About CALI

Who We Are

The California Association of Licensed Investigators, Inc. is a not‐for‐profit professional organization founded in 1967 to protect and enhance our licensed private investigator and licensed private patrol operator members.

With approximately 1,400 members, CALI is the largest private investigator association in the world. The association works to advance the investigation and security professions through educational programs and legislative advocacy efforts that promote the needs of the profession before governmental agencies and the State Legislature.

CALI’s works in support of the ability of clients, often either a consumer or a victim, by performing legitimate investigations within the parameters and boundaries established in law. Our members are licensed and regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

Our Mission Statement

Our goals remain as clear and strong as they were when CALI was formed in 1967:

  • To advance the professions of licensed investigators and security professionals;
  • To provide education and training to all licensed professionals; and
  • To articulate and advocate the needs and interests of the professions before legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of government.

Through quarterly conferences and seminars, publications, community programs, and advocacy on behalf of our profession, we honor our commitment to our colleagues and clients.

Our Purpose

The purposes of the Association include: a) engaging in any lawful act or activity for which a corporation may be organized; b) advancing the professions of licensed investigators and private patrol operators; c) articulating and advocating the needs and interests of the professions before legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of local and state governments; d) cooperating on behalf of the professions with persons and firms directly and through their Associations in matters involving the business and governmental affairs of the professions; e) promulgating policies and conducting activities for the betterment of all those involved in some aspect of the professions.

Our Code of Ethics

The California Association of Licensed Investigators is the largest private investigator association in the world. We believe in the principles of truth, justice, fairness and honesty in dealing with our clients, witnesses and the general public. It is the purpose of the Code of Ethics to provide our members with a clear understanding of their responsibilities as active members of the association. This Code is also designed to protect the public and the association from the unethical practices of investigators within the State of California. CALI, through this Code of Ethics endorses and adheres to the Code of Ethics previously adopted the NCISS (National Council of Investigators and Security Professionals).

  1. Adhere to all applicable laws, statutes and regulations of the State of California and United States of America in carrying out investigations on behalf of our clients.
  2. Provide truthful, accurate, fact based reports to clients. Maintain confidentiality with clients to protect the privacy interests of all persons involved in our investigations. The collection of personal identifying information shall only be gathered for lawful purposes and shall not be disclosed to any third party. No investigator shall make a disclosure of information to a person not authorized by the client or by applicable laws.
  3. Disclose to any client a conflict, which would prevent the member from performing a fair, professional investigation.
  4. When soliciting work, member investigators will conduct themselves in an ethical manner and will never misrepresent or disparage any member, in any forum, in order to obtain an assignment or to obtain an unfair advantage during an assignment or while carrying out the duties of the association.
  5. Ensure that all employees associated with the investigator adhere to the CALI Code of Ethics while per‐ forming services on behalf of the investigator.
  6. Refrain from any conduct, which would bring the investigator or the association under reproach.
  7. The investigator will only subcontract with a licensed private investigator while performing their duties. The investigator agrees to follow all applicable local and state laws (from each state) if asked to perform an assignment outside the state of California.
  8. Whenever possible investigators will execute a written agreement with a client, which outlines fees, costs, retainers, and a description of the work to be performed.

Private Investigator Act

Private investigators and private patrol operators are licensed and regulated by the California State Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). To be eligible for licensure, the applicant must have 6,000 hours of experience; submit to a thorough criminal background investigation by BSlS and the Department of Justice; and successfully complete a written exam. Private investigators are governed by the California Business & Professions Code, Private Investigator Act.

CALIFORNIA BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE, SECTION 7521
A private investigator ... is a person ... who, for any consideration whatsoever engages in business or accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to furnish ... or agrees to make, or makes, any investigation for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to:

  1. Crime or wrongs done or threatened against the United States of America or any state or territory of the United States of America.
  2. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trust‐ worthiness, efficiency, Loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of any person.
  3. The location, disposition or recovery of lost or stolen property.
  4. The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, or damage or injury to persons or to property.
  5. Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee.

For the purposes of this section, a private investigator is any person, firm, company, association, partnership, or corporation acting for the purpose of investigating, obtaining, and reporting to any employer, it’s agent, supervisor, or manager, information concerning the employer's employees involving questions of integrity, honesty, breach of rules, or other standards of performance of job duties.