Establishing a career as a private investigator is a great way to earn a living as well as work on interesting assignments from time to time. If you are looking to establish a career in this field in the UK, you will now be required to apply for a license as provided for by the Security Industry Authority. The Home Office directed the SIA to license private investigator in the UK upon satisfaction of the set qualifications.

It is expected that the licensing would commence in May 2015. Once the licensing is rolled out, anyone operating without a license will be in contradiction of the law and is liable to payment of a fine.

SIA License

Under the Private Security Industry Act of 2001, the grounds for licensing were laid out. Anyone conducting an investigation to obtain information centering on a person or the whereabouts of a particular person; or investigating how property has been lost or damaged should bear the SIA license. Employers and employees at private investigations companies are also supposed to bear a private investigator license as well. According to this definition, aspiring private investigators will have to be licensed before they can begin working.

These provisions are designed to ensure that consumers access quality professional services by regulating the service providers as per the set standards.

To qualify for the Private Investigators license you have satisfy the following set qualification criteria as determined by the SIA:

IQ level 3 Award And IBTEC Level 3 Award

Firstly, the applicant must have attained a level 3 Award certification in Private Investigator course provided under a recognized institution. The available courses include the IQ level 3 Award as well as the IBTEC Level 3 Award. Both courses are mainly designed for beginners. The courses are designed to introduce students to the field of private investigations and as well as equip them with the necessary skills to start and run their own practice.

Fit For Person Test

Secondly, the applicant must pass the “Fit for Person” tests provided by the licensing authority. These tests are supposed to demonstrate the applicant’s integrity and ethical conduct. This is especially important as private detectives need to conduct themselves professionally when collecting sensitive evidence during assignments.

Apply For The Private Investigator License

Once you have satisfied the requirements for licensing, you can apply for the private investigator license with a 220 pound fee accompanying the application forms. For holders of any other SIA issued license, the fee drops to 110 pounds. This license is valid for three years, after which it is to be renewed. The applicant can apply for an SIA grant in case they do not have the necessary funds for the application fee.

After licensing, the licensee can offer PI services legally under their own business or seek employment under registered firm offering the same services in the UK.