Guidance on Assignment:

The overall assessment of the module is divided in three sections.

Section 1: You are required to produce an individual report that includes an analysis and reflection of the strategic position of the Close Protection Unit (CPU), Royal Military Police (RMP)

One way you may approach this is to ask: How can the Close Protection Unit maintain and enhance the sustainable (triple bottom line) value it delivers to its stakeholders?

Suggested structure:

a. A critical introduction discussing the meaning and importance of strategy, sustainable (triple bottom line) value, and stakeholders (analysing 3-5 key stakeholders) in relation to the Close Protection Unit.  
b. Critically evaluate the external environment of the Close Protection Unit using a suitable strategic analysis framework(s) (e.g. Macro environment using PESTEL and Micro environment using Porter’s 5 Forces). (This may involve a brief evaluation of the framework itself, as well as an analysis of the Close Protection Unit.) Summarise your findings by drawing attention to the key drivers for change.

In the assignment it must include a thorough, well-evidenced analysis of the organisation, with a detailed critical discussion, which leads logically on to your recommendations. (Use the golden thread)

c. Critically evaluate the internal environment of the Close Protection Unit, using a suitable strategic analysis framework(s) (i.e. Resources and Capabilities and Value Chain). (This may involve a brief evaluation of the framework itself, as well as an analysis of the Close Protection Unit.) Summarise your findings by drawing attention to the key drivers of competitive advantage in the Close Protection Unit.  
d. Recommend and justify how sustainable value creation in the Close Protection Unit may be sustained and enhanced for its stakeholders  


In the assignment it is expected that you will be able to draw upon and cite credible sources of information and literature both internal and external to the organisation- e.g. journal papers and quality newspapers as well as industry reports, company publications and website materials. The judicious use of supporting data and analysis is essential to the assignment.

The theoretical strategic analysis frameworks should be used to assist in the analysis and preparation of the report rather than a dominant feature of it or a focus of theory-based discussion. However, they should be used explicitly enough to demonstrate your ability to apply them, a ‘story’ is not enough! You need to show evidence of wider reading on the subject of strategic management by critically evaluating the advantages and limitations of the diagnostic tools you have used.

Appendices must only be used in support of the main text discussion and must be referenced properly.

Overall, assume that the assessors know very little about the organisation. You should write the assignment with the assumption that the reader is very new to your industry and situation. Describe the relevant background clearly and if necessary, provide the business background in the appendices.


Section 2: You should supplement your report with a personal strategy learning log. This log requires you to reflect on your learning experiences throughout this module and should demonstrate how you have developed during the module.

(The writer should put themselves in the shoes of the student and complete the learning log as best they can with a minimum of 20 logged entries, preferable more)

You are asked to produce a learning log, where you are expected to reflect on your learning experience throughout this module. Within the learning log you should refer and reflect on any reading or activities you have done while working on the assessment task.

You should demonstrate a wide range of activities that demonstrate reflectivity – what did I learn? – how did I contextualise it within my organisation? Did I change what I do/think? What happened as a result? How did that affect the focus for my learning?

You may use the following table format as guidance in presenting your learning log:

Topic Area Activity Undertaken What I have learned as a result How this could be used in my assignment or organisational practice


In particular reflective statements are used to reflect on, in and for action. The most important aspect of reflective journal writing is to encourage students to begin to think about their own thinking. Every time you engage with the module you should attempt to make an entry in your learning log, penning down your experience of the learning process, from the acquisition of knowledge, the understanding you derive from the learning, your attempts at utilising the learning and the results of these attempts. As a ‘learning by doing’ process, you will try and sometimes succeed while sometimes failing. You are expected to record that process on a frequent basis.


Section 3: You are required to produce the following appendix’s:

  • Learning Log (All research / reading / thinking / reflection should be included in the log and as many entries as possible)
  • Power / Interest matrix for CPU RMP (Partially completed, amend as required)
  • PESTEL Analysis of CPU RMP (First entry included as an example)
  • Porters 5 Forces analysis of CPU RMP
  • Value Chain
  • Resources and Capability Model for CPU RMP

All appendix’s should be referred to in the main body of the essay (Apart from the learning log).


Additional Comments:

Academic and Practical references must be used to support and defend your case / argument. All key information must be evidences and supported.


The following book covers the key subjects in the assignment:

  • Johnson, Whittington, Scholes, Angwin & Regnér (2017) Exploring strategy: text and cases (11th ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson.


Background of the Close Protection Unit (CPU) Royal Military Police (RMP)

Special Operations Regiment

The Special Operations Regiment is commanded by the Commanding Officer (Rank of Colonel) who provides direction and policy to CPU RMP to implement.

Close Protection Unit

CPU RMP is a sub unit of the Special Operation Regiment commanded by the Officer Commanding (Rank of Major) who oversees the day to day running of the unit. The unit is split into two 3 departments, including; operations, training and G4 (Equipment).

The close protection unit is run in a very similar way to that of the Royalty and Specialist Protection Team from the Met Police and both units often work with one another.


Ops Team

The operations team is run by the Ops Officer, who is responsible for ensuring that the correct training and information is provided to the Ops teams that deploy around the world in order to protect high ranking officers, British Ambassadors and other government officials. The Ops officer and his team provide support to the close protection teams that have deployed.

There are two types of operations that the teams may deploy on: Op OSCAR and Op BRAVO. (The two operational names above have been changed for the purposes of this assignment)

Op OSCAR is military deployment in support of high ranking British officers from within the armed forces. There are currently about 6 teams deployed, each team has between 4 – 12 team members) They provide 24-hour close protection to British Generals and deploy to high risk environments. This is funded by the MOD.

Op BRAVO are the teams that deploy in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to protect British Ambassadors and other government officials. There are currently about 8 teams deployed, each team has between 4 – 12 team members) This type of operation is funded by the FCO.

The CPU also has a section of close protection officers who are on standby to deploy as part of a high readiness team (HRT) around the world at short notice. The HRT is made up of 8 members from the CPU staff. The HRT is funded by the FCO in case they need to provide close protection support to any of their Ambassadors or High Commissioners around the world in case the security situation change.


Training Team

The training department at CPU organise and run the close protection course, pre-deployment training and short-term training teams.

There are 3 close protection courses run every year and each course usually has about 30 students from within the armed forces. The course is 8 weeks long and upon successful completion they become a qualified close protection officer.

Foreign students also attend the close protection course and their own respective governments pay for them to attend.

The pre-deployment course is a six-week course which is attended by qualified close protection officers that are about to deploy on operations to high threat environments in order to protect an allocated VIP, usually for periods between 6 months – 2 years depending on the operation that they have been tasked to.

Short term training teams from the CPU are also used to train other government departments from around the world, they usually deploy from between 2 weeks – 4 months.



The G4 department provides the equipment and resources (Not financial) to conduct the training (i.e. weapons, ammunition, accommodation, vehicles, radios, facilities, etc.) They also supply all of the equipment that teams deploy with on operations. For any additional resources they have to seek approval through the G4 department at Spec Ops.



Financially support Op BRAVO deployments


Joint Forces Command

Financially support and approval for operational equipment for Op OSCAR deployments


Additional Information:

Civilian contractors also provide close protection world wide and operate in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, like the CPU RMP. When close protection is required at British Embassies operating in high threat environments the FCO initially employ members from CPU RMP. However, once the threat is no longer as significant the FCO often employ local close protection teams or other civilian close protection contractors instead of CPU RMP, as this is sometimes a cheaper option. This will then mean that the FCO will not have to pay for the Close Protection officers accommodation, feeding, equipment, flights back to the UK etc. The civilian company that take on the contract will have to source that themselves and budget for that in their contract. If the FCO decide to employ a local close protection team, which is usually personnel from the local police force, the FCO will often still employ one member from CPU RMP to manage the team. Again this is another way of cutting down the costs by only having to pay for one military close protection officer from CPU RMP.

Whilst CPU RMP sits in the public sector themselves, they do have potentially competitive rivals in the private sector. There are many civilian security firms that offer a similar service to that of CPU RMP and that want the contract to provide close protection to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The competitive advantage that CPU RMP hold is their reputation. Within the security industry CPU RMP are world-renowned as the leaders of close protection services. Their reputation stands on decades of providing a top-level service to the most demanding clients, including top military Generals and British Ambassadors; with a proven history of operating with distinction in every theatre of war and other hostile region around the globe at one time or another. Not to mention the wider reputation of the British Army as a whole. A civilian organisation would find it difficult to replicate this. Their brand reputation holds such prestige that it sets them apart from any existing or emergent organisations hoping to compete against them.

As part of the British Army, their relative costs in relation to equipment, ammunition, training facilities, training development, etc. are beyond the capability of private security firms; as is their power in relation to their suppliers.

As a UK military unit, they are supported by world-beating services in terms of intelligence, logistics, personnel management, engineering, combat and medical support and technological research and development; all at no extra cost from the local budget of CPU RMP.

Other security firms that may be considered competitive rivals may operate across a spectrum of the security industry. CPU RMP only provide close protection services and only target two very district groups of clients – UK military Generals and the highest ranking FCO Ambassadors and High Commissioners. This allows CPU to specialize in this niche and tailor their service to the very specific needs of these consumers.

Until 2017 CPU RMP was its own separate unit within the RMP and came directly under the control of the Provost Marshal, Head of the RMP, who is based at Army Head Quarters (About 50 miles away from CPU RMP). In 2017 there was a restructure within the RMP and CPU became part of the Special Operations Regiment (Spec Ops), which is commanded by Commanding Officer (Rank of colonel),  who in turn comes under the command of the Provost Marshal (Rank of Brigadier General).

The Commanding Officer of the newly formed Spec Ops regiment has command of two units, including the Service Police Crime bureau and CPU RMP.

Although the command team at regimental level (Spec Ops) will now shape the direction of CPU RMP, they may not have any experience of close protection and there is no requirement for them to have any experience to fulfil their role. This could hold the potential to weaken CPU RMP’s specialisation.

CPU has the potential to be affected by the external economic influences. However, CPU RMP are one of the very few units that bring money into the Army, through the training of foreign students and the ability to provide close protection to the FCO.

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