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How to Get a Private Investigator License

An SIA private investigator license is an essential part of every serious professional investigator's toolbox. Although private investigators are not required to carry a license in order to operate in the UK, few would argue that being a licensed investigator doesn't have its perks.

When you're a licensed private detective, not only will you be covered in case the laws make licensing mandatory in the future, you're also come across as an actual professional when you're meeting with new clients. Therefore, you should know how you're going to go about getting your private investigator license.

Factors To Consider Before You Apply For A Private Investigator License

The process of getting a license in the UK isn't that complicated. However, it does have certain requirements and not meeting these requirements may mean your application will be denied.

Therefore, before you apply for your private investigator license, you should know that:

  • You have to be at least 18-years old and be able to legally work in the UK to hold an SIA license
  • You'll need to have attained an IQ Level 3 Award for Private Investigators but there are no minimum educational requirements.
  • You'll need to pass tests that show you're a fit and proper person for the work of private investigation. These checks will look into your past for any signs of serious mental illness, criminal convictions and other factors that may compromise your work.

The Process Of Getting An Sia Private Investigator License

The Security Industry Authority has a standard process that is followed when anyone in the security industry is applying for a license.

The process is relatively straightforward and involves the following key steps:

  • Setting up an account on the SIA site and provide your basic information
  • Applying for the license through the site and attaching the first batch of documents
  • Sending other documents that may be requested e.g. photos (through the post office)
  • Waiting for the notification of the status of your application. Depending on certain factors, you may be asked to submit even more documents.

Your private investigator license card will come within 14 days of being notified that your application has passed. You'll have 21 days to respond if your application is not successful.

Cost Of Becoming A Licensed Private Investigator

There are three major costs that are involved in the process of becoming licensed as a private investigator in the UK. For starters, you'll need to take a training course that will lead up to an IQ Level 3 Award. These courses can cost several hundred pounds or more depending on the institution you attend.

You'll also need to pay £35.5 as administrative fees to be registered for the IQ examination. This may or may not be covered by your training institution.

Lastly, when you apply for your private investigator license from SIA, you'll have to pay a licensing fee of £220. The license lasts for three years after which it will have to be renewed.

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