Message from Tony Smith – Chairman

The World Association of Professional Investigators is delighted to announce in conjunction with the Institute of Professional Investigators & UKPIN the launch of ‘The Confederation of Professional Investigators UK’


10th June 2024 WAPI, in conjunction with the Institute of Professional Investigators ( IPI) and the United Kingdom Private Investigators Network (UKPIN), launched the Confederation of Professional Investigators UK. (COPI)

Invitations have been sent to all Associations that have an interest in this profession to come on board at no cost and, as you will see, the benefits are clear on the website

This is a move to establish a collective voice from established Associations, already known for best business practices, following an agreed Code of Ethics protecting commercial Clients, the general public, and Investigators alike and also limiting the activities of those ‘cowboys’ that continue to haunt this profession.

Membership of the Confederation is open to all Industry trade groups and carries no membership fees or administration charges whatsoever. Reputable agencies and practitioners all adhere to a Code of Conduct and last year WAPI, IPI and UKPIN jointly signed a voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct across their Memberships ensuring that their members complied.

All individual COPI members will continue as Associations in their own right and COPI will NOT in any way interfere with the business operations of any individual member Association.. COPI also ensures that ALL practicing Investigators signing to the Code of Conduct act as one voice and therefore ensure that no individual Association is disadvantaged by profiteering or unfair practices.

Legislation will, eventually, come to this Profession and as a united body of accredited Associations, we can ensure that our voice is heard rather than any one Association trying to dictate. It is planned that all member stakeholders elect one person to speak for their Association in COPI for matters and plans going forward that way ensuring equality and fairness to all members.

For too long this profession has been fragmented and a little weighed down with self-interest to carry any real authority when views of the profession are sought from either government, media, or the general public.

The launch will be extensive as this is, in my opinion, our best opportunity in years to unify this profession and establish greater protection for clients and members alike and I therefore hope you will all consider those benefits.

Tony Smith
World Association of Professional Investigators.
10th June 2024


I am again honoured to retain the Chair of the Association for the forthcoming year and I thank my Governing Council for their sterling efforts throughout this past year, in particular Emma who now stands down as General Secretary.

It is apparent that Licensing of the profession of Private Investigators in the UK is not going to happen anytime soon, certainly not in this Parliament and unlikely in the one that follows. In its absence it is imperative now, possibly more than ever, that we in this profession take responsibility for ourselves as professionals. Self-regulation of PI’s, a phrase often heard, has been discussed now for as long as I can remember but has never truly gotten off the ground due to a myriad of issues which I won’t go into here.

However, 2023 saw a major step towards raising the standard of the profession, in my opinion, in the formulation and adoption of a joint Code of Ethics between The World Association of Professional Investigators (WAPI), The Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI) and the United Kingdom Private Investigators Network (UKPIN). The signatories to this joint Code of Ethics ensure that the respective members of those Associations abide by the Code which goes a long way towards the reassurance and protection of their Clients. The Code is also open to any and all Private Investigators, irrespective of any Association membership, wishing to adopt this standard of practice. Copies of the Code have been lodged with The Office of the Information Commissioner and The Home Office. This could not have been possible without the cooperation of those wishing to further the Profession and raise its profile.

I will undertake to do my best to ensure that WAPI will continue to strive to represent its members wherever and whenever possible for this forthcoming year.

Tony Smith
October 2023