Continuing Education for Detectives in Germany
Continual scientific research and technical development in almost all fields of knowledge provide new insights and information that mankind can make use of. This means that every individual has to adapt his or her knowledge and skills to the latest results in science and technology to optimally meet the challenges of the time. It goes without saying that there is almost no profession or job throughout the world without permanent need of continuing education to be personally and professionally successful.
From this constant comes the realization the detective vocation is not excluded. The questions arise of what is needed and chosen in the profession to be kept scientifically and technologically up to date.
As an example Germany answers these questions with continuing education for its detectives. In this connection the basic question arises as to: “How one becomes a detective in Germany?”
Compared to many other European and Non-European States there are no technical conditions for entry and admission as a German Detective. Anyone then can become a detective, if he or she announces it (after registering) while adhering to the professional and industrial regulations. The German Office for Trade and Professions has only to examine the personal reliability of an applicant by a simple certificate of “good conduct” as well as a listing from the central trade registry. No technical evaluation is done. The designation “detective” is also not legally protected in Germany allowing anyone after appropriate registration to call him or herself a detective.
With this background information it is easily comprehensible that anyone can come on the market that is completely unsuitable for the detective profession. He or she can substantially damage the professional image. The profession is tarnished by this lack of professional standards.
For many other professional branches throughout German Industry continuing education is regulated and a constant professional requirement. Unfortunately, this is not required professionally of German Detectives. This situation is as old as the Federal Republic of Germany.
The founding members of the German Federation of Detectives (Bundesverband Deutscher Detektive) in 1950 were aware of this and that it represented an intolerable situation if not addressed by the State, must then be by the professional association itself. The Federation officially set about through its membership bodies to guarantee qualified continuing education programmes. As a consequence the Federation of German Detectives developed measures for continuing education programmes. By June 1957, the educational arm of the Federation was officially announced as the “Lehrinstitut des Verbandes,” The Federation’s Institute of Continuing Education.
Since then the Federation of German Detectives has special annual Continuing Education Seminars for their membership. It is open as well to non-members to participate as guests. The topics of the seminars are suggested from Federation members. This allows the Seminars to address the practical and theoretical knowledge gaps of its members while professionally enabling them to optimally meet the demands of their work.
On 15th & 16th November 2003 The Federation of German Detectives has its 46th Continuing Education Seminars in Bad Dürkheim. The Seminar Series again offers interesting and valuable topics for detectives.
The Federation of German Detectives has introduced national entrance regulations for one to become a detective as well as obtaining nationwide recognized Federal Government continuing education programmes. Regrettably, both have been without success. Nevertheless the Federation of German Detectives will continue its efforts aware of the principle that “A constant dripping wears away the stone.”
Germany’s security industry has been able, however, to establish a complete set of regulations with the State, which applied nationally ensures the improved quality of their personnel. The Federation of German Detectives is therefore confident to be likewise successful in the not too distant future.
The Federation is continuing to call for its established national entrance regulations to be applied as governmental occupational licensing of detectives as well as to obtain its nationally recognized continuing education programmes.
Regardless of the outcome with State authorities, the Federation will continue its efforts through its organization and continuing educational Institute to build a systematic programme of technological and professional training to the detective profession. Its principle: “Learn more, know more, be capable of more.”
Interested readers may at last ask if there is a vocational training programme in Germany for detectives who without it could not begin as detectives. Naturally, there is detective training in Germany. This topic is yet for a separate article/report titled “Training.” There is only so much that can be covered here.
Of course the Federation continues to focus its attention on new a generation of training establishing the “Central Office for Training in the Detective Industry (ZAD),” which since 1988 offers a combined two-year distance learning and direct in classroom programme. It ends with the successful passing of a detective examination. The training curriculum has already been approved by the Federation of German Detectives and the National Central Office for Distance Learning (ZFU).”