Become a Member

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” (Albert Einstein)

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
  • All members require a Criminal Conviction Certificateclick here for Policy Statement (Basic Disclosure or above) and are vetted and quality assured, this includes financial probity and clear of monetary judgments
  • The ABI Academy provides a pathway to develop your skills and career, with Level 3 Award in Investigation being the entry competence criteria for Full and Provisional membership, alternatively you can be exempt by attending an ABI data protection (UK GDPR compliance) workshop
  • Active members offering services to the consumer and commerce are required 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:

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

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 previous Applicants think? 

“I have done a fair bit of research, discounting a few of the other ‘official’ associations and institutes, and see ABI as my most logical step in working towards my future goal of working as a Private Investigator.”

Run a smarter business with the ABI Academy

The ABI Academy is there to shape you as an investigator, and as a business owner.

You’ll have access to courses, seminars and workshops on a host of topics.

How does a surveillance team operate? How do you manage Lone Worker Conflict? What are the latest Open Source Intel Techniques? What are the best reporting systems? Is your equipment fit for purpose?

From fundamentals to advanced, from traditional to cutting-edge methods, all the knowledge…and refresher training…you need is at your fingertips.

The Academy even helps new investigators to gain qualifications and enter the industry.

What do members' think about the ABI Seminars:

“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: save 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
  • 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 and included in the Law Society of Scotland approved supplier scheme. 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
  • Associate Membership - for public sector professional investigators

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 Associate 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
Nationally Recognised Qualifications
DVLA keeper information
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
Discount for AIMS Accountants for Business
Demonstrate Disciplinary Criteria for BS102000
Model Terms of Business (Member to Member)
Model GDPR Compliance Documents
Provisional Membership Join Full Membership Join Associate Membership Join Overseas Membership Join Affiliate Membership Join
Membership Levels and Benefits.
Provisional Membership
Full Membership (Most Popular)
Associate Membership
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 here. 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, and included in the Law Society of Scotland's approved Supplier Scheme.

The highest independent professional bodies 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.
Scotland Law Society logo
Professional Indemnity Insurance
It is vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy"
Theresa May
31st July 2013

Get in Touch (See Privacy Notice on Contact Page)

Thank you, your message has been sent.
A member of our team will be in touch shortly.