Business licences will tackle organisations with criminal connections and shadowy operators to create a transparent, regulated private security sector. The government in Scotland and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland support the scheme so we are looking at a UK wide initiative.
Micro (1 – 10 individuals), Small (11 - 25), Medium (26 - 250) or Large businesses and companies (250+) can obtain a form of "Self" licencing called: BS102000. The S.I.A has indicated that sole traders can choose to fulfil the criteria for business licensing by completing an e-Learning test, probably in conjuction with an SIA approved qualification for Professional Investigators.
British Standard 102000 requires at least one director, partner or sole trader, to provide evidence of membership of a relevant professional body or evidence of a relevant SIA approved qualification for Professional Investigators (Level 3 Professional Investigator Award). An application fee is payable whether your business licence is granted or refused. An annual subscription fee is required.
The Security Industry Authority, tasked with the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities, already has a voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme for larger suppliers of investigative services. Like BS102000, the ACS provides an opportunity to canvass for work with national suppliers and Government departments. Many buyers search the S.I.A’s register of Approved Contractors when selecting a supplier of services. The Scottish Government will only engage with ACS approved contractors.
The bottom line is that whatever body or mechanism regulates the professional investigator sector there will be winners and losers. The rogue element will not be able to practice under the new regime. Conversely, many longstanding, straightforward and honest professional investigators will leave the industry as the costs, regulatory and bureaucratic burden become apparent.
Peter Farrington of: Probe Investigations (UK) Limited receives a Certificate of Registration from Brian Nuttall of: SSAIB, confirming that Probe Investigations (UK) Limited completed the first successful pilot of BS102000 (2013) for Investigative Services.