1.02 Complaint Resolution
- contain evidence of compliance with each mandatory NASCPI standard, be maintained in good order at all times and be available for inspection upon request of the NASCPI:
- receive, as a minimum, annual reviews for compliance with NASCPI standards and regular updates to reflect any variation from the most recent review;
- contain a ledger which indicates the date of the most recent review and the identification of the person(s) who performed the review;
- identify an individual(s) who is responsible for the businesses administration, operations and compliance with NASCPI standards; and
- include the adoption of the NASCPI by-laws.
(M) There shall be a written and publicized policy which informs customers of a process by which they may lodge complaints and have them fairly and expeditiously responded to. At a minimum, the notice shall include;
a. a person by name or title who a complaint may be lodged with;
b. the address where the complaint may be lodged;
c. an explanation of the process including how the complaint will beresponded to;
d. the time frame(s) the complainant will be responded to;
e. the identification and manner in which the state licensing or regulatory authority may be contacted; and
f. the name, address and web-site address for the NASCPI.
(M) There shall be a written policy including a signed agreement which prohibits disclosure of information by anyone who has access to or is provided information maintained in:
a. case files
b. business and professional communications
c. confidential & resource information log(s)
d. customer identity
e. personnel files
Exceptions to divulging information may include between other accredited private investigators or attorney’s actively involved in the relative investigation or granted only upon order from a court or government authority with competent legal jurisdiction.
This section should be read in conjunction with Chapter 5. Sec. 5.04 (Confidentiality / Nondisclosure Agreement)
(M) Accredited private investigators shall;
a. maintain current and valid liability insurance in at least the minimum amount required by the state, licensing or regulatory authority in each jurisdiction they are licensed to perform private investigative services; and
b. accredited affiliates who perform private investigative services in jurisdictions not requiring liability insurance, shall maintain a general liability insurance policy.
(M) Accredited private investigators shall:
a. maintain a valid private investigator license for each state / jurisdiction they offer or perform private investigative services;
b. if authorized through reciprocity agreement(s) in jurisdictions other than where licensed, maintain evidence and conditions of such agreement(s).
Truth in advertising reflects on the character of accredited private investigators and is essential to developing and maintaining the confidence of insurance providers, other clients and the community at-large.
Advertising has the meaning of, but is not limited to promoting private investigative services through one or more of the following means:
b. telephone directories (“yellow pages”)
f. business cards
i. world wide web site(s)
j. personal appearances / communication
2.02 Content(s) of Advertisement
Advertising shall include:
(M) the state, licensing or regulatory authority issued private investigators
(M) only those services which you are personally capable of performing;
(M) “NASCPI.com accredited”;
(O) the number of years of experience as a licensed private investigator
(O) price of services; and
(O) business telephone number.
A waiver may be granted from existing advertising only for the period of time remaining and shall not exceed twelve (12) months from the time of accreditation with the NASCPI, whichever is less. A copy of current advertisements must accompany the waiver request.
BILLING & ACCOUNTING
A billing / accounting process must be capable of accurately producing invoices, calculating payments due, (paid and over-due) and summarizing monthly and annual earnings / billing reports which provide qualified information to eliminate potential misunderstandings regarding services billed or paid.
3.01 Invoice Design
(M) be computer generated;
(M) have a sequential numbering system;
(M) identify the date(s) of service(s) that are being invoiced / billed;
(M) identify the date the invoice was prepared;
(M) identify the specific service(s) that are being invoiced / billed;
(M) identify the name, address and telephone number of the person / business the invoice is payable to;
(M) identify the name and address of the person / business responsible for paying the invoice; and
(M) indicate any special terms of payment(s).
3.02 Substantiation of work / expenses
Accredited private investigators shall have in place and comply with an accounting policy that substantiates actual services and costs that are invoiced (billed) including but not limited to the following:
(M) travel time;
(M) actual on-scene surveillance or investigative time; and
(M) direct expenses (lodging, meals, admission fees, etc.)
3.03 Maintenance of substantiated work / expenses
(M) Accredited private investigators shall maintain individualized evidence of expenses on a per case basis and not co-mingle expenses with other cases or accounting in the course of business. In cases where a bill or invoice owed by the private investigator includes more than one case (ie. multiple motor vehicle registrations involving more than one case, but all billed simultaneously to the private investigator), a sufficient number of copies must be made and maintained with each individual case.
(M) Evidence of expenses and copies of invoices shall be maintained for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of the expense or invoice or January 1st of each year, whichever is longer.
Accredited private investigator’s personal and professional conduct is expected to exceed minimal standards, if any, typically established by state, licensing or regulatory authorities.
An accredited private investigator shall:
4.01 Abuse of position
(M) Not use their position or identification for personal or financial gain or for obtaining privileges not otherwise available, including avoiding consequences of illegal acts.
(M) Not visit the home of, take trips with, co-sponsor a party or social event with, or form a business relationship with a person who is known to be convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or whom is associated with anti-government movements, race, gender, or religious discrimination or with a person known to be engaged in or plans to engage in criminal activity;
(M) Not participate in any public protest or demonstration whether lawful or not, involving anti-government movements, race, gender, or religious discrimination or when any protester is engaged in or plans to engage in or is reasonably likely to engage in criminal activity; and
(O) Align themselves with state or officially recognized professional organizations whose primary purpose is for the unilateral and professional advancement of the private investigation profession.
4.03 Attention to duty
(M) Not allow listening to any audible or watching any visual source or reading materials which interferes or may tend to interfere with their attention to duty.
4.04 Conflicting interests
(M) Not accept employment, offer advice, or influence any person or business when doing so may tend to or does create personal or professional conflict of interest.
(M) Not engage in any form of non-government sanctioned or regulated gambling if the perception of the gambling is or may tend to be offensive to the any segment of the community.
4.06 Immoral Conduct
(M) Maintain a level of moral conduct in their personal and professional affairs which is in keeping with the highest standards of an accredited private investigator and not participate in any activity involving moral turpitude which tends to or does compromise the integrity of any investigation or impair the investigator’s ability to perform private investigative services.
4.07 Interference with cases
(M) Not knowingly (including should have reasonably known) interfere with the operations, surveillance or investigations performed by anyone else.
4.08 Interference with legal proceedings
(M) Not attempt to have any notice to appear delayed or influence any participant’s testimony in any legal proceeding.
4.09 Personal involvement with surveillance or investigations
(M) Not conduct surveillance or an investigation of any person or business in which there is personal involvement such as a family member, victim, witness or beneficiary without the assistance and overview of another accredited private investigator in order to prevent unanticipated emotional response or unfounded claims of misconduct.
4.10 Professional identification
(M) Have licensing authority issued identification in their immediate control while on duty unless having such identification is precluded by the nature of a specific investigation for which a policy must exist.
4.11 Simultaneous employment
(M) Not simultaneously perform surveillance or an investigation for more than one client without the consent of every client.
4.12 Use of intoxicants or drugs off duty
(M) Not consume intoxicants (including alcohol) or any influencing drug within eight (8) hours prior to duty or be under the influence of any intoxicant or drug whenever performing private investigative services, representing himself / herself as a private investigator or when he / she may be recognized as a private investigator.
4.13 Use of intoxicants or drugs on duty
(M) Only when necessary in the performance of his / her duty, introduce intoxicating substances to their body or have the odor of intoxicating beverage on his / her breath, and at no time be influenced by any intoxicant or drug.
(M) Only when prescribed and authorized by a licensed physician who has been informed of the accredited private investigator’s job description take drugs other than “over the counter.”
(M) By their nature and quantity, limit the use of “over the counter” drugs so that a private investigators judgment and physical abilities are uninfluenced.
Legally binding and detailed contractual agreements help prevent miscommunication between involved parties and minimize potential litigation and unfounded claims.
(M) A written contract shall be agreed to by each customer and, as a iminimum, contain the following information and include additional information which is required in the jurisdiction where the contract is executed or the services are to be performed:
a. specifies the service(s) to be performed;
b. identifies the beginning and ending dates (unless operationally infeasible, in which case it shall be noted in the contract);
c. details the estimated cost to the customer and explains the billing
d. disclaims the accuracy of information resources;
e. states that any private investigator assisting with the surveillance /
investigation is accredited by the NASCPI;
f. provides a statement of confidentiality to the customer consistent with
other applicable standards of the NASCPI;
g. contains the signatures and addresses of all parties to the contract
and the date and time of its execution;
h. explains refund policies if any; and
i. explains the complaint resolution process as described in chapter 1.02.
5.02 Non-contractual agreements
(M) In instances where there is a continuous on-going professional relationship with an insurance provider or other client and a contract is non-existent, there must be formal and retrievable evidence of the request for services on a case by case basis.
(M) Insurance providers or other clients with continuous on-going professional relationships shall annually be provided with the complaint resolution process, NASCPI renewal certificate and written notice as often thereafter but at least ten (10) days prior to the effective date of any in changes(s) in agreements or contracts.
5.03 Sub-contract work agreements
(M) In instances where sub-contracted services are performed in a continuous on-going professional relationship with an accredited private investigator, an initial written agreement must be signed by both the private investigators. Both parties are required to maintain a copy of the agreement. The agreement must be re-negotiated within ten (10) business days from any change(s) in the original agreement.
5.04 Confidentiality / Nondisclosure Agreement
(M) Accredited private investigators shall, prior to disseminating any case related information (or information confided to them in their capacity as a private investigator) have on file and maintain a confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement with every person including private investigators who case related or confided information is shared. The agreement shall, at a minimum, require any person including private investigators to;
Ensure the security and confidentiality of the client, policy holder and consumer information;
· Protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of clients, policyholders or consumer information;
· Protect against unauthorized access to or use of client, policyholder or consumer information that could result in harm or inconvenience to any client, policyholder or consumer;
· Comply with applicable state and federal statutory and regulatory requirements governing the collection, use, disclosure, access, security and maintenance of nonpublic information about clients, policyholders and consumer;
· possess and maintain a license and liability insurance to perform private investigative services;
· Consider all files and records concerning clients, policyholders and consumers as confidential and to be used only in connection with the services contracted or consulted for. Any other uses or disclosures of files or records are prohibited without prior written authorization;
· Instruct employees or any other person under the sub-contractor’s direction, supervision or guidance their obligations under the agreement; and
· Promptly inform the originator of the agreement of any revocation, restriction or active inquiry of a policy or law violation by any prevailing regulatory authority, liability insurance, registration or certification required to perform private investigative services or any change in status with the NASCPI.
An essential element to maintaining the confidentiality and safety of information by private investigators is by controlling access to such information.
6.01 Controlled Access
The primary and secondary business locations including areas for maintenance of records and evidence shall be considered controlled access areas. A policy must address the following standards:
(M) a. how physical access is controlled;
(M) b. how authorized persons within a controlled area are identified;
(M) c. a procedure which punctually documents the identification of authorized persons who have removed records or evidence;
(M) d. the manner in which otherwise unauthorized persons may be escorted into a controlled area and the responsibility of the person conducting the escort; and
(M) e. in the absence of an authorized person, how controlled access areas are secured.
Informal communication is the most effective form of communication. Other forms of communication, however, are often necessary for lawful documentation of the subject matter and when it needs to be conveyed to a large audience or those not accessible in a timely manner or in person.
7.01 Outgoing Correspondence
A policy governing outgoing correspondence shall include the following;:
(M) a. the identification of the business;
(M) b. date the correspondence was created / mailed;
(M) c. signature of the author;
(M) d. a valid return addresses;
(M) e. who is permitted to author and send outgoing correspondence;
(O) f. a telephone number for the author of the correspondence
Exceptions to this standard may include covert correspondence in the course of a documented investigation for which there must be a policy describing how such correspondence is conducted.
7.02 Correspondence to Employees (including sub-contracted private investigators)
7.03 Correspondence from Employees (including sub-contracted private investigators)
Properly and professionally documented activities of those who are being investigated or surveillance performed on require modern technology and state-of-the-art equipment. Accredited private investigators are expected to maintain pace with technology and implement equipment and surveillance techniques that better able them to provide quality service to insurance providers and other clients.
8.01 Required Equipment
(M) * Digital video recording camera
(M) * binoculars
(M) * voice recorder (hand held & battery operated)
(M) * motor vehicle properly registered, insured and capable of performing routine and professional covert surveillance
(M) computer system capable of producing word documents
(M) e-mail account capable of electronically transmitting reports and photographs
(M) * a system capable of converting motion video images onto standard VHS videotapes, compact disk (CD & DVD)
(M) * cellular telephone (active and in investigators possession while on duty)
(M) cross-cut shredding machine
(O) * computer program and printer capable of printing color still photographs from motion video images
(O) * the ability to transfer motion video image occurrences / evidence onto a compact disk (CD & DVD) for future review
(O) * ability to convert 12 volt battery power to 110 volts inside each surveillance vehicle
(O) * camera tripod
(O) computer component scanner
(O) telephone answering machine connected to business telephone identifying the business name
(O) facsimile machine
(O) * wireless camera and recording equipment
(O) * access to aerial surveillance capable of performing surveillance and photography while airborne
(O) * access to a watercraft capable of performing surveillance and photography while afloat
(O) * On-board Global Positioning Satellite tracking equipment
(O) * On-board Global Positioning Satellite navigation equipment
Note: * denotes only if the nature of investigative services offered or provided include surveillance.
EXPERIENCE & CONTINUING EDUCATION
The expectations of accredited private investigators exceed those of non-accredited private investigators. It is reasonable to expect those who have demonstrated the ability to achieve accredited status have excelled in their academic achievements as well. By having done so, they demonstrate their ability to maintain pace with and adapt to the constant changes of applicable law and professional standards.
(M) graduated from an accredited high school;
(M) earned at least sixty (60) accredited college hours;
(M) been a licensed private investigator actively engaged in covert surveillance / investigations for at least four (4) continuous years within past five (5) years from the date of application with the NASCPI, and;
(M) Maintain continuous active covert surveillance / investigative experience with no more than twelve months of inactivity in any five (5) year period.
9.02 Continuing Education
(M) Annually, between January 1st and December 31st of each calendar year, complete at least one eight (8) hour course of specialized training in each state they perform private investigative services which specifically addresses legal issues including applicable civil and criminal law, insurance claimant’s rights, citizen’s rights, admissibility of evidence and courtroom testimony, each as they relate to being a private investigator.
(M) Annually, between January 1st and December 31st of each calendar year, complete at least one six (6) hour course of instruction specifically addressing surveillance / investigative techniques and methodology including introduction and application to modern equipment and technology and their limitations.
(M) Annually, between January 1st and December 31st of each calendar year, complete at least one two (2) hour course of instruction specifically addressing ethics in the workplace with demonstration of the applicability of ethics during legal proceedings.
Those receiving first time accredited status after March 31st shall not be responsible for compliance with annual training requirements until the following calendar year.
The designated instructor for legal courses must be a licensed practicing attorney and recognized by the state bar association in the state the course is being instructed or in conjunction with a licensed claims manager approved by the NASCPI. The instructor and the curriculum must be approved by the NASCPI.
The designated instructor for surveillance and investigative techniques and ethics must have completed an instructor’s course offered by an institution of higher education or a government agency. The instructor and the curriculum must be approved by the NASCPI.
Instructors may call upon experts to assist them but at no time shall they be absent from the physical teaching environment. The “approved” instructor shall be responsible for all information presented and provide a sworn affidavit to the NASCPI within five (5) business days for each participant (student) that was in attendance for the entire course of instruction.
An applicant may request a waiver for one (1) year of private investigator experience or thirty (30) college credit hours from an accredited college with evidence of;
- ten (10) continuous years as a municipal law enforcement officer serving a community with a population of 300,00 or more including at least three (3) years assigned to a criminal investigations division as a lead investigator within the past twelve (12) years; or
- fifteen (15) continuous years as a Federal law enforcement officer with emphasis in surveillance or investigations within the past seventeen (17) years and an associate’s degree from an accredited college; or
- seventeen (17) continuous years as a state or county law enforcement officer with emphasis in surveillance, six (6) years assigned to a criminal investigations division as a lead investigator within the past nineteen (19) years, and an associate’s degree from an accredited college;
- an applicant who fails to have the minimum required academic achievements from an accredited college may request a waiver. Otherwise, evidence of enrollment in an accredited college and taking a minimum of three (3) credit hours per semester from the date of request to participate in the accreditation process is required. Subsequently, evidence of receiving a passing grade and continued, uninterrupted enrollment must be provided to the NASCPI until the applicable standard(s) are met.
An applicant may request an initial waiver for continuation education requirements for a period of time not exceeding thirteen (13) months from the date of application with the NASCPI.
An applicant who lacks no more than two (2) years of required / qualifying private investigative experience may, in accordance with NASCPI by-laws, and conditional to complying with all other NASCPI standards, receive accredited status, but their status will be listed as “trainee.” An applicant who lacks more than two (2) years of required / qualifying private investigative experience shall not be considered.
An applicant may also request a conditional waiver for private investigative experience if they possess the following educational and experience levels;
a. Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from an accredited college; and
b. Master’s or law degree from an accredited college.
Private investigations experience may be awarded at a rate of one (1) year for every .75 years of law enforcement experience that is acceptable to the NASCPI. No more than three (3) years of private investigative experience my be awarded; and
At least one (1) year of private investigative experience acceptable to the NASCPI.
The belief or perception that an accredited private investigator engages in any activity which may compromise their integrity, the private investigative profession or the NASCPI must be avoided.
10.01 Gifts – solicitation, acceptance or offerings
A policy regarding the solicitation, offering or acceptance of gifts, money (including meals, entertainment or things of value) or favors that tends to, or has the appearance of immediate or future financial gain shall prohibit the following:
(M) solicitation of any funds for the purpose of making a gift of money or buying a gift for any person employed by an insurance provider or representative of an insurance provider or other client or private investigator;
(M) offering or providing any gift, money or thing of value to any person employed by an insurance provider or representative of an insurance provider or other client or private investigator; and
(M) receiving any gift, money or thing of value (except for professional services rendered) from any insurance provider or representative of an insurance provider, or other client, private investigator, or person who is contracted or sub-contracted to perform private investigations or who contracts or sub-contracts private investigations.
A policy which describes the necessity of and restricts the frequency of offering gifts (including meals, entertainment or things of value but never money) to any insurance provider and no more than one employee or representative of an insurance provider or other clients to three hundred dollars ($300.00) in any twelve (12) month period. If such a policy exists, it shall also include a provision for expeditiously identifying the recipient of the gift and the date and nature of the gift which must be maintained for at least three (3) years from the time of offering.
Grooming & Clothing Standards
Accredited private investigators are expected to maintain the highest professional standards and are equally expected to project that professionalism. Their physical appearance often influences the results of legal proceedings, community opinion and image of the NASCPI.
There shall be a policy which requires the following grooming and clothing standards when appearing at any legal proceeding or whenever an accredited private investigator publicly represent themselves or is likely to be recognized as a private investigator.
Hair must be neat, clean, trimmed, and present a groomed appearance.
(M) Male Hair must not extend past the middle of the ears or touch the collar.
(M) Female Hair in the back must not extend more then six inches beyond the top of collar unless it is worn up or back in a pony tail or braid. Hair on the sides must not extend past the shoulder and be restrained.
(M) Absent a beard or goatee and if sideburns are worn, they must be neatly trimmed and tapered in the same manner as the general haircut. Sideburns must not extend below the lowest part of the ear, must be even width (not flared) and must end in a clean shaven horizontal line. Sideburns must not be connected to a mustache.
(M) Absent a beard or goatee, a short and neatly trimmed mustache may be worn, but it must not extend over the top of the upper lip or more then one half inch past the corner of the mouth or one quarter inch below the corner of the mouth.
11.04 Beards and Goatees
(M) Neatly trimmed beards and goatees not more than one half inch in length or extending below the lowest point of the jaw bone are acceptable.
(M) Male No earrings may be worn
(M) Female Any earrings worn must be of the post type, with no parts dangling below the earlobe
11.06 Body piercing
(M) Body piercing other then earrings visible to the public is prohibited
Body art (tattoo’s)
(M) No body art visible to the public shall be of a sexual, political or religious origin, bias or of a discriminatory nature or that a person of ordinary senses may be offended by.
11.08 Grooming for legal proceedings
(M) No deviation from these requirements is permitted during legal proceedings, and males are prohibited from wearing earrings.
11.09 Clothing for legal proceedings
(M) Clothing for legal proceedings shall be described by a written policy and minimally include / require a button-up shirt, tie, and slacks in good repair, socks and polished closed toed shoes for men.
(M) Slacks with blouse and blazer or dress, hose / stockings, polished closed toe shoes for women.
(M) Shorts, jeans, sleeveless or mid-drift shirts or halter-tops, transparent clothing, boots or athletic wear are not permitted.
11.10 Jewelry for legal proceedings
(M) Necklaces shall be restricted no more than one for women and none visible to the public for men
(M) Bracelets shall be restricted to no more than one for women and none for men unless medically prescribed.
(M) Finger rings shall be restricted to a maximum of two.
Approved jewelry must be proportionate in size to the individual wearing it and must not be bias, depict political or religious preference, or be of a discriminatory or sexual nature, or of what a person of ordinary senses may be offended by.
A waiver may be requested if a policy exists which describes the circumstances under which it is operationally necessary to deviate from a specific standard for a case specific purpose, including the duration of the specific case. However, there is no exception to these standards during appearances at legal proceedings.
HEALTH & FITNESS
The ability to maintain a high degree of vigilance, be alert to surroundings, respond appropriately with a high degree of accuracy and record / report events with the greatest of detail, depends largely on the physical ability of an investigator.
12.01 Physical Abilities
An accredited private investigator shall maintain physical competence by:
(M) having vision correctable to 20 / 20;
(M) being free from night and color blindness;
(M) having hearing capabilities within normal conversational levels;
(M) the ability to speak clearly and cohesively; and
(O) maintaining proportionate height and weight.
12.02 Physical Strength and Agility
Accredited private investigators are expected to and shall maintain minimum physical strength and agility enabling them to:
(M) remain on their feet for at least three (3) continuous hours in any four (4) hour period spanning a twelve (12) hour period;
(M) navigate steps and uneven terrain;
(M) lawfully be able to operate a covert quality surveillance motor vehicle;
(M) without support, hold with their hands / arms at least five (5) pounds of weight for thirty (30) continuous minutes;
(M) remain seated for at least six (6) continuous hours in extreme temperatures;
(M) kneel, squat and lay down while simultaneously operating audio / visual recording, electronic communication and visual enhancement equipment;
(M) scale a stationary four (4) foot high barrier; and
(O) type / operate a computer for at least one (1) continuous hour.
If demonstrated that the professional services offered would never require a specific standard, a waiver may be requested; or
A temporary condition which is permanently corrected within three (3) months and which a licensed physician has been explained the duties of an accredited private investigator including the standards set-forth in this chapter and approves continued work.
CONFIDENTIAL & INFORMATION RESOURCES
The development and use of confidential and information resources can be critical to the successful outcome of an investigation. The legality of how information is acquired and its accuracy, however, is subject to extreme scrutiny. The ethics and professional reputation of accredited private investigators cannot be substituted for inappropriately acquired information.
13.01 Definition (Information)
Any information communicated audibly or visually through one or more of the following methods:
a. government maintained files accessible to the public;
b. information brokers;
c. world wide web-sites;
d. observed in plain view from any vantage point;
e. known individuals;
f. anonymous source(s); and
g. confidential informant(s).
13.02 Confidential and Anonymous Informant Defined
A confidential informant is a person whose identity requires being withheld to avoid the probability of their professional damage or physical harm if exposed. Despite this, however, it must always be explained to and acknowledged by the informant that upon a lawful order, their identity may require divulging. The complete and verifiable identity and location of a confidential informant is required prior to developing a person as a confidential informant. Information gained through sources identified in Section 13.01 (a-d,f) are specifically precluded from classification as a confidential informant.
An anonymous informant is a person who, without being solicited, voluntarily, provides information and refuses to identify themselves. An anonymous informant should be asked why they are remaining anonymous and requested to provide supporting evidence of the information they are providing. Subsequently, all information provided must be verified. If verification cannot be made of specific information, it shall not be included in the investigator’s official report. If only a portion of the information is verified, only that portion may be included in the investigator’s final report. A companion report to the final report and simultaneously received by the client must also explain the informant’s purpose for remaining anonymous. It shall also reveal additional unsubstantiated or disproved information that was provided by the said informant.
13.03 Identification of Information (source)
(M) Except for anonymous and confidential informants, the source of information shall be included in final reports and maintained with the case file for which the information was received.
(M) Information communicated by an anonymous or confidential informant that is included in a final report shall also include their alpha or numeric identification (see section 13.05).
13.04 Confidential Informant (credibility)
(M) The credibility of confidential informants shall be determined prior to developing the person as an informant or using any information provided by them.
(M) Persons who have a criminal history or civil judgment against them for perjury are prohibited from qualifying as a confidential informant. Documented evidence of the informant’s credibility shall be maintained in a log book.
13.05 Log / Case Management System
(M) A cas log (written or electronically stored) shall be maintained separately from case files but secured in the same manner described in Chapter 6 (Controlled Access). It shall include the source, date and manner in which the information was received from confidential informants and anonymous sources and reference the case for which the information was received.
(M) Anonymous sources of information shall be individually coded (identified) by an alpha or numeric system and registered in the log book.
(M) Confidential informants shall be individually identified by name, assigned an alpha or numeric identification and registered in the log book.
(M) Identification of confidential informants and anonymous sources as previously described shall be maintained for three years with annotations of any reason for their disqualification(s) whether ever used or not.
NEWS MEDIA RELATIONS
Community and professional reputations of accredited private investigators may be enhanced through effective relationships with the news media. Often, however, the news media makes legitimate public interest inquires of those who are not legally bound to respond. Additionally, private investigators may be regulated by law on what information may be disclosed, always consider the best interest of their client, and be familiar with Sections 1.03 and 5.04 of the NASCPI standards.
14.01 Release of Information
A policy which addresses offering or releasing information to the news media shall include:
(M) who is authorized to disclose information;
(M) specifically what information will be disclosed;
(M) authorization from the client whether related directly or indirectly to a client;
(M) authority to initiate communication with the news media;
(M) prohibitions from initiating or communicating with the news media; and
(M) professional appearance during in-person interviews with the news media.
NOTIFICATION TO AUTHORITIES
A private investigator is not typically required to notify authorities of any incident beyond that of other citizens. Being an accredited private investigator, however, sets a higher standard of community responsibility and service to their clients.
Although unanticipated, an accredited private investigator may become involved in or be a witness to certain incidents which legally or morally require notification to a higher authority. A policy shall describe how and to whom timely notification will be made under the following circumstances:
(M) an incident resulting in the death or injury of another person or domestic animal
(M) hazardous conditions (excluding weather) to people or property;
(M) criminal act or civil uprising with obvious criminal probabilities;
(M) a significant development in an investigation of any legal or moral importance to authorities or clients;
(M) any verbal or written communication or physical contact with the subject of an investigation or surveillance;
(M) written notification to NASCPI of any standard infraction by any private investigator whether accredited or not; and
(O) self-incriminating criminal acts.
An observer program is intended to promote education of the community and the professional image of accredited private investigators. It allows a person to learn about the profession of private investigations by accompanying an investigator during a tour of duty. It is specifically not intended for an individual’s entertainment or substitute for child or others person’s care.
The following are minimum requirements or limitations requiring a written policy and do not preclude additional restrictive policy.
(M) Requests to participate in the program must be made in writing. Employees of the person whom a participant is observing, are exempt from making a written request. If the request is from a person not of legal adult age in the state where the observer is participating in the program or resides, a signed release from the minor’s parent or legal guardian is required;
(M) A liability waiver must be secured prior to participating in the program. Other private investigators, clients, friends and family members are not exempt from the waiver requirement. Waivers for minors must be signed by both the minor and the parent or legal guardian of the minor; and
(M) A participant (and his / her parent or legal guardian) shall sign a confidentiality agreement precluding disclosure of any information learned as a participant in the program.
16.02 Rules of Conduct
(M) A participant must read, sign and comply with participant rules of conduct agreement which include:
a. wearing suitable business attire and grooming;
b. not being under the influence of or, having consumed any intoxicating beverage for at least eight (8) hours prior or anytime during, or having the odor of an intoxicating beverage on their breath while a participant;
c. not being under the influence of any drug whether prescribed or not;
d. not using profanity or abusive language, gestures or behavior in any manner that would reasonably provoke a person of average senses or escalate tension;
e. not entering into any investigation or converse with any involved citizen, witness or the subject of an investigation or surveillance;
f. not representing themselves as a private investigator or any other person with official or legal status; and
g. not possessing a firearm or other offensive or defensive weapon whether authorized by a governmental authority or not. Commissioned police officers currently employed full-time by a municipal, county, state or the federal law enforcement agency, and authorized by law and his / her agency are exempt from this section (g).
(M) The original copy of the participant’s request, waiver, and rules of conduct and confidentiality / nondisclosure agreement shall be maintained with the file(s) generated during the tour of duty which was observed;
(M) A participant is limited to participating in the program to a maximum of twenty hours in any twelve month period;
(M) A person requesting to participate in the program may not have been convicted of a felony, be under the supervision of any court or designee of a court and must be in sound mental health; and
(M) An investigator is limited to a maximum of one (1) observer per tour of duty.
Chapter 17 (Repealed)
PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS & PLANNING
A reporting system is intended to document surveillance and investigative activities in a logical and easily deciphered manner, allowing quick access, duplication and transmission as necessary or upon request. Reports for the purpose of this standard include all documents relating to surveillance or investigations, motion or still pictures, and computer generated or stored information.
18.01 Report Design
(M) be in standard formats based on the nature of the case;
(M) depict a numbering system allowing easy identification of specific reports;
(M) if abbreviations are used, use standardized “Webster’s”; and
(M) be computer generated which are readable; photocopying worthy and capable of being electronically mailed.
18.02 Report Content / Completeness
(M) A printed report shall be completed and sent to clients with NASCPI affiliation within five (5) business days from the date the surveillance/ investigation was concluded.
(M) A printed report shall be completed and sent to non-affiliated NASCPI clients within ten (10) business days from the date the surveillance / investigation was concluded.
(M) not be materially altered in any phase of their development including those submitted by sub-contracted investigators. Materially altered shall have the meaning of any change other then spelling, grammar or report format;
(M) not omit or embellish any information or facts developed during the course of an investigation or surveillance nor that miss-represents or tends to miss-represent any fact or circumstance related to an investigation or surveillance;
(M) include the identity or coded identification of who or where information contained in the report was developed including sub-contracted private investigator’s NASCPI affiliate number;
(M) include the investigators signature and the total number of pages included in that specific report on the last page; and
(O) at the lead and or trailing end of surveillance videotapes identify the person or business who made the original recording.
18.03 Report Security
There shall be a process for:
(M) retaining reports for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of completion;
(M) limiting and preventing access to reports by unauthorized persons including computer or otherwise stored reports (also see Chapter 5, Section 5.04 and Chapter 6 of the NASCPI standards);
(M) Identifying and recording the identity of those who have accessed reports at the time of access;
(M) limiting possible damage including fire and water;
(M) irreconcilable destruction of purged reports, un-official notes, and other documents; and
(O) security of electronically transmitted or other methods of sending reports.
18.04 Undocumented Work (Prohibition)
There shall be a policy that requires;
(M) documenting actual services whether or not ever completed or compensated for and maintained in the same manner as documented services; and
(O) documenting any request for professional services that were not rendered whether they are for compensation or not. The documentation shall be maintained in the same manner as described in section 18.03.
Volunteers can be a cost effective manner for reducing operating costs of businesses. Volunteers are uncompensated individuals but require the same strict regulations governing their access to privileged information as described in Chapters 1.03, 4, and 18.03.
Interns may or may not be compensated for their services. Through an accredited private investigator, interns are provided an opportunity to be indoctrinated into the profession of private investigations and only while fulfilling requirements of a higher educational institution.
Volunteers and interns are not licensed to perform private investigative duties. Because they may have access to sensitive / privileged information, institutionalized quality control measures and safeguards are required.
(M) A volunteer or intern must be of legal adult age in the state where their work will be performed;
(M) A complete background check certifying these qualifications of any person desiring to be a volunteer or intern shall be conducted. The background check shall be maintained in a manner described in Chapter 18.03 (Report Security) and not accessible to volunteers or interns;
(M) Any person desiring to be a volunteer or intern who has been arrested for any criminal law violation or charged with perjury shall not be considered; and
(M) Any person who is a licensed municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement officer or who is a licensed private investigator or employed by a private investigator or private investigative agency or related by marriage to a private investigator (other than to the person who the volunteer or intern is working for) shall not be considered.
19.02 Quality Control
A policy governing the use of volunteers and interns must describe their:
(M) access to controlled access areas;
(M) performance evaluations; and
(M) the duration of their time as a volunteer or intern;
(M) Written agreement(s) between higher educational institutions and the private investigator detailing the requirements of both the interns and private investigator.