NEWS “without comment”


The ABI – Association of British Investigators proposed GDPR Code of Conduct.

As you may be aware, the ABI is preparing a Code of Conduct for investigative and litigation support services.

The draft document went out for the first phase of the consultation over the past 4 weeks during which ABI members and other stakeholders provided input.  The responses have enabled the ABI to address issues and concerns and update the work in progress draft code accordingly..  The current version is available on

The next phase of the consultation includes non ABI practitioners as explained in section 11 of the draft proposal.  It would be appreciated if you would kindly draw your members’ attention to the above web page, although the proposed code is likely to be of interest to UK based investigative and litigation support service providers.

The wider sector consultation will end on 14th August 2020.

 The Original Advisory:

 Ref: ABI Code of Conduct – ICO / GDPR

ABI consultation on the draft code of conduct for investigative & litigation support services

The GDPR gave the ICO a mandate to approve sector specific codes of conduct on GDPR good practice.

Following the relative success of the ABI’s GDPR dedicated training workshops over the past two years, the Governing Council feels the ABI is well placed to build on that success and submit an application for the certification of an ABI owned code of conduct.

Should the application for certification succeed it has the potential to change the dynamics of the investigation sector for the greater good, legitimizing the work we do and not least elevating ABI Code members to a status currently unavailable elsewhere.

In other words this is likely to equal the nearest to government sponsored licensing of our sector for the immediate future.

The Code Member status, whilst certificated by the ICO, is audited and granted by a Monitoring Body, independent of the ABI.

Terms as regard cost have been discussed and it is anticipated that members should be able to achieve Code member status within a net budget of £200.00 per annum payable to the Monitoring Body, plus the cost of the requisite training (ABI GDPR workshop), which of course all members would benefit from.

Whilst the consultation is extended to other stakeholders and partners, the key participants are the ABI active Full and Provisional members.

 Overseas members too may apply providing they meet the UK membership criteria but  the code only has effect for UK based investigations.  All members’ responses will be welcome.

Your time to consider the draft Proposal and provide the response will be greatly appreciated.  The Consultation ends on 31/07/2020.

Please visit the ABI Consultation web page and downloaded the documents to enable you to submit your response.


WAPI Chairman responds:

Dear Colleagues

I write again in reference to the proposed GDPR Code of Conduct as proposed by the Association of British Investigators (ABI)

Since my last correspondence the ABI has now referred to a ‘Stage Two’ of the consultation process to include other professional Associations and involved parties.  The statement is that the consultation for this ‘Stage’ ends on August 14th 2020.

There are two other UK based Associations The Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI) and The World Association of Professional Investigators (WAPI) who represent a considerable percentage of those engaged in the profession and there are also a large majority, who retain no membership of any Association, who are members of the two main Internet based E-Groups United Kingdom Private Investigators Network (UKPIN) and WAPI E-Group none of these where consulted during the so called “Stage One” of the ABI proposal.

I submit that this is insufficient time for the greater Investigative profession to conduct a realistic consultation covering the relevant aspects of concern, including those raised in my previous correspondence.  The ABI themselves, a tiny minority of the practicing Investigators in the UK, had more time to debate this themselves yet they consider the wider profession requires much less time. It is, in my opinion, not only an unfair time restriction but again shows considerable disrespect for the wider profession by the ABI to those who are not members of its Association.

I further submit and request that the present proposed Code of Conduct be ceased and consultation restarted to include the WHOLE profession and involved stakeholders, Associations and EGroup members with a realistic time for such consultation be set by agreement between the concerned parties. 

This is the only way that the profession can be represented as a whole in a matter of immense importance to us all.

Tony Smith – Chairman

The World Association of Professional Investigators