For the “P.I” who conducts Background Checks

As part of our comprehensive online Course in “Private Investigation”, we at Police Science Institute cover the topic of “background checks” in full detail.   For those not fully acquainted with this procedure, in short, a background check is a “picture that is assembled from putting together numerous parts to make the whole”.


As a practicing Private Investigator, the scope and nature of the information required by your client as to the subject of the case will dictate the resources to be used as well as the parameters of the data retrieved.   By using the Internet and through discovery via Public Records, a great deal will be accomplished as to your task.    


However, it is important to remember that added sources including content from phone calls and notes from interviews you have undertaken will enhance your results.   In professional practice, there effectively exist two(2) “kinds” of Private Investigation … the“post-event” and the “pre-event” investigation:


  • "post-event" is an investigation that occurs after the fact, such as in fraud cases, or, when anattorney retains a Private Investigator to gather data in order to convict a suspected criminal (or free an innocent person, etc.);  and,
  • "pre-event" is a pre-emptive investigation taken by a person in order to ascertain the credibility of another individual with whom they are soon to interact in business or social matters.


First, you should always check the applicable laws and regulations before commencing your investigative engagement.   Your investigation of the subject may include obtaining a background as to present and prior residential addresses, jobs, associations and friendships to mention only a few aspects.  


As a Private Investigator, you will find it very common to be hired by clients desiring information for a multitude of purposes … prior to employment, prior to marriage, or, prior to some anticipated business undertaking, etc.


Also during the course of your professional practice, you will find that it is somewhat of a rarity for a client to retain your services in order to conduct a background check after something bad happens (i.e., “post-event”).   More often, the desired background check will serve as a pre-emptive action by the client in order to ascertain the veracity, authenticity, honesty and/or reliability of the subject.


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