For the security magazine and online appearance of “SECmarket Business” our female close protection agent Rosa Lenz answered questions about the job as a bodyguard.
Miss Lenz, first of all we’d like to know how many people in the area of personal security you currently employ?
There are currently about 10 people in my employ that fit the requirements and are operating both on a national as well as on an international level.
How can one imagine the training of an employee working in personal security, especially bodyguards, and are there any legal specifications?
Everyone working in the security business has to successfully finish the expert knowledge examination conducted by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in accordance with §34 a. As personal security, extended driving skills with vehicles of all kinds as well as first-aid training are additionally required. Past government jobs (military, police etc.) certainly help. Fluency in the English language is a must. The employer can be assigned more flexibly if he possesses fluency of another foreign language like French or Spanish.
Any other regular training courses on top of all of the aforementioned?
There are frequent Inhousetrainings with specialists from different fields like e.g. close combat and violence prevention. Our employees are additionally participating in driving instruction courses and have to successfully complete tests checking their bodily fitness.
Which incremental requirements does a bodyguard have to possess?
The main requirement is an impeccable reputation as well as a clean police record. Soft skills like good manners and communication skills as well as keeping calm in stressful situations are also important. An appealing visual appearance will be required as well. The image of a bodyguard as a “ripped Gorilla” is obsolete and was long replaced by Men and Women with immaculate manners.
The job of a bodyguard will not resemble the plot of an action movie. How exactly will most of the jobs actually unfold?
For a bodyguard in charge of personal security, flexibility is key. The secured person might swiftly and spontaneously alter the plans or routes as they were initially planned. Especially in the international area, a bodyguard has to rapidly familiarize himself with new environments for the purpose of swiftly getting to know the area. Long waiting periods in the car or in front of hotels are also part of the job.
How different is the security situation between armed and unarmed personal security jobs?
One has to possess of a special permit issued by the respective authority to conduct armed personal security. People who are exposed to a high level of risk (like politicians), will generally be accompanied be the federal police. Cash and valuables transports are generally conducted by armed guards.
You are operating on a national, as well as on an international level. Where exactly are jobs being booked especially often and how do the jobs differ between different countries?
We supervise the security of many athletes like race drivers or soccer players for sports events. These might, depending on the event, be scattered around the planet. Our costumer base contains members of various royal families from the United Arab Emirates. Identifying the culturally discrepant requirements and desires of our international clients is of the utmost importance.
On your website you are noting, that your business branch defines the “possible by statutory provisions”. Could you further explain that?
Germany is known for its strict rules, statutory provisions and defined official requirements. Naturally, they cannot be circumvented when it comes to providing personal security. However, each German citizen is endowed with what is known as citizens rights, which are honored by statutory provisions defining self-defense, assistance in emergencies and the citizens arrest. These citizens rights make it possible to legally act in dangerous situations without breaking the law. This is valid for the defense of ones own person as well the defense of others.
How close is the cooperation with other authorities, like the police?
In the context of a “Private Public Partnership” it often occurs, that we work together with government institutions like the police or authorities in charge of public order. As we are not acting as a state authority, we often consult with our colleagues from official institutions when a situation requires us to do so as our authorities to act are limited. This type of cooperation is more frequent when it comes to public events as opposed to personal security though.
How high is the general demand / orders in your company?
Personal security accounts for about 15 % of our total revenue.
What are the working hours of a bodyguard like or can regular hours even be defined?
As already mentioned regarding the description of the jobs, flexibility with regards to time and location are two big factors in the daily life of a bodyguard. Whereas the words “daily life” are not frequently used in this job. The bodyguard has to completely submit to the requirements of the secured person and thus accompanies him through all kinds of situations. Longer, international trips, requiring a long stretch of time, are often part of the job. While the bodyguard is on the job with the secured person, he has to keep himself busy with familiarizing himself with travel routes and searching for alternatives, gather information on locations and be available to the client at all times. It is thus fairly reasonable to label this position as a diverse 24-hour job that has no firm pre-defined working hours.
Which personal security job has so far been the most exciting in your company history?
Each job has something else to offer that might stand out. Employees that are in search of exciting situations might not find themselves satisfied in our employ.
Of course we get to know some celebrities, are however always intent on maintaining a modest, discreet and professional conduct. Divulging details, spreading gossip about the celebrities or even taking photos with the secured person are thus a strict no-go for a professional company.
How popular is the job in your opinion?
We are receiving applications on a near daily basis, especially for the personal security branch and transport service. However, a lot of the applicants are having the wrong impression of the job which, like you have mentioned before, are mostly stemming from bodyguards in action movies.
Thank you very much for your time.