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About the ABI

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The voice and standard bearer for British investigators and the key representative body for professional investigators.

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The ABI was formed in 1913

The ABI is the home of professional investigators here in the UK. In an industry that’s still unregulated by the state, we work tirelessly to raise standards and to see the credibility of our members recognised.

Since the 1950s, we’ve lobbied successive governments for regulation. While we wait, the industry remains a ‘free-for-all’, where untrained and unscrupulous operators are free to practice. This tarnishes the reputation of our industry as a whole, so we’ve imposed our own voluntary self-regulatory regime by enforcing a robust code of ethics and standards. Members adhere to this, so ABI membership is worn as a badge of quality.

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Screening New Members

Any investigator / process server that applies for membership is carefully vetted; they must produce a criminal records certificate that meets the ABI Policy Statement, hold sufficient professional indemnity insurance cover and demonstrate sound financial probity. References are verified, and membership is only offered following a face-to-face review. Applicants must participate in several hours of GDPR training provided by the ABI and in this way, we can be satisfied that applicant have the correct understanding of privacy laws. The ABI will not hesitate to decline applications from those that cannot meet its standards.


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Training & Development

Meeting a standard is only the beginning. Members are expected to continue to develop their knowledge and skills and can achieve this by accessing the training courses promoted by ABI, attending its seminars, branch meetings, on line workshops and making use of the online email discussion portal known as the ‘onelist’.

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Professional Partnerships

The ABI is the only organisation in this industry to be working with the Law Society of England and Wales. This is Britain’s highest independent professional body for solicitors.

We’re also the only industry body to be approved by and hold a formal agreement with the DVLA.

We also work closely with several government departments on regulating the sector and improving standards.

These partnerships are more than a show of integrity.

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Our Members Database

If you wish to instruct a professional investigator, our Members’ directory provides access to the very best people in the sector. You can search by region or find a member with specialist experience in a particular field of investigation, satisfied that we’ve completed the due diligence, so you can make your choice with confidence.  To verify membership not found in the Members' Directory, please also check the ABI Directory of Provisional Members or contact the Secretariat on 020 8191 7500 or email 

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Working with the Law Society

The ABI is the only professional body in this industry to be working with the Law Society of England and Wales.

The highest independent professional bodies for solicitors put their trust in us.

We're confident you can do the same.

The ABI's other partners also recognise the value of affiliation with the principal professional body in the investigation and litigation support sectors.