I had a lady call me the other day who was confused, she wasn’t sure what it meant to be, let alone what it took to be, a Private Investigator in Australia. She said that it was quite ironic that she couldn’t find much information, and remarked ‘its not called “PRIVATE” investigation for no reason’! So, I thought I would help people with the process and let you know what a Licensed Private Investigator does and how to become one!
Most people, when they think of Private Investigators, think of the reality tv show ‘Cheaters’ or good old Magnum PI. While there is work available for people who would like to take up a career investigating infidelity, you will not learn about that from the Australian Security Academy. We will teach you Civil Investigations.
Civil investigators don’t conduct criminal investigations. The majority of licensed investigators perform work on behalf of insurance companies, government departments or corporations. Their tasks include establishing and confirming the circumstances surrounding incidents, accidents and events so that the employer can make informed decisions. Private investigators also gather evidence for use in civil court cases including bullying, inappropriate conduct, sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
Civil investigators can work in both private and government organisations investigating matters involving workplace health and safety, statutory compliance, fraud and loss prevention.
There are two broad categories you can lump many of the investigations you can do as a Civil Private Investigator into:
Factual Investigations & Surveillance Investigations
With factual investigations you spend time gathering factual evidence to help whom ever you are working for get a clear picture of the event or circumstance that requires investigation. You may take statements from people, gather information, research policy, legislation or processes and look into roles and responsibilities.
Surveillance investigations might have you taking video and/or photographs, reporting on activities or even simply noting whereabouts. Surveillance could be on a person, place or thing.
Civil investigators have to report daily on their activities, expenses and the progress made in respect to their investigations. They are required to present progress reports regularly to their clients, after which they sometimes receive further instructions. This is done on line through a Case Management System.
Private Investigation is one of the best jobs in the world, and like most things, it’s not like it is on TV! You will be required to investigate anything from a slip and fall to a dog bite to an accidental injury to a stolen motor vehicle. In our 101 Civil Investigations ebook you can get more of an idea what specific types of investigations you will do, you will also see case studies. If you would like a copy of that book flick me an email requesting the book at firstname.lastname@example.org. This book is a valuable resource and I am happy to give it away for free if you are interested in learning more.
Now, what does it actually take to become a licensed private investigator? If you live in the Australian Capital Territory you can just call yourself a Private Investigator and start investigating until your hearts content! But if you cross a boarder into a different State you will need a licence as every other State in Australia has strict licensing. In order to apply for a Private Investigation licence you will need CPP30607 Certificate III in Investigative Services. You can study this Certificate through a Registered Training Organisation and it can take you anywhere between 4 and 6 months of study, depending on full time or part time study availability. Every State but Victoria can study this qualification online, which means you can continue to work as usual and complete your studies without ever seeing a classroom! But if you live in Victoria, you have a mandatory 40 hours class time, as well as the online components, in order to gain your qualification.
Once you have completed your course and you have your Certificate in hand, all you have to do is apply to the appropriate State authority that you would like to work in. For a list of appropriate authorities and the costs involved go here.
This empowering learning and licensing process will leave you feeling capable and confident to join the investigation workforce and start on your way to success in your new chosen career! If you have any questions regarding becoming a Private Investigator, give me a call!