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How Do I Become a Licensed Private Investigator?

There are several steps that you'll have to take if you wish to become a licensed private investigator. Although the requirements for getting a license in the UK aren't that hard, they still require some work. However, if you're able to allocate sufficient time to the cause, you can have your license within a few months of embarking on the journey to becoming a private investigator.

Requirements For Becoming A Licensed Private Investigator

The Security Industry Authority, the government body that does the licensing of private investigators, has put forward the following requirements for anyone who wishes to obtain a private investigator license:

  • The applicant must be 18 years of age
  • Must have a right to work in the UK
  • An IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators
  • A suitably clean criminal record
  • Be of sound mind

Most of the other licensing requirements are attainable by default. However, it's getting the IQ Level 3 Award that will require a certain amount of effort from the would-be licensed private investigator.

Qualifications And Training For A Private Investigator License

For the SIA to issue a license for private investigation to an individual, they need to know that the person has been suitably trained in matters to do with private investigation. This ensures that the applicant has the required skills and knowledge to carry out their work in a manner that reflects positively on their status as a licensed detective. Therefore, as proof of training, the applicant must possess proof of an IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators.

This award is only attainable if the applicant has successfully taken the IQ qualification tests. These tests look at two main areas:

  • Principles of gathering and using information for investigations
  • Principles of planning and reporting investigations

However, before you take this qualification, you'll need to have undergone a certain number of guided learning hours i.e. training. This training must also be done at an institution that is accredited by IQ and will allow the participant to work towards getting their private investigator license.

Do You Need Experience To Become A Licensed Investigator?

In the UK, experience isn't a requirement for one to become a licensed private investigator at the moment. This makes it possible for a private investigator who is just starting out to have a license. Therefore, private investigators don't have to worry about their careers being caught in a cycle of lack of both experience and a license.

Private Investigators can then implement their skillset into a task whilst being licensed by the SIA. Thus, ensuring that the tasks will be carried out in a professional manner by the licensed private investigator.

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