Business Licences for Private Investigators


Future Governance and Administration

The Security Industry Authority, tasked with the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities, already has a voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme and will, subject to review, mandate Private Investigators to obtain ACS (Approved Contractor Scheme) status.

The Security Industry Authority are conducting a review of their Approved Contractor Scheme and the trade bodies with combined memberships of approximately 1,500 – 2,000 are delegated to assist the future administration, design and codified governance of the new licencing regime.

The bottom line is that professional private investigators must not be hindered or constricted by the rogue element who will be unable to practice under the new regime.


Current Governance and Administration

The regulatory and administrative framework to come has been set out to the exam awarding bodies and the trade associations and existing professional private investigators have already “Self regulated” and have adopted all the best practice.

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. British Standard 9001 is currently favoured for SIA ACS as its: “Business improvement model”, but, 102000 will, invariably, replace it when modelled over to the professional private investigator sector.

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.

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 has indicated that sole traders can choose to fulfil the criteria for business licensing by completing a test of competency – possibly an e-Learning test, more likely a SIA approved qualification such as the IQ Level 3 Professional Investigator Award.

The ACS provides an opportunity to canvass for work with national suppliers and Government departments. Many buyers already 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.

ACS Business licences tackle “Shadowy operators” to create a transparent, regulated professional private investigator sector. Registration under Security Industry Authority (S.I.A) control will mirror existing regulation.