Disqualifications for becoming a Bodyguard in CA

Disqualifications for becoming a Bodyguard in CA

Posted September 8, 2023 by Pacific West Academy

Disqualifications for becoming a Bodyguard in CA

Legal Requirements for Becoming a Bodyguard in California

Before diving into the disqualifications, it’s important to understand the basic legal requirements for becoming a bodyguard in California. These requirements are put in place to ensure the safety of both the clients and the public. Some of the core requirements include:

  1. Licensing

California law mandates that individuals engaging in the business of providing security services, including bodyguard services, must obtain a California Guard Card licensed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). This license ensures that individuals have met certain training and background-check standards. 

  1. Training

Prospective bodyguards need to complete a training course from a training facility, licensed through the BSIS. The training covers topics such as legal issues, use of force, conflict resolution, and weapons of mass destruction. For example, Pacific West Academy is licensed by the BSIS AND is the only Department of Education certified security trade school.  (Pacific West Academy is ACCET certified). During the CESS program at PWA, administrators assist with guard card and certification paperwork while students focus on the immersive training given to them by veterans and practicing executive protection agents. 

  1. Background Check

A thorough background check is a crucial part of the licensing process. This is done to ensure that individuals with certain disqualifying factors are not granted a license to become security professionals. The background checks are specifically done by the Department of Justice and the FBI. Fingerprint scan is required and reviewers will assess any applicant’s legal history for convictions. 

  1. Gaining Employment

After training and licensing, guards must become W2 employees. Trained and licensed individuals cannot just start offering services. Guards either must legally start their own business or become employed by a security agency. 

Bodyguard Disqualifications

Several disqualifications can prevent an individual from becoming a bodyguard in California, among other states. These disqualifications are designed to maintain the integrity of the profession and to ensure that individuals with the right qualifications and ethical standards are entrusted with the security of clients. Some common disqualifications include:

Criminal History 

As previously mentioned, individuals with certain criminal convictions may be disqualified from becoming a bodyguard. Convictions related to violent crimes, theft, fraud, and drug offenses can raise concerns about an individual’s suitability for a profession that requires trust and responsibility. There is a process of appeals. Any applicant initially denied is afforded the opportunity to appeal the decision of the BSIS. 

Substance Abuse

Ongoing substance abuse problems, especially those involving drugs or alcohol, can disqualify an individual from obtaining a bodyguard license. Substance abuse could compromise a bodyguard’s ability to provide effective protection. Some employers will require urinalysis. 

False Statements 

Providing false information on your application or during the licensing process can lead to disqualification. Honesty and transparency are crucial traits for any aspiring bodyguard.

Lack of Training

Failing to complete the required training or lacking the necessary certifications can also lead to disqualification. Proper training ensures that bodyguards are equipped with the skills they need to handle their responsibilities. California requires guard training of 8 hours; 4 hours of ‘Power to Arrest’ training and 4 hours of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ training. 

Additionally, each licensed professional is required to complete 32-hours of additional training within their first year of employment.  Many security professionals already in the industry choose to maintain and enhance their profession by going through training courses every few years. 

Immigration Status

Non-U.S. citizens must have the appropriate immigration status that allows them to work legally in the United States. Certain immigration statuses may disqualify individuals from obtaining a bodyguard license.

Becoming a bodyguard in California is a noble profession that requires a combination of physical skills, mental acuity, and ethical integrity. The state’s stringent regulations and disqualifications are in place to ensure that only qualified and trustworthy individuals are eligible to provide protection and security services.

Prospective bodyguards should be aware of these disqualifications and strive to meet the necessary requirements, both in terms of training and personal conduct. To assist with training, 

Pacific West Academy strengthens the training and opportunities needed to excel in the security and executive protection fields. If you’re clear of disqualifying criteria, consider joining the executive protection field. Start your training by enrolling in Pacific West Academy’s 39-day immersive training program.

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