Executive protection advance work is one of the most important things that you have to do ahead of any assignment. It’s especially relevant if you’re working on a smaller budget or with a smaller team.
With that said, there’s a ton of work that goes into advances, and it’s not always easy doing it on your own. That’s why we’ve decided to break down all the aspects of executive protection advance work. We’ll also give you insight into the infamous advance checklist, and much more. So stay tuned.
What Is Executive Protection Advance Work?
As always, we first want to explain the exact meaning of advance work in case some of you are just joining the industry and don’t know anything about it. Advances are essentially security surveys of your travel itinerary.
You have to fill out the survey or the checklist ahead of time with important information, which we’ll get into later. Having an advance is invaluable when you’re traveling with a client to a destination that you know nothing about.
Why Is Advance Work So Important?
The short answer to this question is that advance work will keep your client safe. But the long answer is that there are three very specific benefits to it that’ll make your life ten times easier. Here’s how.
Allows for a Proactive Approach
The entire EP industry is all about proactivity, and not reactivity, and advance work is a huge part of that. Just look at it this way; Would you rather know exactly what to expect out of a situation and a job, or go into it totally blind? The answer’s pretty simple.
The most basic example of a proactive approach is doing route research, and knowing exactly where you’re going once you’re on destination. You should also research alternative routes, in case your first ones don’t pan out, as well as do a lot of contingency planning. If there’s a medical emergency, which route can you take to the nearest hospital, and which one is it?
You should be familiar with the vehicle you’re driving. That way, you’re not surprised if you get into a car with a manual stick shift instead of an automatic one.
These factors are the basis of travel risk management, as well as advance work. They also answer why you need to be proactive.
Ensures Solid Communication
Another huge aspect of any advance work is that it makes communication much easier, which allows for operational continuity. All of your hard work won’t matter if you can’t communicate it to others in your team. It should be to the point, easy to read, share, and change if needed.
But here’s the thing; your advance work is only as good as your ability to change it. The reality is, even if you have only one client, you can’t make a plan that would solely address them. You also need to include others in their party, the people around them, as well as your team.
What’s more, you should never be without a contingency plan. Honestly, sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, things will go awry, through no fault of your own. That’s why you need a plan B that you can follow in case things don’t go your way.
But the most important part of being an EP agent is being resourceful and adapting to every situation. You should also be able to effectively communicate that plan to your client, as well as your colleagues.
Reduces Potential Liabilities
If you’re a professional EP provider, the last thing you want is to open yourself to potential liabilities. And all because you didn’t do executive protection advance work the way you should have.
By doing solid advance work, you can spare yourself any potential financial and legal troubles. Also, that will, in turn, take the pressure off your company, clients, shareholders, and associates.
What Does Advance Work Entail
Doing any advance work usually requires a lot of training and skill, and there’s much more to it than just filling out a form. Another thing that’ll make advances much more difficult to do is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each and every assignment will require you to do advance work that’s specific to that job.
However, we believe that the four main components every advance work entails are:
- Understanding the threats
- Making travel arrangements
- Medical emergency preparation
- Doing encryption
As we said earlier, it’s always best to be proactive, and not reactive, which is exactly what threat research helps with. By knowing all the potential pitfalls and dangers, you’ll be able to plan ahead of time and avoid them.
Another way to reduce any risks is by making all the travel arrangements yourself. You’ll be in charge of transportation, vehicles, and routes, which will improve overall safety.
Medical emergency preparation just makes sense, and if you want to make it in the EP world, you have to know what it’s about. In fact, we’d recommend getting 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. Also, you need to think about protecting your data, as well as remaining anonymous.
The Advance Work Checklist
If you’ve heard anyone talk about executive protection advance work, you’ve probably noticed that they mentioned a checklist. Now, the one thing to know about the checklist is that it’s not the be-all and end-all tool when you’re doing advance work. However, it can save you a lot of time, and help you plan better.
Some of the things that you’ll find on most advance work checklists include:
- Principal and destination risk profiles
- Trip basics and activities
- Travel concerns
- Other specialists’ names and information
- Departure and aircraft information
- Vehicle and equipment description, and much more
If you want to see a real example, take a look at this checklist from Lasorsa that they give to all of their agents. It’s extremely comprehensive, and it might give you a better sense of the things you need to include.
Knowing how to do proper and thorough executive protection advance work is an invaluable skill. But like most in the business, it’s not something that’ll just come naturally to you. You have to practice and work hard if you want to nail it just right.
However, advance work is just a piece of the puzzle, and EP agents have plenty more skills, both hard and soft. So if you want to keep improving, you can sign up for our newsletter, where we share critical industry knowledge.