Certified Professional Investigator (CPI)
Certified Security Professional (CSP)

Program Administration

The program shall be administered by the Board of Directors of the California Association of Licensed Investigators. The Board of Directors, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association, may designate an individual or committee to administer the program.

Use of Designation

The designations Certified Professional Investigator or Certified Security Professional, or the abbreviations CPI or CSP, may be used only by a designee who is certified under the provisions of this program. Upon termination of the certification, use of the designations or their abbreviations shall be discontinued.

The certification is not to be considered permanent and will continue only as long as the certified member continues and sustains the designation as set forth by the Association.

Applicant Qualifications

  • The applicant must be a licensed Private Investigator or the equivalent designation in her or his jurisdiction to qualify for the Certified Professional Investigator designation. The applicant must be a licensed Private Patrol Operator or the equivalent designation in her or his jurisdiction to qualify for the Certified Security Professional designation.
  • If the applicant is a licensed Private Investigator or licensed Private Patrol Operator in the State of California, she or he must have been licensed for a minimum of three consecutive years immediately preceding application for certification.
  • If the applicant resides outside the State of California and is not licensed in California, she or he must have been qualified under the respective laws or regulations in her or his jurisdiction to operate as a Private Investigator or Private Patrol Operator, for a minimum of three consecutive years immediately preceding application for certification.
  • Proof of licensure, or its equivalent in non-licensing jurisdictions, must be submitted with the original application for certification.
  • The applicant must accumulate ten (10) CPI/CSP credits to qualify.

Classifications of Certification

There will be no distinction or classes of certification except that those who, upon reaching their seventieth birthday and are currently certified, shall be entitled to "Life" certification. Such classification will be exempt from the re-certification requirements and all fees shall be waived.

Completed Application

A completed application shall indicate compliance with the licensing qualifications as set forth in this program, and shall include proof of licensure, or its equivalent if outside the State of California; shall provide proof of the required CPI credits; and all applicable fees.

If the application is incomplete, the application, along with documentation and fees, will be returned for revision and resubmission.

Examination

The examination shall be prepared by the Board of Directors or its designees. There shall be a separate examination for the Certified Professional Investigator designation and for the Certified Security Professional designation. The examination shall be administered a minimum of once a year.

Each examination shall consist of a minimum of 100 questions relative to the respective investigative and security professions. The examination may focus on the laws and regulations of California and the United States and may also include questions of general investigative or security knowledge and professional conduct. In preparing the examination, the source of the question and the answer shall be noted. The test questions will be multiple choice. A minimum score of 70% is required to pass the examination.

The examination shall be reviewed every two years, commencing January 2013, by the Board of Directors or its designee(s).

Re-examination

Re-examination may be scheduled for the applicant's failure to successfully pass the test or failure to take a scheduled test. There is no limit to the number of times an applicant can take the exam. A re-examination fee shall be charged for each re-examination. If the applicant fails the test, re-examination will be automatically scheduled for the next testing opportunity.

 The re-examination fee shall not be charged if the applicant provides notice to the Association within at least ten (10) business days of the scheduled examination that she or he will not be taking the scheduled examination.

Appeal

An appeal may be made based on a contention that the test or scoring is inaccurate. The appeal must be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the test results, and must be made to the President of the Association. The Association President will have the authority to make a determination of the validity of the appeal, and shall advise the appellant in writing within 30 days of the filing of the appeal of her or his decision.

 If the appeal is denied, the appellant may then request the Board of Directors to review the matter. Such request must be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the decision of the President and shall be scheduled for review of the Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Certification Renewal

All CPI and CSP Designees, except Life designees, shall renew their designation biannually. Renewal must be completed within thirty days of the notification of renewal, on the designated form, accompanied by proof of earned CPI/CSP credits, and must meet all licensing, credit, and fee requirements.

Non-compliance shall result in the revocation of the certification designation. Restoration may be made by the Association upon written request and upon proof of satisfying all of the renewal requirements.

A CPI and CSP designee must achieve five (5) credits for each designation during the biennial renewal period. Credits may not be carried forward from previous renewal periods.

CPI/CSP Credits

To qualify for the CPI certification one must meet all of the requirement listed above and accumulate ten (10) credits. To renew, one must accumulate five (5) credits every two years (e.g. renewal period). Credits will not be carried forward from previous renewal periods. Determination of qualifying credit(s) will be made by the CPI/CSP chair and/or President of the Association.

 Continuing education credits may be earned in the following ways:

One (1) Credit

Two (2) Credits

Three (3) Credits

● Attend two District Meetings

● Attend two Board Meetings

● Governor Term

● Committee Member Term

● MCLE Credits

● Related CE Credits

● Leg Day Attendance

● Conference Speaker

● CPI Seminar Attendance

● NLITE Trainer

● Related Certification

● Board Member Term

● Bachelors Degree

● Instructor at any accredited University or College. Instruction must be related to the security or investigations field

● Publication of article on CALI website, CALI Newsletter, CALI Journal

● Article in recognized national publication related to investigations or security

● CALI President Term

● CALI Annual Conference Attendance

● JD, Masters, or PhD

● Publication of bound book related to investigations or security field

● ELITE: Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council (CDITC)

● ELITE: Completion of any ELITE training course with 24 or more hours of instruction

Fees
Certification program fees shall be established by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors has established the following fees for CALI members: the original application fee for each certification is $85; the biennial renewal fee is $75 for each designation; the re-examination fee is $40; and the reinstatement fee is $40 for each designation.

The Board of Directors has established the following fees for non-CALI members: the original application fee for each certification is $350; the biennial renewal fee is $100 for each designation; the re-examination fee is $40; and the reinstatement fee is $40 for each designation.

Confidentiality

Information contained in the application for certification and related documents, as well as test questions and answers and test scores, will not be disclosed or divulged. In the event of an appeal, the records will not be destroyed until the appeal is resolved.

Testing

The written test will consist of a minimum of 100 questions dealing with professional ethics, licensing guidelines, state and federal laws, surveillance, investigation techniques, laws relating to privacy, managing an office, tax concerns and obligations, client relations, sources of information, state codes pertaining to PI's, legal terminology and court testimony. The test covers both civil and criminal investigations, plaintiff and defense sides.

The Certification Test for Certified Professional Investigator (CPI) and Certified Security Professional (CSP) will be administered in conjunction with CALI’s Annual Conference.

Additional testing times may be scheduled in districts throughout the coming year

Study Guide for Certified Professional Investigator

  • Business & Professions Code 7512 - 7573
  • Legal Terms [Black's Law Dictionary]
  • California Code of Civil Procedure [sections 413.10 to 413.40]
  • EDD Employer Tax Guide
  • Bill of Rights [U.S. Constitution]
  • Penal Code [Sections 148.9, 602, 626.8, 634, 647, 889, 939, 976, 12050, 1466], 867 and 1054
  • The Private Investigator's Legal Manual (Third Edition by David Queen)
  • Richter v Hickman, 2009, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • CA State Bar Rule 1-320
  • Riley v. California, US Supreme Court 573 (2014)

There will be questions dealing with professional ethics, licensing guidelines, California state and federal laws, surveillance, investigation techniques, laws relating to privacy, managing an office, tax concerns and obligations, client relations, sources of information, state codes pertaining to PI's, California BSIS requirements, legal terminology and court testimony. The test covers both civil and criminal investigations, plaintiff and defense sides.

Study Guide for Certified Security Professional

  • Private Investigator's Act [Business & Professions Code Sections 7512-7573]
  • Business & Professions Code [Sections 660, 148.9]
  • Legal Terms [Black's Law Dictionary]
  • California Workers' Compensation Handbook (Herlick) [Chapters 6-8, 12-14)
  • EDD Employer Tax Guide
  • Bill of Rights [U.S. Constitution]
  • Penal Code [Sections 490.5, 939, 976, 12050, 1466, 602, 626.8]
  • Civil Code of Regulations [Title 16, Chapter 7, Section 607]
  • Protection of Assets Manual [Chapter 4, pages 4-28; Chapter 8, pages 8-19; Chapter 9, pages 9-4; Chapter 10, Part II, pages 10-29; Chapter 11, Theft & Fraud; Chapter 33, Part I, pages 33-39.]

There will be questions dealing with professional ethics, licensing guidelines, state and federal laws, surveillance, investigation techniques, laws relating to privacy, managing an office, tax concerns and obligations, client relations, sources of information, state codes pertaining to PPO's, and legal terminology.

If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact Anthony Hopkins, Chair, CALI CPI/CPS Education/Training Committee at anthony@ahinvestigations.com.

Application

Your complete application shall include proof of licensure, or the equivalent in your jurisdiction if outside the state of California, written documentation of your earned credits and applicable fees.

Click here to apply for CPI or CSP Certification Test
Click here to renew your CPI or CSP Certification

Download CPI/CSP Renewal Form