What Is the Difference Between a Security Guard and a bodyguard?

While a bodyguard is typically a form of security guard, a security guard is not necessarily a bodyguard. The two roles can often have overlapping duties, but the responsibilities of a bodyguard can be very different from those offered in standard security roles.

Security guards and Bodyguards are both commonly employed to provide private protection services. A security guard protects property and people; the people protected are those that are in the physical space that the security guard is responsible for, be it an airport, bank, or corporate office. A bodyguard, on the other hand, is hired to provide personal protection to a particular individual, who may be a governmental figure, celebrity, or high-net worth individual. The focus is on ensuring the ‘Principals’ safety, mitigating risks and potential threats to them.

Further to this, a better term for a professional bodyguard would be executive protection operative (EPO) or protection specialist – Bodyguard is a generalised term. An EPO is thoroughly trained to work as an individual or as part of a seamless personal protection unit to mitigate threats or risks through careful planning and awareness. True specialists are trained not only in physical defence techniques, but in a host of other de-escalation methods as well.

In recent years, new roles have emerged that may blend protection of particular people with protection of a physical space or event, but the distinction is clear. Commonly, security guard positions have a lower expectation for hiring and training, whereas EPO’s tend to have extensive military or police experience; with qualifications to match. With the complexity of today’s security environment –technology, terrorism, advanced weapons – the need for personal protection is increasing, and a clarity between roles and standards is required to achieve the correct levels of protection.

Security services and the operatives offering their services should be matched to their principles, and to their specific security requirements. When considering your security requirements some key characteristics to consider are:

1. Experience and Training:
Seasoned security professional’s responsibilities often include deterring, observing, detecting, handling firearms, reporting, and physical intervention, all of which are required to provide adequate protection of family and assets.

2. Judgement and Communication:
Individual’s must possess excellent judgment, key to de-escalating dangerous situations and managing critical situations. Communication skills, including verbal and non-verbal, are crucial, especially when managing teams of operatives, complicated logistical movements, or co-ordinating extensive operations.

3. Situational Awareness:
A bodyguard must consistently be alert and aware of their environment, possessing a high degree of situational awareness. That means he or she must be constantly aware of the situation around the principal, and the entire operation.

4. Cultural Etiquette:
Etiquette is a complex network of rules that govern good behaviour, social and business interactions. Operatives represent clients, families, and guests. Cultural awareness and professionalism are essential for maintaining reputation and ensuring exceptional standards of security are consistently delivered.

5. Physical Fitness:
Often, Executive Protection requires swift reactions. A competent bodyguard should be fit enough to meet all physical requirements for the task at hand, however, bigger is not always better. Often, operatives aim to blend in with the principal’s entourage, ensuring a more covert option for the client.

Choose your security team based on their skill, discretion, and ability to execute confidential security deployments. To find out more, or to talk to an executive protection specialist contact enquiries@priavosecurity.com.