Noctuam Training Academy was founded in 2018 after identifying the need for well-trained, Counter-Poaching operatives both in the Private Sector and in Government Sector. Currently, there is not enough trained personnel to address the escalating Rhino Poaching faced in Southern Africa and the rest of Africa. The few private institutions that offer Counter-Poaching training is either very expensive or do not have access to real-life Big 5 exposure to training the individuals. Poverty and a very high unemployment figure also attribute to the escalating poaching and very few school leavers have the financial means to pay for their own training. School leavers also face the dilemma of very few employment opportunities and often will be involved in criminal activities to simply survive.
Noctuam Training Academy recruits potential students from schools situated in the following provinces: Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Kwa Zulu Natal. Recruiting takes place prior to them finishing their Grade 12 education for them to have immediate training after completing their secondary schooling. A strenuous selection process is adhered to, and potential candidates require to pass fitness-, psychometric- and aptitude tests. Due to the socio-economic situation of most of these candidates, it is necessary to financially reward these candidates for them to contribute to their respective families as culturally males have to provide for their parents after leaving the home.
During the first 3 months of training, the focus is mainly on discipline and technical skills development. The students experience a military approach to discipline and during this time all statutory training is concluded. This includes PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority of Southern Africa) training, up to a grade C, and weapons competency training underwritten and accredited by the PFTC (Professional Fire-arm Training Association of Southern Africa) in the handle and use of a Handgun, Shotgun, and Self-Loading Rifle/Carbine for business purposes. After completion of the basic course, the focus is on advanced Field Ranger training which includes amongst others, advanced first aid, fieldcraft, tracking of humans, and live drills with force-on-force drills.
During this period, the students are given theoretical training and the practical training is done in a Big 5 reserve to maximize exposure to real live scenarios. All courses are accredited by SASSETA (Safety and Security Sector Education Authority of Southern Africa) and students are assessed by registered Assessors from SASSETA.
In addition, all our Training Courses are NATO STANAG compliant and certified, and assistance is received from the Poaching Prevention Academy from Italy and Poland. The Academy is accredited with various European Union organizations amongst others the European Security Academy (ESA) and Security Skills Certification Scheme (SSCS). After completion of the 1-year course, successful students are either integrated into either Noctuam or offered to the South African National Parks Board and other counter-poaching companies.