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.”