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The Fit and Proper Person Test – joining a Professional Investigator Trade Body

You should be established and accredited with a blemish free operational record. You should not be involved with malfeasance, criminality or any matter that might embarrass or cause concern to fellow professionals. The test is – is your moral, professional and ethical compass acceptable?

We can forgive, forget, or deliberate on your antecedents. Nobody is without sin. But, the stakes are enormous – we cannot allow you to pass into the Association of British Investigators if you are not fit or proper.

The Acid test is an interview. We are fair and honest. Our explanation robust and proven.

I am talking about the work of the Association of British Investigators Northern Branch.

I was lucky to be interviewed by the Northern Branch many years ago, when I joined the A.B.I – the committee that conducted my interview (Two Ex Merseyside Police Officers and a Private Investigator from South Yorkshire) – were hard, but fair.

A large portion of the interview was about probity, standards and ethics and the interview panel had a series of set questions (And model answers)…I recall being quizzed about, “Ex Directory numbers” and if they could be reported to a client. I recall being lectured on the difference between finding an ex directory number on a database or by scrutinising publicly available information – as opposed to non professional / non ethical methods of information gathering.

As the Association of British Investigators has developed, especially, over the past few years – the “Scripted / set questions”, interview model has been replaced by a more straightforward question and answer type session with plenty of ad-libbing and detailed explanations of matters.

The reason is because the Association of British Investigators, has for several years, allowed you to join, in certain circumstances, as a Provisional Member and as you are lacking experience, we concentrate on you, the person and the development or track you can follow to become a full member…. you are often reinterviewed about a year later for full membership.

Branch interviewing is especially beneficial as the interviewee will be given the option of joining the Branch meeting (Usually commences after the interviews are completed) – the start of your journey, in the incubator of professional investigator positivity and good will.

The interview panel that I chair will have full notification of your background – we will have your references, BDS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check – we will know a good deal about you. We have never prejudged anyone and will always give you the chance to put the facts across as you see them.

Yes, people have episodes and markers that are extremely worrisome to us – as we have to represent the good name and standing of existing A.B.I members. We can only go three ways: “Accepted as a Full Member”, “Accepted as a Provisional Member” or “Not accepted for membership”.

We have never had any complaints, we have taken chances with some people (And have been rewarded with an excellent outcome). Those we have declined membership to were never, “Grey area”.

Drawing the line is emotional and draining – but, it is the fit and proper thing to do.

Kevin John Regan

Chair of the Northern Branch of the A.B.I

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1 Comment

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