phoenix or task international


Hi guys,

wondering if you can help, attended the cp seminar held by phoenix today. They, obviously, said how good they were and that nobody else offered a comparitive course.

Has anyone heard reports of both of these companies and can anyone offer advice as to who seems the better of the two.

Thanks in advance
Phoenix is a great company (run by a top bloke!), but prepare for all sorts of wierd and wonderful advice - you may wish to do a search on this subject?


Darth_Doctrinus said:
Phoenix is a great company (run by a top bloke!), but prepare for all sorts of wierd and wonderful advice - you may wish to do a search on this subject?

Have you completed this course with phoenix, how do you know the CI. and what sort of weird and wonderful advice. Have looked into both company's cant decide which is best


Yes I am quite curious to what the "weird and wonderful " advice is. On previous posts though I have read that the class sizes are quite big and speaking to another training company they didn't paint a great picture of what the course is actually like. That said their name keeps on coming up though. From what I have heard though Phoenix is better suited to ex military not a civvy like me trying to get into the industry, is this true?

I was choosing between Clearwater and Longmoor although the former is only a 14 day course and didn't think that was long enough to cover all aspects well. Longmoor does also have a weapons training section in Slovenia in the 28 day course which does look the better option.

Also what of Sabre? Are they any good? They certainly have a large network of contracts so it seems, so more likely to pick up work from them or again is this company really for the ex military personnel?

No training company so far has said not having any military experience is a problem, just that I will find it harder to compete which makes sense really. I don't expect to get overseas contracts for some time as realise that experience is needed first.

On the networking front I take it that it comes from getting contracts with experienced teams and networking from there. Any other avenues that might help there?
Both are very good courses. TASK have changed a lot over the last couple of years and are really starting to put some excellent courses together. I don’t think anybody will be able to say that one course will shine over the other as the industry covers a such a wide spectrum of skills and situations. Working CP in London is going to be a lot different to working CP or PSD in a hostile environment or looking after rich fellow whilst he cuts around Malaga.

The only advice I could give is to ask some very probing questions in regards to the training that covers the type of work you think you may end up doing for the majority of the time.

I know this is all a bit vague, but it is the best I can come up with at the moment.
When Darth says "weird and wonderful advice" I think he's referring to the feedback you're likely to receive on this thread.


Both companies are very reputable, Phoenix having been acquired by Armor Group who absorbed DSL some years ago. A good lineage.

As has been alluded to already, the instructor : student ratio is a very important factor when putting down a considerable sum of money for a few weeks training. Seek a syllabus of training from both and favour the CP training time on the ground/ vehicles/ residences over the one which offers more range hours. Favour RMP instructional staff over THEM staff. Don't confuse CP with CQB. At some stage you will have to join the SIA, sit an exam and shell out another few hundred quid for the perogative. Some current operators have sought a way around this requirement by saying that they are merely PA's and as such fall outside the catagory of 'security', but the net is closing and like it or not that's the system.

Sorry, the rest of my advice to you is, find another trade! CP is overpopulated with some of the most avaricious, egotistical, slothful and mendacious folks you are ever likely to come across. It a highly competive medium. Besides RMP and THEM other skills such as the 7x2's and ex FRU types are marketing themselves as CP operatives.Many lads and lasses have returned from several 'tours' in Iraq and would be by any standards be considered very experienced and seasoned operators, and equally are standing by their mobiles waiting for THAT call. Many of our current servicemen and women attend these company courses as part of their resettlement deal and at MOD expense. Oh, Met Police officers and other such agencies gravitate to this world as well, if their luck's in preferably on the instructional staff.

It's a relatively mundane lifestyle at the end of the day. Nine hours of sheer boredom followed by 10 minutes of heart/brain overload. You are more than likely be employed taking the principal's dog for walkies, fetching his daily papers or ensuring that the residency water tank or swimming pool/garden is in good order. You'll be the house keeper and chef's extra helper. CP training rail against such instances, but try telling that to someone who is likely to be paying you £150/hour. Oh and take into account those periods when your principal goes abroad and won't require your services for several months to come. Time to pawn the Rolex?

If you are determined to proceed then all the very, very best to you.


War Hero
2 of my best mates are now working in a hot dusty place (the flatish one) one did the Phoenix course and thought it was good, the other one did the Ronin course and absolutly loved it, he hasn't stopped raving about it plus he got away from his mrs for a few weeks!!


War Hero
As previously mentioned Phoniex are now owned by Armor group who have just had a big FCO contract in Afghan renewed. AG like their new staff to have done their course (which also qualifies you with the SIA).

I have heard that the courses run by the longmoor group are also good...


first post-but you've gotta start somewhere i guess!
ref bob_lawlaw's last, he's made some really good points. Regardless of which course you do, if you're looking to jump on the Iraq Gold Rush the last train left long ago!! Most company's are now paying below 230 quid a day (might seem a lot to those fresh out of the factory or looking to get out but it ain't when you think of the risks involved). Some well known company's are paying around 150 per day. When you can earn more doing bricklaying back home (haven't seen many EFP's on building sites recently!!). Recently the risk is more than ever in country, yet profit margins are king not the blokes safety. think about it.
CP/PSD is boring as hell. Anyone that says it's glamourous try stagging on as corridor bloke for 12 hrs on 12 hrs off for weeks....or getting treated like gash by clients who are wastes of skin. Or doing convoy work through Anbar Province and losing 90% of your team in a contact etc is the other side of it.
Can't say owt about the 'Stan cos I haven't been there-yet.
The circuit (or 'circus' as i've heard it called which is probably more apt) has always been about making the right contacts and your face fitting. If you can't accomplish both of those then go do something else, doesn't matter how many courses you do. You'll become part of the 'self-unemployed' waiting for that 'big 400 quid a day job that's in the pipeline......wait out'.
Plus of course the bitchiness and backstabbing and major league walts you can meet on the jobs. And the fact that it's bursting at the seams with blokes (and girls) looking for work. There's only so many clients and contracts out there.
But, then again there are some hoofing jobs and hoofing blokes, and if you get the right contract with the right coy, the right blokes and the right money you're laughing. Just don't expect it to last forever..
One good word of advice to anyone looking to get into the business-don't EVER lie about your background etc.It's a small world and you WILL get pinged!!


I hate to say it, but good point woodyb.

However, I wouldnt say its as overpopulated a industry as you say - providing you have the right experience, being a couple of op tours, a few years in a good reg and some good op reports and specialist courses.

There are plenty of jobs with various multinational companies from outside the UK in the wider industry, and other theatres. You are right, pay is going right down and its fair to say the UK side of the industry is getting overpolulated by the mass military exodos toward the industry.

'The circuit', and the 500pd clan has packed up shop for most, however this is a new industry now, and still developing, will have to give it a couple of years to see how it goes.

If Blackwater get there way, then the private military side of things will take off, privatised armies will start to form.
Maybe everything will grind down, troops will pull out and the industry will pack up. Never know, few years, guys mite be rejoining the mob.

2 points from this, firstly the relevent experience is pretty much essential if your UK based. In the US, swat guys and CPO's (armed and different stateside) can move over well to a hostile enviroments CP role.
secondly, its a very uncertain industry still, and know one knows which way its going to go next few years.

The SIA has confused people by saying being a CPO is a bit like the next level up from bouncer. Try that one out down Irish.

The bigger money lies in specialist support, IT infrustructure, VM's, combat medics, Int analysts, at the moment anyway.

But, if your dead keen on hostile PSD operator from civy, its been done.


yep, I know some civvy lads that have broken through and do a cracking job (despite hostility from ex-squaddies at first). plus down south there's loads of ex-coppers on the AG/FCO job. Half the old RUC seem to be there. Apparently the change to PSNI didn't go down too well....

On the SIA thing I'm a bit threaders that so many coys are insisting that all the blokes operating abroad have to have it. A licence thats for UK operators only. A 'common standard' to sell to the clients is their way of putting it to the lads. Or another way of making more money from the blokes with the deal the coy has with certain training companies could be another way of looking at it..... :x
'If you don't like it there's tons more blokes that are waiting to fill your boots' is a common saying to guys.
Which is:
a) true
b) a good indicator that the coy doesn't give a fcuk about you....... :x


Phoenix class size capped at 36.

Difficult for a civillian to break into the PMC circuit unless you have specific skill as indicated in posts above. However in the UK/Euopean CP market you have a better chance though its definetly about who you know rather than what.

Yeah the weird and wonderfull advice bit ? whats that about ?

Be cautious of one company who had carefully worded their website to suggest that the training they delivered was aimed "toward" SIA licencing only for the boys on their course having stumped up the cash to find out that no testing or certification was included and would have to be sought elsewhere ! Wont name just yet until details confirmed.

I can probably field any questions regarding Phoenix through a good mate get direct answers and an honest (if not biased ) opinion.


Also my first post...

I recently did one of the Task/Anson courses in Geneva (ASAA Intermediate Firearms) and it was bl00dy brilliant!

It was a small group of us so the tuition was as good as one on one.

Honestly, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it: either it would be a real skim through everything with no real depth, or very little live firing.

In reality it was neither of these, thankfully! Loads of hands on stuff, live firing within the first ten minutes of the week and kit stinking of cordite every night :)

I am having a look at Ronin (SA) at the moment for further training - heard mostly good stuff about them. Grateful for any advice on them from anyone.


Warning: anyone had similar?

Words been going around about one company. Calling itself LLAW Partners....

Ive had a couple of emails and thourght somthing smelt so didnt bother looking into it, then had it confirmed by a couple of dits.

The short of it is, they promise a 3 day ESIA bodyguarding course (whatever that is) funded by you up front, in theatre. Followed by guarrenteed employment.

They take all your cash, fly you into Kabul for example, then they give you 3 days training and call it a qualification (charging about 5 grand for it) then they disappear.

Fcuking halarious, when put like that. But think of the lads entering the industry who might be falling for it, especialy the civvies going in blind.

Stear well clear if anyone gets emails from the above, its a scam.


There are a couple of jokers around like that just out for a quick buck. Best way is to go with recommendations from mates who've been on courses that actually had something about them.


I agree and one friend has had a real bad experience with one such company that is on the SIA list as an accredited training company ans course members are now being told that they are unable to be licensed due to the company losing documents. What this shows to me that the SIA are hopeless at administering their own standard to allow such an outfit to even be listed on their website without checking them out first.

The other problem is that people in the industry are far to secretive when it comes to this type of information and that only enables these poorly administered companies to exist in the first place. I have even had someone tell me that they cant put me in touch with someone in the industry because its "against the code". All I can say is what a crock, there are many ways of talking without giving your personal details, it shows either that they don't know anything or have something to hide but would rather not say.

At least you lot on here have been honest and concise which is more than I can say for the majority of companies and some operatives out there.


There's no substitute for networking and there's naff all point having to find out everything for yourself - that's what places like this are for after all, common interests and discussion.

Courses are expensive and so you have to choose the right one!
Just out of interest, I'm mil so doesnt apply to me, but I was asked.

If you are a civvy, or indeed mil with no op tour experience would being an unarmed combat expert be any help in getting work? Or even make up for experience in theatre?