Since 1977, Colorado private investigators have been without PI licensing. The Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado, founded in 1978, was formed to improve the credibility of private investigators, and to provide guidelines for a licensing statute in the State of Colorado. In looking at PPIAC’s history, the statement, “Our continuing efforts to strive for licensure remain undaunted” still holds true today.
Early this year, PPIAC brought forth HB11-1195, a voluntary private investigator license bill in anticipation of a favorable recommendation from DORA, the Department of Regulatory Agencies located in Denver, Colorado. On February 17, 2011, DORA issued the 2011 Sunrise Review for Private Investigators. In the 21 page report, DORA discusses several levels of regulation: Licensure, Certification, Registration, and Title Protection. Each level of regulation offers different levels of restriction and public protection.
According to DORA’s report, since 1984 there have been four sunrise reviews (1985, 1987, 2000, and 2006) related to private investigators. Each of the four sunrise reviews recommended against regulation due to the lack of harm to consumers. According to DORA’s most recent (2011) report, there now is “a potential that consumers may be harmed financially by PIs if they fail to complete agreed upon services. As such, PIs should be regulated by the State of Colorado and be required to possess either a surety bond or errors and omissions insurance.”
So what is the significance of DORA’s 2011 recommendation? First, DORA has issued a recommendation that is opposite and contrary to its four prior sunrise review recommendations. Moreover, DORA has recommended that Colorado private investigators be regulated. According to DORA’s report, licensure, certification, registration, and title protection fall under their definition of regulation.
For PPIAC’s licensing effort, the worst case scenario would have been for DORA to issue a recommendation consistent with the four prior sunrise reviews. With DORA’s 2011 Sunrise Review, Colorado has a non-investigator entity and a State entity for that matter issue a recommendation that private investigators be regulated as a result of public harm. DORA’s recommendation thus helps pave the way for Colorado private investigators to raise the standard of professionalism as well as to provide a united, vetted voice through a licensing program.
Please visit www.ppiac.org for more information on the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado.