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Gavin de Becker institute

Four Training Academies of the Institute:

  • Essential Protection Skills Academy (EPS)

    Ten Days at our Training Camp

    In this introduction to protection, trainees are prepared for a possible career at GDBA. During an intense ten-days, attendees experience 160 hours of full-immersion training at our training camp in Los Angeles.

    Trainees gain skills in the following areas, among others:

    • Confidentiality
    • Stress Inoculation
    • Advance Work
    • Simulated Combat
    • The Way of the Superior Protector
    • Security Technology
    • Field Medicine
    • Defensive Tactics
    • Water Safety & Rescue Techniques
    • Tactical Firearms Use
    • Command Center Operations
    • Threat Assessment
    • Information Security & Secrecy
    • Protectee & Media Interaction
    • Secure Transportation
    • GDBA Policies and Guidelines and Agreements
    • Learn even more about our Essential Protection Skills Academy

  • Advanced Protection Skills Academy (APS)

    First 18-weeks of Employment

    At this stage, associates continue to advance their protection skills as a member of a protective detail in the GDBA region where they live. Throughout the 18 weeks of APS, associates are paid their salaries (see The GDBA Advantage) and actively operate our command centers, perform field details, and provide secure transportation for our clients. Associates also continue their training through specially designed online classes, security-specific research projects, and logistical planning.

    Other skills gained during APS include...

    • Confidentiality
    • The Bulletproof Mind
    • Dealing with Paparazzi
    • Managing Victim Fear
    • Technology Risks
    • Bio/Chem Explosives Screening
    • Protection in Public Environments
    • Service Excellence

    Throughout a protector's career, additional training includes...

    • Aircraft Emergency Training
    • Evasive Driving Techniques
    • Weapons Qualification
    • Advanced Medical Training
    • Writing Composition
    • Oral Presentation

  • Protection Excellence Academy (32 Weeks)

    32 weeks (SSA-3 Qualifier)

    The last two Academies of GDBI - the Protection Excellence Academy and Protection Leadership Academy - illuminate a Career Path for all associates at GDBA. Focusing on assignments and projects that produce real and relevant experience, these advanced academies are strictly voluntary–therefore those who want to climb towards leadership and management positions in our organization.

    The goal of this Academy is to produce expert practitioners in public-figure protection: Men and women on the path toward Mastery.

    Unlike coursework or classroom instruction, this Academy is comprised of projects and assignments that involve real and relevant experience. Every assignment is intended to benefit GDBA, its clients, and its associates. This is practical real world learning.


  • Protection Leadership Academy (40 Weeks)

    40 weeks (Manager Qualifier)

    Graduates of the Protection Excellence Academy have proven they're expert practitioners in public figure protection. Therefore, this next academy is designed to ensure each associate's leadership ability matches his or her already superb tactical proficiency.

    Through decision-making exercises from GDBA's history, associates at this Academy can learn from previous mistakes, appreciate the importance of consistent leadership, truly understand the consequences of poor leadership, and come to know the game-changing positive results of effective leadership.

    Individual tactical proficiency is not enough. Our managers must also be effective leaders in order to accomplish the mission, and ultimately, ensure our firm's long term success - and fulfill their own ambition.

    Completion Committee Oral Interview
    After successful completion of all Protection Leadership Academy assignments, the associate will meet three senior GDBA leaders for an extensive Oral Interview.

    An associate who receives a unanimous favorable vote from the Completion Committee will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and become immediately eligible for promotion.