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wildlife protection officer
training courses

"Detering & pursuing wildlife criminals"

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Becoming a complete WP Ranger

AP4D wildlife protection courses run in two separate training paths because it is impossible to develop all skills in one course:

1)      The WP Scout courses develop the student into an expert in the recconnaissance of large wilderness areas on the search for poachers and traces of poaching. WP Scouts are most important because they are the eyes and ears in anti poaching. Due to time issues, in the WP Scout courses we do not train the students in the use of firearms and in sophisticated crime-fighting tactics. This is why graduates are only qualified to make more “simple” arrests or interrogations. - Nevertheless, in some regions and by some organizations, only WP Scouts, without firearms, are required or requested.

2)      The WP Officer courses develop the students into experts in hot pursuit tracking, overpowering and arresting even violent and armed poachers. WP Officers work hand-in-hand with the WP Scouts.

3)      It must be noted, that only the combination of WP Scout and WP Officer results in the complete AP4D qualification: The WP Ranger. We therefore advise that all who want to work in wildlife protection/anti poaching go through both lines of training gradually.


The Namibian law

Generally, job and training of the WP Officer are based on the Namibian laws under which all security operations in Namibia fall, on private, or communal land. Knowledge of all the necessary legal paragraphs forms the basis of their work and is a focus in all AP4D's training courses. 

As in other security problems, the Namibian police as the responsible governmental body cannot be available always and everywhere.

WP Officer training for NAMPOL, NDF and MET

Basic idea of the WP Officer is to support the Namibian police or MET whenever they cannot carry out the relevant anti poaching missions themselves, but immediate action is required. Nevertheless, the WP Enforcer courses are of course particularly open to members of the Namibian police force, NDF and MET in order to expand their qualifications, - as it was already done in the past.

Bringing perpetrator into custody

The main focus of the training of the WP Officer is on techniques and tactics in order to overpower even violent and armed suspects and perpetrators and to hand them over to the Namibian police force.

In order to minimize the use of firearms in arrests and in self-defense, the WP Officerare particularly well trained in "less than lethal" close combat techniques, unarmed or with impact weapons. 

Nevertheless, for deterrence purposes and for their own protection in worst cases, they are well trained on various firearms for close quarters as well as for long range scenarios. 

Their training enables them to use offensive arresting tactics that can catch suspects in the act or track them down using extremely fast tracking - to ultimately arrest them. 

In addition, the WP Officers are trained in de-escalations tactics and in undercover investigations.

Given their special equipment, selection and training the WP Officer also serve as a general deterrent to people who are planning wildlife and nature crime.

Health & Safety (Survival) Training

The work of WP Officers can be dangerous. Therefore, their health & safety training consists of a combination of SERE (wilderness survival, evasion, resistance and escape tactics), as well as first aid and search & rescue skills. 

Since poachers can become violent and are sometimes well armed, the training covers very intensively the legal aspects regarding the use of force, powers of arrest, as well as arresting techniques, and very intensively self-defense without weapons, as well as with a range of contact weapons - and - in extreme cases by the use of firearms.

Course structure

The WP Officer courses by AP4D are divided into 3 levels: Basic, Advanced and Master courses, each lasting 15 days. - In each level the requirements and training content are expanded and deepened. Each course is certified with a certificate, whereby a minimum score of 60% must be achieved to pass.


By completing the Basic WP Officer course, graduates can start working as a WP Officer, but they should definitely complete their training up to the master level in order to be able to call themselves a fully trained WP Officer.

As a Master WP Officer certified by AP4D, the graduate has a qualification level that cannot be achieved through any other training institution in Namibia. – But course applicants and participants must remember that only the additional WP Scout Courses can get you to the final goal: The fully qualified WP RANGER !

In addition, such an excellently trained WP Officer also has the qualifications to work in guarding and  emergency response functions if his main duties allows it.

Contact us to find out more about the course, application and entry requirements.

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