Message from John Edwards – Chairman

It feels like there is a decade of time that has passed since Theresa May as Home Secretary announced in the Houses of Parliament that all Private Investigators were to be licensed. Since that date, apart from a great deal of speculation, the advancement of such a proposal appears to have withered on the vine so to speak. It may well be that there has been much more pressing matters to deal with at ministerial level, or is it the fact that perhaps the exercise to achieve licensing of our profession was in the first instance not as straight forward as thought. Indeed shortly after the Theresa May announcement, I was summoned as the then Chairman of WAPI to the Home Office where I met with two very young (but I am sure capable civil servants) that wanted to find out more about our Profession, neither of them I might add were in possession of any material or knowledge of the diversity to which the profession were engaged in on a daily basis. I suspect until Brexit is finalised (which could be a long way down the road) it is unlikely in the short term to see the question of licensing to be foremost in the mind of any government. Which brings to the point of this statement, I am asked by members on many occasions what does WAPI do for me? In the first instance due to the lack of licensing, corporate and private clients have a right to feel that they are dealing with not only a professional company but one that has gone through a system of verification of who they are and to their background and just as important they follow a strict code of ethics whilst operating as an investigator. Members also have the option of displaying the WAPI Logo on their website to demonstrate to potential clients their credentials (which in my view is the next best thing to a licence). Governing Council members also strive to keep the membership up to date with current legislation and will where possible have a presence at industry led events. How much does this cost you? You receive this service for the sum of 27.3p per day which in a calendar month equates to approximately £7.64, which has to be value for money in the current climate of austerity. Given also the advertising value of belonging to a respected association in my view is excellent value for money. The second point I wish to make is that to run any association it takes time and organisation and requires members of our industry to think about stepping up and perhaps consider a role as a Governing Council member, you won’t get rich by doing so, but you may see the industry from a totally different aspect (which might make you a more rounded professional). The commitment is not that onerous we have meetings a few times a year and have also when time is short or there is a pressing matter to be dealt with, hold skype conference’s, which have proved successful in the past. If this is something that you might wish to consider then pick up the phone and speak to any of the Governing Council members for further information. John Edwards Chairman