top of page
  • Peter Jenkins

The end of the road for PI Licencing or a kick up the backside?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Level 3 Award in Professional Investigations training to be Withdrawn…

For those in the investigation sector, you will all be aware that the government & the SIA has been attempting (I use that term loosely) to licence the sector for many years. At the last declaration the SIA stated that if licencing were to be introduced the criteria would be:

· Proof if identity (passport etc).

· Clean Criminal Convictions (Disclosure Scotland etc).

· Display competency (minimum Level 3 Award in Professional Investigation).

Whether this will continue to stand or not is now up in the air as the two awarding organisations who host this qualification in Professional Investigation (Pearson’s & SFJ Awards) have both declared they will be withdrawing the qualification from their portfolios.

Pearson’s ends in December 2023, therefore if SFJ Awards follows suit it will leave no one to offer this training / certification. What will the SIA ask for now when it comes to demonstrating a level of ‘minimum competency’?

Due to the fact that the SIA have been dragging their heels on the licencing issue, naturally enrolments for the PI qualification is going to dwindle. This is probably reflective of why the AO’s are not finding it financially viable to host them, which is understandable. If it was announced that licensing for PI’s was going to be introduced in say, June 2024, there would no doubt be a sharp rise in takings because it would now be compulsory.

I can see a newer forward-thinking AO taking up the reins (possibly redesigning the course to make it current) and then reap the rewards when the licensing issue is again resurrected, as everyone scrambles for a qualification.

The only other option is for the various training companies / centres to design their own qualification as a ‘Customised Award’, but this will still have to be sanctioned by an AO. The drawback being, that one company’s course will differ from their competitors and it is likely that there will be no standardisation.

SFJ Awards have produced a consultation document to ask whether it is still viable to offer this course. I would encourage any stakeholder or training provider with an interest to respond to them and the cut off date for consultation is the 11th August 2023.

I am watching how this progresses with interest and curiosity...

30th August 2023 Update.

Awarding Organisation 'SFJ Awards' have now reviewed the Professional Investigations qualification and have stated that it will remain on the books. A working group will be formed in the new year (2024) in order to update the existing qualification.

241 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page