Which course should I study?

Starting out or improving you knowledge?

If you have no previous investigation experience or knowledge we would recommend that you enrol on the IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF). Unlike other courses this is the ONLY online comprehensive distance learning course that covers every aspect of becoming a qualified professional private investigator.

Getting ready for SIA licensing?

With the forthcoming licensing of the UK private investigation industry when it will be necessary for all applicants applying for a private investigators licence to be able to prove competence in all the core units as specified by the (SIA) the Security Industry Authority.

The IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators (QCF) is for those candidates who have already completed the IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF) or a similar recognised qualification and/or are already working as a Professional Investigator. Obtaining this qualification will provide the required proof of competence to enable you to apply to the SIA for a licence to practice. Note: this is an online distance learning course but you will need to sit the exam at an approved centre.

Why choose the API?

The Academy of Professional Investigation is the only online distance learning course that provides full training in every aspect of Professional Investigation with the IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF).

Unlike other courses it also covers how to start up your own business, so you’ll have everything you need learn, train and start your very own business.

You will have a dedicated tutor so we will be with you every step of the way!

Why is the API course more expensive than other courses I found?

The API’s IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF) is the ONLY online distance learning course that covers all 12 modules to become a professional private investigator, including Affidavit templates.

It is important to note that they may be other recognised courses available at a lower price however; they will only include one module, such as an IQ Level 3 in Foot Surveillance.

Therefore the price of the API’s IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF) provides better value as it includes all 12 modules.

There are many private investigation courses available from all over the world that will provide you with a diploma or certificate once you have completed their course, however these certificates are directly from the provider of the course and not the awarding body. They hold no recognition in the industry whatsoever, neither are they a recognised qualification.

Can I work online?

Our online courses offer tutorials and a complete e-learning solution for our students.

How do I enrol on the Course?

The fastest way to embark on your new and exciting career is to enrol online making your payment through our secure payment facilities. You may use PayPal or PayPoint, you are not required to open an account and you can pay using your credit card. BACS payments and cheque payments are also welcome. Once payment has been received you will be enrolled on the course and your online login details will be sent via email.

Are there any Course examinations to sit?

Are there any Course examinations to sit?
The Academy has mentors available to answer any questions or queries that you may have throughout the duration of the course. At the end of each Module, you will have the opportunity to evaluate your new-found knowledge through a test exercise that you complete at home. The tests are not a case of pass or fail; they are to show you how you are progressing and identify the areas that may require revision. These methods of assessment are to ensure that individual students are given regular feedback. After completing all 12 modules and provided you have progressed well you will be able to sit the final exam, again, this is online, through IQ’s exam portal. The final exam consists of two papers, 1 multi-choice questionnaire paper and 1 short answer paper.  The pass mark is 70%.

You will receive your IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF), putting you in the elite category of being a qualified and competent Professional Private Investigator and entitling you to use the letters IQ CertPI.

How long will it take to complete the course?

Regarding how long it takes to complete the course will depend very much on the time, commitment, effort and enthusiasm that you are willing to devote to it. On average students studying on a part-time basis will take about 3 to 6 months. However, we have had students, who have studied full time, and completed the course within 6 weeks.

Who will be my course tutor?

The IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF) has been designed, prepared and written by practising Professional Private Investigators with a combined total of over 100 years’ experience. One of these highly qualified and experienced Investigators will be assigned to be your tutor, who will not only monitor your progress through the Course but will also answer any written questions within 7 days, completely free of charge, regarding any aspect of the Course.

Why should I enrol?

Enrolling on the course is a solid investment in your future and could prove to be one of your best decisions, in providing you with a nationally recognised qualification, together with providing you with an opportunity of achieving a high level of job satisfaction in a wide range of activities, leading to an exciting, rewarding and adventurous career.

What do I require to get started?

Completing the distance learning course will not only provide you with the fundamental investigative skills and knowledge, but also a Nationally Recognised Qualification, putting you in the elite category of truly Professional Private Investigators which will dramatically increase your employment opportunities within the industry, and also provide the opportunity to start your own business, obtain your first clients, as well as successfully and profitably carry out their assignments.

When can I start trading as a Private Investigator?

Once you have completed the course. With each module you’ll learn how to deal with new types of enquiries and when you have completed the course, you will not only be qualified and competent, but also have the confidence to deal with all types of assignments.

Do I require an office?

No, you can work from home, renting a small office once established. Some Private Investigators work permanently from home and use an accommodation address facility at a local business centre. Most are situated at prestige locations in Town centres and provide interview and secretarial facilities as and when you require them.

Do I need to advertise my business?

Unless you intend only working on a sub-agency basis, that is, for other established Investigators you will of course need to advertise your business and services to obtain clients. The Guide to Starting Your Own Business module provides detailed information on how and where to advertise for the best results from media advertising to internet networking.

What monies can I expect to earn?

With your new found knowledge, and some practical experience behind you, you could expect to receive a reasonable income working as an investigator. Of course, if you start your own business much will depend on the amount of time, commitment, effort and enthusiasm that you are willing to devote to it. Once established, you could well achieve £50,000 p.a. upwards.

What are the main sources of business?

Private Investigators obtain business from four main categories; the legal profession, commerce, industry and the general public dealing in all areas of civil, criminal and personal matters. The Guide to Starting Your Own Business module provides all the necessary ‘Know-How’ in obtaining all types of business.

What are my employment prospects?

Once you have obtained your IQ Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Professional Private Investigation (RQF), you will then be in a strong position to acquire employment within the investigation profession, or even start your own agency.

Do you require a licence to be a Private Investigator?

Licensing varies greatly throughout the world, ranging from no licensing requirement at all, as is the case in the United Kingdom at the present time, to strictly enforced conditions. Therefore, it is important that students should check the licensing requirements for the country they wish to trade in as a Private Investigator.

Do you need a police background to become a Private Investigator?

No! Anyone can become a Private Investigator. Whilst it is true to say that many ex-police may have a slight initial advantage due to their knowledge of criminal law, it is certainly not a requirement. Through the course, you will not only gain the knowledge of criminal law, but also civil law in which police officers have little or no experience. In fact, many former and serving police officers have obtained their qualification in investigation through the Academy.

Got a question we have not already answered? Get in contact.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)


Your Message