Do the courses ever go on sale?
Yes, the courses are often put on FLASH sales with no advance notice. Check back often for deals. Remember, you can pay now and lock in that price and take 30 days to complete the course. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we will list our Flash Sales.
Does the course count for Continuing Education credits in Texas?
YES, as of 06/23/2017 the Surveillance course is now registered as a PI Continuing Education Course, School Number: Y04175701. It will count as the full 18 hours (14 hours content, 2 hours ethics, 2 hours board rules) required by the PSB when renewing your Pocket Card.
The CE version is uploaded and active. Check back often for Flash Sales.
Does the course count for Continuing Education credits in other states?
YES, as of 10/01/2018 the Surveillance course is now registered as a PI Continuing Education Course, Texas School Number: Y04175701. It will count as 16 hours (14 hours content, 2 hours ethics).
The NON TEXAS CE version is uploaded and active. It is approved in the following states:
ALABAMA, IOWA, KANSAS. MONTANA, OREGON, AND SOUTH CAROLINA.
Coming soon for:
KENTUCKY, MISSOURI, NEW MEXICO and TENNESSEE.
Check back often for Flash Sales.
Does this course qualify me for "licensing" in Texas or other states?
The way PI licensing works in Texas is as follows: All investigations in Texas must go through a LICENSED PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE COMPANY (with a class A or C company license). A person is REGISTERED, NOT LICENSED as an employee of a Licensed Company.
Each company, in order to exist, must have a QUALIFIED MANAGER. To be a Qualified Manager, you must meet certain requirements such as 3 years investigative experience, or a Criminal Justice Degree, or a 4 year degree along with experience, etc. (there are a few other alternatives as well).
To be an employee (also known as a Registrant or "Pocket Card Holder"), you must be over 18 years of age with no disqualifying criminal records (see the Board Rules or take the course to see the complete requirements). There are NO training requirements to become a REGISTRANT or EMPLOYEE (Pocket Card Holder), as far as the State of Texas is concerned. Your prospective employer may require you take training or have experience though.
So, if you just want to work as an investigator for someone’s company, (as an employee), you need a “Pocket Card”, which is a Private Investigator Registration Card. A licensed company must sponsor you for you to get the card. YOU CAN'T GET A POCKET CARD REGISTRATION ON YOUR OWN, YOU MUST BE SPONSORED BY A LICENSED COMPANY.
The problem is that most companies will not sponsor/hire you if you have no experience, which is why this course is being offered.
Remember, with a pocket card, (you are a legitimate employee of a Licensed Company), all work must go through the licensed company, and you must be a W2 employee (NOT a 1099 subcontractor). Taking cases on your own outside of the company is a class A misdemeanor, (soon to be a felony).
There are many pocket card holders in Texas who run around saying they are Private Investigators and taking their own cases. While it is true that they are "Private Investigators", (employees of the company that registered them), they are breaking the law by working outside the purview of a Licensed Company.
NOTE: If you are a one man shop, then you are the Owner of the company, the Qualified Manager for the company, and also the Private Investigator for the company. This is perfectly legal and how a large majority of PI Companies are set up.
So to sum up, NO this class does not license you, nor does it give you the 3 years of experience required to become the Qualified Manager of your own company. What is does, is teach you the basics of Surveillance (be sure to check out the Course Outline), so that you stand a chance of getting hired when you have no investigative experience. This course has also been taken by PIs who have been in the field for years, who just want to brush up on different methods of Surveillance operations. Of course if you purchase the CE version, it will count for your Continuing Education requirements for Texas.
If you want to work as a PI in Texas, you will still have to go out and apply for a job with a Licensed Company. If you don't have a Pocket Card already, you will have to show them the skills you have learned, so that hopefully they will sponsor you and register you as their employee. Once you get the Pocket Card, you can work for as many different Licensed Companies as you want, but you can NEVER freelance or work cases on your own without obtaining your own COMPANY LICENSE. This is also gone over in great detail in the course.
NOTE: This course only counts as Continuing Education credits for the states listed. It is not intended to count towards any LICENSING requirements.
NOTE: If you are taking any course in Texas that helps you to become licensed, be aware of the following:
Under the Private Security Act (Occ. Code Chapter 1702) and Administrative Rule 35.4 (37 Tex. Admin. Code 1), a criminal conviction may disqualify you from a registration, commission or license under the Act. You may wish to review Rule 35.4's list of disqualifying offenses and the related periods of ineligibility, available on the department's website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/rsd/psb/index.htm (click on the Laws tab and then click on Administrative Code). You also have a right to request from the department a criminal history evaluation letter under Occupations Code Section 53.102.
I don't live in Texas, Is there a Non Texas Version with NO CE credits?
Yes, there is a Non-Texas version of the course for a reduced price, that does not include : Employee/Employer Relations, Texas Board Rules and Laws, Ethics, or any of the Texas PDF attachments (but you still get the PDF slides of the Non-Texas Version of the course).
How much do the courses cost?
Check the Sign Up page for current prices and flash sales.
I'm in Texas, but I'm just interested in the Surveillance portion, not the CE version. Is there a shorter version?
Yes, there is a Texas NON CE course. It has a reduced price, that does not include : Texas Board Rules and Laws, or any of the Texas PDF attachments (but you still get the PDF slides of the course).
How long does the Texas course take?
This is not a quick course designed to be done in an hour or so like many online or Continuing Education courses. There are 350+ informational slides (text and photos), plus 10 hours of recorded audio supplements on the slides. There are also 30+ short video clips and multiple PDF attachments. If you sit through the entire course and read each slide and listen to the audio, it would take AT LEAST 10-12 hours. That is not including the time you would take to read through the Texas Private Security Act and the Texas PI Board Rules, (which we highly recommend if you are wanting to work as a PI in Texas). However, you will complete the course at your own rate. 30 minutes or 30 days, it's up to you. You can advance the slides when you are comfortable you've learned the material.
How long does the Non-Texas course take?
This is not a quick course designed to be done in an hour or so like many online or Continuing Education courses. There are 280+ informational slides (text and photos), plus 7.5 hours of recorded audio supplements on the slides. There are also 30+ short video clips and multiple PDF attachments. If you sit through the entire course and read each slide and listen to the audio, it would take AT LEAST 7.5 - 9 hours.
How long do I have to take it?
Once payment is received and the course is assigned to you, you will have 30 days to complete the course. This should be more than enough time. You can log in/out as often as you like and pick back up where you left off. There are 13 sub-courses in the complete course. You must take each course in order, but can skip around inside of each sub-course. All required slides for each sub-course must be viewed and any questions must be answered correctly before moving on to the next sub-course. However, you can click "next" to immediately advance to the next slide if you are not interested in the slide's content (regarding Texas laws/rules if you are a non-Texas resident).
Are there test questions or a final exam?
There is no final exam for the Non-Texas course or the Non CE Texas course. There is however a final exam for the Texas Continuing Education (CE) version. Each sub-course of every version has questions (about 4) at the end of the material that must be answered correctly before moving forward. After you answer, it will tell you if you are correct, and then give you the opportunity to make changes if needed. This way, we can be sure everyone understands the material before moving forward. The CE version has a PASS/FAIL test at the end. You must PASS in order to receive your CE credits.
Can I do the course on a tablet or phone?
Yes, you should be able to take the course on a desktop, smart phone or tablet. You just need an internet connection and the ability to watch video and audio.
What else comes with the Texas course?
You have the option to download the course (the slides) in PDF format. Since it's a PDF text document no audio or video will be included. You should take notes during the course of anything included in the audio/video portion, as you will no longer have access to that after 30 days. Some students have printed out the PDF slides, (or uploaded the pdf manual to Staples.com and have them print/bind) and then followed along taking notes as they took the online course.
You will also receive a PDF copy of the Texas Private Security Act and Texas PI Board Rules. Other PDF documents will be included such as sample forms, sample contract, sample report, surveillance checklist. and excerpts of applicable laws and rules that pertain to PIs in Texas, to make sure you don't get yourself into trouble while out on Surveillance.
What else comes with the Non-Texas course?
You have the option to download the course (the slides) in PDF format. Since it's a PDF text document no audio or video will be included. You should take notes during the course of anything included in the audio/video portion, as you will no longer have access to that after 30 days. Some students have printed out the PDF slides, (or uploaded the pdf manual to Staples.com and have them print/bind), and then followed along taking notes as they took the online course.
You will also receive other PDF documents will be included such as sample forms, sample contract, sample report, and surveillance checklist.
Will I receive a certificate?
Yes, upon completion of the course you will be able to print out a certificate that shows the skills completed during the course. If you take the CE version, your certificate will include the School Registration Number, the Instructor Name, and the total CE hours. You are required to keep this in your records in case you get audited by DPS.