The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

My statement was making reference, if you like, to what the SIA in one of their later consultation documents suggested would be the level of qualification, where somebody would be expected to have competencies in five areas that would require them to undergo 60 hours' training. That would be an exceptionally basic level of training if somebody could learn their trade in 60 hours.

At the high end, you can imagine we could have taken I believe it's Spain's template, where you have to have a degree before you can become a private investigator. That in itself would have been unworkable in the UK, I suspect. So what we would like is something that equates to perhaps -- and we explored this some years ago -- a legal executive. Somebody who is not expected to have the entire legal knowledge expected to run a law practice, but have sufficient to be able to assist a law practice.

An investigator should in our mind have something at that level of knowledge, experience, competency, as it were. But as things stood with the SIA and for reasons which we fully understand, they had to go to a basic level because, again because of the breadth of nature of investigative work, trying to get a one size fits all competency was exceptionally difficult.

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