What does licensing mean? A license is defined as formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something, as to conduct some business or profession. Think about it, licensing is required in one form or another for a multitude of things we encounter in our daily lives. You are issued a driver’s license after meeting a set criteria for driving. Plumbers, electricians, architects, engineers, nurses, real estate brokers, and bail bond agents are all required to be licensed. This is only a partial list of licensed professionals. To find the complete list for Colorado check out DORA’s Division of Professions and Occupations website.


Current Licensing Practice

Investigators in Colorado are currently authorized to operate without a license. This means that investigators are not required to meet a set of standards. They do not have to train in order to stay up to date on the latest trends, best practices or legalities. As of July 1, 2012, Colorado’s legislature enacted a voluntary licensure program for Professional Investigators. This program created a set of standards for Professional Investigators to meet in order to obtain a license. The licensing program added a degree of professionalism to the occupation.


Why Should Investigators Be Licensed?

As a Professional Investigator and former Law Enforcement Officer, I see the value in a high set of standards. These standards add credibility and marketability. Think about this: if you were given a choice between two electricians to wire your house, one licensed and one not, which would you choose? I would choose the licensed professional every time. The mere fact that I know the licensed professional has met a set of standards gives me comfort. Why would you not use the same logic when choosing an investigator? Would you trust your family, your safety, your business, or your defense to an unlicensed, under trained, and improperly vetted person?


Who Should Be Licensed?

In Colorado, Professional Investigators should be licensed. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that is under-utilized because of the myths about licensing. Former law enforcement officers, defense investigators, loss prevention agents, security officers, general investigators, process servers and any other professionals where information gathering, protection and service are a key, should seek a Professional Investigator’s license. Not everyone can be a Professional Investigator and not every person that calls him/herself an investigator is professional. In Colorado licensing is a choice. It is a choice that lends credibility and professionalism. For a list of professional investigator licensing qualifications and to see how to meet these qualifications, check out DORA’s website. Don’t trust your investigative needs to just anyone.