Institute of Professional Investigators
 Institute of Professional Investigators
[ Member Log In ]

Online Private Investigation Course Find a Private Investigatore Tracing - a guide to finding missing persons

Institute of Professional Investigators

Institute of Professional InvestigatorsFor over 36 years, the Institute of Professional Investigators has sought to encourage and promote its members to achieve and maintain a high standard of professionalism whilst engaged in their investigative activities. Our organisation is the only “Institute” within the private investigation sector in the United Kingdom. We consider our membership to be truly representative of the investigation sector.

New Identification Cards

The licensing threshold for private investigators is as clear as it ever will be. It just remains for the Government, SIA or another agency to enact it. Given that Theresa May the Home Secretary and likely next Prime Minister gave an undertaking 3 years ago that this would occur in 2014 and it has continually slipped - in fact it has been doing so consistently since 2001 - we have decided to recognise those members of the IPI who have taken the trouble to study for and pass the required NVQ Level 3 examination.

Given that a clear DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is already an IPI requirement, members who have passed the independent IQ exam are invited to submit a recent photograph in jpeg or other image format in order to receive an updated IPI 'Accredited Investigator' ID Card. It is hoped that this will introduce a further element of trust and credibility to the Industry in what appears to be a further period of governmental paralysis.

Non-members who have passed the qualifying exam are invited to apply to the Institute for membership and on acceptance of their application and supporting academic achievement will likewise be IPI accredited. Non-members who have yet to take the qualifying exam are invited to contact our office if they wish to take the exam and seek IPI accreditation through successfully passing the exam and being accepted as a member. Note that our accreditation and the ID card will ONLY be provided to IPI participants.

We are not acting as an agent of the Government in this offer, but as a professional institute seeking to provide a regime by which members of the public and companies can be reassured that an investigator is of good character and can demonstrate that s/he has achieved the threshold competence level. In doing this we recognise that all IPI members technically hold a higher level of qualification but as this is the SIA-set expectation, and one which is objectively set, assessed and unlikely to change, the Board felt that using it for this purpose was appropriate. Naturally, anyone contacting the office will be appraised of the higher expectations of your Institute.

For those wishing to undergo further training in investigative skills the IPI offers a range of distance learning and classroom courses, along with exemptions and exam opportunities. And on that particular note, see the details of the AGM in this issue.

Becoming a Private Investigator

Help and advice for those seeking a career as a Professional and Private Investigator.

Learn More

Find an Investigator

Do you want the best possible quality of work carried out in respect of the investigation you would like undertaken? Do you want to ensure that the information has been obtained lawfully and therefore in a manner that will be acceptable and valuable if and when your issue results in a court hearing?

Find an investigator

Private Investigation Course

The Institute's online Foundation Course has been running now for eight years and has become very popular as an entry point into the world of professional and private investigation. Study at home at your own pace.

Learn More

ICO Publications

The following publications, What price privacy? and When can I disclose information to a private investigator? have been by the Information Commissioner’s Office ( and would be of interest and use to investigators in all sectors. Copyright remains with the ICO.   

Professional Indemnity insurance for IPI members

The Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI) has developed in partnership with insurance broker Kerry London Ltd a discounted Professional Indemnity solution exclusively for IPI members.

Read more

Letter from Lord Taylor regarding Licensing

Deputy Principal James Harrison-Griffiths has recently received a response to his letter to Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP from Lord Taylor of the SIA with an update on licensing.

Read more

Attorney General’s guidelines on disclosure 2013

Revised guidance on how to apply the disclosure regime contained in the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 can be downloaded from the Government Website (Published: 3 December 2013)

Visit Government website

IPI and IQ

The IPI is now working closely with IQ to ensure that the online Foundation Course meets the necessary industry criteria.

IQ member

Learn More

IQ member

The Spring 2017 issue is now available for members.