Professional certifications exist for a reason. They indicate to clients that the professional is dedicated enough to his chosen profession and his clients to seek accreditation beyond the minimal requirements. They are at a higher level of dedication. One of the biggest reasons a professional chooses not to obtain or maintain certification is the rationalization that the certification is no longer necessary and the requirements to sustain said certification is too cumbersome.
Take the Texas Board Certified Investigator (TBCI) designation, for instance. The TBCI (formerly TCI) is the highest level of recognition offered by the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI), an association that has existed since 1971. In addition to being a member of TALI in good standing, TBCI candidates must have a minimum of five years of experience to test. Testing consists of a written examination, oral examination, and submission of a White Paper. Required study materials for the written exam, which is roughly three hours long, include Black’s Law Dictionary, the US and TX Constitutions, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Penal Code, and the Family Code, to name a few. The White Paper must be on an investigative topic without rehashing a previous case, and the topic must be approved by the White Paper committee for the TBCI board. Following the approval of the topic, an outline must be submitted for approval prior to the actual writing of the paper.
Then there’s the oral examination, which is an additional three-hour practical test. One should note that most law enforcement Criminal Investigation Division (CID) tests last just over an hour. All of this is designed to prove the TBCI candidate is more than just a “camera jockey,” spending his days behind tinted windows with a video camera and a monopod or a glorified process server passing database reports for background checks on the side.
Maintaining one’s TBCI designation is designed to exhibit the same level of dedication as, in addition to maintaining one’s state license and TALI membership, TBCIs are required to obtain 18 CEUs annually (the State only requires 18 biannually) and commit to attending the annual conference once every two years. On top of that, whereas the State doesn’t offer an opinion on what CEU courses a licensed investigator takes (provided they’re from an approved school), the TBCI board enforces our Code of Ethics, which dictates that a TBCI must “tirelessly strive to improve investigative knowledge.” What this means for the twenty-three (23) currently active TBCIs is submitting the same eighteen-hour surveillance course every year or every two years isn’t going to cut it.
How does this benefit you? When hiring a TBCI, you know your lead investigator will ensure your file is handled with the highest investigative skill and ethics level. Further, the likelihood of investigative evidence being ruled inadmissible due to improper predication is substantially lower. You may not be able to guarantee the existence of evidence, but you can guarantee evidence that is discovered can be relied upon.
The next time you need an investigator, hire the company with one of only 23 TBCIs in the State of Texas. Hire Preferred Intelligence. We go beyond for our clients every time. Call 214-785-4504.