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Regulation for Private Investigators Announced

Home Secretary Theresa May has today announced that a new system of regulation is to be introduced requiring all investigators to hold a licence in order to practice.

The new regulatory regime will protect the public from rogue investigators who have fallen under increasing scrutiny in recent years for engaging in unscrupulous practices such as blagging and phone hacking.

Mrs May said “It is vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy. That is why I am announcing today the Government’s intention to regulate this industry, making it a criminal offence to operate as a private investigator without a licence.

Anyone with a criminal conviction for data protection offences can expect to have their application for a licence refused. Journalists will be excluded from regulation to allow them to carry out legitimate investigations in the public interest.”

The control and issuing of licences will be managed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in a similar manner as the door supervisors, security guard and CCTV operator licences are currently managed. This means individuals will only be granted a licence if they hold a relevant qualification, confirm their identity and undergo a criminality check.

From an IQ perspective, we are delighted that licensing will finally be introduced which can only serve to raise standards in the industry. We have long anticipated such a move and our current qualification, the IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators, has been endorsed by the SIA and recognised as meeting the current qualification requirements for licensing.

In preparation for licensing we have always carried out a full SIA ID check for each learner on our course. This means that we can mass upload the data once the new regime comes into effect, allowing anyone who has previously completed our course to apply for their licence. Please note, however, that If the home office review identifies any additional training requirements then we will be updating our qualification promptly to reflect this and those who already hold the IQ qualification might need to undertake 'top up' training.

The government has pledged to introduce regulation as quickly as possible and to have it in place by next year. In the meantime, if you are interested in either offering or taking the IQ qualification, please get in touch.

Sep 25, 2013 12:49 PM
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