Protecting the public and upholding standards

The licensing regime from the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General for the State of Queensland, Australia, sounds very familiar to those of us in the UK that follow the licensing of our Private Investigator Sector closely.

Both the UK and Australia are focussed on protecting the public and upholding standards.

The Security Providers Act 1993 (Act), regulates the security industry (In Queensland, Australia): To help protect both the industry and the general public by setting out the minimum obligations and requirements for the industry to follow. The information presented below provides a guide on the training requirements for a private investigator (In Queensland, Australia).

“…. you must be licensed as a private investigator if, for reward, you do any of the following: obtain and give private information about another person, without the other person’s express consent, carry out surveillance to obtain private information about another person, without the other person’s express consent, investigate the disappearance of a missing person”.

The training that you would need to undertake to obtain an Australian Private Investigator licence (From: 1st July 2008) is: “You must have completed the units of competency listed below and been assessed as competent by a registered training provider:

“Determine method of investigation or Develop investigative plan, Compile investigative report. Provide quality investigative services to clients. Conduct surveillance, Organise and operate a surveillance vehicle, Gather information by factual investigation, Conduct interviews and take statements. Operate information gathering equipment, Perform administrative functions, Use and maintain operational equipment, Work effectively in the investigative services Industry, Locate subjects (Optional), Maintain a safe workplace and environment or Maintain workplace safety in the security Industry, Manage effective workplace relationships, or Contribute to effective workplace relationships, Manage own performance and development or Organise personal work priorities and development. Prepare and present evidence in court and Store and protect information”.

The above mentioned licencing criteria applies to new entrants to the profession only; the existing licence holders in Australia have their license renewed automatically. Applicants with relevant work experience can have these skills formally recognised in, “Pre-assessment” which will shorten the timescale in obtaining the licence. Both the UK and Australia are focussed on protecting the public and upholding standards, Australia uses, “Learning hours” or “Units of Competency”. In the UK people with relevant work experience can have their skills be taken into account. The Accreditation of Prior Learning system operates with the IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators.

To contrast and compare, the Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators in the UK, comprises of the following units:

Unit One: Principles of planning and reporting investigations

Establish the objectives and ongoing feasibility of an investigation
Deal with actual or potential conflicts of interest
Report and present the finding of an investigation

Unit Two: Principles of gathering and using information for investigations

Research and analyse information in support of an investigation
Interview people to gather information
Know how surveillance can be used to gather information
Understand how to maintain the security and confidentiality of information gathered.
Understand relevant Health and Safety issues

A fuller look at the curriculum of the Level 3 Professional Investigator Award in the UK, will show, just how similar the study criteria’s are…

You will see that there are many similarities between the competency criteria’s described above – I suppose the job is basically the same wherever in the world you operate!  

Kevin J Regan,

Private Investigator Training UK
Vicarage Chambers, 9 Park Square East, Leeds, LS1 2LH. Tel: 0800 279 7752

Mob: 07721 751 860

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