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Can You Rely on Your Private Investigator or Enquiry Agent?

Can You Rely on Your Private Investigator or Enquiry Agent?

The Home Office, through The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is planning to licence private investigation services because it recognises there are individuals working within the Private Investigation industry whose ‘wayward’ activities have tarnished the whole industry.

The Private Security Industry Act was passed in 2001 however implementation of licensing is currently stalled although it is now expected to be implemented sometime in 2014, with the ‘offence’ date likely to be April 2015.

Licensing will encompass two elements; business licensing (based on the attainment of BS102000:2012) and also individual licences for each operative which will only be granted to applicants who:

i. Confirm their identity

ii. Pass the SIA criminality test

iii. Prove the right to work

iv. Have sufficient training and hold the approved qualification. (The qualification is expected to be Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators)

v. Are HM Revenue & Customs cleared.

A key aspect under the SIA licensing scheme is that it includes a test of competency which will be based on British Standard (BS102000) ‘Code of practice for the provision of investigative services’ which was first introduced in September 2013.

This British Standard, in partnership with the Association of British Investigators (ABI) seeks to help providers of investigative services demonstrate their accountability and give recommendations for the conduct, management, staffing and operational responsibility for the provision of investigative services.

The scope of British Standard (BS102000) is significant and includes among other aspects the following: Structure, Finance, Insurance, Legal Compliance, Code of Conduct, Subcontractors, Staffing, Health, Licensing Status, Training, Competence,  Continuous Professional Development, Premises, Equipment, Client instructions, Due Diligence, Management of information, Conducting the investigation, Confidentiality, General Conduct.

Tremark at the Forefront

While BSI Certification (and ISO 9001) is an important part of SIA licensing requirements it is also a ‘stand-alone’ feature.

At Tremark we have taken the decision to implement it now in readiness for the future implementation of the Act and to provide additional re-assurance to our clients that we continue to operate in a professional and appropriate manner.

Tremark are therefore proud to have been granted and accredited British Standard status.

This is in addition to both our debt collection and investigation services being compliant with the Information Commissioners Office as a data controller (Registration Number Z6357413)

What has been particularly pleasing is that many of our existing processes, staff training, subcontractor, compliance and code of conduct procedures were already well established and that we therefore continue to offer a first class private investigation service that includes:

·      Process Serving

·      Absconder and Employment Tracing

·      Surveillance

·      Pre-Sue Enquiries and Reports

·      Tenancy Fraud

·      Bespoke Investigations & Enquires

·      Certificated Bailiff Services

·      Property Visits

·      Repossession Agents

·      Commercial Debt Recovery

If you would like to talk to us about any of our investigation services please call Karl Brooker on 0845 862 1863 or contact us via email to

About The Author

Mark Hodgson is the Managing Director of Tremark Associates, one of the UK’s leading providers of investigative services. Mark has 30 years experience in private Investigations and the commercial debt recovery industries. He is Vice President of the Association of British Investigators, a member of the World Association of Detectives, The Institute of Credit Management and an associate member of R3 -The Association of Business Recovery Profession.