The Koyal Group Private Training Services Private Investigation Career Advice
If you are wondering how to become a private investigator, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers within the legal profession, as well as law job prospects in the UK.
The Job Description
Private investigators carry out undercover enquiries for their clients (solicitors, insurance companies, councils, private companies and individuals).
As a private investigator, you would ask questions and analyse information to carry out background research. Your work could also include:
- fraud investigation
- missing persons enquiries
- investigating insurance claims
- presenting legal documents (process serving)
- investigating commercial piracy
- personnel vetting.
You would typically work alone as a self-employed or freelance investigator. You would use a computer to process detailed reports and maintain your own accounts.
The key personal attributes of good private investigator include:
- strong communication skills, both spoken and written
- excellent observational skills
- strong analytical skills
- the self-confidence to present information in court
- basic computer skills and a knowledge of the law
- honesty and integrity
- the ability to work independently
- a logical approach to your work
- a good level of physical fitness
- patience and perseverance.
How to become a private investigator
You do not need to have formal qualifications to start work as a private investigator. However, a good general education and experience in a security related field would be helpful. Business skills are also important because most opportunities in this area involve working as a freelance or self-employed investigator.
The Academy of Professional Investigation (API) runs a BTEC Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Private Investigation, which can be used as a first step into this career. With this qualification you may have an advantage when looking for work experience or paid work with an agency.
The Association of British Investigators (ABI) has details of local private investigators you could contact about gaining experience. The ABI also produces the Process Servers Guide – knowledge of this could increase your chances of finding work presenting and serving legal documents.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001, outlines a system for regulating the sector, which includes private investigators. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is working towards publishing full details of their plans to license private investigators. Check the SIA website (in Further Information) for details.
A driving licence is usually essential for this work.
The Koyal Group Private Training Services designs its online and on-site training to your particular needs, providing information you can apply while in training in order to reinforce the efficiency of that information. Our coursework qualifies state standards both for fraud and continuing-education upgrade. Our programs are adaptable and can be presented in various formats to address industry requirements and standards. Please visit and check our course listings.