Call us on +44 7846 257243


Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

Find Answers to questions below. If you can’t find the answer just give us a call.

What is the difference between the Basic Course and the Advanced Course?

The 5 day Basic Course covers everything you need to be able to conduct basic commercial surveillance and is suited for Private Investigators, Close Protection Officers or Security Personnel who feel that 5 days training suits their requirements, time frame and costs. The first week of the two week Advanced Couse is similar but the second week really progresses your skills in terms of more challenging and changing situations, public transport, tracking, covert photography and working in both densely urban areas and rural areas. You will also be required to demonstrate your leadership skills in terms of briefing and debriefing a team and give a presentation on a surveillance related subject in order to demonstrate your knowledge. Your skills at the end of two weeks will be notably superior than the end of the first week.

You do not have to complete the Basic Course to attend the Advanced Course.

Can I study by distance learning and then attend a short surveillance course for the practical element?

Not with ISS you can't, you will not pass the practical assessment. There is absolutely no way that you can read a book or watch a video on the techniques, and then be expected to reach the high standards set out in the official course specification. After only two or three days practise you will not be competent enough to operate as a professional surveillance operator. Other training providers may get you certificated (because you have paid them) but you will not be taken seriously in the industry after two half days in a car. Potential employers look at who you trained with, not the fact that you have a nice certificate.

What is the new OFQUAL Qualfication in Covert Surveillance Operations?

Until recently, no two surveillance qualifications were the same if they are from different training providers. Those companies are offering their ‘own’ product in what is classed as a ‘Customised’ qualification that has been endorsed by an awarding body. This new qualification puts everyone on a level playing field – it is going to be the same nationally recognised course.

ISS Training Ltd, together with Industry Qualifications were instrumental and at the forefront in the design of the new OFQUAL qualification in Covert Surveillance Operations. In doing so, they have had to release their course specifications, outcomes, content and their intellectual property into the public domain for any training provider to use. The assessments are quite stringent and therefore ‘automatic’ passes will not be accepted or given by reputable training companies offering this qualification.

Do you offer free accommodation?

The costs you pay are for your training course ONLY. However, we do offer on site accommodation at a rate of £10.00 per night for students attending the week long Basic Surveillance Course, the two week Advanced Surveillance Course, the Professional Investigation course and the five day Photography Course. The accommodation is self catering.

Students opting to ‘live in’, will be accommodated in a large first class, self-catering facility on the outskirts of Skipton and may be required to room share. Please contact us to take advantage of this.

There are also plenty of guest houses in the area together with corporate hotels. As our training facility is located in Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. We can provide a list of accommodation together with a map of the area with your course joining instructions. Costs for accommodation locally can range between £45.00 and £85.00 per night if you do not wish to take advantage of our on-site accomodation.

Can I receive a discount on the course fees for not using the on site accommodation facility?

No, sorry. The course fees are set for the training course only, the accommodation offer is not free.

Do you hold Open Days?

No. We do not hold ‘open days’ as such, as we feel that our history, reputation and credibility speak for itself. We do not need to hard sell our services or give you false promises of obtaining work to lure you on our courses. However, any potential student can visit us during a live course to see it in action, meet the other students and training team without the sales pitch. If you wish to visit us, please contact us to make an appointment.

What backgrounds do the students have?

The backgrounds differ, we teach students with no experience at all who wish to make a career in the security field together with experienced investigators and Close Protection Officers.

A recent course, nine students had the following backgrounds: 1 Close Protection Officer, 1 UK Enforcement Officer, 2 Corporate Investigators from a major brand company, 2 Military Resettlement soldiers and 3 newcomers to the industry without any experience whatsoever.

We do not rely on or overload our courses with military resettlement personnel. This gives the students the opportunity to network with other students who may already be in the security industry and hopefully lead to an exchange of employment.

We teach both male and female students.

What equipment do you use on the course?

We supply all covert radio equipment, cameras and trackers, we do not expect you to use your own.

All our radio equipment is totally covert and wireless. If your training provider is using IPhone style headphones, 'curly wurly' style earpieces or mobile phones, you are being short changed.

How many students are there per course?

We attempt to run the courses with a maximum of eight students, sometimes nine. We are not a surveillance 'factory' that wishes to churn out as many students as we can for high profit. We endeavour to provide first class training by providing a suitable student : instructor ratio. The foot and mobile surveillance courses have three trainers.

What do the costs involve?

The course fees include all training facilities, vehicles, fuel and equipment. Our course vehicles are rented from a reputable supplier to ensure that they are safe, reliable and roadworthy at all times.

We use the latest digital covert communication systems suitable for the purpose

Accreditation registration and assessment fees are also included but are optional. The IQ certificate is currently £90.00. Students only have to bring with them suitable clothing and an enthusiastic approach to learning. We provide refreshments throughout the course and a number of courses offer on-site accommodation.

We accept payments using the MOD ELCAS Scheme.

What is the pass rate for students?

We endeavour to pass everyone on the course but not everyone has the aptitude for surveillance, therefore not everyone will be sucessful. The Level 3 and Level 4 courses are accredited by IQ, designed by ISS to which high standards are set. As a percentage, we would say about 85% pass. On some courses, all achieve a pass, in the recent past 2 out of nine students did not achieve a pass. This is intense training and we have standards.

Payment of course fees does not guarantee you a pass, you pay for the training, not a certificate. If you just want a certificate, please go to another training provider, there are plenty who will take your money in exchange for a certificate.

Is the course content realistic?

Yes, the trainers practice what they preach. All the trainers are practicing commercial investigators and trainers with experience in either a regular Military, Intelligence or Police surveillance background, whilst we are not teaching, we are still carrying out surveillance related investigations for a variety of commercial clients. We teach skills that are necessary for gathering evidence by covert means which will be accepted by the Courts.

The 5 day course is split 70% practical and 30% classroom theory, whilst the 2 week course is 80% practical. Our experience in teaching surveillance tells us that this is the right balance to absorb and practice what is taught.

The courses are intense and the exercises are designed to give you the maximum practice in a veirety of realistic senarios.

Will you point me in the direction of obtaining a surveillance job after the training?

ISS Training 'talent scout' for at least four of the major surveillance companies in the UK. If you pass the course and achieve a high standard, you will be invited to attend an interview. We cannot guarantee you with employment, that is down to you.

Students are encouraged to join the ISS Facebook Group page. This is where ISS students can network and this is where we post surveillance and investigation work or recruitment postings. Members of this Group will also be offerred discounts on additional courses, if they have invested in us, we give back in return.

Do you carry out 'Live' surveillance jobs on the course?

As a rule no. Our training exercises are realistic enough, structured and controlled to gain the most benefit to the student and their particular learning curve. The training targets are able and qualified to test the class progressively throughout. We do use targets that are unknown to the class in order to create realism and to obtain realistic feedback.

Will I be able to get a job in Private Investigation or on the Surveillance Circuit?

Our courses will train you to be a proficient surveillance operator. After learning the fundamentals on our course, you will require practice and experience to further your skills (as in any subject). We have a reputation for high standards.

If you are approaching established agencies for work, your certificate and qualification will display a level of competency in surveillance. ISS Training Ltd have an unrivalled reputation in the industry, which should also assist you. We do not and cannot promise any student with work after they have finished the course, any training provider that does so, is being dishonest, do not fall into their trap.

Due to their diverse backgrounds, many students often 'network' after having met on the course and provide mutual work. We can also point students in the direction of organisations that ask us to 'talent scout' for surveillance operators. Two of the students on our four week Surveillance Operators Course, went to work straight from the course on a 9 day commercial surveillance.

Is the course suitable for those that have no experience?

Absolutely! We have trained those with no experience at all and often they perform very well on the course. Inexperienced students may arrive with some pre-conceived ideas but they will have no bad habits or bad practices, which can be an advantage.

I do not have a driving licence, can I still attend the course?

Yes. You will carry out the same duties as the other students, except that you will obviously not drive a vehicle. You will still learn and practice the same skills. We do not teach driving skills as part of the course but you are required to understand basic map reading and navigation. We often receive students from abroad who are concerned about driving on 'the other side' of the road, this should not put you off as you can still qualify if you choose not to drive (its optional).

If you operate mainly in London or large cities, our 3 day course purely on foot surveillance may be of interest to you. This course is very testing and involves surveillance on tube trains, buses with a taxi or motorbike in support of the team.

Are you able to teach advanced driving techniques?

No, but we can put you in touch with someone that can. In surveillance you have to be a confident, proficient and safe driver. Surveillance is carried out in a manner which is relaxed, controlled and un-noticeable. Hand brake turns and wheel spins only attract unwanted attention which goes against the grain in surveillance. If you are training for surveillance in a hostile area, it would be recommended that you advance your driving skills with a reputable company.

Do you provide an 'after sales' service?

Yes, the trainers are always happy to remain in contact with students and will answer any queries that you have regarding surveillance related projects. Advice comes free.

All students are encouraged to join our closed Facebook Group where we continually keep them abreast of the industry, discounts on ISS training courses, techniques, networking and any potential work opportunities in both the surveillance, investigative or close protection sector.

Can you run a course for our team of investigators at our company premises?

Most definitely. We regularly run courses tailored to our corporate clients needs at their own premises in the UK, throughout Europe the Middle East, Far East and the USA. Our mobile training team is also experienced in teaching Enforcement, Intelligence and Military units in their host country.

We can tailor a course to suit your needs, costs and time frame.

How can I pay for a training course?

A deposit is required in order to secure a place and then joining instructions will be sent. The remaining fees are due upon joining the course and we can accept payment by cash, credit card, cheque or bank transfer. We are VAT registered and a VAT receipt will be issued upon payment of fees.

We are Preferred Suppliers to the MOD Career Transition Partnership and accept payment by ELCAS.

Can I send you a CV/Resume for consideration of employment?

Yes, but priority for work opportunities goes to our former students and colleagues in the first instance and all tasks are normally posted on our closed Facebook Group page. We are not just a training company but also carry out operational surveillance.

Are You an SIA Approved Supplier?

No. The SIA only approves suppliers for training ONLY if that subject/activity is licensable such as Close Protection, Door Supervision or CCTV. Because surveillance and private investigation is not yet a licensable activity, there are no Approved Suppliers under the SIA.

Will the qualification help me get an SIA Private Investigators licence when it is introduced?

Regrettably the SIA do not recognise any prior learning or experience in surveillance or investigation when it comes to licensing (Even if you have spent 20 years in the Police). However, if you have a Level 3 Award in Professional Investigation, this is the minimum standard of competency that the SIA accepts. ISS are offering a course in private investigation to enable you to gain the Level 3 Award and thus operate legally with a licence when introduced.

Why choose ISS Training Ltd?

Our company has a long and respected reputation. We conduct our work in a professional manner and do not have to compare ourselves with any other company.

ISS wrote the books, they were also instrumental in the design of the new OFQUAL national qualifications in surveillance and led the way for the qualification specification. Why go elsewhere? After all, there are currently at least nine other companies offering surveillance training, the proprietors and trainers of which, all attended courses with ISS. We provide surveillance training which is realistic, factual and beneficial to the investigator in the real world. Why choose second best?

The Intelligent Choice, the Professionals Choice..