Preparation is key – why is a security advance so important?
In the Executive Protection industry, a security advance is considered to be the most important aspect of any job. It refers to the surveying of all aspects of the task ahead, and is a crucial step in safeguarding your client.
A full security survey is conducted of the entire travel itinerary, including hotels, restaurants, vehicles, transport, hospitals, doctors, and routes of travel. Advances are also performed, as the name suggests, in advance of the arrival at each city, state, or country that the Principal visits.
There is no “one size fits all”, and the amount of time an advance takes can vary depending on the level of external and internal threat, stability, and crime in the area. In some cases, protective agents will be on the ground, running advances days before the client’s arrival.
Why Are Advances Important?
Advances are the most important aspect of executive protection because they can prevent harm from coming to the Principal. There are three clear benefits to conducting thorough advance work:
The entire EP industry is all about proactivity, and not reactivity, and advance work is a large part of that. The most basic example of a proactive approach is doing route research, and knowing exactly where you’re going once you’re on destination. Teams will research alternative routes, as well as implementing thorough contingency planning. If there’s a medical emergency, which route can you take to the nearest hospital, and which one is it?
Another aspect of any advanced work is that it makes communication much easier, which allows for operational continuity. For an advance to be successful each member of your team should be clear on all advance information, and their role. Plans should aim to be concise, and thorough, addressing not only the Principal, but includig others in their party, the people around them, and security personnel. Contingency plans are also CRITICAL. It is rare for things always to go to plan, and the most important thing for any operative is to remain resourceful and adaptive.
Reduces Potential Liabilities
As a security provider, it pays to be aware of potential liabilities. By doing solid advance work, you can address potential financial and legal issues and, in turn, take the pressure off your company, clients, shareholders, and associates. Another way to reduce any risks is by managing all the travel arrangements. You’ll be in charge of transportation, vehicles, and routes, which will improve overall safety. Medical emergency preparation is another critical factor, and we recommend all operatives get certified in first aid because it’s such an important skill. Lastly, you should only use safe and encrypted methods of communication that will block out the outside world, protecting your data, as well as remaining anonymous.
Knowing how to do proper and thorough executive protection advance work is an invaluable skill. The key to executive protection is prevention, which comes in the form of doing successful advance work. Being proactive instead of reactive is the key to ensuring the safety of clients at all times.