The question that is often made to us at Burton Regan / Private Investigator Training UK, especially by learners who are looking to enter the profession is about licensing. The bottom line, at the moment, is that any person can actually call themselves a, “Private investigator” and operate commercially. Generally speaking, the only, “Checks and balance”, is that you must not transgress the law that governs us all.
Latest Licencing Update
The trade bodies and Associations have been consulted and the final tranche of legislation is being prepared to enable the Private Investigator Licence. In the interim the British Standard BS102000 continues to operate as a, “Pseudo” licence.
So what is the British Standard Code of Practice?
As we await compulsory licencing, The Code of Practice (BS102000) gives recommendations that are accepted as industry, “Best practice”, for the, “Conduct, management, staffing and operational accountability for the provision of investigative services”. Private Investigators have always wanted an environment whereby they can prove that they are competent and capable of delivering a service to the public, business, industry and commerce. If our ethics, standards and service levels can be measured and regulated by adherence to a Code of Practice then the industry will elevate itself.
Please explain what a Future S.I.A Private Investigator Business Licence is going to entail in practice?
Not surprisingly, our staff, national field visiting teams and ad-hoc agents have already adopted a lot of the critical parts of the British standard. If you have staff: they should be selected and screened in accordance with BS 7858…this means that you credit check prospective employees and screen sub contractors – historical financial problems or adverse information means you have to decline prospective staff or external contractors… Proof of identity, a basic disclosure criminal conviction check, references, due diligence interviews and careful partner, employee or associate selection are the order of the day.
Training and Continual Professional Development are central to the new standard. When you engage staff or use an external contractor it is vital that you have your business policies and procedures in place and documented. You don’t need to be a multinational to have these documents and procedures in place – they will, at the end of the day, protect you in potential litigation and employment tribunal cases that might cripple you if you are remiss here.
The proposed new licencing regime will continue to champion and encourage, best practice and professionalism. The Level 3 Professional Investigator Award currently fulfils the training and development requirements of BS102000 and will progress on to be a requirement of the compulsory private investigator licence.