To be fair, I haven't been working in the Security Industry all that long; 14 years to be exact. Longer than others perhaps but not as long as some. I have been in the "Training" side of the Industry for even less time and have been running my own shop for even less than that.
I was an undercover soldier for many years, running around some well known places and others, not so well known and, generally, causing as much havoc as possible. I had some successes and some major fuck ups (you think leaving a Pistol in an aeroplane toilet is bad?) Some of our jobs were so full of mistakes and balls-ups, that I think I spent most of the time giggling and being thankful that the sensitivity and secrecy of these jobs, meant that these "errors" would never see the light of day. (They weren't all like that - just thought I'd get that in) However, what I learned over those years was a crusade-like appetite for demanding integrity from myself and those I worked with and a desire/passion to pass on "stuff" to others.
George Bernard Shaw once said "Those who can, Do. Those who can't, Teach" and as much as I can relate to some of his other quotes of literary genius; I cannot relate to this one. In fact, I would go as far as to say he was talking out his arse and, without wishing his ghost to come haunt me, would re-phrase his quote to "Those who did, should Teach...Those who did not, should not".
I was once told that I would fail in Business because I didn't have the required tenacity, business acumen or influential connections. The ironic thing is, I actually don't; I literally don't know what I'm doing half the time. Business acumen? I had to look that word up. I am NOT a Businessman; I never will be and will never pretend to be. I am, however, a Trainer, Teacher, Instructor and I DO know what I'm doing with that.
In my relatively short time as an Instructor within the Security Industry, I have relied on both good and bad, Operational experience, to help explain a lesson or to help justify why something is done a certain way. This has always been my approach as an Instructor, even as a JTAC Instructor at ITC Wales (Brecon), which was an unheard of teaching style to the usual "Brecon Way" of doing things and one that ruffled a few feathers. It would seem I am still ruffling feathers; the birds are just different now.
Go Noisy is just over a year old; a baby. It requires my constant attention and keeps me awake at night. I play with it just about every day; trying to find out what makes it smile and what pisses it off. I love this baby with all my heart and yet sometimes I want to smother it with a pillow.
Like all babies, I want it to grow, be happy, be healthy and achieve great things in life. I want to protect it from the toxicity of the older kids in the security industry playground, who seem to have lost their way a little and have turned into what all parents despises; the bully. Instead, I want it to play with the good kids, the ones that still retain their manners, self-respect, integrity and their enthusiasm to BE better and I want it to attract other likeminded kids, so that they to, can have a decent education.
As a small business owner, constantly worrying about finances or if my next course will be filled, I have witnessed practices within the training provision Industry that sometimes makes me wonder if I should seriously think about taking my kid out of school - but then the bully wins and the other kids suffer because the good kids have all left.
So, in order to try and stop all the good kids from being bullied, I thought I'd pen some thoughts on the matter, which will hopefully help you, the good kids, navigate this playground.
SMOKE & MIRRORS
Study carefully what you read on Social Media. When someone says they have opened up a new Training Centre in Ethiopia or Venezuela, the reality is that they have probably spoken to a guy who has a classroom with chairs and tables, for use.
Employment opportunities. This is THE biggest selling point for any training provider. If you are being told that you will gain employment after your course, then do NOT let them off the hook; hold them to it.
Training Partnerships/Joint Ventures - please see Ethiopian bloke with a classroom.
Claiming that a Course is "the best on the market" should lead you to your next question: "How do you know that?"
Advertising courses and stating "400 rounds of ammunition". Think about that for a minute.
Thought about it? Cool. How do you achieve a standard of Shooting with an allocated amount of ammunition? What happens if that's not enough ammo? You might need more to achieve what the course is claiming it will. The result, is that you leave that course untrained; not having achieved what you wanted to achieve and feeling a little deflated, uninspired, dejected. You SHOULD be leaving a Firearms course on top of the world, elated that you have been taught to shoot better; rolling over a car-bonnet in full military gear is for AIRSOFTers and Hollywood.
Price reductions are done for one reason and one reason only; because a company cannot fill their courses. It has nothing to do with making training courses more accessible to you. It is a gimmick; nothing more.
I am currently experiencing the "cannot fill courses" issue at the moment. Perhaps it's because they are too expensive or perhaps it's because the opinion is that my courses are crap? I don't know to be honest; folks who have attended them would probably be best placed to comment on that. However, I will not reduce the price of a course in order to get them filled because it has an ecological-like effect on everything else.
The security industry should not be modelling itself on the retail industry; "buy 1 get 1 free" or "Buy Now...Pay Later". We are better than that.
FREE COURSE PLACEMENTS
Unless a course is receiving external funding/grant, allowing free courses for a fortunate few, which I know a lot of good training providers do, filling a course by offering free places, just so a course can run and then plastering photos of a full course on Social Media is a false representation of a company's capability. (this could also fall under the SMOKE & MIRRORS heading). Make sure you ask why a course is being offered for free.
CP and/or Firearms Training is hardly a secretive topic and claiming "product protection" as a reason to not publicise what is being taught, is a tad weak.
You guys, the guys that are looking at attending courses, want to see what is being taught before coming on a course? Yes?
I throw everything on Social Media; photos, videos, everything. I took the decision a long time ago to put my head above the parapet in order to be different and to show what I/we teach, so that you guys can see for yourself what is waiting for you. I take the accolades and the criticism; it comes with the territory.
I am not sure if it is the fear of failure by the training provider themselves or is it their managers who do not want to see their staff look bad? Or it could be because no one wants to look bad on social media, which raises the question of "why would you, if what you're teaching is realistic?"
Train as you Fight, right? I know it's a military saying but it should not be exclusive to the military. We, CP/Firearms training providers, should be planning our courses with that single issue in mind.
It is up to us, the training planners, to make the training environment as realistic as possible. Create the exercise/range practice backdrop, based on the training planners/Instructors own previous and personal operational experience. Recreate the drama, recreate the environment, recreate the challenges and allow the scenario/range practice to flow to a natural conclusion, in order to show your people the realities; realities that CANNOT be replicated on a PowerPoint or by watching a PMC getting spanked on Route Irish.
Photos of students/learners/fires, festooned in bandoliers of ammunition, wearing balaclavas, paramilitary-type clothing, "death before dishonour" flash patches, NVG's, knee-pads, exotic weapons (that they will NEVER get issued on Contract), daggers in their boots, kevlar helmets and macho-looking poses is EXACTLY what the Industry is NOT looking for. It is a gimmick; it is supposed to look sexy, macho, adventurist, in order to entice you onto the course thinking "Oooh...is this what the CP Industry is really like? Brilliant! Where do I sign up?"
No...it is NOT what the CP Industry is like and does NOT, in any way, reflect the realities of the CP/PSD Industry.
We need to stop the insanity. We need to stop playing fantasy and actually run a course/exercises/firearms training that reflects the realities of what the person(s) are going to/may face.
STANDARD OF INSTRUCTORS/INSTRUCTION
There are some absolutely outstanding Instructors out there; way better than I will ever be and, between you and me, there are one or two that I made a conscious decision to emulate, when I transitioned into the Training side of the Industry. I want to have THAT guy's passion, I want to have THIS guy's ability to educate another person.
Unfortunately, there are too many people Instructing, who have no business Instructing. It is woeful. To teach/instruct ANY subject, the Instructor has GOT to have the operational experience of whatever they are teaching; without it they are delivering sub-standard course content and without it, they cannot give examples of "something"...unless of course they're using someone else's experience and passing it off as their own, which happens all too often.
Capability of Instructor is another "let's not talk about" topic. I am 53 years old; I have, at most, 3 or 4 more good years left in me before I'll stop, because no one wants a 60-year old CP/Firearms Instructor...I know I wouldn't. I train, I keep myself as fit as my crippled/smashed up body will allow and I still believe I look pretty good for a 53 year old smoker/drinker/double divorcee with 4 kids/heavily in debt, Scotsman. The CP Industry is an aesthetically driven Industry; your Instructors should reflect that.
Ask about a company's Instructors operational experience. You owe it to yourself to be trained by people that have "Done".
IMITATION OF TRAINING CONCEPTS
The sure sign of people with no imagination. Be unique. Be different and if you want to replicate what someone else is doing, then have the professional courtesy/good manners to drop them an email and say:
"...I really like that training/marketing concept. Is it working for you? Do you mind if we replicate that..?"
Generally, I believe, the answer would always be:
"...absolutely mate...good luck with it..."
Brazenly copying product/training styles/courses/marketing strategies is a dick move and is indicative of inwardly looking people, with no imagination and no sense of direction of where they are going or what they are hoping to achieve; it's like copying someone else's answers in an exam and taking the plaudits for "passing with flying colours".
There are some outstanding CP/Medical/Firearms training providers/instructors out there, who actually "educate" the student with a passion that is infectious. Seek them out, ask questions, speak to former students.
The Security Industry is not what it seems kids; on the surface it's a provider of services with smiling faces, bullshit patter and boardroom-type phrases like "going forward" and "synergy" that mean absolutely nothing. But scratch the surface and you will see an industry full of huge ego's, angry people, intimidated people who cannot stand the indignation of being bettered and will go to all and any lengths to put someone else down or prevent someone from gaining their first crucial job.
There are, however, a few individuals and company's who have risen above it all and who epitomise what the industry should be and I'm fortunate to have relationships with some of them.
You, like myself, will probably find out the hard way and although that is sometimes the best way to learn, sometimes it's nice to know who and what to avoid as you navigate through the security industry playground looking for a friendly face, looking for someone you can trust, looking for those like-minded people.
I am certainly here to help with that...consider me the School Janny.
If you have any specific questions about the courses we deliver, then please do not hesitate to contact us directly on any of the e-mails addresses below. All "Go Noisy" merchandise enquiries should be directed to Tsarina.
Go Noisy Specialised Tactical Training Solutions Ltd.
4 Redheughs Rigg
UK Registered Ltd Company Number: 614167