Request A Callback From An Investigator

What You Need to Become a Private Investigator

A good private investigator is more than just the individual. It's also important for the individual to be working with the right set of tools to enable them to get the job done effectively. Although the skills that the investigator possesses are useful, the tools they use are equally useful. Anyone who wishes to become a private investigator must have a plan to get their hands on these tools.

What Equipment Do Private Investigators Need?

Private investigators work with a wide range of investigative tools. It all depends on the kind of investigation their carrying out.

A few examples include:

  • Surveillance: Binoculars, a camera with a powerful lens, spy cameras, listening devices, surveillance van etc.
  • Tracing a missing person: A computer with internet connection, telephone/mobile phone etc.
  • Corporate fraud investigation: A computer, Lie detector
  • Counter surveillance: A bug sweeper, standard surveillance equipment

There are many more tools that a private investigator can use over the course of an investigation including car tracker devices. However, the use of some of this equipment is heavily regulated. Using them to collect information without following proper procedures can void the evidence and even lead to prosecution.

What Qualifications Are Important To Private Investigation?

At the moment, a private investigator in the UK doesn't need to have any particular qualifications to join the profession. However, having certain qualifications will increase your skills significantly and allow you to work cases more effectively. Professional qualifications also give you greater authenticity when meeting with clients.

Some of the qualifications that are important in this field include:

  • IQ Level 3 Award for Private Investigators (A necessity to get an SIA license)
  • A degree in paralegal studies or paralegal studies certificate
  • Management training certificate
  • Certifications in computer forensics etc.

Is Experience Necessary For Private Investigators?

Experience isn't necessary for you to become a private investigator. However, it can help in a number of ways to have a certain level experience e.g.:

  • Experience can give you skills relevant to investigative work
  • Experience can help to guide your career path so you work in fields in which you already possess relevant skills
  • Experience can help you to find employment in particular agencies etc.

However, lack of experience shouldn't be seen as an insurmountable hurdle to becoming a private investigator. An inexperienced person can still gain experience by working with agencies that will provide them with relevant experience, starting off as an apprentice or working under more experienced professional investigators after getting licensed.

Are Licenses Necessary For Private Investigators?

Presently, it's not a requirement for private investigators to be licensed in the UK. Therefore, licensing is optional if you wish to become a private detective.

However, licensing is something every professional investigator should aim to have. This is because a license:

  • Gives you and your agency a higher standing and authenticity in the eyes of clients
  • Enables you to be a member of certain professional associations
  • Will ensure you're ready if licenses are made mandatory at a future date.

The Security Industry Authority or SIA is the only body in the UK with the mandate of issuing licenses to those working in the security industry including private investigators.

Related Articles