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What is personal security? 

The world is changing and society is hardening. It doesn't seem to be getting any friendlier. Threats, extortion or even kidnapping are unfortunately becoming more and more common. 

Personal security aims to protect the TBP (person to be protected)  and to prevent, fend off and endure attacks. The starting point is an optimal guarantee of the safety of the person to be protected. Risks to  his safety are excluded as much as possible. 

Personal security officers are also referred to as bodyguards, because they are responsible for guarding individuals who feel they are at greater risk. In the Netherlands we prefer the word 'personal security guard' to that of 'bodyguard'. 

Some examples of people who hire personal security are prominent artists, diplomats, lawyers and government leaders. Anyone with a public function or a great reputation may need this at a certain point . 

The tasks for protecting a person depend strongly on the person and the situation. It is possible that security is necessary once or incidentally, for example during an event. It may also be necessary to hire a personal security guard for a longer period of time, permanently or even 24/7. 

In personal protection, a distinction is made between low-profile  (invisible) and high-profile (visible). 

The concept of personal security is not modern. In fact, many historical figures used bodyguards even thousands of years ago before civilization as we know it. Roman emperors used the Praetorian Guard to serve as personal bodyguards, and Alexander the Great appointed 'Somatophylakes', which literally means bodyguards in English. 

Personal security serves to effectively combat violent attacks against such important persons by preventing, preventing or effectively countering them with all the manpower necessary and with all means permitted by law. 

The nature of threats may have changed over the centuries, but the concept of protecting individuals remains the same. 

When taking security measures in general, a distinction can be made between 'passive' and 'active' security. 

Passive personal protection consists of objects and devices that contribute to safety. For example, an armored car, a bulletproof vest.

Active personal protection is protection in which people are active. For example  a team leader who makes a security analysis and draws up a security plan, the  personal security guards who personally supervise the VIP and who implement the security plan . 

In practice, passive and active personal protection usually go together. 

Personal security is a developing profession and its beginnings go back centuries . There is more and more attention for it, more and more need for it and also more and more money for it. And there are also more and more technological gadgets that personal security guards use, such as Counter Surveillance – Cybersecurity – Bug Sweep – TSCM, Surveillance device, devices to collect information, means of communication such as wireless earphones,  

There are several reasons for this increase, namely; The changing situation in the world around us, growing tensions in the multicultural society, increasing terrorist threats, more liquidations in the criminal circuit. The attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon proved to be the beginning of a new era. 

De goed georganiseerde aaneenschakeling van terreurdaden in New York en  Washington heeft in de hele wereld tot een reeks kettingreacties geleid, zoals de  invallen in Afghanistan en Irak en de terreuraanslagen in Madrid en Londen. 

As a result, the political climate in the Netherlands also hardened very quickly. Resulting, among other things, in the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. 

In addition to financial motives of criminals, political-religious  motives of terrorist groups are now also the cause of increasing  threats against politicians, opinion leaders and VIPs in various  sectors; from sports to entertainment, from business to public administration. 

Personal security has therefore become a hot item. The need for qualified and certified personal security officers, both men and women, is therefore increasing. 

Nowadays you will find a handful of renowned trainers who provide personal security training. An added value for the training may be that the teacher(s) is still active full-time as a personal security officer.

Congratulations to Retsan Koers, who set himself an ambitious, but entirely achievable goal of putting himself through a battery of IFPO education programs. The Netherlands-based security entrepreneur has reached his goal. What’s next for Retsan? We’ll have to wait and see, but clearly, the sky is the limit. Here is a recent announcement on Retsan, posted to his Linkedin page:

Two years ago, Retsan Koers had set a goal to become a Certified Protection Officer (CPO)Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) and a Certified Protection Officer Instructor (CPOI).

After countless hours studying, preparation and practical exercises, we are very humbled, thrilled to announce that Retsan Koers has finally reached his designation as Certified Protection Officer Instructor (CPOI) via the International Foundation for Protection Officers, the highest achievable program within the IFPO.

A noteworthy achievement and a significant career milestone and a honour to become a part of this select group of security professionals.

The International Foundation for Protection Officers is committed to the support and professional development of protection officers and supervisors. Through advocacy, promoting training standards, and providing accessible training, education and certification opportunities, they seek to enhance their professional standing as well as increase and diversify the value of the vital services they provide.


You may remember Retsan Koers, BScN AD ASyl CPO OSP of the Netherlands from the International Foundation for Protection Officers blog. It was only in October that he received Certified Protection Officer honors.

Now, this month, more good news about the founder and director of VIP protection company Backup Concept — Retsan successfully completed and passed the Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) final exam.

The IFPO would like to congratulate Retsan on his achievement and wish him continued success in the security industry.


The International Foundation for Protection Officers would like to congratulate Retsan Koers, BScN AD ASyl CPO OSP of the Netherlands for his recent achievement, successfully passing the Certified Protection Officer test.

“I would like to thank (IFPO Executive Director) Sandi Davies for her support and advice,” Retsan wrote in a Linkedin post.

Retsan’s involvement in the security industry is impressive: He has been a close protection operative and security driver for the past 15 years and is also the founder-director of International Security Partners, an internationally operating consultancy and service company based in Niedersachsen, Germany. In addition, he is founder-director of ISP’s sister company, Backup Concept, based in The Hague and Arnhem in The Netherlands, according to his Linkedin profile.

A perpetual learner, Retsan says he now has his sights set on earning a Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) certification through the IFPO.