Private Investigator Licence InformationAustralian requirements to investigate professionally
To conduct investigations in many states of Australia, you are required to hold a valid private investigator licence. Licensing information varies from state to state, and we have included details below.
Select a state:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
New South Wales (NSW) Private Inquiry Agents Licences
Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004
There are Master and Operator Licences in NSW, with operator licenses having the requirement to be employed by a Master Licence holder. Licences are issued from 1 to 5 years.
To obtain an operator licence you must have successfully completed a Cert III in Investigative Services.
Application forms for Private Inquiry Agent License and further details.
Northern Territory (NT) Inquiry Agent Licences
The key requirements for holding an Inquiry Agents (Private Investigator) licence in the Northern Territory are passing a character test (criminal history check, etc), and proving sound financial status.
Operating as an Inquiry Agent, without a valid licence in NT, can incur a maximum penalty of $50,000.
Further information can be found on the NT Government Department of Justice web site. For application forms and fact sheets, follow the link to forms and publications.
Queensland (QLD) Private Investigator Licence Requirements
The Security Providers Act of 1993 states that security firms and people who are employed to work as security officers, crowd controllers or private investigators must be licensed.
To be eligible for a private investigator licence in QLD, you must be over 18 years of age, have completed an approved training course, and be a suitable person to hold such a licence. All applicants must also undergo a criminal history check.
The training component of licensing involves completing 12 core competency units, plus 3 nominated electives of a Certificate III in Investigative Services.
For more information, and for licence forms, please visit the QLD Governemnt site.
South Australia (SA) Investigation Agent Licence Requirements
The Security and Investigation Agents Act of 1995 states that all those employed or operating a business as an investigation agent must be licenced. The term investigation agents covers both private investigators – those conducting inquiry work, and Debt Collections.
Trading or operating as an investigation agent in South Australia, without a valid licence, carries penalties of up to $20,000.
To be eligible for a licence in South Australia, you are required to hold approved qualifications (Have completed a training course, or have other qualifications or experience recognised by an approved training provider), have not been convicted of certain offences, and be a person suitable to hold such a licence.
For further information on licensing in SA, or to download forms, visit the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (SA).
Tasmania (TAS) Inquiry Agent Licence Requirements
The Security and Investigations Agents Act of 2002, and the Security and Investigations Agents Regulations of 2002, require that anyone who trades or is employed as a Private Investigator – Inquiry Agent must be licensed.
Trading or operating as an inquiry agent in Tasmania, without a valid licence, carries penalties of up to $110,000.
To be eligible for a licence, you must be over 18 years of age, have not been convicted of certain offences, are not an undischarged bankrupt, and have completed a relevant course approved by the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs – or have your qualifications and/or experience recognised by an approved training provider.
Application forms and further information may be found at the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading (TAS) web site.
Victorian (VIC) Investigator Licence Requirements
Investigators, or inquiry agents, are covered under the Private Security Act 2004. Those employed as Investigators must hold a Private Security Individual Operator licence, and companies offering investigative services a Private Security Business licence.
To be eligible for an individual licence, you must have undertaken, or complete, a Certificate III in Investigative Services or higher. You must also undertake a criminal history check, and certain offences may prohibit you from holding a licence.
Business licensing is more involved, with such conditions as appropriate qualifications, knowledge or experience, and/or membership in an approved industry organisation considered relevant, is required.
For further information and application forms, please visit the Victorian Police site.
Western Australian (WA) Investigator and Inquiry Agents Licences
There are two different licenses in Western Australia covering Private Investigators. One for those who actually conduct Investigations (Investigator licence required), and one for those who advertise and supply the services of Investigators (Inquiry Agent licence required). Licenses are covered in the Security and Related Activities (Control) Act.
To be eligible to hold an Investigator licence, you must have completed a Certificate III in Investigative Services with an approved training provider. You must also provide referees, and undergo a criminal history check.
Those seeking an Inquiry Agent licence must provide a statement of assets and liabilities, complete a pre-licence test, provide referees, and undergo a criminal history check.
For an application form, or further information, please visit the WA Police site.