To get a license to be a private investigator it has to be awarded to you by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA is the body that governs various sectors of the Private Security Industry. Members of the Private Security Industry include manned guards, Door supervisors, Public space surveillance, Close protection operatives and security guards. The role of the SIA is to ensure that these members offer standards and service to their clients and providing regulatory service the members efficiently and effectively. As of the end of last year, all private detectives are meant to be licensed under the SIA to be able to provide the services that they give. They need this license so that they can open and run a PI business.
To get a PI license, it will cost you £300 – 400 that will be valid for 3 years. For you to be eligible to get the certificate you will have to pass a “Fit and Proper Person” test to prove that you will be able to carry yourself professionally in the field. Also, there is a mandatory written test of competency that you will have to pass as well. The test is called Association of British Investigators Training Academy: IQ Level 3. Without which you will be ineligible to get the license.
To be a valid PI, you are required to get some formal training from institutions that are well known in teaching on how to become a competent private investigator. This will give you the academic qualifications to show that you know everything about the industry and you can carry yourself professionally. In addition to this classes you are required to take other lessons in the law and how to run a business so that when you are on a case you will be able to know that what you are doing is legal. These courses are learned from various local colleges around England.
To be a valid PI, you should not have a criminal record or have any past dealings with the criminal organizations. As you are applying for PI license a personal background check will be done about your criminal activity and if there is any instance of you being sent to jail or you have served a sentence then that will automatically exclude you from becoming a PI. To be a PI, you will need to have a clean record.
If you are running a private investigator business you will be required to have a business license that will let you run your business legally. All the private detectives who will be working for you or with you will be required to have a PI license. The business will be registered under the SIA.