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Private Investigator Requirements, for Most Countries

For many government jurisdictions throughout the western world, there are very few Private Investigator requirements to work for a fully licensed Private Investigator. You will not have the ability to perform investigations on your own but you can as a Private Investigator employee for a Private Investigator agency. However, you should first learn how to perform investigations relevant to the Private Investigator industry, such as surveillance for insurance fraud files. The fact that most jurisdictions have few to no PI requirements and are allowing employees to investigate as unlicensed Investigators does not mean that their quality of investigations is less than fully licensed Investigators. In fact, due to poor industry requirement standards, having a Private Investigator license does not make you a qualified Investigator. The poor industry standards come from the non-relevant experience most, if not all, government jurisdictions require of you to become a fully licensed Private Investigator. This non-relevant experience can be education degrees and non-PI investigative experience.

As mentioned above, most government jurisdictions allow employees of Private Detective agencies to work and investigate with no PI license. However, the majority of the other jurisdictions will have just one minor requirement: complete a short government approved PI licensing course. This course will typically focus on what laws Investigators need to be aware of and not actual investigative methods or training. In a lot of these jurisdictions, there is a specific government organization that controls licensed investigators and their PI requirements. So, it is this government organization that will have a list of approved PI licensing courses that will fulfill the Private Investigator requirement of needing a license course. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the licensing course to the government body, you will get your PI beginner’s license. This is where your struggle will begin.

requirements for private investigators

Private Investigator Requirements by country:

About the Author

PI requirements

Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 14 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.


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