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Private Investigator Course Outline

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Open learning improves career prospects and earnings

Study at home learning to become a Private Investigator.

If you want a career as a Private Investigator, our tutor supported open distance learning Private Investigator course provides the necessary knowledge, skills and qualification without disrupting your current lifestyle.

The DCA Home Learning Private Investigator course provides training in the core skills needed to embark on a rewarding career as a Private Investigator. The DCA supported self-study Private Investigator course is specially designed, allowing you to learn the skills of Private Investigation through flexible and cost-effective home study at your own time and pace.

Private Investigator Course Outline
Module 1:

The first module of the Private Investigator course identifies methods of evidence gathering and assessment of evidence. It provides the individual with an introduction to forensic evidence and what constitutes crime in legal terms. It further introduces investigation techniques and helps the student to understand what constitutes evidence in the eyes of the law. It explains which elements of police procedure relate to investigators and allows the student to be able to match relevant laws to crimes committed.

Identify different types of crime
Understand the different types of evidence and why it is important
Explain the correct legislation the police use for categorising crimes
Identify different kinds of evidence
Understand what is meant by the term evidence
Explain factors which relate to criminal offences
Explain terminology linked to forensic investigations
Identify the correct procedures processes linked to investigating crime scenes
Identify best techniques for collecting and preserving evidence at a crime scene
Identify the materials, methods and procedures used to collect different forms of evidence
Identify the methods and processes for storing evidence
Recognise the value of different types of evidence to an investigation

Private Investigator Course Outline
Module 2:

The second module focuses on taking statements, and handling interview situations when interviewing witnesses and others. It also details the legal ramifications of statements as evidence, and considers the ethical implications of types of questioning which may be used by private investigators.

Explain the value of statements and the need for accurate and legally obtained statements
Systematically acquire information from witnesses, victims and suspects
Identify the correct questions to ask in specific circumstances
Identify ethical considerations for the private investigator
Identify the main parts of a good investigation
Identify the key questions to ask during investigations
Write statements in a useful/appropriate relevant way
Develop techniques to improve information-gathering during interviews
Identify how statements should be prepared for the UK court system, i.e. the format, the content, the structure, the conventions of statements
Identify the legal responsibility concerning statements as evidence
Demonstrate knowledge of how a statement should be completed
Explain the legal ramifications of providing false evidence in a statement.

Private Investigator Course Outline
Module 3:

The third module provides background to work undertaken by those working in the investigative industry. The module covers material concerning recent thinking on criminals and UK approaches to crime. It gives the student a background to the possible causes of crimes; approaches include: social, biological and psychological thinking on crime and criminals. The module also seeks to provide a perspective for looking at criminal behaviour and possible causes and solutions to crime and criminality on both an individual and societal level and provides essential background material to the investigative work of the private investigator.

What is crime
Crime, definitions and theories
A historical background to crime
Crime as violation of human rights
Crime as social construction
Theories of crime
Physical characteristics of crime
Psychological approaches
Biological theories of crime and criminals
White collar crime


Private Investigator Course Outline
Module 4:

The fourth module deals with issues of process serving and surveillance. The module also covers all aspects of surveillance including covert surveillance, and planning and preparation for surveillance. The material covers still and video photography and other technical issues relating to mobile, foot and static surveillance.

Identify the key methods of surveillance
Discuss the qualities of a good surveillance operative
Explain the key concerns when planning surveillance
Identify the correct and legal way of gathering evidence in a manner that will be accepted by the courts.
Recognise the key communication skills needed to ensure group surveillance works
Explain types of monitoring equipment required for surveillance
Define best practice for foot surveillance
Identify the best practice for individual and group surveillance
Identify mobile surveillance methods
Identify methodologies for different and difficult surveillance situations and potentially difficult areas
Identify different methods of static surveillance
Explain important considerations for surveillance on people, buildings and objects
Demonstrate a knowledge of how photography can be used effectively in surveillance
Identify methods of counter-surveillance
Demonstrate knowledge of methods of technical surveillance.
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