The Security Industry Authority / Home Office have produced an online, “Ready reckoner” that answers the question: “If I have a conviction can I still get licenced?” As a Private Investigator Training Establishment who are obliged (Under SIA Guidelines) to carefully check identities and the claims of candidates that pass through our organisation, we answer the above-mentioned question by saying, “Well it depends on the offence, type of conviction and the date it was committed”.
One of the questions that was asked by a prospective learner who was considering enrolment on our L3 Award in Professional Investigations was:
“I was a bit silly when I was younger and I was cautioned by the Police about using threatening behaviour – can I still get a licence?”
To be certain of the answer I went to the Improved Criminal Record Indicator and found a list of categories of convictions such as: “Firearms Offences”, “Proceeds of Crime”, “Social Security Offences” or “Violent / Abusive Behaviour”. I clicked on: “Violent / Abusive Behaviour” and a huge list of possible offences and misdemeanours opened…I clicked on, “Harassment, alarm or distress [s5 – Public Order Act 1986]”, I then, “Created” a, “Caution”, in January 2017 as the year of this, “Test”, offence………..the result came back as: “We will grant your licence”. So remember that even more serious matters than cautions might not preclude you from gaining a SIA Licence. This useful online tool is very useful and very welcome.
At the end of the day, the SIA must put in place a mechanism whereby the public are protected. If you think about it – if you are going to pose a danger to the public then you should and will fail this test.
Kevin J Regan B.A (Hons.)
Full Member: Association of British Investigators; Process Servers Association; The eAssessment Association. Pearson Edexcel Lead Examiner for the Professional Investigator Sector.
Founding member: Association of British Investigators Academy.
Centre Co-ordinator for Edexcel and IQ. OCR Award in Assessing Candidates Using a Range of Methods; EDI Award for Professional Investigators (2011).
Managing Director: Burton Regan Limited.
28 years’ full time – front line – Private Investigation experience
Associated Detectives, London
Nationwide Investigations, Manchester
Anglo European Private Detectives, Leeds