Episode 3

Covert Operations – Hiding Your Purpose | Ivor Terret

Covert protection is not hiding your presence from the principal. It's hiding your purpose from the environment.

In this episode we’re going to bring together two separate and distinct topics, covert protection operations and methodologies for learning the craft. Why? Because we’re joined by a guest who is at the forefront of both these subjects. Today we're speaking with Ivor Terret, founder and CEO of Enablement Advisers.

In this edition of the podcast, we cover:

  • The differences between covert protection surveillance detection and the importance of understanding that.
  • How do you know if covert protection is the right solution for your principal? And how do you sell it to the stakeholders?
  • You want to get new methodologies under your belt and become more versatile. Is covert protection a skill you should learn? Where do you start?
  • Can covert protection be taught online? Can anything in the field of protective services be learned online?

See why Ivor says, 

“Correct planning is the answer and training is the application of those written tactics and response. Not the other way around.“

About Ivor: 

Upon leaving national service in the Israel Defense force and Israeli Police Ivor was selected to help found and architect a government Surveillance Detection and Covert Security Unit tasked with protecting Heads of State and Strategic Sites.

Ivor has designed and implemented security master plans for covert counter terror units, high-risk facilities, protective details and has consulted on a myriad of projects including mass transport hubs, business parks, hotels, residences, high risk facilities and factories.

Ivor brings over two decades of international counter terror experience at both the official and private sector levels including instructing hundreds of students from high-risk facility security teams, government covert VIP units, government Surveillance Detection units, hotel security senior management, aviation security personnel and senior management, specialized law enforcement and counter terror units as well as corporate EP and SD units.

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The Circuit team is:

  • Elijah Shaw
  • Jon Moss
  • Shaun West
  • Phelim Rowe


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Transcript
Ivor:

Another gross misunderstanding is that covert protection is hiding our presence.

Ivor:

are hiding our presence, then we not going to be able to protect.

Ivor:

And we are, in fact, going to be conducting surveillance.

Phelim:

Covert operations as standard and training for tomorrow's principal two topics, which we're going to bring together with our interview today.

Phelim:

We're going to be speaking with Ivor Terret.

Phelim:

For enablement advisers.

Phelim:

And as I generally say, massive friend of the industry, I'm here with Shaun west.

Phelim:

Why is this such an important topic?

Phelim:

Is the role of the protector changing that much?

Phelim:

Is the demand for covert operations booming or am I misunderstanding something?

Shaun:

I don't think the demand Is changing.I think each individual has specific requirements and it's depending on what your profile is, are you a celebrity that's regularly on the red carpet, who wants to be seen with the, the big barn door type person, six foot seven foot plus, or are you a businessmen who was looking for a more discreet, protective presence.

Shaun:

So I don't think the requirements are changing.

Shaun:

Are they?

Shaun:

It depends on the profile of the individual and the profile you want to give off.

Shaun:

I'm a big fan of covert protection.

Shaun:

That's where my

Shaun:

teams that I've worked with, that's where they tend operate on.

Shaun:

Side of the fence, but yeah, I can see the, know the needs for both.

Shaun:

Depending on who you are, what you want to give off.

Phelim:

And this second topic of training and development, I guess we're putting up on a pedestal COVID operations is something that maybe you can't train for online.

Phelim:

It's very hands-on.

Phelim:

But, but conversely, there's a whole universe of things that perhaps tomorrow's protector can learn online.

Phelim:

What, what are your thoughts there?

Shaun:

Also I'm a big fun of online training and courses as well, but I get it, co covert protection is a very, it's a manual subject and discipline you can't,

Shaun:

you need to be

Shaun:

out on the ground, boots on the ground to be able to teach that.

Shaun:

And all the nuances of it.

Shaun:

However, you could, it's just like reading a book, there's many great books out there.

Shaun:

Going away from covert protection Pete Jenkins, for instance, who we've got on the podcast before he has his advanced surveillance books and things like that, which it is also a manual, physical subject that you need to go out and carry out that on the ground.

Shaun:

However, there's some good pre-course reading there, in Them books and then pages.

Shaun:

And I think you can do that on an online basis as well.

Shaun:

So you could do some pre-course training before going to do the actual physical aspects.

Shaun:

All of that sort of discipline and training course.

Phelim:

That's a, that's a great point and that, saving time aspect or perhaps getting ahead of the curve before you get down to physical business, getting the paperwork out of the way I can see the appeal there.

Phelim:

And also you you might wonder is this for me?

Phelim:

And before you go ahead first into an a hands-on course, maybe read a book,

Shaun:

yeah.

Shaun:

I mean, for sure, before I went to do the course, I wanted to have at least some background knowledge.

Shaun:

I didn't want to go there and be like a rabbit in the headlights.

Shaun:

I want them to have some, at least some background knowledge.

Shaun:

So at least you know, you had some idea of what you're going into.

Shaun:

But at the same time, once you go to that classroom or training environment, Sometimes you've got to leave what you've read in the book.

Shaun:

There are you listening to the instructor as you take?

Shaun:

What's good.

Shaun:

Maybe you leave some things that you think aren't so good.

Shaun:

And that's what experience will give you.

Shaun:

When you've read however many books, you don't have many courses and you've spent time on the ground in many different scenarios and environments and you'll build your own picture of what is good and what's not, but yeah, I think there's definitely a place for online training, as long as it's.

Shaun:

And the correct in the correct manner, you can't teach a CP course on a PowerPoint on an online course.

Shaun:

You need to be there and physically do it.

Shaun:

Got the boots on the ground.

Phelim:

I liked that you included that caveat because I know in the industry, there are some vocal, uh, opponents of online training purely for the reason that you've just outlined with regards to CP.

Phelim:

But I would like to imagine that we can all agree that there are some elements of prereading and maybe you want to do some business skills.

Phelim:

Maybe we want to do some accounting.

Phelim:

I don't know, but we but hopefully we can agree that is indeed a possibility.

Phelim:

Let's hear from Ivor himself let's combine these topics, covert operations, but also effective training and development for the leader of tomorrow.

Intro:

and now let's meet one of the contributors to the circuit magazine.

Phelim:

Covert protection and online training.

Phelim:

We are here with the one, the only Mr Ivor Terret.

Phelim:

founder and CEO of enablement advisors, as well as local chapter lead for ISRM, Elijah and myself.

Phelim:

We're going to be talking to you about this fantastic topic this new year.

Phelim:

How are you doing

Ivor:

Ivor?

Ivor:

Great Phelim.

Ivor:

Great to see you and Elijah and happy to be on the side.

Ivor:

That's exciting podcast.

Ivor:

Ivor, Elijah.

Ivor:

Good to see you, man.

Ivor:

Perfect.

Phelim:

Lovely to have you on, actually, I can't understand why we haven't had you on sooner.

Phelim:

It's that big of a deal to start off the new year with you.

Phelim:

I'm really pleased about this.

Phelim:

But let's dive into our topic with our three quick five questions.

Phelim:

Covert protection and online training.

Phelim:

A topic that we should discuss.

Phelim:

What is the problem we're trying to solve in this industry?

Ivor:

So covert protection is really, it's quite simply at one of the tactics we can use to reclaim the tactical advantage from the adversary.

Ivor:

Traditionally speaking, when we do low profile or overt security the bad guys can see us and if they can see us, they can find weaknesses.

Ivor:

In our security configuration and they can circumvent that no security is a hundred percent.

Ivor:

No security can stop all attacks.

Ivor:

A hundred percent of the time, what we do as covert protection, there are two aspects to it.

Ivor:

The one is.

Ivor:

The tactical aspect, where we reclaim the tactical advantage from the adversary by surprising them, because they don't know that we there, they can't see us until they make a mistake.

Ivor:

And the other aspect, which is mostly spoken about.

Ivor:

Is the business aspect that it's becoming for the last, I'd say seven years or so.

Ivor:

It's quickly ramping up to be a sexy term and something that clients want because they don't necessarily want to feel security all around them.

Ivor:

This is especially popular with low-profile principles where security monitor, tracked attention to them, where if they don't.

Ivor:

Covert, if they don't have overt security, no one would even recognize them or know who they are.

Ivor:

So we see an uptake in the market that makes it very marketable, very sexy, and relatively popular.

Ivor:

And that's the business side, which is great for me.

Ivor:

And it's great for my company as pioneers in the private sector.

Ivor:

But what's often overlooked is the tactical advantage that it gives to the security effort in actively and effectively mitigating risks to whatever we protect them.

Ivor:

So it's not specific to executive protection or close protection.

Ivor:

It can be anything that we protecting.

Ivor:

It can be an event.

Ivor:

It can be a house, it can be a building.

Ivor:

It can be an event that doesn't matter.

Ivor:

covert covert protection is covert protection.

Ivor:

And another gross misunderstanding is that covert protection is hiding our presence.

Ivor:

It's absolutely not hiding our presence.

Ivor:

If we are hiding our presence, then we not going to be able to protect.

Ivor:

We go to be focusing on hiding our presence and we, are in fact, going to be conducting surveillance.

Ivor:

And if we conducting surveillance, we won't.

Ivor:

In a risk based formation to stop a threat as early as possible in as far as possible from the principal.

Ivor:

And this is something I encounter very often, whether it's working on operations consulting, strategic and tactical consulting or training, both strategic and tactical.

Ivor:

We see this misunderstand.

Ivor:

In the, across the industry.

Phelim:

What about your passion for this topic?

Phelim:

You're obviously very passionate about it and obviously you have a background, but where does your passion for this topic?

Phelim:

Come from?

Ivor:

That's a fantastic question.

Ivor:

And it's going to seem counter intuitive to what we're doing now and to my social media presence and in-person speaking and presenting and appearing on on, on news programs, et cetera.

Ivor:

I actually did not like to be in the limelight when I'm working operations.

Ivor:

And that's where the passion came from.

Ivor:

So it's not a Jason Bourne, super ninja Viking, top thing that people might think it's honestly, I hate being in the lime, light when I'm working, because what I found when we're in the lime light, first of all we are seen all the time, which sometimes doesn't allow us to do our work as we should.

Ivor:

Second.

Ivor:

When we're in the lime light, we're often tasked with non-security roles.

Ivor:

Please go fetch this, go pick up the kids from school.

Ivor:

Go pick up the kids bicycle from the repair shop garden, get the principal, a coffee and all these things that, that we do.

Ivor:

But when we're doing covert protection, we're not really involved in the principals activities other than securing them.

Ivor:

It's pure security.

Ivor:

It, the service aspect is not there yet.

Ivor:

And that's my passion.

Ivor:

That's why I like it.

Ivor:

The service aspect is important.

Ivor:

Of course, if you're tasked with that, I don't enjoy being tasked with that when I'm working operations.

Ivor:

I enjoy doing the protection aspects and dedicated to that protection

Ivor:

aspects.

Phelim:

And, and what about those uninitiated EAP professionals out there?

Phelim:

Those people who have never worked on cobot protection operations, or we've never done surveillance what would you like the completely uninitiated colleagues to better understand?

Ivor:

That's a great point.

Ivor:

So first I'll separate surveillance from protection so much.

Ivor:

So that w when I started being more public several years ago, with covert protection, it was referred to in the us and the UK is protective surveillance.

Ivor:

Now it's not surveillance.

Ivor:

I don't call it protective surveillance, I call it covert protection for a reason.

Ivor:

And the reason is when people have that word surveillance, even if it's just a term that we were calling something that we're doing protective surveillance.

Ivor:

I found that the protection aspect goes out the window and all the focus is on surveillance.

Ivor:

And what happens is that the practitioners often make the mistake of prioritizing the surveillance covert secret squirrel parts, and forget about the protection part.

Ivor:

Whereas the protection is why we are there.

Ivor:

So for the uninitiated I, and for the experience, what I will say.

Ivor:

When we're doing covert protection, the protection is always priority over the covert.

Ivor:

That's why we are there, right?

Ivor:

Not the covert at the expense of the protection.

Ivor:

Many years ago I worked with a few details and.

Ivor:

They had a directive that said, if the principal sees you, you may lose your job.

Ivor:

And in retrospect, what I, when not consult organizations that are either fixing teeth teams or details, or structuring them from new covert details, that is, I often tell them if that's the directive, you won't be able to do your job, protecting that principal.

Ivor:

If you're worried about losing your job, if the principal sees you, you cannot effectively protect them because you'll be doing surveillance on the principal and hiding away from the principal, as opposed to hiding your true purpose from the environment.

Ivor:

So for the uninitiated, I would say covert protection is not hiding your presence from the principal.

Ivor:

It's hiding your purpose from the environment.

Ivor:

And staying out of the principals space, not.

Ivor:

That's the biggest lesson I can give to the uninitiated and they experience.

Ivor:

All right.

Ivor:

So

Elijah:

I'm going to jump in here.

Elijah:

You know, one of the beautiful things about this podcast is that we get to have subject matter experts on.

Elijah:

One of the reasons I was excited to have you on Ivor is because the craft, extremely well.

Elijah:

I think one of your gifts is that you're able to articulate it and break it down.

Elijah:

So, so just in these few minutes here, I think you did a wonderful job in just illustrating that difference between, kind of separating the surveillance from the protection, at least making sure that there's some clear definitions because.

Elijah:

Protect us in the field.

Elijah:

You're right.

Elijah:

I think we can tend to get fixated on maybe a part of the mission as opposed to the overall mission, particularly when, you know, these kinds of titles and these buzz words get introduced.

Elijah:

And, and the other thing I'll say really quick is, you mentioned that, maybe this shift really occurred in the last several years, and I would agree with you because if so much, historically protective operations were of an overt nature.

Elijah:

It was difficult for us to make that, that mindset switch operationally in the field, but also.

Elijah:

It was difficult for us to figure out how to market that to our clients as business owners.

Elijah:

You know, because if we weren't forward facing, how do we convince you that we're doing our jobs?

Elijah:

Or what are your thoughts on

Elijah:

that?

Ivor:

Fantastic.

Ivor:

So that was a whole bunch of.

Ivor:

At points and questions out.

Ivor:

I'll try to tackle them one at a time from the ones that I remember.

Elijah:

And if not, we'll just edit it and make it sound good.

Ivor:

So the first thing I'll say is, and this actually circles back to what Phelim said about the uninitiated.

Ivor:

I'll say that the less experience that someone has doing overt work.

Ivor:

The easier.

Ivor:

It is often too to perform covert work and then have to unlearn things.

Ivor:

So through the years and through the people, I've had the privilege to work with in the industry.

Ivor:

And again, what Phelim said about fixing problems in the industry.

Ivor:

I love the industry.

Ivor:

The industry is made up of fantastic people doing fantastic work on the whole.

Ivor:

So I don't see it as problems.

Ivor:

I see it as progress or evolution.

Ivor:

Now the, so that's the first thing is the more overt work you've done and the more overt work you've got under your belt, the more difficult it's going to be to do covert work that's across the board, unless there's an exception.

Ivor:

The second part is not everyone is cut out for covert work.

Ivor:

Not because they're good or not good.

Ivor:

As skills are not skilled, we just all good at different things.

Ivor:

Just like equally, not everyone is cut out for overt work.

Ivor:

It's exact same thing.

Ivor:

Not one's better than the other.

Ivor:

The other points I'd like to mention about marketing to the client, covert is not an answer to everything.

Ivor:

Now.

Ivor:

There is overt.

Ivor:

Now there is low profile, so we should only market either one of them to clients.

Ivor:

If that solves a problem and helps to mitigate risk.

Ivor:

Otherwise there's no point.

Ivor:

So if we can't articulate that to a client, why they need that covert protection bubble, if you will, then probably we don't understand if they need it.

Ivor:

If we understand that we cannot teach collate it, then that's proof in itself that it's worth marketing to them.

Ivor:

The third thing I'd like to touch on is that the most effective security for a high profile principals or principal who is recognizable, et cetera, et cetera, whether their home city or on a global, it doesn't matter.

Ivor:

But someone who's recognizable as a what we'd call a quality target.

Ivor:

Not always because it's the answer.

Ivor:

Sometimes we might want to have over it.

Ivor:

We might want to have low profile.

Ivor:

We might have covert.

Ivor:

We might want to have a combination of all of them, because sometimes we might want to coat an overt person.

Ivor:

So that there's the deterrent.

Ivor:

So that there's the expectation.

Ivor:

If the press see them, so that there's an expectation of shareholders, see them in is paying for that service, whatever the case may be.

Ivor:

But to reclaim the tactical advantage, if there's an elevated risk, we might want a covert presence.

Ivor:

To be out in the field on an outside bubble, looking for those threats and tactically positioning to stop any threat should have presented itself before it gets to the clients.

Ivor:

Um, so I'm not sure if I answered all the questions you said, I think I did, but about, I forgotten some.

Elijah:

No, bro, you know that and uh, I think when you talked about.

Elijah:

Being able to create these hybrid teams.

Elijah:

That's one of the things that I think is most interesting about the topic, because again, it allows you to get that tactical advantage that you spoke of.

Elijah:

But let me ask you this, because one of the things you did was you created that distinction between, uh, covert protection and protective surveillance.

Elijah:

As, as you see it, in a perfect world for you.

Elijah:

Would you run two teams or could you see yourself running two teams, one that was doing counter surveillance or surveillance detection and you can make that distinction to the audience.

Elijah:

And one that was again, embedded in the environment, but also moving with the protectee?

Elijah:

Covertly.

Ivor:

I love it, Elijah.

Ivor:

Thank you.

Ivor:

Um, The answer is if there's a need.

Ivor:

So if the risk warrants it and there's the resources to do it, absolutely.

Ivor:

Let me put some differentiations that the word covert protection or the term Cove pro it's just a.

Ivor:

I don't mind, but I have no personal or emotional connection.

Ivor:

I don't mind what's used.

Ivor:

If people want to use protective surveillance, if they want to use ninja Viking, it doesn't matter.

Ivor:

As long as the people on the ground and their management understand what's expected of them.

Ivor:

The reason I shy away from the term protective surveillance is that I've seen.

Ivor:

Amateur details, running saying that they're doing protective surveillance, but what they're actually doing is pure surveillance.

Ivor:

They weren't looking for any threat.

Ivor:

They were surveilling the principal.

Ivor:

And that's why I shied away from it to help people understand what it is.

Ivor:

And when we take that word surveillance, out, and we focus on protection, that's where the focus.

Ivor:

It's on protection.

Ivor:

So that's that part.

Ivor:

I don't mind what terms used to jump onto the second part, the surveillance detection or counter surveillance detection in, again, the terms don't matter to me, as long as everyone knows what they're doing, that's the first part is everyone knows what's expected.

Ivor:

I don't care what terms used in the pure sense of, of the thing.

Ivor:

Surveillance detection is a part of counter surveillance.

Ivor:

They're not the same thing, but counter surveillance is a broader term to identify and prevent surveillance from happening on whatever we protected.

Ivor:

Whereas surveillance detection has a very specific role.

Ivor:

Surveillance detection is purely to confirm or deny.

Ivor:

If we think there was hostile surveillance on whatever we protecting at the time of our surveillance detection operation.

Ivor:

That's it easy right now?

Ivor:

Tactically speaking.

Ivor:

And this is no secret.

Ivor:

It's okay.

Ivor:

That it's out there, on in the world protection needs to be principal protection, whether it's overt, covert, low-profile confused.

Ivor:

It doesn't matter.

Ivor:

protection needs to be looking away from whatever we protecting to identify any threats and we need to stop the threat.

Ivor:

Surveillance detection is usually further out.

Ivor:

And what we looking for is we are looking for the people that might be collecting surveillance on the principal, which might not be actual threats of harm.

Ivor:

They might just be collecting information.

Ivor:

So our positioning is different.

Ivor:

And that leads me to another confusion that I see in the industry often is that you cannot be protecting someone.

Ivor:

And at the same time as one person running a surveillance detection operation, because quite simply you'll be positioned in different locations, but you draw, so if, when we protecting where we want to position.

Ivor:

Some way that we think the threat is going to come from, and we want to stop that threat before it gets to the principal.

Ivor:

In this case, when we're doing surveillance detection, we want to be further away from the threat, from the surveillance, the threat of surveillance.

Ivor:

And we quite simply want to be collecting information on them so that afterwards we can analyze it or give it to our data analyst, to look for correlation and patterns over time and distance.

Ivor:

And that's another point.

Ivor:

It's also that surveillance detection without that analytic function, loses about 80% of its value.

Ivor:

That's surveillance detection is a pure protective intelligence role without that protective intelligence backend, we're losing a lot of the effects of its inefficiency of what we do.

Elijah:

So I think as we talk about this, And as we drill down, we can see that there's some different areas of specialization and they're going to require some kind of some specific skill sets.

Elijah:

And you know, you referenced, at the beginning of discussion, someone coming in who, might not have as much overt protection experience would, may do better in this area.

Elijah:

But for those that do have.

Elijah:

Extensive experience.

Elijah:

And now they're trying to transition now to trying to get new methods and new methodologies under their belt to make themselves more versatile or even someone who listens to this and goes, Hey, I'm a new protector.

Elijah:

I would love to get in this area.

Elijah:

Where do I start?

Ivor:

www.enablement.biz for the people that speak real English.

Ivor:

That's the first thing I'd say.

Ivor:

Um, first I'd say first I have to be realistic and understand what their capabilities are and what they where they pool is where their passion is.

Ivor:

And second to find good training You know, that's really the long and short of it.

Ivor:

Often through training and most training classes that, that I've delivered.

Ivor:

And I've been privileged to deliver both surveillance detection and covert protection training to probably thousands of protectors around the world in the last few years and the last few years in the last 25 years or so Often they come into class with a concept and an idea, but by the end of the course, they have a completely new understanding of what it is.

Ivor:

And.

Ivor:

Sometimes they realize this isn't for me.

Ivor:

And often they say, I want more of this.

Ivor:

Um, but training's definitely a starting point.

Ivor:

A lot of details that my company consults to that have full-time covert teams require some form of executive protection or close protection background before joining the covert team.

Ivor:

All we have to do is teach them how to hide what they're doing, as opposed to teach them how to do everything.

Ivor:

And that's, that's just a market reality, no matter how I deal or not ideal, it is, it's a market reality and it's works well.

Ivor:

So that's really where people should start.

Ivor:

They all sun IME, Tobin's going to fund book on, on on, uh, I think covert operations or surveillance detection or something.

Ivor:

So it's got some funny anecdotes in there.

Ivor:

That's worth reading.

Ivor:

You can't learn this from a book, but it'll give it'll help.

Ivor:

Give them an idea.

Ivor:

I know that, both Scott Stewart from tourch stone.

Ivor:

And Fred Burton from Ontech both former Stratfor executives, put out a lot of articles and commentary on surveillance detection.

Ivor:

It's worth following them and following them on LinkedIn and reading what they said, both very experienced and smart and wise professionals in this field.

Ivor:

I'd say probably global leaders.

Ivor:

So there's, there are resources out there that you can go to find information, but ultimately good training will help the protector understand if this is their calling or if they're not cut out for it.

Ivor:

And most of the time, it doesn't mean that they good or bad or anything.

Ivor:

It just means cut out or not cut out for it.

Ivor:

Just like anything else.

Ivor:

Um, so that that would be my off the, off the hip on, so from the hip on, sir, And with that, I'm going to touch on a hot potato.

Ivor:

If I can, if you've already got me on a tangent, and I'll say that in general, I'm against the term, the training is the answer.

Ivor:

Even though I make money from training.

Ivor:

On the whole, I'd say this is looking from a very strategic approach before any organized.

Ivor:

And this is on the organizational level, not the individual level before an organization brings in trainers to train.

Ivor:

They should have.

Ivor:

Risk-based procedures, et cetera, that the trainer can train on.

Ivor:

In other words, it's more effective to be training according to how the organization works, as opposed to doing a generic training for the organization, and then have the participants come back and say, this is great.

Ivor:

We're going to take one, two and three, but we're not going to do four or five and six because it's not suitable often when we see mistakes or perceived failure.

Ivor:

By protective details.

Ivor:

The knee-jerk response is we need better training or they need better training.

Ivor:

My observation is that training is not always the answer.

Ivor:

First, we need to have preventative and emergency procedures, deep, robust procedures that are written and suitable per threat per identified threat.

Ivor:

And then we need to train on those procedures as opposed to.

Ivor:

Generic training and I see it all the time.

Ivor:

So instead of bringing the best firearms instructor to teach firearms because something happened and the best what's it called defensive tactics trainer to teach defensive tactics.

Ivor:

What we should be doing is writing robust procedures on how to respond to particular threats.

Ivor:

Going over that with the instructors, the subject matter experts, making sure that the defensive tactics instructor understands what the firearms instructor is teaching and vice versa, and then delivering it to the protectors as a holistic solution.

Ivor:

So that's where I was going with it.

Ivor:

Training is not always the answer.

Ivor:

Correct planning is the answer and training is the application of those written tactics and response.

Ivor:

Not the other way around.

Phelim:

And I like that.

Phelim:

Cause if we, if we follow that train of thought, there's a lot of training that people do out of context without any, give an example, you know, the entire organization gets XL training.

Phelim:

Why?

Phelim:

But on the topic of training, one thing that's been very hot, especially this past year is online training.

Phelim:

I know that there's strong feelings in the community about this either way.

Phelim:

But I'd be interested in your thoughts and also its applicability maybe to covert protection.

Ivor:

So first I'll preface this by saying I have no strong feelings.

Ivor:

A very Zen time of my life and I'm happy with it.

Ivor:

I'm saying I'm going stand up, man.

Ivor:

So that's the first part.

Ivor:

The second thing is, I'll tell you Phelim.

Ivor:

So online training.

Ivor:

That's interesting.

Ivor:

So I'll start off with the end and say, what, what are we trying to achieve?

Ivor:

As a vendor, I'm a vendor.

Ivor:

Am I trying to make money and survive?

Ivor:

Absolutely.

Ivor:

Am I trying to find a way to survive, to keep in touch with my clientele, to keep relevant day.

Ivor:

I'll say whilst there's no travel and you can't meet people.

Ivor:

Absolutely.

Ivor:

And that's what a lot of people in the industry are doing.

Ivor:

And I can't add any way, no doubt judge them for it because I've done the same thing.

Ivor:

That's the first part from the vendor side, from the actual skillset side, I'll say I do not believe.

Ivor:

That anything physical?

Ivor:

I do not believe that physical tactics can be learned online without doing them physically.

Ivor:

I've heard of actual details that have hired people to do online training for shooting and defensive tactics another term that I really don't like, but shooting defensive tactics where I feel.

Ivor:

It might be good to keep your teams engaged and communicate with them and aware of what's going on and feeling part of the organization whilst staying locked down at home, et cetera.

Ivor:

And I think that has a lot of value and I think it's important, but I don't think you can actually learn from scratch.

Ivor:

How to do tactics from a video because you have to feel it, an instructor us to be with you there to give you real time feedback, to correct you, to physically stand with you and say, hold on, look here, look there, stand there.

Ivor:

Steady.

Ivor:

And what are you feeling?

Ivor:

So that's my feeling.

Ivor:

I do however feel that the theoretical aspects you can absolutely learn online.

Ivor:

I think that there are various ways to do it.

Ivor:

The biggest challenge with that is creating platforms that ensure concentration, participation, engagement by the audience.

Ivor:

Another challenge is testing the audience's knowledge with online training, where many platforms have got multiple trades, including the platforms I use.

Ivor:

My company's got an, a leadership academy for security leaders, which is about a strategy and implementing tactics, but not actual tactics, which we can we'll touch on in a minute.

Ivor:

But checking participant knowledge.

Ivor:

There's so much you can do with an online platform.

Ivor:

But no matter what you do will always be superficial.

Ivor:

You can't really check their knowledge.

Ivor:

And that's why in my academy that we've designed and built and I'm very proud of, we actually have essay.

Ivor:

At the end of every module, because that forces the participant to really dig deep, to get out of their comfort zone, to put their thoughts on paper, as opposed to a drag and dropping or doing a multiple choice.

Ivor:

But you can pretty much guess the answers until you get it.

Ivor:

Um, so I believe online training has.

Ivor:

I do not believe it's places with actual, I'd say combat tactics or physical tactics.

Ivor:

It's rather more strategic and at the management or shift manager or team lead level.

Elijah:

So I like to weigh in and tell you that I agree.

Elijah:

I think we're on the same page with that.

Elijah:

But I love the fact that you lead with, that there is a.

Elijah:

As a business owner, as a service provider, there's a reality that says, introducing these concepts will keep business or may keep business owners alive, during, uh, the pandemic, no matter how people feel about it.

Elijah:

If there's separation where you're not people aren't meeting or gathering a congregating.

Elijah:

And that was part of your book of business.

Elijah:

Business owners have to adapt somewhere.

Elijah:

So there's a reality to that.

Elijah:

I don't want people to try and gloss over or, make it feel like, oh, we're doing online traveling training, because it's the best thing.

Elijah:

It's not necessarily the best thing.

Elijah:

As we just illustrate it, it's just a factor of doing business the same way.

Elijah:

These high end restaurants had to start adapting door dash when they would never do takeout in the.

Ivor:

Exactly.

Ivor:

You hits it on the head.

Ivor:

And I think it's nothing to be ashamed of as long as the product is appropriate.

Ivor:

So I I'm, might, I might not put a video up to say to someone, this is how you do an evacuation with the client, for example.

Ivor:

To someone who's never done the physical training, but if I've got a team who's working and I need to keep them engaged because they're bored and they're climbing the walls and they're stuck at home and they're getting paid, but they're not feeling fulfilled because they're not working.

Ivor:

Maybe we'll put up a series of videos that say, as a reminder folks, this is how we do it.

Ivor:

And that way it's not teaching them the tactics from zero, because.

Ivor:

You need to feel it through your feet.

Ivor:

And that's a rough translation from Hebrew, right?

Ivor:

You need to walk your walk to learn it.

Ivor:

And to, and this touches exactly to what you said with your analogy with the restaurants, Elijah, we have a saying in Hebrew, which is there's the ideal and there's the realistic.

Ivor:

That's sometimes what's realistic.

Ivor:

Isn't the ideal.

Ivor:

We can aim for the ideal, but sometimes reality kicks us in the ass and we can't do what's correct.

Ivor:

We can't be purist sometimes.

Ivor:

And something that, something, this is a plug, something that we do at the enablements academy for leadership excellence.

Ivor:

Haggis continuing is one of the things we have.

Ivor:

One of the things we teach leaders, whether it's at the team lead level.

Ivor:

So the team lead level, their job team leads and mid managers, their job is to implement security strategy through tactics, right?

Ivor:

That's their job.

Ivor:

Whereas the senior level, the CSO, the director, the vice president, their job is.

Ivor:

define tactics and explain that to the mid management so that they can implement, excuse me, to define strategy so that they can define and implement your tactics.

Ivor:

One of the things we teach them is sometimes you can compromise on tactics because the environment, the budget, the culture won't allow for the ideal, but never ever compromise on the process.

Ivor:

To get there because that process will tell you, if you do a correct process in understanding what's probable and critical, what are your resources?

Ivor:

What's the ideal situation to mitigate a particular threat or risk.

Ivor:

Then you can weigh up and say, okay, if we compromise on A, our price is going to be one.

Ivor:

If we compromise on B, our price is going to be one squared or two.

Ivor:

So let's choose our compromise at A.

Ivor:

So sometimes in reality, we have to compromise and you know this I've worked with you enough, times sometimes reality just says, Hey, we'd love to have, we'd love to have the fleet of twin helicopters and Hercules and.

Ivor:

But we don't have.

Ivor:

So we get after use a Mercedes Viano just as an example.

Ivor:

So what we need to do is do that process to understand, we have to compromise, where can we compromise and what will the price be if we compromise?

Ivor:

Because that's our reality, but never compromise on the process to understand that.

Ivor:

Never just say, okay, principal one said two vehicles.

Ivor:

We're going to do two vehicles rather say, principal wants two vehicles.

Ivor:

They probably going to get two vehicles, but maybe we can plug the V the gap that, that creates by adding covert protection or surveillance detect just as an example, just throwing the conversation together.

Ivor:

Um, so that's, that's where I'm going with ideal versus real.

Ivor:

Sometimes we have to compromise.

Ivor:

It's the same with online training, understand that you cannot learn how to rough and tumble with someone on a screen.

Ivor:

Understand, you cannot learn how to shoot.

Ivor:

You cannot learn how to evacuate someone.

Ivor:

You cannot learn how to physically do anything online.

Ivor:

You can understand the theory.

Ivor:

You can see people doing it, but unless you practice it, you never going to develop that muscle memory.

Ivor:

So online training can be useful at the tactical level to try and retain that muscle memory psychologically for people that already have the base and absolutely can be used to develop leadership skills.

Ivor:

There's no problem with that.

Ivor:

There's no problem.

Ivor:

And that's what we do at the academies.

Ivor:

We develop leaders.

Ivor:

We teach those team leads, how to implement.

Ivor:

Strategy.

Ivor:

We teach them about concepts of security from a leadership level.

Ivor:

And at the director level, we teach them about security strategy and how to keep the organization running smoothly as a security organization, without telling them how to shoot a target or to, you know, ninja Viking punch someone,

Phelim:

all these ninja Vikings running around, we need to watch out for them.

Phelim:

But, but, but I love this and obviously we've taken one of the, one of the more hands-on topics of covert protection and one of the more.

Phelim:

Hot topics, of online training, which big, uh, debate at the IPSB in December Elijah was on a panel on the very same, on the very same topic.

Phelim:

But, but I like this cause it's realistic, isn't it?

Phelim:

It we're, we're looking at what can be achieved as opposed to a blanket.

Phelim:

No way.

Phelim:

Jose, it's not possible.

Phelim:

Personal finance.

Phelim:

You could definitely learn that online.

Phelim:

I did a course on virtual reality over the Christmas period.

Phelim:

Am I an expert?

Phelim:

No, but absolutely you can do these things.

Phelim:

So Ivor what's, uh, what's next for you?

Phelim:

What should, what should people look at, look out for in the coming months?

Ivor:

Hopefully, we'll somewhat return to normal travel and things.

Ivor:

I'd say that the next thing on my schedule that's super exciting is.

Ivor:

A broad announcements of our academy of, uh, Uh, leadership.

Ivor:

That's something I'm very proud of.

Ivor:

And on the website, I've actually put up a video where I say how proud I am.

Ivor:

I think it's one of the best projects I've ever worked on.

Ivor:

Because I belive it will make a positive impact in the, in the industry.

Ivor:

One of the things that drew me and pushed me to that was not money making during COVID and lockdown.

Ivor:

Quite simply, I wasn't traveling.

Ivor:

I had the bandwidth to do this, but what I had noticed.

Ivor:

Is that through consultant for some very large organizations.

Ivor:

I noticed that often there's the same pattern of challenges that these organizations have and that these protective teams and details have.

Ivor:

And when I sat back and I analyzed it with myself and looked for those common variables, I found that quite often, And this wasn't necessarily my clients that was rather looking back at the last 30 years, not the last few years, I noticed that quite often, senior leadership does not have a security strategy in place and they spend most of their time directing people to put out fires.

Ivor:

And that team leader men mid-management.

Ivor:

I have had no education on what it means to be a team leader.

Ivor:

Mid-management they quite simply work their way up to that level and they experience that they have is good experience, but it's only what they've experienced.

Ivor:

It's not necessarily the complete breadth and depth of knowledge that's available.

Ivor:

And that's why we put the academy of leadership excellence.

Ivor:

To give those senior leaders the opportunity to learn how to develop effective security strategy, which will limit how many fires and the size of the fires there'll be putting off day-to-day and will enable him to run a security department.

Ivor:

And we'll help the mid-management and team lead level understand all of the tools and concepts available to them, not only what they've experienced through their career.

Ivor:

So that's a huge milestone that we're going to be pushing.

Ivor:

We've been working on it.

Ivor:

I can tell you for almost two years, It's a fantastic system.

Ivor:

I'm happy to demo.

Ivor:

It I'm even happier for people to sign up and take it.

Ivor:

For the UK folks, it is people that pass the studies and are approved by off qual.

Ivor:

We'll actually get a level five diploma in corporate security leadership.

Ivor:

So it's accredited and for the U S folks, people that oldest CPP or other ASIS license, actually get complete points for that license renewal under the uh, CPE program, when ablement advisors is a preferred CPE provider for this training

Ivor:

Through ASIS.

Ivor:

So they serious about it.

Ivor:

We've put a lot of resources into it, and I think it's got potential to be a positive influence on the industry.

Ivor:

I'll also say if there's not, everyone is accepted to take the classes or the courses, they have to actually be in a role or currently heading for that role.

Ivor:

But we won't take a newcomer in the industry has been working for a year and give them team lead training.

Ivor:

Nor will we take someone who's had five years as a CPO or EPA agent and give them director training.

Ivor:

They've got to go through it.

Ivor:

So we're not in it for the, of course I want people to take it, but we are maintaining a particular standard.

Ivor:

I'll also say if there's anyone out there who has financial say.

Ivor:

Who doesn't have the liquid finances because they didn't finance it, but they do meet the requirements and they can present a case as to why they should get a scholarship with us.

Ivor:

I'm very happy to discuss it and very happy to offer scholarships to the excellent future leaders of the industry.

Ivor:

This is not for the chance takers.

Ivor:

This is for people who Excel and who rarely are going to be the next leaders at whichever level.

Ivor:

I'm happy to have that discussion with them.

Ivor:

So please

Elijah:

reach out to them.

Elijah:

That's amazing.

Elijah:

And we'll make sure that we put the links to the academy inside the show notes.

Ivor:

Thank you.

Ivor:

Thank you, Elijah.

Ivor:

This will be perfect.

Ivor:

And the other the other thing I want to mention in the near future is, uh, Omicron dependent.

Ivor:

I'm looking forward to coming to the seventh.

Ivor:

CP technology forum in London on the 27th of January.

Ivor:

I believe I've been at every forum perhaps except one, but I think I've been to everyone.

Ivor:

Since you first started back seven years ago, um, or, or even a bit longer because of COVID.

Ivor:

So probably nine years ago.

Ivor:

So I'm looking very forward to that to seeing old friends and to making new friends and just being back in the end.

Phelim:

Fantastic.

Phelim:

No, thanks for your continued support and yes, you were there right from day one.

Phelim:

So this will be excellent, evolution.

Phelim:

Thank you for continuing to support everything.

Phelim:

We, we were very much looking forward to it.

Phelim:

Grand Connaught Rooms, 2017.

Phelim:

January.

Phelim:

But yes, we must throw things to a close from Elijah and myself.

Phelim:

This has been another fantastic addition to the circuit magazine podcast.

Phelim:

We've really enjoyed having you on.

Phelim:

And we look forward to seeing you in-person very

Ivor:

soon.

Ivor:

Thank you, Elijah.

Ivor:

It's always a pleasure to speak with professionals such as yourself.

Ivor:

Thank you for the opportunity.

Phelim:

Powerful testimony from Ivor Terret, loved it either has been supporting us for so many years.

Phelim:

And it's great to get him on.

Phelim:

And I really feel that we've made a little bit of progress on the learning and development debate, but also that dichotomy between not covert surveillance, not covert protection, but covert operations as a banner.

Phelim:

What have you taken away?

Phelim:

Shaun?

Shaun:

It was great to hear from both Elijah and Ivor.

Shaun:

They're both a font of knowledge in the industry and I've attended many of Ivor's talks actually where he spoke about covert protection in length, and I've looked forward to his next talk that he's doing.

Shaun:

I know in London at the CP technology forum, but it was great just to hearing.

Shaun:

How would the distinguishing feature between what can be delivered online and what can't you have the likes of management trading that could be delivered successfully online, where maybe the covert protection, maybe not so successful, but as we discussed in the intro, before we actually listened to the podcast, maybe elements that can be taught as some pre-course pre-course training before you attend them physical elements of the course.

Phelim:

And that is perhaps a key point.

Phelim:

And Elijah was in fact on a panel in, at the IPSB in December in Vegas.

Phelim:

And I watched it live on Instagram live actually.

Phelim:

And it was quite a hot topic because there are people out there that said not even those pre-course materials should be delivered online.

Phelim:

But I'd like to imagine that pre-course materials, it should be viewed like prereading beat before, before you get on a course.

Phelim:

And the world of covert operations.

Phelim:

What an interesting topic through Ivors eyes.

Phelim:

I understand that perhaps either can choose his clientel more, more carefully than a new operator, but I like the sentiment that, if you are on a job and you have to be so covert that you'll get fired to be S even being seen by the principal.

Phelim:

Ma, maybe that's too far.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

That was interesting hearing something like that, but yeah, no, you're right.

Shaun:

I could see guys there and girls working on a task like that and almost on tenter hooks, running from pillar to post to try and stay in the shadows and out of sight.

Shaun:

You're a bit too much pressure and stress.

Shaun:

To be able to do the job in the correct manner, but yeah, no, it was certainly interesting to hear that.

Phelim:

Cause there's there's a, there's a big difference between secret operations and covert operations.

Phelim:

Secret could even be much more of a pain for you because suddenly local authorities would start to, cause trouble for you.

Phelim:

Whereas covert it's much more established, much more expected by people that expect that type of thing.

Phelim:

But what else have we got coming up?

Phelim:

Because I feel it's a new year.

Phelim:

This is the second season of the Circuit magazine podcast.

Phelim:

We still got great traction on the NABA protector app and the BBA connect app.

Phelim:

Thank you very much to you all for staying with us over the new year period.

Phelim:

What else do we want people to think about in this second or third week of January?

Phelim:

We've already had Mick Coup yesterday, not yesterday, but last week, pumping everyone up for fitness.

Phelim:

W w w what else do we want people to do.

Shaun:

No, I like it.

Shaun:

You hear it.

Shaun:

All of the new year's resolutions that come with it.

Shaun:

We have the different podcast episodes and I love the new branding.

Shaun:

That's fantastic work from John for season two for the podcast.

Shaun:

I love that.

Shaun:

And certainly, as we've mentioned earlier in the podcast, the CP technology forum in London on Thursday, the 27th of January.

Shaun:

It's always a great event.

Shaun:

It's one of my favorites on the calendar.

Shaun:

So I'm looking forward to attending that hosted by yourself.

Shaun:

Yeah,

Phelim:

I'm, I'm, I'm stoked, back at the grand corner rooms it's going to be an a, a plush location, a nice experience for everyone involved.

Phelim:

W w we were following all government guidance as as is necessary and.

Phelim:

We're going to look at loads of different topics.

Phelim:

We have Jackie Davis giving a keynote speech.

Phelim:

So thank you very much.

Phelim:

And of course, Mike O'Neil is currently moderating at the majority of the event, again, like always, oh, in this seventh iteration.

Phelim:

So, uh, please do stop by we have an after reception as well.

Phelim:

But, uh, but it's yeah, it's exciting.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

I'm looking forward to meeting, a lot of our Members who I haven't met in person as yet.

Shaun:

So it's an, it's another opportunity to get the.

Shaun:

Put a face to the name and maybe share a few drinks after the event and a bit of networking.

Shaun:

Looking forward to it.

Phelim:

And BBA members, please keep an eye out for communications from us specific to that event.

Phelim:

I'm very sure that you will.

Phelim:

To see the wonderful messages we're going to be sending you about it.

Phelim:

But to our wider community, thank you very much.

Phelim:

Learning and development.

Phelim:

I know we're going to get some interesting comments for against indifferent.

Phelim:

It's it's it's it's quite a hot topic.

Phelim:

And of course, covert protection.

Phelim:

Is it the way forward?

Phelim:

Is it the modus operandi for today's principal?

Phelim:

Lots and lots of feedback I expect from Shaunb and myself.

Phelim:

Thank you very much to today's guest, Ivor Terret this has been another fantastic edition of the Circuit Magazine.

About the Podcast

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The Circuit Magazine Podcast
For Security Professionals who want to stay ahead of the game.