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How to Get a License to Become a Private Investigator

When you become a private investigator, you quickly realise that you're in a field that has many rogue individuals whose actions aren't always in the best interests of their clients or the general public. It's for this reason that licensing was introduced for private investigators. With so many rogue investigators gaining access to potentially destructive information, it makes sense to have a way of regulating the industry.

Therefore, despite the fact that licensing isn't a legal requirement, many people will only work with private investigators who are licensed. Therefore, you should do what you can to get your hand on a license when you become a private investigator.

How Can You Apply For A Private Investigator License?

There are four ways that you can apply for a private investigator license from the Security Industry Authority in the UK. However, three of these four routes to licensing are simply variations on the main method.

This main method has 5 key steps as shown below:

  • Step 1: Open your personal account on SIA's website and fill in the information required
  • Step 2: Start a new application for a detective license and submit it. Attach any requested documents for faster processing.
  • Step 3: Once you've received a notification telling you to do so, head over to the post office for identity verification. Photos will be required at this stage. You'll also have to complete the payment for the processing of your application to continue.
  • Step 4: Wait as the SIA processes your application. Additional information and/or documents may be requested at this stage as a background check is carried out.
  • Step 5: You'll be notified of whether your application has passed or not. If it has passed, you will only have to wait for 2 weeks (maximum) to get your license card. Unsuccessful applicants will have 3 weeks to respond before the decision is final.

These steps are applicable if you're paying for the license by yourself. If another business is paying for the license, you'll have to link to them before submitting your initial application. In case you're applying through your employer, they'll handle a significant portion of the application process. You'll have to link to them and they'll fill in your information and also handle the necessary payment.

Through a system call License Management, your employer can even handle the identity verification and save you the trip to the post office.

What Do You Need To Get Your Investigator's License?

The requirements for those who are applying for a private investigator license from the SIA are quite simple. Proof of citizenship or a right to work will be needed and the applicant will also need to be an adult. A background check will be carried out to ensure the applicant is an upstanding member of the community and doesn't suffer from a serious mental problem.

To ensure the applicant has undergone proper training to be a private investigator, you'll have to submit proof that you have an IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators. This is only attainable by undergoing training in an accredited school and passing the tests set by Industry Qualifications (IQ).

What Does It Cost To Be A Licensed Investigator?

Excluding the costs associated with training to be a private investigator and taking the required examinations, it will cost you £220 to get your investigator license. This cost is exclusive of taxes and covers a 3-year license. This is the standard for most SIA licenses.

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