ABI Academy Learners and Delegates

Private Investigator School UK

Delegates and Learners

The Association of British Investigators is sector accredited by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and is endorsed by the Law Society of England and Wales who recognise the A.B.I as the premier professional body for private investigators working in the UK and beyond: "A non-profit organisation, its national and international membership provides credibility and due diligence". The A.B.I is also an approved supplier to the Law Society of Scotland, who acknowledge: "Its national and international membership provides the only credible list of accredited operatives".

The Security Industry Authority explained that Business Licencing for the UK's Private Investigators was their preferred route back in 2013 (The "Second Tier of Licencing") and will, subject to review, require Private Investigators to obtain ACS (Approved Contractor Scheme), status.

The second tier of licencing or Business Licences for Private Investigators will be based on existing (Draft) British Standards and Association of British Investigator and other trade bodies mandatory qualification requirements to demonstrate professionalism, competence, probity and ethics.





Regional Exam Centre: Scotland

The Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators - The expected "Test of competency" for S.I.A Private Investigator Licences

Subject to Parliamentary, “Sign off”. It is likely that it will be a criminal offence to operate without a Private Investigator Security Industry Authority licence in 2019.


Kenny MacAskill (Scottish National Party) the former MSP Cabinet Minister for Justice, indicated that Scotland was likely to agree to individual Security Industry Authority licencing of their private investigators, when he spoke about the regulation of the private security industry at the Association of British Investigators conference at Troon. Security Industry Authority accreditation is already mandatory for security providers to Scotland’s public sector and only those companies on the S.I.A’s Register of Approved Contractors (Approved Contractor Scheme) can tender for Scottish Government contracts.



The Home Office have consistently endorsed the IQ and Pearson Level three Awards for Professional Investigators (QCF) as being the required, “Demonstration of competency”, to operate as a S.I.A licenced private investigator.


The Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators – the anticipated test of competency for the private investigator licence and the “Defined and documented training policy” component of the British Standards Institute code of practice for the provision of Investigative services, known as: BS: 102000. “The (Investigative) service provider should ensure that, the necessary competence has been demonstrated: Conducting Investigations, Conducting Interviews, Searching for Information and Preserving Evidence, Surveillance Techniques, Understanding and working to relevant laws and standards and the ability to report findings.”


Some of the legislation that governs professional private investigators in Scotland is covered in the qualification (There is a lot of symmetry between: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000, The Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996).


The main tenents of professionally gathering and preserving evidence, searching for information, ethical and prudent investigation work and the production of viable and compliant evidence for the legal system is a common theme for investigators across the country specific legal systems. Of course the elements of the Award that cover Data Protection and data control and the relevant articles of the European Convention on Human Rights are part and parcel of every investigators consideration.



Experienced Investigators will require progressively less study time, If you would like to go,”Straight to exam”, please advise your trainer.

When you are ready we allocate you to your mock exams to ensure that you have reached the required level.


Please note: A Surveillance plan / portfolio created by the learner is required for the Level 3.



Established Investigators and those without direct experience who may require a future private investigator licence, enrol here 


Burton Regan (Private Investigator Training UK): 0800 279 7752
Pearson BTEC Award for Professional Investigators (QCF = Level 3, Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework equivalent = 6)



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