One of the questions we often get asked at The CP Journal from people thinking about purchasing the Tactical Analysis online program is whether there is a difference between all of the courses that are available. The short answer to this question is that, for each level of the program, the different, market-specific courses are both similar and different. Allow me to explain.

When the Tactical Analysis program was first adapted to an online format, we only had one version available for all of our clients. Based on the feedback from those early students we realized that, because they were coming from a variety of different professions (private security, law enforcement, the military, universities), there were a few areas we needed to tailor to the individual student.

A common question we would get would be something like this.

“In ‘Module X’ of the Level One class, the example you provided showed how a police officer could apply the clusters to their job. The explanation made a lot of sense, but can you help me understand how that same concept applies to my job in private security?”

We continued to receive similar questions, and when we opened our Online Academy in February of 2015 and re-released our Level 1/Basic Program, we decided to offer four versions of the class for the four different types of professionals that we typically serve. We now have one program designed for members of the military, one for police officers, one for security providers and one for people concerned about school safety. Today, we have found that people who are interested in the program want to see if there are advantages and tradeoffs to taking the course tailored to one market versus another.

In our Tactical Analysis Level 1/Basic Course, there are a total of 27 modules, six quizzes and a performance exam, all grouped into six total lessons. The structure and sequence of the course is the exact same for each different professional focus, meaning that regardless of which course you choose, the end-state for the Level 1 program is exactly the same. Of those 27 modules, many are the same from one course to the next. For instance, in the “Principles of Reading Body Language” module in the “Assessing Individuals” lesson, the video is the same for each program because the principles of reading body language are universal and don’t change based on your job. What does change based on a student’s job are the modules that provide either a case study or an application of the topic being taught.

Case Study-Based Modules

Case study-based modules provide context to the student about how behavioral analysis and informed situational awareness apply specifically to them. As an example, the “Threat To” module at the beginning of the Basic Program is tailored to each individual market. For the military, we look at the risk of Americans being targeted overseas simply for being Americans. We do this because, as our military transitions out of the Middle East, the types of threats they are exposed to change and begin to include kidnapping, carjacking and other criminal acts. In the law enforcement-specific program, we use examples of officer ambushes that have occurred in recent history to put the course lessons into that context, as this is a significant and timely risk that our nation’s police officers face. Examples for security providers include looking at active shooter incidents, assassination attempts and workplace violence instances, since these are the threats that security providers are often trying to reduce. For the education program, the context of the active shooter scenario is focused more specifically on school and university attacks from recent history.

We made market specific changes in the “Threat To” module (which you can sample for free) so that the student doesn’t have to make mental leaps during the course or have to figure out how a topic taught in one context applies to them. Our goal for that specific module is to have the student think about different solutions to the problem of violence that must be solved. If someone is instead thinking about whether officer ambushes even relate to the task of ensuring school safety, we risk not accomplishing that goal because we are discussing an issue that doesn’t relate to that particular student. Our focused case study-based modules help to limit those situations.

Application-Based Modules

The second way that we tailor our courses to each target market is in the modules that provide specific instruction about how the content being taught can be applied on the job. As an example to show why this is important, we can use the module titled “The Decision Principle,” which is taught towards the end of the Level 1/Basic program. This module shows the decisions that a person has available to them once they have identified an anomaly.

For the Tactical Analysis military program, the decisions that a Marine, soldier, airman or sailor can make are put into the context of the standing Rules of Engagement. We do this because this is the legal standard that this audience has to meet when taking action.  For law enforcement, the decision has to be considered against the standards established through constitutional law. The options a police officer has available to them are discussed in this module using concepts of probable cause and reasonable articulable suspicion. The security and education classes assume that the person who recognizes the threat has no legal authority to take action, but is going to be judged against the standard of justifiable force and the “reasonable person” standard.  Even though the nature of the decisions that each group of professionals can make are based on almost identical principles, we are once again trying to relate the material as closely as possible to the student’s profession to facilitate the transition of the information from the classroom to real life most effectively.

An Ongoing Pursuit

At the end of the day, we recommend that students take the version of the Tactical Analysis program that is going to be most relevant to them at this point in their life. Even if a professional plans on changing jobs in the future, being able to immediately see the improvement in their situational awareness in their current role is a critical step in learning. We want our students to be able to apply the lessons in our courses immediately and begin building their file folders for the different behavioral assessments right away. The end-state for the student is exactly the same regardless of which program they select. The only question is which program is going to make accomplishing that goal the most likely, be the most relevant, and be the most effective.

Making each course as focused as possible to the specific needs of each group of professionals is an on-going pursuit. With the support of students who have completed the program, the number of modules we can tailor continues to rise through their submission of case studies, videos and pictures. Because the courses are never considered to be “done” and are constantly being updated with current events is one of the reasons why our students who purchase our programs as individuals get lifetime access to the course. By checking in with our Course Road Map from time to time, students can see what changes and updates that have been made and benefit from these improvements long after they originally complete the course.