Since I started teaching the Certificate III Investigative Services course back in 2014, I became acutely aware that the training they receive for this qualification, and the resources available, only gave them a basic foundation for the skills that are required to be a successful Investigator. So I began to introduce more of my own knowledge, my own experiences and some of the key skills that are required to succeed as an investigator into this course. I introduced an extra days practical exercise for surveillance and introduced the PEACE model of interviewing. In September 2016 I was asked to write an article for the Agent magazine regarding training for Investigators and the need to continually develop their skills, the article was titled, ‘If we always do what we’ve always done, then we will always get what we always got!”
It was as a result of this article, I was introduced to Brad Lyons. Brad was heavily involved in the development of Detective Desk, and shared my views of the industry and my passion to increase the standards of Private Investigations. After a number of phone calls and discussions on the industry and the training I was already offering with the Surveillance Training Course I cheekily asked if Brad would provide some guidance on skip tracing to my students. Bard agreed to this and agreed to provide an hours video conference where he presented to our students not only on how to use Detective Desk but introduced other ways and other sources of information that could be used locate an individual.
I felt that this was so invaluable to the students, to have those insights and sources of information that they could call upon when qualified and working as a Private Investigator, that I approached Brad to offer a dedicated skip tracing course. So almost twelve months later, last Friday 25 May 2018; at the Cross Keys Hotel function room, Melbourne, we realised that goal.
It was fantastic to see the room full of students, with all levels of Investigations experience, and eager to learn new skills and knowledge. Our students ranged from newly licensed Investigators, experiences debt collectors, to an number of Investigations business owners. We had three states represented with students from Western Australia, New South Wales and of course the home state Victoria, four if we counted Brad who flew down from Queensland to present the course.
The students were shown a variety a techniques from how to get the best out of Google searches to wide variety of websites that some had been developed by Brad himself, which makes the role of skip tracing so much easier, by reducing the time it takes by being more effective.
In addition to learning the techniques and sources of information that Skip Tracers use for locates, and some very humorous examples of his best pretexts, Brad also went into great detail on what is required to run a successful Skip tracing Business. He provided the students with his recommended processes and protocol to manage high numbers of cases with automated reporting to the client.
The students received a highly enjoyable presentation on social engineering which led to some very interesting questions relating to what behaviours and pretexts a skip tracer can do legally. This led nicely into some input on compliance and best practice for debt collectors and creditors and how it related to Skip Tracers.
The course finished off with some case files on some of the locates Brad had made himself on some of Australia’s most wanted criminals, from just from a photograph. With all the students by now keen to run off and practice what they learnt, Brad then set them homework, to identify a location just from a photograph of a girl on a horse. The students are expected to complete their homework and present their results back to Brad where they will then receive one on one feedback and debrief and the have opportunity to ask any further questions or advice.
We are now turning our attention to our presenting our next Advanced Skip Tracing Course which is expected to be held in New South Wales at a date to be determined, but would also like to receive any expressions of interest from other states.