Start Your Test-Prep Engines: Colorado PI Group Sets Licensing Test Seminar

Posted February 25, 2015 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

Start Your Test-Prep Engines: Colorado PI Group Sets Licensing Test Seminar

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – Two days after the new Colorado licensing rules for private investigators officially go into effect, the state’s largest private investigator’s group is set to host a free one- hour licensing preparation seminar that’s open to both members and non-members.

The session hosted by the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) is set to be held during the group’s next monthly meeting,

4:30 pm at CB & Potts, 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard in Greenwood Village.

The seminar is designed to help private investigators pass the “jurisprudence exam” they’ll have to take sometime during the next two months in order to obtain a license by June 1. The mandatory licensing program is new. It was created by the 2014 legislature.

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Final Private Investigator Rules for Colorado Look a Lot Like Proposed Rules

Posted February 6, 2015 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – The rules governing Colorado’s new program for licensing private investigators are speeding through the approval process with nary a hint that anything private investigator say about them is making a difference.

The rules have been approved by the state’s Attorney General and filed with the secretary of state. Next up, they’ll be pushed later this month in the Colorado Register – the state’s official rule book. They’ll be effective March 2.

Despite the myriad concerns raised at a public hearing last month, the final version shows only one noticeable change from the previous. For those seeking a senior-level license, any work they did with the military police or military intelligence branches can count toward the 4,000 of investigative experience required to obtain what the regulators called a “level II” license. There is no experience required to obtain an entry-level – or level I – license.

In other words, regulators are now being a wee bit more lenient with the experience requirements. Otherwise, not a lot stakeholder commentary managed to stick.

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Colorado Private Investigator Regulators Set Annual Fee for Licenses at $330

Posted January 13, 2015 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Colorado private investigators will be required to pay $330 a year for the right to continue their work after June 1 as the cost of obtaining a license under the state’s new mandatory licensing law.

The cost for the license was announced January 5 by Mark Browne, program director of the Office of Private Investigator Licensure at the Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). “We appreciate that any application fee is a real cost to businesses and have set the fee as judiciously as possible to fulfill the General Assembly’s intent as well as the needs of private investigators,” Brown said in announcing the fee.

The fee will apply for both investigators with no prior experience, and experienced investigators seeking what the department calls a “level II” license.

In addition, investigators will be required to obtain a $10,000 bond, the cost of which is normally between $50 and $200. And they’ll have to pass an online, “open-book” test.

The same day that Browne made the announcement of the license fee an audience of the almost 50 private investigators clustered into a conference room for a hearing hosted by regulators on the rules for implementing the new licensing law. The PIs asked for clarifications of the rules implementing the licensing law, and expressed a variety of concerns:

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Colorado Regulators Release Rules for Private Investigators and Set Hearing

Posted December 4, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

By Susanna Speier

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – State officials in charge of reigning in Colorado’s private investigators have released the first draft of their written rules for the industry and have agreed to hear comments on them at a hearing set for 9 am on Monday January 5.

The hearing – to be held in Suite 1250c at 1560 Broadway in Denver – will be the first and likely only opportunity for private investigators to tell the regulators in-person what they think of the rules.

The 15-page rule-book – released last week – was formulated by state regulators to implement the legislation approved earlier this year requiring all private investigators in Colorado to obtain a license from the state by July 1, 2015.

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Private Investigator Licensing Fees Top Issue as Regulators Hear Comments From Investigators

Posted November 15, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Colorado private investigators Wednesday told state officials getting ready to issue regulations for licenses that they’re on-edge about what they fear will be excessive licensing fees over the next few years and about conflicting statements from regulators about refunds some of them are owed.

Regulators received a bucket-load of comments about the draft rules for licensing experience, surety bonds, a licensing exam, standards of practices and rules of professional conduct. But how much licenses will cost over the next three years and the refunds due to those who paid for voluntary licenses dominated much of the 2.5 hour session.

“You guys have to make this palatable,” investigator Dean Beers pleaded, adding that the escalating fees was a key reason the voluntary licensing program failed. He said he’s received “dozens and dozens of emails” about the issue. He said regulators should anticipate costs over the next three years and set a licensing fee that won’t escalate dramatically year-to-year, as the fees for the voluntary program did.

 

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Colorado Private Investigator Regulators Finally Speak: Public Comment Meeting Set

Posted November 8, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

By Ryan Ross and Susanna Speier

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – More than three months behind schedule and after months of silence, officials with the Office of Private Investigator Licensure (OPIU) of the Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) and the state’s Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA) said they have set the first “stakeholder” meeting for 1:00 pm November 12 in room 1250 (12th floor) at 1560 Broadway in Denver.

The stated purpose is to “gather input” on rules for the state’s brand new law requiring that all private investigator get licenses. “The division invites you to share your thoughts and recommendations as we develop a preliminary draft of the proposed rules to regulate private investigators,” the regulators said in their announcement.

Enforcement Unit Supervisor Dennis Larson also said in the announcement that regulators “will consider” comments only on requirements for the license for experienced investigators, the surety bond requirement, the exam, the standards of practice, the rules of professional conduct. Other matters – such as the cost of the licenses – will be considered only after comment on these items has been received, and then only if time permits.

All private investigators will have to pass the test adopted by regulators, and there is already a California offering to sell study guides and warning that the failure rate will be high, forcing a lot of unprepared investigators out of business.

It’s still not clear how many investigators are worried. Leading licensing opponent Rick Johnson isn’t. “A test is a test,’ he says. “ How difficult can this test be?” Johnson also acknowledges that not all Colorado investigators share his ennui. “People who work for me aren’t worried about it but people new to the industry might be worried and I can understand why they would be worried about an exam. It’s the unknown. They don’t know what’s going to be on this test. Thirty five years versus months — this is going to give the person with more experience the upper hand.”

Chief licensing proponent Chris Bray was not concerned by the schedule delays. ‘We have every confidence that DORA will meet the requirements set forth under law and will announce meetings, timetables and rules as soon as they are ready to be announced,” he said before the announcement of the meeting for public comment.

The delays, however, create a time crunch. State law requires the regulators issue their proposed rules, and then hold a hearing to solicit comment. That hearing, they said in July, was going to be held in November, with the rules becoming effective by January. Now that timetable is in jeopardy. The tighter the schedule, the less time the regulator have to do their homework, and consider comments from investigators and others.

How close to the wire is DORA actually going to go? “Lets have a New Years Eve party at DORA” Johnson says, “with beer in our hands, party hats, and blowers and lets sit down and see if we can get this hammered out.”

The agenda for the public-comment meeting is here.

The web site for the licensing program is here.

Although information remains unavailable on the web site DORA created for the private investigator licensure program. It is, however, available through a mailing list that you sign up for by sending a subscription request to: dennis.larson@state.co.us

Step Right Up and Get Your Colorado Private Investigator Test Study Guide

Posted October 24, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Uncategorized

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – A California company is offering to help Colorado private investigators pass the test required to get a license from state regulators next year, even before state regulators have decided what the test is going to test.

The PI Group is recently started advertising a “complete NEW study material package for the new 2015 Colorado Private Investigator license testing” on its website. Colorado investigators, will, in fact, have to pass a “jurisprudence” test of some kind to get a license in the state’s new mandatory licensing program, slated to go into effect on June 1, 2015. But state regulators haven’t said anything yet about how investigators should prepare.

Whatever the test’s content, the California firm is going to be ready, Director Don Grogan tells the Denver Private Investigator Blog. “As soon as DORA decides here’s what’s going to be on the test, we’ll have a study guide to match it,” he says.

Grogan claims to be “getting input” from Colorado regulators and “others” he won’t identify. Regulators wouldn’t respond to questions about Grogan’s claims submitted by the Denver Private Investigator Blog.

The PI Group has been creating study materials since the 90s, according to Grogan, and has been hired to develop the tests for several states. The organization has 4,000 members, he says.

Grogan says tests vary as much state to state as licensing requirements do. But he says they all draw upon broad areas that investigators need to be knowledgeable about, such as background checks and surveillance.

Grogan says he anticipates questions such as “How many counties are there in Colorado? “That’s a background check question,” he explains.

Another likely question involves how to determine whether someone owns a piece of vacant property. “There is no such thing as a statewide property check,” he adds. “You have to go county by county.”

Colorado investigators are also likely to get asked what state agency and what county agency maintains marriage records in Colorado. And where corporate records can be obtained. “We teach those nuances,” he says.

Grogan hasn’t determined what the cost of the Colorado study materials will be and the firm’s web site doesn’t indicate the costs of the study materials it offers for other states. Interested investigators are told to call the firm’s toll-free number.

Grogan says his firm will make study material “outlines” available online at no cost. But it’s the complete study materials that are the key to passing the tests. He says his firm has helped thousands of California investigators pass that state’s test, by studying the 14-pound packet of study materials he provides. “You don’t know in advance what to study for and it’s too late when you’re at the test,” he says. “In most states people fail a time or two before passing.”

Warning experienced investigators not to underestimate the test he warns, “you can be a good car driver and still fail the written test.”

Grogan says he thinks Colorado’s licensing program – like the licensing program in other states – won’t help private investigators. “I want licensing because we sell books,” he says. “But if I was a Colorado private investigator, I wouldn’t want a license because a license does nothing for them.”

“Cream rises to the top. If you find a good investigator you’ll get good reviews and good word of mouth.”

Grogan says the Colorado legislation was pushed by investigators trying to squeeze part-timers out of the business, and that their motives have nothing to do with protecting the public from bad investigators. “There’s no evidence that lack of licensing is hurting the public there,” he says. “I don’t see any stories about rogue investigators doing bad deeds in Colorado. I talk to some who are in the know and they say the legislation was pushed by the guys who want to remove the part-timers. I don’t think private investigator’s work ethics are going to change because of the licensing program.”

Grogram is predicting that the cost of a Colorado license will be more than $500 a year. “If I was in Colorado,” he says. “ I’d say that’s a throwaway of money.”


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