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Apply for a private investigator licence

A private investigator might be hired to:

  • find out private information about a person without their permission
  • carry out surveillance to gather information about that person
  • investigate the case of a missing person.

You need to hold a current licence to do this job. To become licensed, you must:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • complete your training and attach proof of qualifications
  • fill out and lodge the application form.

You don’t need a licence if you work (as an employee or contractor) for:

  • legal practitioners
  • accountants
  • insurance businesses
  • insurance adjustment agencies
  • independent investigators for grievances in the Queensland Public Service.

Application for a security provider licence: Individual - Class 1 (PDF, 241KB)

Eligibility

To be eligible for a licence, you must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • not pose a risk to public safety
  • pass the required training course.

You are not eligible for a licence if you have been convicted of a disqualifying offence in the past 10 years, where a conviction was recorded.

You must also tell us if you have been found guilty of a disqualifying offence in the past 5 years, where a conviction was not recorded (this is known as an ‘unrecorded finding of guilt’). We may ask you for further information so we can assess if you are a suitable person to hold a licence.

Lodgement

Identification

When you lodge the form, you will need to attach 100 points of formal identification. These documents must be either original (if lodged at the counter) or certified copies.

Your identification must include at least 1 of the following 5 documents:

  • Birth certificate or extract
  • Passport
  • ImmiCard
  • A driver’s licence
  • An 18+ card.

You may also need to include some of the following documents to make up your 100 points:

  • Citizenship certificate
  • An ID card
  • A social security card
  • A letter from your employer
  • Any other official letter, card or statement listed on the application form.

You will need to pay certain fees when you lodge your application. These include:

  • the licence fee (as listed on the form)
  • a criminal history check fee of $39.00
  • a fingerprinting fee of $100.

Fingerprinting

By law, the police need to fingerprint all security providers. We will contact you after you lodge your application form to explain what you need to do.

Get more details

Criminal history check

To confirm your suitability, we will submit your application for a criminal history check. This will be thorough and may be time consuming.

If you were born in New Zealand or have a New Zealand passport, you need to get a copy of your criminal history or a letter indicating you have no criminal history from New Zealand. For more information, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Justice website.

You don’t have to pay any fees to get a New Zealand criminal history check. We can only accept original documents dated within one month of the date you send them to us. Please note it takes 20 working days to process a request for a New Zealand criminal history check.

Processing time

The processing time is 4–6 weeks. This can take longer if you have not supplied us with the all the information we need or you have not paid the correct fees.

Refunds

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to a partial refund if:

  • you withdraw your application
  • we refuse your application.

You may also get a refund on the fees for:

  • fingerprinting
  • your criminal history check.

Training

You need to do your training through a registered training organisation. Use the My Skills website to find a training provider.

Full course list

Please note: as of 1 July 2014, we no longer accept course modules from the Asset Security Training Package (PRS03).

The PRS-coded modules are out of date. You must pass all the training under the 2011 Property Services Training Package (CPP07).

The CPP course must include all of the following modules.

Name of course module Module code

Compile investigative report

CPPSEC3028A

Provide quality investigative services to clients

CPPSEC3029A

Conduct surveillance

CPPSEC3030A

Organise and operate a surveillance vehicle

CPPSEC3031A

Gather information by factual investigation

CPPSEC3032A

Conduct interviews and take statements

CPPSEC3033A

Operate information gathering equipment

CPPSEC3034A

Prepare and present evidence in court

CPPSEC3009A

Store and protect information

CPPSEC3012A

Locate subjects

FNSMERC304A
or
FNSMERC304B

Develop investigative plan

CPPSEC3027A

Contribute to effective workplace relationships

BSBFLM303C

Organise personal work priorities and development

BSBWOR301B

Maintain workplace safety in the security industry

CPPSEC3001A

Work effectively in investigative services

CPPSEC3026A

Restricted licences

You can apply for a restricted licence. This will let you finish your training as you work, as long as you’re supervised by a fully licensed provider of the same licence class.

A restricted licence only lasts for a term of 6 months. Before this term expires, you must:

  • complete the training requirements
  • apply for an unrestricted licence.

You cannot apply for an extension of a restricted licence.

Supervision

A supervising private investigator must:

  • give the restricted licensee detailed written instructions about the work they need to do
  • write down the tasks that the licensee performs
  • regularly check their progress (include written notes).

Starting to operate

Once you are licensed, you will need to follow a range of legal requirements.

A range of penalties may apply if you breach these requirements.

Managing your firm

Your requirements

Breaches and penalties

Certified documents

A photocopy is not a certified copy unless you do the following.

Take the original document and a copy of that document to:

  • a Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • a Commissioner for Declarations (C.dec)
  • a solicitor or barrister
  • a notary public.

They will:

  • stamp and/or sign the copy
  • write 'This is a true copy of the original document' on the copy.

This now becomes a certified copy.

Find a JP or C.dec in your area

If you visit any of our locations, you can bring the original document with you and one of our officers wil make a certified copy.

Please do not post us the original documents.

Last updated
30 June 2017
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