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In this Article

Preparing for the Close Protection Top Up Course

2nd May 2024
In this Article

All holders of the SIA Close Protection licence issued before October 1, 2022, must complete the Close Protection Top Up course before renewing their licence. This course is mandatory, so it's essential to obtain the qualification before the licence expires to retain the licence to practise. In addition to the close protection top-up course, you will need a minimum of a Level 3 First Aid at Work certificate, along with a minimum of level 3 First Aid qualification.

Since the1 October 2022 all close protection licence holders will need a first aid qualification and the new top-up training before they renew.

The new top-up qualification will include:

  • physical intervention skills
  • knowledge of door supervision responsibilities
  • terror threat awareness

Understanding the Close Protection Top Up Course 

The integration of door supervisor-related units into the close protection (CP) qualifications has been somewhat controversial within the industry due to some CP roles having never been exposed to or needing to work within environments generally considered to be “entertainment or hospitality.” However, within the UK, it is not unusual for a close protection operative (CPO) to be indirectly involved in a situation where the principal is attending a licensed premises. 

As the Door Supervisor (DS) and Close Protection (CP) Licences are now integrated, those with a CP licence must have the skills to operate effectively in the DS space.

Your SIA licence does not renew automatically, and you must apply for a renewal if you want to continue working in your close protection role. 

You are not guaranteed a licence just because you already have one. In the case of close protection, the criteria for licences granted before October 2022 have changed, and you are required to complete the top-up course.

Suppose you hold a close protection licence and only intend to work in the door supervisor environment. In that case, you may only want to complete the door supervisor top-up course and apply for the door supervisor licence. This will save time and money; however, you must complete the close protection top-up course if you wish to retain your close protection licence. 

Course Content Overview 

Four main components of the Close Protection Top-Up Course are assessed by multichoice examination and observation of practical skills. The course is delivered over three days with a pre-course requirement that includes completing the two online ACT courses and completing the door supervisor workbook. The course components are:

Principles of Terror Threat Awareness in the Private Security Industry

This module is about understanding the operator's role in the event of a terror threat. To cover this, complete the ACT (Action Counter Terrorism) awareness e-learning package before the course start date—a link will be sent when the course has been booked.

Principles of Working as a Door Supervisor for Close Protection Operatives in the Private Security Industry

This module is about the role of the door supervisor and the behaviours required to perform the role as needed within the scope of the integrated licence. The delegate will be provided with a pre-course workbook that must be completed before the course starts.

Application of Physical Intervention Skills in the Private Security Industry

Working in the private security industry often requires the use of physical intervention skills. In this course, you will not only learn about non-pain compliant restrictive and non-restrictive intervention skills but also gain practical experience in the physical intervention skills necessary for close protection. 

Application of Physical Intervention Skills for Close Protection Operatives in the Private Security Industry

Many forms of physical intervention are required within the close protection environment. One of these is a non-pain-compliant intervention that supports a soft skills approach. These skills will be practised as individuals and as part of a team.


Your progress will be assessed through four externally set assessment exams, which consist of multichoice question papers. Additionally, two internal practical assessments will evaluate your application of the skills learned in the course.

Choosing the Right Training Provider

The course can be delivered over 3 to 5 days. Several providers deliver over three days, cutting down the time in the classroom; HZL was one of the first training providers to offer the three-day option.

The HZL-delivered top-up course has received exceptional feedback from a diverse range of CP operators. These professionals span various roles, from managing high-wealth clients to operating in challenging, hostile environments, affirming the course's relevance and effectiveness.

The HZL approach is one of peer learning. The operators who attend have extensive experience de-escalating confrontational situations using soft and hard skills. We harness this through group discussions and practical application, identifying best practices throughout.

Preparing for the Course

Take time to research and familiarise yourself with the pre-course material and topics that will be covered. - Understand that learning can sometimes be challenging. Be open to new ideas and be prepared to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Maintain a positive mindset throughout the training. Embrace any challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. 

Preparation is vital to making the most out of the CP Top-Up course. This includes completing the two Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) courses, ACT Awareness e-learning and ACT Security e-learning, as well as ensuring there are at least 12 months left of your First aid or medical skills certificate

How HZL Can Help

HZL Specialist Solutions supports the delegates throughout the process; when the delegate receives the joining instructions, HZL ensures that the delegate has the link to the ACT e-learning and ensures the medical skills certificate is in date and is fit for purpose. During the course delivery, HZL ensures that where reasonable adjustment is requested, it will be provided as required. HZL Specialist Solutions continues to support the delegates after the course until they have the acknowledgement from the SIA that their licence is confirmed.

Enhance Your Security Career with HZL’s Close Protection Top-Up Course
Stay ahead in the ever-evolving field of close protection with HZL Specialist Solutions’ comprehensive three-day Top-Up Course. Designed for existing SIA licence holders, this course updates your skills in critical areas such as physical intervention, terror threat awareness, and door supervision responsibilities. Ensure your eligibility for license renewal with this essential training, tailored to meet the latest industry standards and enhance your professional credibility.