Private Investigator Courses
Blackford Centre for Private Investigation
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.
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.
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 endorsed?
Yes. Our course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality License Scheme.
This means we have undergone an external quality check to ensure that our organisation and the courses we offer meet certain quality criteria.
ABC Awards’ And Certa 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 Awards and Certa Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual and the Welsh Government. It has a 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 range of professions.
When you successfully complete this course you will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and Certa 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 course accreditation here
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?
No. There were originally plans to do so, but the government has decided against it.
The UK Home Office has confirmed that it has no plans for the SIA (Security Industry Association) to licence private investigators (see the Home Office letter below).
"Thank you for your letter of 2 June 2017 in which you enquire after the licensing of private investigators through the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
The licensing of private investigators has been considered for some time, but is not an industry that the SIA currently licences. There are no immediate plans to legislate the licensing of this sector.
I hope this provides you with some reassurance.
Home Office Sponsorship Unit
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?
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.
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 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 (www.ukrlp.co.uk); Number 10009490.
And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.
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