Programme Overview

Now available in Italy, Ireland and France, the European Close Protection Officer (ECPO) course offers for the first time, international certification. Delivered by S.M.A.T Training, this course has been developed to meet the needs of those seeking a career in the private security industry.

Assessment requirements remain strong and are overseen, maintaining the standard and integrity of the qualification.


It is important to give an international perspective to a career CPO. This vision has to take the biggest international bodies account (NATO, EU, EEAS, NGO’s, UN, etc.). A suitable and optimal training AND a recognized international certificate will be the major asset in an international application.


This training given by SMAT TRAINING is approved and administered by The Security Institute of Ireland.


The CPO is traditionally known as a Bodyguard, working as part of a team or with full autonomy as required. Taking responsibility for ensuring the protection of people during professional or private trips, while remaining compliant with the law. The CPO is capable of securing and intervening the protect the person(s).

The CPO is a privileged interlocutor and a “facilitator” of life for the people to be protected and their entourage, always being discrete.


  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of a close protection officer (Legislation, interpersonal skills, procedures)
  • Understand basic surveillance, anti-surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques and maintain secure environments for the incident management in a close protection environment
  • Understand the importance of recognition in a close protection environment
  • Understand the importance of threat assessment, risk management and operational planning
  • Understand the importance of teamwork and operational briefing in a close protection environment
  • Understanding close protection “on foot” exercises, the planning route selection and the importance of transport management in the close protection environment
  • Ability to plan and prepare for a close protection operation and understanding site security operations
  • How to communicate in emotional situations to defuse a conflict and best practices to follow after conflict situations.
  • How to develop and use problem-solving strategies to resolve conflicts


Our programme is presented in 3 units:

  • UNIT 1 : Work as a close protection officer
  • UNIT 2 : Planning, preparation and support of a close protection operation 
  • UNIT 3 : Conflict management in the private security industry 

Entry Criteria

The entry is open to all learners and there are no formal qualifications required to participate.


The programme duration is 18 days.


Assessment takes the form of:

  • A written examination
  • Skills demonstrations

Aspects of skills demonstrations will be recorded for quality control and internal verification purposes. All elements of assessment must be passed.


The training is based on practical and theoretical elements with real simulation.


Successful completion leads to the first European CPO Certificate, awarded by The Security Institute of Ireland. As this is a Europe wide qualification, the programme outcomes are designed to be equivalent to Level 3 on the European Qualifications Framework.


Please contact S.M.A.T. Training directly for course registration.