Introduction Report Writing for Private Investigators

(Content Under Development: Coming in February 2023)

Accepted in: NC, SC, TN, KY, NM, KS, GA, IA, MN, OK (approved for 2 hours)

Case management, documenting, and report writing are the backbone of private investigation work. You may be called on to review and explain your notes in court, your client needs the information organized, and your observations need to be documented when they are clear in your mind.

Purpose and Goals of Report Writing for Private Investigators Course

We will review documenting your case step by step. We will cover everything from setting up your file to closing your case.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Create a new file or case
  2. Determine who referred the client
  3. Gather facts or allegations
  4. Determine subject or subject matter of the investigation
  5. Establish the scope of the investigation
  6. Plan actions to be taken during the course of the investigation
  7. Categorize exhibits and their description
  8. Present investigative findings
  9. Develop an action plan

1. Clear Writing Style

  1. Write straightforward reports with simple easy to read sentences
  2. Adopt a neutral voice
  3. Include all details and categorize and organize them so the client can find the information
  4. Use headers in a way that outlines the content for the reader

2. Just the Facts Section

  1. Name, address, identities, contact information
  2. Investigatory goals
  3. Essential clauses

3. Investigative Objectives

  1. List of objectives: what the client wants
  2. Sample objective investigative language

4. Targeting and Identifying Locations and Vehicles

  1. Include your location directions here and place your map in your report
  2. When identifying locations, be aware and take note of the advantages and disadvantages of surveillance:
    1. Can you conduct surveillance without compromising the case / remain anonymous?
  3. Description information of all locations and vehicles related to the case
  4. Images of locations placed in the report

5. Documenting Arrivals and Departures

  1. Begin each report with the date, weather conditions, arrival and departure times
  2. List all vehicles present at the target location(s)
  3. Identify observable activity in the area
  4. Identify your stationary surveillance and information describing an unobstructed view

6. Daily Report

  1. Investigative Notes
  2. Verb Usage
  3. Investigator Actions

7. Summaries

  1. Identification and description
  2. Key Actions – what were the major highlights of surveillance on this day?
  3. Investigative Goals

8. Formatting and Organizing the Report

  1. Headers, footer, and page breaks
  2. Creating an outline with individual headers for easy reader access to the categorical information
  3. Links

9. Using videos and images

  1. Use consistent formatting
  2. Image cropping
  3. Video review and editing software for surveillance footage

10. Using videos and images

Course Information

1. Adult Education Methods Utilized

  • Downloadable handouts
  • Narrated slides
  • Case Studies

2. Textbook and Course Materials

  • Articles
  • On-demand video
  • Downloadable materials
  • Certificate of Completion

3. Course Requirements

  • Internet connection (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable)
  • Access to the internet
  • Ability to use a personal computer

4. Course Offerings

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 60-day unlimited course access

5. Course Structure

This course will be delivered entirely online through the website. Participants will use website credentials to log in and access their accounts. Participants will access online lessons, course materials, and resources. The course will be broken down into modules for self-paced learning. Access to the course is limited to 60 days. Following the completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion for Continuing Education Credits and licensing renewal.

*Make sure this course is approved by your state for licensing renewal.

  • This course will be delivered online through a course management website named
  • To access this course online, you will need to access the Internet and a supported Web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

Technical Assistance

If you require technical assistance at any time during the course or to report a problem: