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.





Fast Track

We have been looking through your website, and understand that you offer both the Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators through 2 different awarding bodies: Edexcel and ABI Academy.


There are two awarding bodies that offer a Level 3 Award in Professional Investigations: Pearson and Industry Qualifications (IQ).

Education Development International (EDI) merged into Pearson some years ago and the EDI Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators has now ceased to accept any further enrolments. 


The Association of British Investigators have created an Academy to offer fellow professional’s the Level 3 Award and have selected IQ as their preferred awarding body.  


Please can you tell me the difference between these two?


The qualifications, mentioned above, should all be to the same standard as they are all regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Upon saying that, the IQ Level 3 requires the learners to produce a, Surveillance Portfolio, whilst the Pearson qualification does not require it.


Our company of about 9 is looking to sit this exam to be compliant with SIA’s requirements to gain a SIA Private Investigation license.


A large number of national organisations are taking the Level 3 Awards for Professional Investigators in anticipation of mandatory licencing from the Home Office / S.I.A. The syllabus has been set down from the S.I.A and they have confirmed that the, above mentioned, qualifications will be accepted as the, “Proof of competency”, for licencing, when / if it arrives.

Organisations that are adopting the draft British Standard 102000 are also ensuring their operatives have the qualification, in any case, as it meets the training and continuous professional development requirements for staff competency (Set out in BS102000) in: Conducting investigations, conducting interviews, searching for information and preserving evidence, surveillance techniques, understanding and working to relevant laws and standards and providing reports.


Does everyone need to sit this exam or are individuals such as accountants exempt from having to sit the exam?


The following are exempt from Professional / Private Investigator Licences: Market research, Credit referencing agencies, Solicitors, Accountants provided they are members of their appropriate body, Journalists, Enquiries made solely of publicly available information, Enquiries made with the consent of the subject of the enquiry or where the enquiry is incidental.


We would like to know further information about this and the best deals you can offer. If you could get back to me regarding this it would be most appreciated.


S.A.F.E (The Security and Facilities Education Limited), tele: 01952 699039  e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the first point of contact for those looking to enrol with the A.B.I Academy. SAFE will record the learners details (Name, address, contact details) and take the payment. At this point, learners will be asked to choose their trainers and preferred exam date and place. There are four training companies to choose from.


If you have a group of ten a 10% discount for your A.B.I Academy IQ Level 3 Award is available, upto 20% off for 20.


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