Comments on the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on the Private Investigation Industry
The report, which covers the role of investigators, their relationship with law enforcement agencies, licensing of the sector and issues surrounding data protection makes interesting reading and is available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmhaff/100/100.pdf. Central to the recommendations is the establishment of a new code of conduct for investigators.
In terms of skills, the report states, “We are convinced that competency does not ensure conscience. The core of any training regime for investigators ought to be knowledge of the Code of Conduct and the legal constraints that govern the industry.”
“Whilst the shape of licensing is not bound by the outcomes of the Select Committee enquiry the report provides a useful contribution to the debate,” said Raymond Clarke, Chief Executive of IQ. “The coverage of the skills issue in the report is a little disappointing and provides little guidance. We believe that the current standards, endorsed in principle by the SIA, cover much of the requirements as a general qualification but more consideration could have been given to how specialisms could have been included within licensing. In principle, we support the addition of a code of conduct and its inclusion within training requirements for the industry.”
“There is a risk that the lack of detail in the report on skills issues will lead to investigators and investigation companies deferring investment in training whilst awaiting a definitive interpretation of the way forward. We would encourage the SIA to provide clear guidance on the future development of training and qualification standards for investigators so that those working in the sector can engage in development activities, confident that they will be recognised in the future.”