With over 13 years’ experience in enforcement and security, our Managing Director, Chris Lucas-Jones talks about the benefits of switching your career to become a Court Certificated Enforcement Officer in the UK.
In this blog, Chris covers entry requirements; skills needed; what you will do; starting salary and potential earnings; working hours, patterns and environment and finally, the opportunities for progression.
Becoming an enforcement officer is an interesting and rewarding job that allows you to take part in the justice system, provides a varied and interesting career and enables you to be your own boss and work on a freelance basis independently or, if you would prefer more job security, work for an Enforcement Company like Absolute Enforcement Limited.
Court Certificate Enforcement Agent (formally known as Bailiff), can enforce on a variety of cases from County Court, Magistrates and on High Court Enforcement cases. They all require the Enforcement Agent to be approved/certificated by a judge in court.
To get your certificate you must:
- Prove to a county court judge that you are a fit and proper person
- Have a clear criminal record OR no serious offences on your criminal record, you will need to provide the judge with your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate
- Have no County Court Judgements (CCJs) for the past 6 years and provide the judge certificates of this
- Put a £10,000 bond in place with the court – you can take out an insurance policy to cover this
- Provide 2 references
- Have successfully passed a level 2 or above course in Taking Control of Goods.
TOP TIP: I would recommend you have your Level 3 as most Enforcement Agent Companies are now looking to raise the standard of their services.
You may also find it useful to have:
- Some work experience in maybe sales, the prison service (HMP), the military, housing or the police or hands-on experience in dealing with the public and handling difficult situations.
- GCSEs (or equivalent) to include English and Maths.
The role will require you to think on your feet; be confident and diplomatic on a daily basis. It also helps if you have had experience in talking to people from all different walks of life as you will often encounter people who may easily become distressed. A thick skin also helps as you may often be viewed negatively by members of the public for carrying out your orders.
Here are my top 6 skills you will need to demonstrate at an interview before any Enforcement Company will employ on:
- Assertive and confident manner
- Be able to demonstrate solid and tactful negotiating skills
- Conflict management skills
- The ability to stay calm under pressure
- Maths skills for calculating repayments
- IT skills for record-keeping and case reports
Finally, although not a prerequisite, it is important to have some physical strength and be fairly fit.
What you’ll do
Enforcement Agents daily tasks including:
Serving Court Papers;
- Take control of goods and remove them;
- Arranging for goods to be sold at auction;
- Responsible for any money and goods recovered;
- Keeping daily accurate records;
- Visiting the debtor to obtain payment;
- Offering money management advice and taking responsibility for people to be able to repay debt in instalments.
This is a tricky one. I would say if you go down the employed route, then entry-level salary can see you start at around £18,000 annually. There also may be a work-place pension, paid annual leave, other employed benefits and bonuses. Depending on where you live in the UK, this could be seen to be higher than average starting salary.
With experience comes better employment packages and I have seen highly experienced Court Certificated Enforcement Agents earn £40,000+.
There is much more flexibility in terms of your starting salary if you are self-employed. The caveat here though is whether you would immediately obtain work with no hands-on experience so you could find that you would need to at least sub-contract to an Enforcement Company initially.
These figures are a guide, but you can see it can be a very lucrative career change possibility.
Working hours, patterns and environment
In an employed role, you would usually do between 35 and 40 hours a week. However, these will be shifts, including early mornings, evenings and weekends and you can often be delayed or have to go back to obtain entry to a property or establish the correct person to enforce on. You also may work on your own with a high emphasis on driving. Again, self-employed you are able to be much more flexible.
You’ll need to have a reasonable level of personal fitness as you’ll often be lifting and carrying goods.
In an employed role, you will usually have an office but will spend most of your time travelling to visit people who owe money.
Opportunities for Progression
With experience you could move into a supervisory role, leading a team of Enforcement Agents in an employed role. Or you could diversify into senior management; training or business development within your Enforcement Company who will require knowledge at a senior level from those working on the ground to continue to grow and develop their business.
When any employment door closes, there is always another door there waiting for you to open which will offer you a life-changing career. It is important to identify that opportunity and act on it immediately to ensure both job satisfaction and a great work life balance. I can honestly say that I did not know I would be an Enforcement Agent when I was growing up, but what a fantastic springboard that has been for me and my family.
About Chris Lucas-Jones, Managing Director and well-known Enforcement Expert
At the helm of EndeavourUK is Chris Lucas-Jones, Managing Director and well-known Enforcement Expert. Chris’ drive and passion about Enforcement and Security, his background, knowledge and experience gained within the Enforcement Industry has led to Chris developing the only Level 3 Court Enforcement Agent Endorsed Training Course within the UK.
Chris has a wealth of experience gained within the Enforcement & Security Industry. Chris’s background is complex working hands-on as a Licenced Court Enforcement Agent and as a Close Protection Licenced Agent SIA (Security Industry Authority). With core skills in covert security, overt security, surveillance, asset (jewellery, antiques, property) protection, security risk management consulting.
Chris has spent the last 7 years of his career building EndeavourUK bringing to life the subject of Enforcement & Security going on to achieve the status of Enforcement Solutions Expert and Consultant.
Chris regularly writes about the Enforcement Industry, check out all his other Enforcement blogs here http://www.endeavouruk.com/blog/category/enforcement.
Chris remains active as a Court Enforcement Agent and has now launched his new Company Absolute Enforcement:
About Absolute Enforcement Services
Absolute consists of experts from the training, security and enforcement industries delivering a professional and efficient service, providing customers with a fast and effective resolution to all enforcement issues.
Obviously, all the Enforcement Agents are trained specifically to the high standard that Chris set when he designed the only Level 3 Court Enforcement Agent course and EndeavourUK and Absolute work closely to maintain these high standards.
At Absolute, we pride ourselves on having a robust audit process to ensure the best compliance, on-going training and support to all our Enforcement Agents. This ethos results in us retaining high-profile clients by offering the best possible service to both our own clients and, just as importantly, to the people we enforce upon.
Want to know more about what EndeavourUK do?
Use the following useful links to find out how you can become an Enforcement Agent today!
Get a DBS Check – http://www.endeavouruk.com/courses/em01-dbs-check-service
Let us do the hard work including:
- CCJ Checks for every address lived in for 6 years (up to 6 checks),
- DBS Check (Disclosure and Barring Service) formerly known as CRB,
- Enforcement Agent Bond for £10000 over two years,
- The certification fee to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HM Revenue and Customs/HMRC),
- Administration of the enforcement agent application to court.
More information about our Enforcement Agent courses can be found here:
Working with ELCAS
EndeavourUK are a registered learning provider for the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) which promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e. for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England, Northern Ireland and Wales), a Level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider.
Chris personally attends Business Groups like the Leavers Link who meet regularly to assist all MOD leavers and gives advice and guidance on the transferable skills from life in the army to working in a civilian role which can be a difficult transition.