CA PI 16429


July 22, 2009

The Importance of Belonging to a Professional Investigator Association

By Justin D. Hodson Licensed Private Investigator

Depending on who you ask, the term "professional association" might be defined in several ways. To some, it is just another line they add to their resume. Some may feel it is simply a marketing tool. Others may feel it's just a way to meet individuals in the same industry. To a true professional investigator, an association is much more than one simple thing. A professional investigators association can be a driving force that changes an industry and promotes their membership. For any investigator, a professional association should be as important to their business as their clients, office, employees, and etc. A well established professional association offers networking opportunities, legislation support, competitive intelligence, marketing, benefits, business applications, and, most importantly, education.

To get the most out of an association the member must participate. Participation is key to harness the full value of an investigators association. Participation can start small. For example, a member can participate in local meetings, donate time or money, write an article for the association journal, run for a position in the association, etc. Some members of associations feel simply belonging is enough. This mentality is a disservice to the association and the member.

A well-established investigators association offers many networking opportunities. These opportunities can provide an investigator with new contacts and new business ventures. Investigators can network with others who may specialize in a service that the member does not know about. That member can in turn learn more about that service and partner with the investigator. Also, some members of the association might be inactive in investigations. These inactive members often refer cases to active members. Finally, networking can lead to work. Many members need subcontractors and employees for their businesses. Many larger investigation agencies are members of associations and often hire other members as employees or subcontractors. In addition to the exchange of work, investigators can also exchange intelligence. The exchange of intelligence between investigators is invaluable. The intelligence can be anywhere from types of equipment one might use to certain marketing ventures. Networking in an association is an invaluable benefit to any member.

Legislation Support
Often, many associations participate in the legislation process in their state and on the federal level. Some associations, like the California Association of Licensed Investigators, have their own committees that focus only on legislation. Many times, these associations will create and support bills that support the ideals of their membership.

One of the most important benefits of an association is the direct and overall education it provides. Most associations, like the California Association of Licensed Investigators, pride themselves on superior seminars and conferences that provide their members with a top-of-the-line education. These associations provide education on laws, legal procedure, investigation techniques, business applications and much more. To further one's career as an investigator, continued education is a key element. Continued education keeps investigators competitive, aware, and up-to-date on new laws.

In conclusion, participation in an association is key to a successful career as an investigator. The aforementioned are only a few valuable points of joining an association. There are many other valuable factors of an association. When looking into an association, make sure they are established, have a good structure, have history, and other members. It is important to pick the right association for you.

Copyright 2009 Gailey Associates, Inc. CA PI 16429 California Professional Private Investigators