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I am a director of a company that provides investigation training for people ranging from those who’ve never conducted a professional investigation in their lives to those with some experience who want to enhance their knowledge.

We have allied ourselves to a qualification awarding body who accredit and therefore endorse our training course. For accuracy’s sake this means that the qualification that can be obtained through the course is acceptable to the authorities who one day may issue licences to investigators.

Unfortunately, we are becoming more aware of companies who provide what they call ‘private investigation training’ whose qualifications are that they’ve read some books, consulted with some investigators, and then written a course for one reason only – to make money. They haven’t bothered with writing their courses for accreditation and authority approval, they’ve just put a course together that fits a template that they think is what the student needs. Nor have they bothered to gain qualifications as trainers, also an essential element of the qualification/training process for formal educational awards.

What this actually means is that students pay out hundreds of pounds to achieve absolutely nothing, because they’ll have to pay it out again to a formally approved trainer when they need to qualify for a licence.

Which brings me to the point I am trying to make, which is to tell you to ensure that when you are seeking competence, be it in the workplace or in your personal life (e.g. hobbies, service provision), you make sure that the source of your training is an authoritative, expert source – and not a wannabe with an eye for your fast buck.

And ensure, also, that this expert is competent in training. I know many experts who couldn’t teach to save their lives. They aren’t competent to train even though they are marvellous at their trade.

It’s you r time and money you waste when one or both of these factors – competence and the ability to impart knowledge – are lacking.