Private investigators in the UK are subject to a DBS check.
DBS checks are statutory criminal record checks which exist to keep the public safe. Due to the sensitive nature of the work you will undertake as a private investigator, including your: close contact with the public, handling of private information and position of influence, you must undergo a standard DBS check if you want to become a private investigator.
What is a standard DBS check?
There are four types of DBS checks in operation in the UK.
A standard DBS check for a private investigator is a mid-level DBS check. The search carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service will verify whether you have any unspent or spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings in existence on the Police National Computer.
This level of vetting is in line with the requirements for all other public-facing roles, set out in the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Vetting requirements for the SIA
You must have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to work as a private investigator. To apply for a licence you will need to have a standard DBS check.
If anything does show up on your standard DBS check for a private investigator, the SIA have clear procedures to determine how to assess your suitability for the role.
Past criminal records do not mean you will not be able to receive a licence from the SIA. In particular, the SIA will look at how long ago the offence was committed, the length of sentence given and the severity of the offence. Visit hub.unlock.org to find out more.