Vanquish Training Academy


Vanquish® is an interesting
organisation. There are a
several companies operating
underneath what is known as
The Vanquish® Group. The
security company provides
close protection services to
high net worth individuals and
celebrities through two major
corporate clients; Universal
Music Group and the BBC.
The investigation company
provides investigative services
to private individuals and
corporate clients such as
law firms. Vanquish® Training
Academy has one purpose,
to provide operatives to the
other two companies.
The Academy’s History
Vanquish Security &
Investigaiton Consultants
Ltd was set up in 2011 to
provide security services
to celebrities and high net
worth individuals. Because
the security industry is very
competitive, they chose to
include investigation services
whereby should any of their
clients receive a threat, they
could investigate that threat
to establish where it was
coming from as opposed
to just simply providing
more security. Later in 2011,
Vanquish® decided to open
their investigative services to
the general public purchasing
ThePrivateInvestigators. and later winning
from the US after a lenthy
bidding war.
They already had a number
of security operatives but
now they needed surveillance
operatives. According to
the SIA, surveillance training
must be included as part of a
close protection course. The
reality is that most have only
attended a 12 day course
whereby surveillance will
only make up approximately
half hour of the syllabus. The
result? Not a great deal of skill
or knowledge when it came to
surveillance. Vanquish® noticed
that the work quality and
report writing abilities of their
operatives was somewhere
between average and very
very poor. For this precise
reason, Michael Chandler
decided to write a very basic
surveillance training course
outlining basic techniques,
standard operating
procedures, report writing
and legislation. All Vanquish®
operatives were invited to the
free 2 day course in hope that
there would be some form of
unity between them and their
surveillance reports. It worked.
The work quality and the
quality of the reports (which
are received by the clients),
improved considerably.
Almost immediately after the
short number of courses, the
head office started receiving
requests to hold more courses
for the friends and colleagues
of the existing Vanquish®
operatives who stated that
their friends were willing to
pay which is where Vanquish®
Training Academy was born.
In 2013, the investigation
business made a decision that
they would only ever recruit
those who have done one of
their own surveillance courses,
not as a money making
exercise, but to ensure that
tasks are being conducted
properly and professionally. As
of August 2016, the security
company will adopt exactly the
same recruitment policy.Since
the beginning, Vanquish®
Security and Vanquish®
Investigation Services have
become separate companies
but are still managed by The
Vanquish® Group.
The Man Behind The Courses
Born and raised in central
London, Michael Chandler
spent many years working
in large security teams on
high profile events such
as film premieres, award
ceremonies etc. During this
time he was also conducting
covert surveillance operations
in and around the London
area as a trainee. Because
of his consistent dedication
to the industry and his four
years service in The Royal
Military Police (TA), he was
shortly conducting close
protection operations for
a range of clients from
celebrities to businessmen
and sport personalities alike,
some of whom had received
serious threats from various
Sometime later, Michael
began conducting surveillance
and counter surveillance
operations all over the UK
and quickly became the
biggest contractor for a
private investigation company
based in London who were
at the time, one of, if not the
biggest in the country. This
later led to a promotion which
was to become the Head
of International Surveillance
After this, Michael
continued his work with
various celebrities in a close
protection capacity. He also
consulted and advised other
security companies on Anti &
Counter Surveillance matters
along with providing any
investigative services they
In 2012 Michael decided
to change his low profile and
covert lifestyle and stared in
a documentry about the spy
As well as being the Chief
Operating Officer of The
Vanquish® Group, he consults
both individuals and compan
He is also the author of
the International seller ‘The
Real Guide to Surveillance’
which sells in most English
speaking countries including;
UK, Australia, New Zealand,
Canada and The US.
Michael has written all of
our courses himself for which
people come from all over
the world to attend as well as
him travelling to train people
overseas. Between now and
February 2017 he is expecting
to train people in Ghana, New
York and California.
For more information on
Michael, please visit his blog
site at MichaelChandler.
The Courses
Since the first 2 Day Basic
Surveillance Course, they
have released a range of
courses to chose from
including the 5 Day Advanced
Surveillance Course, 3 Day
Counter & Anti-Surveillance
Course, and now the Close
Protection Courses. During
an interview Michael stated
“The content of our course is
relevant to the type work and
tasks that we actually deploy
people on. Our main client
base are celebrities and high
net worth individuals who
are more than likely going
to be in London or another
metropolis environment.
If people want to attend a
training course in the middle
of nowhere whilst rolling
around with guns in a forest or
driving like a lunatic around a
racetrack then that’s ok. But if
they want to train in a realistic
environment such as central
London or central Manchester
whilst implementing relevant
knowledge and skills with
real work opportunities
afterwards, then take a look at
the Vanquish course. In other
words, our course is relevant,
realistic, open and honest. It’s
not a lads week away playing
with guns etc.”
In a blog post, he mentions
firearms training in the UK
“I am often asked why the
close protection training
course that I wrote does not
include firearms training. The
answer is simple but relatively
long and that is, the course I
wrote was to be used by
Vanquish Training Academy
from which Vanquish Security
would recruit candidates from.
The type of close protection
tasks that Vanquish® deploy
operatives onto are usually
for two main principal types;
celebrities and high-net-worth
individuals and are more often
than not, low threat. Also,
most of these tasks take place
in the UK where it is ILLEGAL
to carry firearms as a method
of protection, please refer
to the Firearms Act 1960 In
essence, the Vanquish CP
Course is written to train
candidates in a setting that is
realistic to the environment in
which the company operates.
Furthermore if you still wish
to pursue firearms training
after your bodyguard course
then why not do it as part of
your continuous professional
development (CPD)? CPD is
essentially something that
you do after you have passed
a course in order to remain
up to date as a professional
in your chosen field. That
could be with legislation,
equipment, new procedures
and so on. For example, a
bodyguard in any country
should endeavour to remain
physically fit, consider
learning a foreign language,
looking into new equipment
that is available in the
security industry etc. My
honest opinion, and this
comes after having firearms
training both with the British
Army and as a civilian as
an optional extra on a CP
course, is that it’s infringes on
valuable learning hours. By
that I mean if you have a set
amount of time on a training
programme, why waste it
on something or a skill that
is more than likely never
going to be used. Firearms
should be considered a last
resort regardless of which
country you are in and as
such, should be considered
far less important to learn
in as opposed to threat
assessments, surveillance
and all of the other relevant
topics and units in a modern
bodyguard course.”
The World’s First “Application
Only” Close Protection
Course Because Vanquish
recruit people from our own
training courses, we want to
ensure that we are getting the
very best people to join our
growing team”. Rather than
going on to the website and
booking your seat, you will
now have to complete a very
short application form and wait
to hear whether you’ve been
successful or not. Successful
applicants will be
notified two months before
the due start date of the
course. Vanquish Group’s Chief
Operating Officer Michael
Autumn 2016 Police Resettlement Magazine 17
Chandler had the idea to only
allow successful applicants
to join the Vanquish Close
Protection Courses making it
the World’s first “Application
Only” Close Protection
Training Course.
The problem was, no one
thought that this would be a
good idea and everyone at
HeadQuarters opposed it. But,
after a convincing argument
the board of directors decided
to relent.Rather than going on
to the website and booking
your seat, you will now have
to complete a very short
application form and wait to
hear whether you’ve been
successful or not. Successful
applicants will be notified two
months before the due start
date of the course. This may
seem awkward at first, but
I’m sure that people will
understand that we are looking
for high calibre applicants from
ALL backgrounds, especially
from the Police due to their
transferable skill sets, and
for us, this is the best way to
do it. If you want to attend a
course that offers you real job
opportunities, then apply now.”

SCJ Excellentia APCC