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Do I Need a License to Be a Private Investigator?

In the UK, it is not a requirement for a practising private investigator to have a license. Unfortunately, this has opened up the industry to individuals who don't always practice within certain legal and ethical boundaries as is expected of them. This has sometimes created a problematic relationship between private investigators and their potential clients.

Because of the issues caused by unlicensed private investigators who don't always deliver services as is expected of them, licensing has become a way for good private investigators to set themselves apart from the rest. Therefore, private investigator licenses can be thought of as a need for detectives who wish to set a higher standard.


What Do You Need To Become A Licensed Private Investigator In The Uk?

In the UK, the Security Industry Authority has set the requirements that are expected of anyone who wishes to become a licensed private investigator. These licensing requirements are as follows:

  • One must be an adult when they are submitting their application
  • The applicant must show that they are mentally fit for the task
  • The applicant's past criminal record (if any) should be able to stand up to scrutiny
  • The applicant will need to have at least an IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators
  • The applicant should have a right to work in the UK

How Does Having A Private Investigator License Benefit You?

Although you don't need to have a private investigator license, getting your hands in one can completely change how you conduct your investigation business. The benefits you may enjoy include:

  • You'll come across as a serious professional when dealing with clients
  • Your licensed status may attract clients who are wary of unlicensed service providers
  • Clients may be able to call on you as an expert in your field e.g. in court
  • It may be easier to join certain professional associations
  • In case licensing becomes a requirement rather than an option, you'll be ready
  • Agencies may be more inclined to hire you if you're still new to the field etc.


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