Currently, there is no official regulated body to recognise the PI industry. Simply put, anybody with little or no experience within this skilled industry can create a website and advertise private investigator services for a premium rate when actually delivering sometimes crippling poor results due to lack of field experience and / or the correct equipment.
Some many years back in 2004 / 2005 the PI sector attempted to regulate the industry however, through feedback by close associates there is still no firm regulation in place except for newly released training modules leading to BTEC level 3 certification which is accredited by Edexcel. Those wishing to enter the PI industry can (at their own expense) attend professional surveillance training schools for progressive certification although this is not a requirement.
Increasingly, modern PI's prefer to be known as 'professional investigators' or Licensed Private Investigators (LPI's) rather than 'private investigators' or 'private detectives'. This is a response to the image that is sometimes attributed to the profession and an effort to establish and demonstrate the industry to be a proper and respectable profession.
When choosing a Private Detective for personal or business matters it pays dividends to source a company who are well established with a proven track record. Such companies do have to abide by the governing laws including Data Protection and Privacy laws plus an abundance of other laws which may hinder obtaining an otherwise positive result for the client.