Private Investigator Course
Private Investigation course brochure
“Go for it! It's easy to read, yet the assignments are challenging. The staff are great and very helpful.”
Andrea from Suffolk, UK
Stop thinking about it - Get on and do it, it is a very good, informative and enjoyable course.
Sandy from Bucks, UK
“Without reservation I would recommend it.”
Neil from Lancashire, UK
“It's probably the best and most in depth course available.”
Gavin from Notts, UK
Stop thinking about it and just do it, as I wasted too much time thinking about it myself.
Dale from North Yorkshire, UK

Diploma in Private Investigation Course FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

About the tutors

Are the tutors professional private investigators?

Yes, all tutors are working as professional private investigators.

Course costs

Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any extra fees?

There are no other costs or fees.

Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?

Yes. You can make five monthly payments. It costs 20% more. You can find the cost of paying by instalments by clicking here.

How could I get my money back if I don't like the course?

Just return the course in good condition within 60 days of receiving it, and we'll send you a full refund.

Course duration

How long does it usually take to complete the course?

Many students complete the course in five months. But you can do it as quickly or slowly as you want. That's one advantage of distance learning.

Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?

You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organisations, we don't set any time limits.

What does the course cost?

You can find the cost of the course by clicking here.

I live in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Borneo etc. Is the course suitable for me?

Yes. We have students in 28 countries.

How can I contact my tutor or the Blackford Centre?

There have two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course advisor. The tutor marks your work, and helps you with any problems. You can fax, email or post assignments to your tutor, whenever you want.

We don't give out the tutor's phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their tutors, who would never get any work done.

But sometimes students get stuck, or have an urgent question. If so, you can phone a course advisor at the Blackford Centre at any time during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we'll call you back the next day. You can contact course advisors as often as you want, and about anything to do with private investigation.

Is the course accredited or endorsed?

Our course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards' Quality Licence Scheme. This means that we have undergone an external quality check to ensure that our organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. ABC Awards' endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 Award against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

ABC logo smallABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual and the Welsh Government. They have a comprehensive portfolio of over 650 Ofqual regulated qualifications on the national Qualifications and Credit framework (QCF). It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries.

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

Read more about our course accreditation

Approved by the MOD in Support of the ELCAS SchemeAre you approved by ELCAS?

We are an Approved Learning Provider for ELCAS. Our Learner Provider Reference number is: 2558. To get to the ELCAS website, click here. To find us, search for our Learner Provider ID, which is 2558.

We are registered with ELCAS under our corporate trading name of 'Home Study Courses Limited'.

Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?

No. But it will help you set up and run your own business. And we encourage all students to continue their studies after completing the course.

Registration for PIs

What qualifications do I need to practise as an investigator?

By law you don't need any special qualifications to be an investigator in the UK. However, it helps to have a recognised qualification such as ours.

Is the UK government setting up a register for investigators?

At some point in the future, the government may (or may not) set up a register, and if so they might require PIs to register on it.

But there are currently no firm proposals for such a register. It may take years to come about, if at all.

Therefore neither we nor anyone else knows whether any course will meet the requirements of the qualification, if one is ever produced.

However, If you become a PI now, you'll have time to build up a practice. That way, if a register is put in place, you'll be an experienced investigator and therefore eligible for the register. Or you'll have done further training to make you eligible. Or other solutions will have occurred to you, such as delegating certain types of work to your employees or freelancers.

What if the UK register prevents me from working as a PI

We understand that it could be a concern for you. So we undertake to refund your fees if you're unable to work as a PI due to a government register. Registering on this course is therefore guaranteed not to lose you money.

Becoming a private investigator in Ireland

In the Irish Republic, PIs need a licence. To obtain a licence, you must provide the PSA, which is an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Finance, with a licence fee, a garda vetting form, a certificate of compliance with PSA standard and a tax clearance certificate.

None of this should be insuperable. Accept that it's a hoop you have to jump through.

however, the legislation is likely to be challenged in the courts.


When can I do the course?

Can I start the course at any time?


Where can I study the course?

Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?

It's all from home

Can I set up as a PI in Australia?

Click the link below for information about setting up as a PI in Australia.

Can I practise as a PI in South Africa?

To practise legally in South Africa you need to be registered with PSIRA ( Currently PSIRA only accepts SASSETA accredited courses (

Do I need to be accredited or certified to become a Private Investigator in India?

No. There is no official certification procedure in India for private investigators. You do not need any government recognised qualification.

But it is important to be able to demonstrate to potential clients that you have undergone formal training and gained a qualification. The certification provided by the Blackford Centre, which has been training people worldwide for over 20 years, will instil confidence in you and your clients.

Private investigation is an unregulated sector in India, and there is no national exam or certification process for it, at least as of now. The Private Detective Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2007, is still in the legislative process and no new update coming is planned.

See for details.

How can I be sure that you're legitimate, and that you won't disappear with my money?

Here are some answers we hope will reassure you.

  • We've been in operation since 1995; so we're very established.

  • We publish our physical address at the bottom of each page - and you are welcome to visit us.

  • You can read the Reviews of our students on the web site.

  • You can ask us for the contact details of former students who will talk to you about their experiences.

  • We publish an Ethical statement here.

  • We're registered at Companies House: registration number 352 4886 Our Licence number granted by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 is 606843.

  • Our VAT number is 729 1528 23

  • Our Licence number granted by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 is 606843.
  • Our bank is NatWest, 7 High Street, Wells, Somerset (we have money in the bank and no loans or overdraft).

  • We're registered with the UK government's Register of Learning Providers (; Number 10009490.

And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.