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How to Become a Private Investigator UK

The field of private investigation is quickly proving to be a great career choice for many people. Even without the drama and action in stereotypic works of fiction. There are still many great things about this occupation.

Different jurisdictions have different requirements for individuals who wish to become private detectives. In the UK, however, there are no licensing requirements to become a private investigator at the moment. This opens up a world of opportunity for those who wish to join the profession. However, to be a professional investigator who is capable of offering clients the kind of service they deserve, there is a method to becoming a private detective.


Private Investigative Training

To become a private investigator, you will need to learn the skills that will be needed for the job.

A typical private investigator needs to learn things such as:

  • Basic private investigative methods
  • How to use typical private investigator tools e.g. spy cameras, listening devices, lie detectors etc.
  • The laws governing private investigation e.g. the laws governing lawful gathering of data and vehicle tracking.

One way in which you can get these skills is by undergoing an apprenticeship under a professional private investigator. Alternatively, you can also register for classes at an institution that teaches individuals how to become a private investigator.

Attending an institution that trains private investigators is a good idea since the qualifications give you a direct path to licensing. Private investigative training can be done on a full-time basis or a part-time basis depending on how much time you have.


Is Experience Necessary For Private Investigators?

As with any other occupation, the skills and even instincts of a private investigator can improve with experience.

Therefore, if someone wishes to become a private detective, it can be very useful to have relevant experience such as:

  • Having worked in law enforcement
  • Having been enrolled in the armed forces
  • Having worked in industries that require skills relevant to private investigation e.g. accounting

Alternatively, serving as an apprentice to a private investigator can also offer a novice some much-needed experience. It should be noted that experience isn't a prerequisite to becoming a private investigator.

It's still a good idea to try and get some investigative experience before going solo as a private investigator. Therefore, the freshly graduated private investigator should probably work under more experienced individuals at the beginning.


What Knowledge And Skills Are Useful In Private Investigative Work?

You may find that almost no knowledge or skills are completely useful in the world of private investigation. Private investigative work frequently requires the investigation of cases that require some deeper knowledge on a specific thing.

Having this knowledge can help the private investigator to investigate faster and not have to check with other experts first. However, there are a number of skills and knowledge that no private investigator should be without. This is because these skills will be called upon frequently during investigations.

These skills include:

  • Basic computer skills
  • Communication skills
  • Basic accounting skills
  • Basic legal knowledge
  • Skills and knowledge to run a business

These skills will help the private investigator either in conducting investigations or in running a successful private investigation business. If possible, a licensed private investigator should undertake additional courses to acquire these skills and/or knowledge.