Bodyguards, or personal protection officers, provide for the personal safety of a client. They study the client's daily schedule and consider possible threats to the client's safety, then they plan the details of the security to protect the client from any harm. They try to make sure the client is following the necessary safety procedures.

While working, bodyguards remain unobtrusive but stay constantly aware of the people around their clients and in the surrounding area. They are always ready to respond to an emergency and take suitable action.

Bodyguards need to know about self-defence and protection procedures. They also need to be familiar with the country’s laws that define the limits of their legal powers. Knowledge of political and social issues and various cultures and societies is also useful.

While bodyguards are protecting a client, they follow and remain close to their client. They may be required to do this in office buildings, airports and aeroplanes, hotel lobbies and rooms and in restaurants, theatres, motor vehicles and other public places. At other times they work in offices and they may be required to travel around the country and overseas.

Bodyguards deal with managers of large organisations, important national and international visitors and politicians, and event organisers. They also have contact with the public and other personal protection officers.

Equipment that bodyguards may use includes mobile phones, radios; computers; motor vehicles; surveillance cameras. They may also be required to carry a weapon.


  • South African Police Force

  • private security firms

  • large organisations

  • political parties

  • self-employment, doing freelance work

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