Career Transition for Gendarmes, Police Officers, and Military Personnel into the Private Investigator Profession
The Private Investigator Profession in France:
“The provisions of the current title apply to the professional role of private investigator, which involves gathering information or intelligence for third parties to protect their interests, often without revealing one’s identity or the mission’s objective.”
A private investigator is a professional who conducts investigations and research on behalf of businesses, insurance companies, local authorities, and private individuals.
If you are a former member of the police force, gendarmerie, or military, your application must be approved by the CNAPS, the state body responsible for authorizing and regulating private security professionals, whether you plan to operate as an individual or a legal entity.
Various Investigation Types Handled by Private Investigators
Qualifications Required for a Private Investigator:
A professional card as an Agent de Recherches Privées (for employees)
A license for private investigator agency management
Authorization to practice as a private investigator (for legal entities)
Applications are submitted to the CNAPS, under the Ministry of the Interior, established by the LOPPSI 2 law of March 14, 2011. The CNAPS operates nationally with regional delegations, overseeing all private security activities, including permit issuance.
Learn more on our Becoming a Detective page.
Key Training Programs and Studies for Aspiring Private Investigators
Regulatory texts specify unique provisions for certain individuals seeking access to the private investigator profession. If you’re not eligible, consider the following training courses:
The only institute offering VAE – VALIDATION DES ACQUIS DE L’EXPÉRIENCE (OPJ/APJ/Military)
Institut de Formation des Agents de Recherches
12, boulevard Ledru Rollin
34 003 Montpellier CEDEX 1
04 67 58 30 65
Ecole Supérieure des Agents de Recherches Privées
55 Avenue MARCEAU
0 806 800 526
LICENCE PROFESSIONNELLE AGENT DE RECHERCHES PRIVÉES – NÎMES
University of Nîmes
Rue du Docteur Georges Salan CS 13019
30021 Nîmes Cedex 1
33 466 36 46 46
Partner: Institut de formation des Agents de Recherches (I.F.A.R.).
Licence professionnelle Sécurité des biens et des personnes course Activité juridique, directeur d’enquêtes privées
University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
Center for Continuing Education
4 rue Blaise Desgoffe
33 (0)1 53 63 86 26
Teaching location: MELUN
Assisting Police Officers, Gendarmes, and Military Personnel with Career Transition
Our experience underscores the importance of understanding that retraining in this field requires more than just basic knowledge. Key aspects to consider for effective performance include:
- Managing a private investigation agency within the legal framework
- Developing your business and professional network
- Achieving top web visibility in your sector
- Engaging with clients, understanding their needs, and finalizing contracts
- Analyzing client requests and understanding the relevant legal context
- Effectively collecting and managing evidence
- Processing gathered information and preparing court-admissible reports
These factors are crucial for those considering a career shift into private investigation.
As a reminder, UXAM stands as a premier investigation company in France. Boasting a team of over thirty professionals, including detectives and consultants, we operate both nationally and internationally. We’re constantly seeking talented individuals to join our team.
For those contemplating a career change, consider joining UXAM as a new associate. Our dynamic and evolving environment fosters professional excellence, dedication, and ethical practice. We are committed to supporting your successful transition into a branch manager role. If you have initiative and aspire to be part of a leading firm, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about joining our network, click here.
Specific Provisions for Transition to Private Detective Roles for OPJ / APJ and Military Personnel
Former OPJ – Judicial Police Officers
Ex-police and gendarmerie members with OPJ (Officier de Police Judiciaire) status may receive approval without needing to hold the Private Investigation Agent title. However, this is contingent on obtaining this approval and commencing the activity within five years of leaving their role, subject to authorization from their supervisory ministry. They must also fulfill the same social security obligations as any other agency director.
Article R622-31 of the Internal Security Code:
National police officers and members of the national gendarmerie with the status of judicial police officer are required to demonstrate their professional qualifications as sole proprietors, directors, or managers.
This requirement also applies to officers and non-commissioned officers not part of the national gendarmerie, as well as to civilian civil servants in categories A and B assigned to services or formations listed in the decree by the Minister of Defense, provided they have served under conditions specified by this decree.
Former APJs (Assistant Judicial Police Officers)
Ex-police and gendarmerie personnel with APJ status are eligible to work as employees in agencies, under the same provisions as former OPJs (Officiers de Police Judiciaire).
However, it’s important to note that positions as salaried employees in this field are exceedingly rare. Prospective candidates should be aware that opportunities for salaried positions are limited.
Former Military Personnel
The decree from the Ministry of Defense dated July 19, 2007, regarding the recognition of professional qualifications and aptitude of military personnel and civil servants from the Ministry of Defense for employment in private investigation agencies, outlines the conditions for access to the profession. These conditions apply to officers and non-commissioned officers not belonging to the national gendarmerie, and civilian civil servants from the Ministry of Defense in categories A and B who, during their last eight years of active military service or actual service in the Ministry of Defense, have served under certain stipulated conditions.
Eligibility criteria for professional qualification as managers of private research agencies include:
- Army officers and non-commissioned officers holding the brevet supérieur de technicien de l’armée de terre, the brevet militaire professionnel de second degré, or the qualification des acquis professionnels de second niveau, with at least three years of service in a “human search” or “special intervention” role, as a cell leader, group leader, section leader, or company commander.
- Officers, majors, and chief warrant officers of the French Air Force with at least two years in command of airborne parachute commandos or involved in airborne special operations command.
- Officers and petty officers of the French Navy with at least two years as a commander or second-in-command, or at least three years as a commando group leader or in the intelligence office, within a maritime force formation of fusiliers marins and commandos.
- Officers, non-commissioned officers, and civilian civil servants from the Ministry of Defense in categories A and B, with at least five years’ service in the Defense Protection and Security Directorate, in command or management positions, or as a defense security inspector or naval safety inspector, after consultation with the Director of Defense Protection and Security.
Eligibility for recognition of professional suitability to work for private investigation agencies:
- Army officers and non-commissioned officers with the brevet de spécialiste de l’armée de terre, the brevet supérieur de technicien de l’armée de terre, the brevet militaire professionnel de premier ou second degré, or the qualification des acquis professionnels de second niveau, with at least three years in a “human search” or “special intervention” activity.
- Officers and non-commissioned officers of the French Air Force with at least three years in the Airborne Parachute Commandos or the Airborne Special Operations Command.
- Officers and petty officers of the French Navy with at least three years in a commando unit or in the intelligence office of a marine fusilier or commando unit.
- Officers, non-commissioned officers, and civilian civil servants of the Ministry of Defense in categories A and B, with at least three years’ service in the Defense Protection and Security Directorate, following consultation with the director of defense protection and security.
Consult the decree on Légifrance: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/id/JORFTEXT000000825978/2020-10-27/
We are engaged in the following private investigations:
- Unfair Competition Analysis
- Employee Surveillance
- Theft and Fraud Investigation
- Anti-Counterfeiting Measures
- Infidelity Investigations / Reports
- Cohabitation Investigations / Reports
- Alimony Modification Investigations
- Compensatory Allowance Review
- Child Custody Investigations
- Relationship Background Checks
- Educational Failure Analysis
- Asset Tracing
- Financial Background Investigations
- Wealth Assessment
- Debtor Location Services
- Claim Verification Services
- Insurance Fraud Investigations
- Compensation Invoice Auditing
- Address Locating / Non-Place of Abode (NPAI) or Present Situation Unknown (PSA) Inquiries
- Resume Verification
- Pre-Partnership Character Investigation
Private Investigation Agency – N° AUT-069-2114-05-26-201504836622