Want a top job in

EPI will help you get
the right credentials.

To deliver protective services,
understand the credentials you
need. Here are FAQs for Domestic
and International Credentials.


Almost every state in the U.S. requires some form of Credential or License, with Virginia and Texas being the only two that require additional credentialing to perform Executive/Close Protection Services.

Train with some of the most experienced, and honorable pros in the business. Learn more.

Credentialed Programs

Executive Protection Institute in Partnership with the UK-based Professional Bodyguard Association (PBA), offer Credential Programs that are certified by Regulatory Agencies.

Upon graduation of our combined Program you will be eligible for credentialing with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (VA DCJS) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Domestic Credentials: FAQs

What Credential Programs are available through EPI?

EPI offers a range of Virginia Certified Department of Criminal Justice Services Private Security Courses. Our world renowned 7-day Providing Executive Protection Program and Protectors Pistol Courses exceed the Commonwealth’s Standard for the Armed Personal Protection Specialist Credential. For current course offerings and schedules, please visit our training calendar. For any questions, feel free to contact us.

What is a Personal Protection Specialist?

A personal protection specialist means any individual who engages in the duties of providing close protection from bodily harm to any person.

What are the Eligibility Requirements to obtain the P.P.S. Credential?

Virginia DCJS requires that you: Be a minimum of 18 years of age; successful completion of all initial training requirements for each registration category, including firearms endorsement if applicable; be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.

Do I need the P.P.S. Credential?

YES. You must have a valid registration, and a firearms endorsement if working in an armed capacity, in order to provide close protection services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Does being an Armed Personal Protection Specialist allow me to carry a concealed handgun?

NO. Persons who carry or have access to a firearm while on duty must have a firearm endorsement as described under 6VAC 20-171-365 of the state regulations. If carrying a concealed handgun, the person must also have a valid concealed handgun permit, and the written permission of his/her employer pursuant to 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

Is there a National Executive/Close Protection Credential or License?

NO. Just like there is no Nationwide Concealed Carry Permit. A National Executive/Close Protection Credential or License would take the Regulatory Oversight away from the individual State Licensing and Credentialing Boards. Several States, however, grant “waivers” or honor the training you have completed at EPI.

International Credentials: FAQs

Who is the Professional Bodyguard Association (PBA)?

The PBA was founded in 1985, and became an accredited center with Pearson Education in 2006. Since 2006, the PBA is the ONLY LEGITIMATELY registered U.K. non-profit organization seeking to further the profession, those who engage in it, and the public interest. The PBA is accredited to deliver all its training courses internationally.

Because of our standing with Pearson Education, we are also allowed to offer “Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL) programs to those with prior training and experience. The PBA licensed linked qualifications i.e. BTEC/Pearson Level 3 Working as a Close Protection Operative in the Private Security Industry (QCF) and AOFAQ Level 3 First Person on Scene Intermediate (RQF) are both registered with The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL).

Who is OFQUAL?

OFQUAL is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in the U.K. OFQUAL is often referred to as the exam “watchdog”. This register verifies the legality and legitimacy of all Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) and Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) courses.

OFQUAL & the European Qualification Framework act as validators of a qualification licensed status within the European Union member states by searching the European Qualification Framework.

What Training is Required to Work in the European Union (EU)?

When you apply for a Close Protection License you must show that you have had the training required of a licensed operative. This means that you must hold the Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative within the Private Security Industry. The PBA is accredited by Pearson Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), one of the largest and most respected educational accrediting organizations in the world. The PBA IS THE ONLY PEARSON ACCREDITED TRAINING PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE THE LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE IN THE UNITED STATES.

What is the RPL Program?

“RPL” stands for “Recognition of Prior Learning”. It means that PBA has the approval of our accrediting organization, Pearson Education, to recognize the legitimate training and experience of those in the industry seeking further qualifications and licensure. In other words, those who have previous legitimate training and experience may not have to complete the entire BTEC Level 3 Certificate Course, but only those sections lacking in their previous training and experience. This means less time and less cost for the student.

*Note, however, that as the PBA training course is an academic course backed by Pearson Education, even RPL students will need to complete all required written and practical testing, including a completed practical exam and final workbook.

Do I qualify for the RPL Program?

The PBA has cross mapped the training provided by the Executive Protection Institute’s Providing Executive Protection Program to our own requirements, if you have completed the Providing Executive Protection Program, you simply need to send proof of attendance to qualify for a RPL Program.

If you trained with another provider, you will need to apply for the RPL Program by submitting your resume, training certificates, and all information of the curriculum of the courses you have attended to the PBA for review.