Being a Private Investigator (PI) in Singapore is an exciting yet mysterious occupation and career path for most of us as we only see them in action in television dramas.
As a matter of fact, all we remember is that 90% of all Private Investigators shown in these dramas are investigating extramarital affair cases.
So, what exactly does a Private Investigator do in Singapore?
Contrary to popular belief, a Private Investigator’s job scope spans across much more than surveillance of cheating partners.
There are cases that focus more on personal affairs such as finding missing persons or property, tracking family members’ gambling-related movements, and even maid surveillance!
From a corporate perspective, there is also a rise in investigation cases that are required by companies and corporations. These corporate cases include pre-employment background checks, due-diligence investigation and forensics and even financial crime and fraud investigations!
In general, the job of a Private Investigator is to conduct surveillance over the subject and gather as much evidence and information for the client to prove a hypothesis or to solidify a potential court case.
According to the Singapore Police Force, a licenced Private Investigator in Singapore can:
The private investigation industry has since been booming as we enter the modern world. Pre-modern days, Private Investigators were initially in demand as the police experienced a lack of manpower and equipment to carry out such long-term investigative works. Their services were mainly used by the wealthy and often used to handle labour disputes back then.
Fast forward to present modern Singapore, with the advancement of technology and connectivity comes modern problems such as moonlighting, adultery, and copyright infringement corporate matters.
As a result, Private Investigators require innovative and smart ways to conduct their research, surveillance and gathering of evidence for their clients.
To become a licenced Private Investigator in Singapore, you will need to meet the following criteria:
You can view the full licencing conditions here.
According to the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA), no person is to provide or supply investigation services without a Private Investigation Agency Licence.
In short, a licenced Private Investigator in Singapore will need to become an employee of a Private Investigation Agency to be able to provide private investigation services.
There is also a demand from corporations looking for licenced Private Investigators to conduct in-house corporate investigations as part of their audit and compliance works.
A typical Private Investigator Agency in Singapore charge an average rate of between $80 to $120 hourly with a minimum of 10 hours per case.
The private security industry, especially the Private Investigator sector has seen steady growth and demand even during the Covid-19 pandemic. With security service buyers outnumbering the number of service providers available, demand for qualified and licenced Private Investigators remain high.
According to SalaryExpert, the average base salary of an entry-level PI in Singapore is $34,954 while a senior PI can demand a salary of up to $56,919.
All Private Investigators in Singapore are required to pass the WSQ module ‘Perform investigation activities in compliance with legal requirement (PI)’ before they are able to be deployed for investigation jobs.
The WSQ PI course is a 5-day training course that aims to familiarise future Private Investigators with the job roles, responsibilities, and legislative requirements of a PI. Learners can also expect to learn how to conduct surveillance for investigation activities, compile and submit an investigation log sheet and lastly provide evidence in court professionally.
Learners can receive course funding of up to 90% and are able to use their SkillsFuture credit if any to offset any outstanding course fee.