Investigation is not rocket science. Nor is it something that’s easy to do; good investigators spend years – even decades – honing their craft and learning new skills. Keeping up with the technology, taking on new and varied assignments, trying new things. All account for leadership in the field.

And believe me, you can tell the good one’s from the pretenders!

As trainers in private investigation, we often get the chance to ask  trainees what they think are the most important traits of an private or corporate investigator. Of course, the standard replies come flooding in of being ethical, honest, professional, knowledgeable and like responses.

When we drill down even further, the ability to know the legislation, organise your work priorities,  conduct surveillance, obtain effective information from witness and conduct effective records of interview feature.

But one thing – a critical thing – often is missing.


What many people don’t realise is that a good investigator will run things out to the point of exhaustion. He or she will chase every rabbit down every hole in the pursuit of the facts. And, unlike what we see on Law and Order or Criminal Minds, that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a computer or flying around in a private jet. Or in the case of Magnum, driving a red Ferrari.

It’s about boots on the ground and asking the right questions.

Fictional detectives like Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch have a mantra for getting to the bottom of things: Get off your ass and go knock on doors.

As a good private investigator, there’s always a sure-fire way to find something out.

Knock on doors. Talk to people to find out what they know. Hit the streets and then talk to people more. Make notes, follow up and chase things down. Practice persistence.

Sure, there’s a need for computers, the internet, databases, analyst software, Facebook, twitter, instagram and snapchat. These are important tools, particularly in locating people (or skip tracing). Likewise, locating missing persons is an arduous task that can take a lot of time and resources and sometimes not achieve a successful outcome despite all the work.

Some investigation trainers, and some investigation agencies, are better at this than others too.  At the Professional Investigators College of Australasia (PICA) we provide investigation training that’s real-world, relevant and up-to-date. Our trainers and assessors have walked the walk.

Whether it’s a career change, opportunity for a second income or additional development for you as an investigator, PICA guides you through your continuing education in a practical way. We’re the leaders in online private investigation training across Australia and the Pacific.

If you’re thinking about becoming a private investigator, whether it is as a surveillance operative or a factual investigator, check out or give our team a call on 1300 649 967.

Our Certificate III in Investigative Services gives you the knowledge and skills you’ll need to be a successful investigator. And it’s a nationally accredited qualification, which means that you can use this qualification to obtain your private investigators licence (in most states).

At PICA, we’re focused (and driven) to improve the standard of investigation and investigation training in the private and corporate sector.