Licensing In Our Industry – Where do WE Stand On The Issue?

In last week’s blog we detailed our encounter with one of the more unscrupulous and brazen ‘unregulated’ PIs in our region – one who sought to ‘squat’ off our business address and steal our marketing materials, whilst claiming he didn’t need to be insured to work in this field. You can read more about that here should you wish.

That encounter leads us on this week to discuss our thoughts and feelings around the latest news that FINALLY strict licensing and enforced regulation will be brought to the investigation industry.

Here at Surmount Investigations, we could not be more keen and enthusiastic to see such licensing and regulation brought into the industry.

As a full member of The Association of British Investigators we adhere to a strict professional code of conduct and ethics in how we behave as PIs and how we conduct our business anyway. But the idea that they could soon become an enforced national standardisation would be a tremendous advance for all honest, hardworking, regulated PIs already out there.


To put it simply, even at its base standard a Home Office regulation would have to at the very least push anyone marketing themselves as a PI to meet the *minimum* entry requirements as posited by The ABI. Namely:

  • They would need to hold a minimum of a Level 3 qualification in Professional Investigation.
  • They would need to hold a clear DBS (aka CRB) check.
  • They would need to have professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies in place.
  • They would have to present two references from someone within the field to advocate for their professional standing.

This would mean that almost instantly all these unregulated, uninsured, bottom feeding ‘Gumtree Gumshoes’ – who exploit people in need with inflated invoices, poor and often illegal work with unusable results and who misrepresent who they are/where they are based and what their level of expertise is – would have to step out of the shadows and shape up to the standard of the rest of us.

They would need to either get lawfully standardised or close up shop. They’d have to work to a professional standard or face the consequences.

They would… and there really is no downside to this… have to stop what they’re doing that damages our industry or simply stop what they are doing full stop because the law commands it.

Here at Surmount Investigations we vote overwhelmingly YES on licensing and regulation in our industry.