In June 2020, the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA) issued a determination that has wide reaching ramifications for HR professionals who undertake independent employment investigations.
The determination found that an employment investigation falls under the definition of Private Investigators as defined by s5 of the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010. This section of that Act states:
" private investigator means a person who, for valuable consideration, either by himself or herself or in partnership with any other person, carries on a business seeking or obtaining for any person or supplying to any person any information described in subsection (2).
(2) For the purposes of this section, information— (a) means any information relating to— (i) the personal character, actions, or behaviour of any person; or (ii) the financial position of any person; or (iii) the occupation or business of any person; or (iv) the identity or whereabouts of any person; but (b) does not include information that is contained in a public record."
While employment lawyers also carry out employment investigations, the determination clarified that these lawyers are carrying on business in accordance with a practicing certificate issued under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. They are therefore exempt from also needing to have a licence or certificate with the PSPLA.
Unfortunately, as stated earlier, this determination has a bigger impact on HR practitioners who promote themselves as being available to undertake independent employment investigations. Under these circumstances, practitioners will need to undertake their own due diligence to determine whether the work they are promoting themselves for means they will need to obtain either a licence or certificate from the PSPLA.
To meet the training and experience qualifications for a security licence in the class of Private Investigator all an investigator needs to show is that they are a trained and experienced investigator. Therefore, any competent and experienced employment investigator meets the training and experience requirements for a licence.
McKone Consultancy made the decision to apply for and has been granted a Private Investigators licence for the company and a Certificate of Approval for Director, Tony McKone who undertakes employment investigations. This means that we can continue to offer and promote our services as an independent employment investigator to both existing and new clients.
Our company licence number is 20-074980 and Tony's certificate number is 20-075069.
If you have need for an independent employment investigation, contact McKone Consultancy today.