Private Investigators licence

The Private Security Industry Act outlines a system for the statutory regulation of the private security industry

Within the Private Security Industry various sectors have already been licenced such as: Manned guards, Door supervisors, Close protection operatives, Public space surveillance (CCTV) operators and Security guards by the Security Industry Authority. The S.I.A is the organisation responsible for this regulation and reports to the Home Secretary.

The Security Industry Authority has a series of objectives which cover these professions, such as: “Providing services and standards to their customers”, “Delivering regulatory activities effectively and efficiently”, “Delivering a development programme that continues effective regulation of the private security industry” and “To be recognised internally and externally as a model of good practice”.

Licencing for Private Investigators is a government priority
Although Private Investigator licences and the requirement for a business licence are still subject to Ministerial approval, the momentum is there and a whole new world of regulation, inspection and bureaucracy is coming.

The following indices can be drawn from existing literature:

To get the S.I.A Private Investigator individual / business licence you will need to meet stringent professional standards – pass the, “Fit and Proper person” tests.

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 – involving eligibility checks, an assessment conducted by an external body.

Please note that the Draft British Standard for the Provision of Investigative Services recommends that the competence necessary to complete an investigation is demonstrated by the supplier of the services: 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…the syllabus of the Level three Awards….The SIA have only ever recognised or endorsed, as a, “Test of Competency”, the following Awards: SFJ Awards Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators or the BTEC Professional Investigators, cost around: £300.00 – £600.00.

“Voluntary”, Kite marks, such as: British Standard 102000 and the Approved Contractor Scheme has meant that “Self regulation”, is, currently, the order of the day. The organisations and businesses that wish to bid for government contracts have already adopted this form of Private Investigator Licencing..

In order to apply for a future licence you must have the right to work in the UK but you do not have to be a British Citizen.

The SFJ Awards Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators qualification is required for the future S.I.A Private Investigator Licence and is an entry requirement for the professional investigator trade bodies.

With your licence you can begin your journey as an investigator, but, only experience, continual training and luck will ensure you make a successful profitable, career in the sector.

We are available throughout your investigation career – offering further learning, training and real work opportunities. Look at our process server and other training options to expand your skill set. We support and assist.

Your Principal Tutor holds a BA Hons degree and is the Managing Director of Burton Regan Limited a full time – front line Professional Private Investigator, Process Server and Enquiry Agent with 30 years’ experience:

  • Associated Detectives; London
  • Nationwide Investigations Group; Manchester
  • Anglo European Private Detectives Limited; Leeds
  • Burton Regan Detective Bureau; Leeds


Your Principal Tutor is also the Pearson Lead Examiner for the Professional Investigator Sector, a Founding Member of The Association of British Investigators Academy and is the retired Chair of the Northern Branch of the Association of British Investigators.

The training section of Burton Regan Limited