Hiring a PI
- Some PI's are a member of the Professional Investigators' Association of BC, PIABC. At the PIABC website you can research member's firms, the services they offer and the areas in the Province where they work. PIABC members adhere to a code of ethics, responsible business practices and have a complaint process in the event of a dispute. There is also a complaint process through the Security Programs Division (The licensing authority in BC).
- You can verify that the PI firm is licensed to do work in BC, through Security Programs Division. You can also verify an individual PI license with the PI's "E" security number which they can provide you on request. PI's cannot be searched by name (for obvious reasons).
- PI's are created and regulated under the BC Security Services Act and Security Services Regulations. They are also covered by the BC Personal Information Protection Act, PIPA, and in some cases the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act may apply (PIPEDA).
- Licensing is very important and there are PI's who claim to be licensed who are not. If your matter may end up in court, or is otherwise important to you, make sure you have hired a licensed PI through a licensed PI firm.
Hiring a Professional Private Investigator
Hiring a PI
- A PI should explain how they would approach your matter, what expertise they bring and what their fees are. Most PI firms will require a retainer prior to starting. If you have a budget, clarify it from the beginning and require the PI to obtain your consent should they foresee any changes.
- Some businesses have found that police resources are limited in cases where violence is not an issue, and have turned to PI's for assistance. PI's can help investigate and prepare evidence for police or assist your legal counsel in seeking civil compensation.
- In cases where solicitor client privilege may be an issue, it may be preferable for the PI to work under the direction of your lawyer.
- If you are coming to a PI for assistance, in most cases you want discretion and confidentiality. A PI wants the same thing and therefore may put only basic personal and contact information on their website.
- Not every PI offers all services and some have specialties. Consider talking to a couple of firms- one will likely feel like a better "fit" than another.