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How to Check If a Private Investigator Is Licensed

Many people are advised to hire licensed service providers as much as possible and this also applies to the hiring of private investigators. This is because a licensed investigator operates with more oversight and has a greater incentive to act as a professional in every situation. Therefore, the advantages of working with an investigator who's licensed are clear to see.

However, just because an investigator claims to be licensed doesn't mean that they're telling you the truth. It is important to be able to confirm that a private investigator is indeed licensed by the Security Industry Authority before you start working with them.


What Does A Private Investigator Need To Be Licensed?

Before looking at how you can confirm if a private investigator is licensed. It's important to first know why it's so important for a private investigator to have a license.

Before a private investigator has their application for a license approved, the Security Industry Authority will check to ensure they are:

  • Citizens of the UK or have a right to work in the UK
  • Properly trained by an accredited training institution and they have passed the required tests
  • Not associated with criminal elements or don't have a criminal past that could jeopardize their work as a private investigator
  • Free from serious mental health problems

By looking to prove the above, the Security Industry Authority ensures that anyone who holds a valid license is someone who can offer the services that they claim to offer and are unlikely to compromise the case or the safety and security of their clients. When you're dealing with an unlicensed private investigator, you don't get the same kind of assurance and this can leave you exposed to various problems.


Checking A Private Investigator's Qualifications

If you can confirm that the license held by a private investigator is valid, you can easily tell if they're the person to handle your case. For starters, you should know what an authentic SIA license looks like so you can quickly know if the one you're looking at is authentic. Since the licenses have a 3-year validity period, there are only two types of SIA licenses you should see right now.

The older design has a silver hologram and a security chip. These were issued until Mid-2016. Therefore, the last of these will expire in mid-2019.

The latest license design has a holographic overlay similar to driver licenses and other security features. They also have QR codes and barcodes. This makes it simple for you to scan the code and check if the license is valid.

You can also check if an SIA license is valid through the SIA website's license checker feature. You can search for the license holder's name or search the sixteen digits on their license card. A less reliable method is to search for the investigator's name and credentials with any known professional association they claim to be a member of.


Importance Of Testimonials When Hiring A Licensed Private Investigator

A private investigator's license is a symbol of professionalism but it's not proof of the same. The only way to know how a private investigator behaves before you hire them is to find out what their previous clients have to say about them and the quality of their services. There are many places online where you can check if a particular agency has a good or bad reputation.

If you know anyone who's worked with the agency in question at a certain point, you can also ask them what their experience was like. With testimonials, you'll know what real customers think of the licensed investigator you're planning to hire.



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