered and expressed that the time was right to initiate a new organization that could carry the momentum beyond what two training schools could do by ourselves. The founding members of the IPSB met in January in Miami and in one day outlined and created a new organization which is a non-denominational and not-for-profit organization that now represents the entire “Protective Security” industry. This includes individual protection professionals (experienced and entry level alike), service companies, training schools, secure transportation providers and trainers, defensive tactics trainers, firearms instructors, and all other services related to the protective security mission.
Some have asked, why a new organization? Aren’t there enough other organizations representing security and executive protection? Well, I’m glad you asked: no, not really. There is ASIS International which is the world’s largest security organization (of which I have been a member for 30 years) and it has a newly formed executive protection council, but it’s overall mission is to represent all sectors of security of which EP is a small sliver. Others have asked about the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security and their new ABCDEP certification in Dignitary and Executive Protection and if that will help the industry. Any effort to give greater recognition for protection professionals is good and we applaud them for doing so, yet, essentially this organization is a for profit company that provides certifications in multiple disciplines, and if someone lacks the required knowledge, they offer online training courses you can take to gain the required knowledge as well as courses to maintain their certifications. So, in some regard, they are part of the education services for protection professionals like many other schools and don’t solely represent the protective security industry.
The formation of the IPSB is a natural and positive evolution of the success of the EPIC conferences and will take the momentum created by EPI and ESI working together to the next level. The IPSB will collect industry data and will produce white paper reports and will advocate for greater recognition and support of the protective security mission. I hope you will join me with this new effort and continue the momentum forward and upward and attend or continue to attend the annual EP conference, which has become the largest gathering of personal protection professionals in the world.
Jerry Heying CPP, PPS, CST
Executive Director Executive Protection Institute
Founding Member International Protective Security Board