Become a Member

Join the elite ranks of your profession as a member of the ABI

Gain credibility, work more efficiently...and enjoy a more profitable business

It’s not easy, is it?

Some clients won’t trust you, because they’ve been burnt in the past. And some don’t know the pitfalls - so they’re tempted by cut-price offers.

So, you probably feel caught in an uphill battle. Always stressing the need for quality, and pushing your own credentials.

And that’s just the beginning – the hurdle of finding work.

As a business conducting investigations, the challenges keep coming. You have to run a business, and make sure you’re paid every month. You have to stay up to speed with new legislation and investigation methods. You have to sharpen your skills, by attending to CPD. It never ends.

Does it ever feel as if you’re walking blindfold into a maze?
The good news is, you don’t have to wrestle with this alone. The ABI is a century old professional body, looking after the interests of professional investigators in the UK.

We’re here to help you prove your credibility. To show you how to work more efficiently. To make sure you always have the tools you need – both as an investigator, and a business owner.

Maybe you’re getting by today. But if you feel things could be better, please take a moment now to see how ABI membership will help you…

Who are The ABI?

You’ve probably heard of us. There’s been an Association of British Investigators in one form or another since 1913, so chances are we’ve come up in conversation before now!

If you’re new to us, though…or you need reminding…here’s a quick overview:

A Badge of Quality
Clients will see your membership as proof of quality and accountability – because:

  • We regulate our members through a credible code of ethics and professional standards, adopted by the British Standards Institution as the template for BS102000
  • We’re the only credible industry body with an independently adjudicated disciplinary procedure
  • Our vetting procedure includes inspecting applicants' Criminal Conviction Certificateclick here for Policy Statement (Basic Disclosure or above).  
    •    For alternative methods of obtaining a Basic Disclosure click here  
  • We also carryout credit checks and insist on all members (and their business) being clear of any monetary judgment or other insolvency.
  • The ABI provides a pathway to develop your skills and career, with attending an ABI data protection (UK GDPR compliance) workshop being the entry competence criteria for Full and Provisional membership, [the cost for which is included in the membership application fee; CLICK HERE for details (subject to availability)].
  • Active members offering services to the consumer and commerce will need to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • All Full and Provisional members must be registered with the Information Commissioner's Office

Developing Partnerships:
We’re the only sector specific professional body to align with our high level partners:

  • We’re working with the Law Society of England and Wales
  • We're an approved association by the DVLA
  • We're working with numerous sector specific partners to bring new techniques and discounts to the membership
  • And we're the only sector professional body to offer members a free legal helpline with:

Influencing at the top level
We work with government and other stakeholders, to raise professional standards:

  • We’ve been lobbying for regulation since the 1950s and the only organisation to offer solutions
  • We gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Press Standards 
  • We liaise with the Home Office, the Information Commissioner's Office, the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Conduct Authority

In short: no other body representing the professional private investigation sector has such impeccable credentials. Add our logo to your website, business cards and stationery, and potential clients know…their investigation is in safe hands.

What do members' think about the ABI Seminars & Workshops:

“I attended the ABI training seminar in London and can advise that this was probably one of the most important seminar that I have attended in recent years

“I would like to go on record to say I have recently been to an ABI Seminar. The day was very informative and the key note speakers made what can be dry subjects very enjoyable and engaging”

“It is critical for this industry that the ABI take a firm grasp of GDPR and provide its members with invaluable business guidance. It was certainly worth the time to attend the training”

“I found the ABI training seminar very informative backed up with some truly knowledgeable guest speakers it made for an all round good day”

What do you stand to gain?

As with that famous credit card, membership has its privileges. Here’s a quick snapshot of the benefits in store:

  • A badge of quality: the ABI logo proves you meet professional standards
  • Background screening: saving potential clients the bother of due diligence
  • Access to CPD training and qualifications through the ABI Academy
  • Best practice, to help you work more efficiently…and maximise your profits
  • Favourable terms of insurance – a special rate for ABI members
  • Networking: a chance to learn from, and work with, other members
  • Our online newsletter: weekly updates on industry standards, equipment and techniques
  • The Bulletin Board: a private members’ forum where you can offer work, ask a question, look for assistance, or share some news
  • A members only free legal helpline
  • Plus: Free advertising to clients, via the ABI Members Database

Of course, there are alternatives. We’re not the only organisation that can help you. But we are the only one that’s working with the Law Society of England & Wales. The only one that has electronic access to DVLA keeper records. A code of ethics compatible with the British Standard BS102000, and an independently adjudicated disciplinary procedure.

Others can help you, yes. But can they give you end-to-end support, in every aspect of running your business?

Choose Your Membership Level

  • Full Membership (UK based) – two years’ trading required, click here for further details
  • Provisional Membership (UK based) – for new investigators, click here for further details
  • Overseas Membership - If you are a full time investigator, but resident and operating outside the UK
  • Affiliate Membership - for service providers to investigators, such as forensics
    •    The membership entry level for UK based applicants is attendance at an ABI UK GDPR workshop [the cost for which is included in the membership application fee; CLICK HERE for details (subject to availability)].

The application fee for any membership level is £250.00 for Overseas, and £250.00 plus VAT for UK based applicants.  The fee paid also covers the first year's subscription (Provisional will not pay anything further until upgraded to Full, which must be applied for within 2 years). Applications require considerable administration so the fee is non-refundable. The application fee is payable using the PayPal link immediately after the on-line registration.

For credibility…opportunity…insight…join The ABI today

Membership Levels
and Benefits.
Provisional Membership Join Overseas Membership Join Affiliate Membership Join
A Vote at Annual General Meetings
Entry in the Members Directory
Reference to ABI Law Society Relationship
Recognition & Respect
Exclusive Publications
Members Forum Access
Model Terms of Business (with client)
Provisional Members' Register
Branch Meetings & Conferences
Members Discounts to Events and Training
Display ABI logo by reference to member only
Demonstrate Disciplinary Criteria for BS102000
Model Terms of Business (Member to Member)
Model UK GDPR Compliance Documents
Provisional Membership Join Full Membership Join Overseas Membership Join Affiliate Membership Join
Membership Levels and Benefits.
Provisional Membership
Full Membership (Most Popular)
Overseas Membership
Affiliate Membership

Any Questions?

If you’re already sold on the idea of more credibility, a built-in support network and more efficient working, you can choose your membership and apply below.

Or if you’d like to ask a question before you take the next step, you can submit an enquiry below. Or call the ABI now on  44 (0) 20 8191 7500

Working with the Law Society

The ABI is the only association in this industry to be recognised by the Law Society of England and Wales.

The highest independent professional body for solicitors put their trust in us. We’re confident you can do the same.

The ABI other partners also recognise the value of affiliation to the principal professional body in the investigation and litigation support sector:

COURTSDESK SEARCHER is an on-demand search for court cases, or parties involved in court cases, in England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
The difference between a good investigator and a great one is attention to detail.

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