To become a licensed Private Investigator in New South Wales does not require investigative experience or a Private Investigator course or Private Investigator training. The NSW state will issue you a New South Wales Private Investigator's license if you meet the basic Private Investigator requirements and have a PI sponsor or employer.
NSW Beginner Private Investigator License
This license is called Probationary Operator. You do not need to take a PI course to get this license.
Learning Private Investigation in NSW
When you get your New South Wales PO license, you'll need to know how to perform investigations fit for Private Investigations, such as surveillance. After learning how to perform investigations, you can simply work as a Private Investigator in New South Wales. To become a Private Investigator in NSW that can perform, it is recommended that you first learn how to work investigations relevant to the PI industry, such as surveillance for insurance fraud files. The fact that New South Wales does not have experience or education requirements does not mean that the quality of investigations is less in New South Wales than in other states. In fact, due to poor state industry standards, having a PI license in general does not make you a qualified Investigator regardless of experience or education requirements. The poor industry standard come from the non-relevant experience most, if not all, states require of you to become a licensed Private Investigator. This non-relevant experience can be education degrees and non-PI investigative experience.
NSW Private Investigator License Requirements
New South Wales Police Force
You must be 18yo or older.
You need a clean criminal and personal record.
You must be legally allowed to work in NSW.
You need to be employed by a New South Wales PI agency.
A PO license lasts for two years. During that time, you will need to complete a government approved PI course: "Certificate III in Investigative Services."
After you complete the course, you can apply for a full PI license. With a full PI license, you can apply for a Private Investigator business license and work for yourself.
An industry standard flaw most states have is regulations regarding law enforcement experience. Most states allow you to obtain a PI license if you have law enforcement experience. Some states also accept non-PI investigative experience to obtain a PI license. The problem with states requiring previous investigative experience is that there is no such thing as equivalent Private Investigator experience. Sure, a career in law enforcement will gain you some transferable skills to bring to the PI world. However, an investigative career outside of PI work will not provide you the skill-set to perform what we do the most: single person surveillance for insurance fraud investigations. Furthermore, PIs typically obtain all evidence via quality and litigious video. This is uncommon for most other investigative careers. Being a police officer will not make you a good PI the same way being a PI will not make you a good police officer.
Some states also require you to take an approved PI licensing course, such as NSW. However, these courses/ tests typically focus on what laws you need to be aware of. This is of course useful, but new Private Investigators still need to learn how to perform investigations. The required tests/ courses do not focus on what we do most: single person mobile surveillance. Often, these tests/ courses do not not even mention single person mobile surveillance. If you are becoming a PI, you need at least 100 hours of surveillance experience to be able to perform safely and meet client's high standards.
Another requirement issue is the acceptance of post-secondary degrees. These degrees that are accepted for PI licensing are typically in the criminal justice field. However, some states accept any post-secondary degree. The issue is, having an educational degree will offer almost no help to you in the Private Investigation industry.
Novel Data Investigative Learning offers the only Private Investigator education courses that focuses on mobile surveillance and understanding the PI industry. For more information on PI education, click here.
Thinking of Becoming a NSW Private Investigator?
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Become a Great New South Wales PI
Yes, you can become a great New South Wales Private Investigator. How? Through Private Investigator education. Not through the short New South Wales government licensing course, but through at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. This can be online Private Investigator training classes or in an in-class training environment. In order to become a successful New South Wales Private Investigator and meet Private Investigator requirements, you need to become educated on the complexities of the private investigation industry (this will also help you decide if you want to pursue the PI career) and how to set yourself up to become a successful Private Investigator. Secondly, you will need to become educated on how to perform investigations.
To learn the complexities of the New South Wales private investigation industry you will need to understand a few Private Investigator industry topics. Regional licensing requirements for Private Investigators will teach you what you need to obtain your New South Wales Private Investigator license. To help you decide if you want to enter the career of private investigation you, will have to learn the common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry. Understanding the learning curve of a Private Investigator will set you up to become a successful PI.
Before entering the New South Wales Private Detective industry, it is useful to know the challenges encountered as a Professional Private Investigator. This will also help you make career decisions. Then you need to learn what you will be doing as a Private Investigator. Learning the areas of specialization as a Professional Private Investigator and types of clients and corresponding file requirements will help with this. You will need to learn how New South Wales Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work to determine if this work environment is right for you.
If you are concerned about your ability to perform as a New South Wales Private Investigator, learning what factors will determine your aptitude as a Professional Private Investigator and what makes a “good” Professional Private Investigator will be essential. It is also important to know the physical and health requirements and health considerations. Then there is equipment. Learning about PI equipment needed in order to get started in a career as a Professional Private Investigator is a must.
Furthermore, you will need to educate yourself on communication devices and their role in private investigation. Lastly and most importantly, you must learn “The Investigative Mindset.” This will teach you how to think like a Private Investigator. After you learn these concepts, you will be well on your way to becoming a Private Investigator even without experience.
After learning the complexities of the New South Wales private investigation industry, you will need to develop practical skills in various areas. The most important areas are Desk Investigations, Pre-surveillance, surveillance, mobile vehicle surveillance, on-foot surveillance, obtaining evidence, and litigious reporting. To learn Desk Investigations, you will need to understand what is a Desk Investigation, Desk Investigation nomenclature, corroborated/ circumstantial evidence, The Evidence Document, The Desk Investigators Mindset, Google Basics for North America, and social media search basics for North America. Surveillance will be the largest subject to learn. Under this field you should learn about setting up a proper surveillance vehicle, surveillance spot checks, and surveillance set ups for various investigative operations.
As a New South Wales Private Investigator, you will spend the majority of your time performing investigations solo. This is why learning single person surveillance is crucial. Furthermore, you will occasionally work in surveillance teams, so you will need to learn how to perform surveillance with two or more surveillance operatives. New South Wales Private Investigators perform a lot of their surveillance from a surveillance vehicle, but also on foot, you will need to learn this also. The entire reason New South Wales Private Investigators are hired, is to obtain evidence. Obviously, learning how to obtain evidence, mostly in video form, is a must. As a New South Wales Private Investigator, you will need to obtain quality video that is litigious and that will satisfy your client. At the end of all this, you will need to learn how to create an investigative report that will most likely be used in litigation. After you learn all of this, you will have no trouble becoming a successful New South Wales Private Investigator.
It should be apparent now, why and how you can become a New South Wales Private Investigator. Yes, the government licensing course is necessary but it will not set you up for success as a Private Investigator. You will always need at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. You will need to learn the PI industry, as well as how to perform. In fact, becoming a Private Investigator through proper education will set you up to become more successful than Investigators with many years of experience but who have not developed a strong foundation with proper Private Investigator education.
What You Need to Learn to Become a successful New South Wales PI
Regional licensing requirements for New South Wales Professional Private Investigators
Common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry
The learning curve of a Professional Private investigator
Personal challenges encountered as a New South Wales Professional Private Investigator
Areas of specialization as a New South Wales Professional Private Investigator
Types of New South Wales clients and corresponding file requirements
How New South Wales Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work
What factors will determine your aptitude as a Professional Private Investigator
What makes a “good” Professional Private Investigator?
Physical health requirements and health considerations
Equipment needed in order to get started in a career as a Professional Private Investigator
Computers, tablets and peripherals
NATO Phonetic Alphabet
The Investigative Mindset
What You Need to Learn to "Perform" New South Wales Investigations
How NSW Desk Investigations are performed
Finding people in NSW who intentionally disappear
Corroborated & circumstantial evidence
What is evidence & how to structure it
The Evidence Document
Google as an investigative tool
Daily PI Gear Protocol
Data & evidence security
Skill vs, luck and circumstances
Risk vs. reward
Understanding & managing "Heat"
NSW traffic conditions
Driving methods for different NSW environments
Surveil filming best practices
Mobile foot surveillance
PI surveillance Gearbag
Required NSW surveillance equipment
Clothing and props
The physics or mechanics of foot surveillance
On foot following techniques & best practices
Transitioning in and out of buildings
Video framing and quality
About the Author
Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 15 years as a Professional Private Investigator. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting investigations and security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous investigative & security training programs in various capacities. Peter has helped many in NSW on their journey to becoming Private Investigators.