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UK Private Investigator Sector Governance

The Security Industry Authority / Home Office, tasked with the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking, “Designated activities”, already has a licencing scheme and a voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

The SIA recently conducted a review of their Approved Contractor Scheme and the 1,500 or so UK Private Investigators have not been mandated into the future administration, design and codified governance of the sector using the Approved Contractor scheme route.

One again HM Government has fudged the licencing of Private Investigators and the sector has been denied the opportunity to demonstrate competency, fortitude and professionalism.

The public, business and commerce continue to be hindered and constricted by the rogue element who operate without constraint of any kind.

The regulatory and administrative framework has been set out for some time.

The trade associations and existing professional private investigators have already “Self-regulated” and have, in any case, adopted all the best practice contained in the proposed SIA Licence / ACS Scheme.

British Standard 10800 and ISO 9001 is currently favoured by the SIA / ACS as its: “Business improvement model”, but, British Standard 102000 has replaced it when modelled over to the professional private investigator sector.

Micro (1 – 10 individuals), Small (11 – 25),  Medium (26 – 250) or Large businesses and companies (250+) already obtain a form of “Self” licencing called: BS102000.

The S.I.A had indicated that sole traders could choose to fulfil the criteria for business licensing by completing a test of competency – possibly an e-Learning test, more likely a SIA designed and approved qualification such as the SFJ Awards Level 3 Award For Professional Investigators

British Standard 102000 requires at least one director, partner or sole trader, to provide evidence of a relevant SIA approved qualification for Professional Investigators.

The SFJ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators (European Qualification Framework Level 4: Qualification Number: 600/3345/9) is the mechanism by which private investigators confirm and demonstrate knowledge and professionalism. In the absence of licencing – “Self-Regulation” is the order of the day.

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