A while back I responded to someone’s post in regards to whether or not Paranormal Investigators should be certified. I saw so many people getting their panties in a bunch over this issue so I began to research other forums with the same question and all over there were more people getting their panties in a wad, I just don’t get it. If it’s something you love to do and you want to do it safely and responsibly, then why not get certified? This is an interesting topic, so before you jump on me, please read my full perspective and then feel free to fire away.

Here’s what I think:

My first question would be "Are they trying to certify those that have gifts or are they just looking to certify those that are investigating establishment and residences?” My next question would be “If investigators are the target, is it more so for those investigating public establishments and private properties rather then places like cemeteries or the woods?"

If the idea is to certify investigators whether they have gifts or not that intend to investigate private residences and/or establishments then I believe people may try to say that you are "surveying" someone's property and therefore there is a potential risk of damage, theft, or other property issues. Also there are people “investigators” that often take photos they obtained during an investigation and post the names of people that were in some way related to an investigation and/or the activity they believe they experienced. These investigators may disclose these names and photos to the public without first getting permission from those involved. In these types of cases, if someone then wants to sue it could get messy.

Imagine this, someone contacts you and says “Hey check out my house, I swear it’s haunted.” Your team goes there and takes pics, video, evp’s, etc. You then go and post it on a website or forum, you discuss the house, post pics of inside this person’s home, maybe even mention the person’s name without first getting their permission in writing, as most investigators don’t do. Somehow someone else sees it, word gets around that person’s neighborhood that they think they have ghost in their house and that person begins getting questioned and harassed, maybe by non-believers on their block. They never said you could provide anyone this information, their neighbors think they are crazy, as a result they believe they are in emotional distress, and as a further result they sue you! Is this an extreme? Most definitely. Does that mean it can’t or won’t happen? Not at all. People these days are losing it faster then ever and are getting more and more sue happy, it’s important to be careful. These types of legalities may be an issue that you’re not even aware of, so like a Private Investigator, there may be some sort of license or certification required.

As someone with gifts, I still would not be apposed to this. There is a difference between experiencing the other side and interacting with human's and their property. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that is my take. I don't believe you can or should be certified because you are gifted, that's insane and I would never go for it, but to conduct investigations in establishments and residences… I could see that and would oblige accordingly. It'd be a matter of respect and probably for your own legal safety should someone change their mind or just be mean and try to sue you for something crazy down the line.

I suppose the next discussion topic should be what should the certification protect investigators against, what should be required in order to obtain one, and what rights, if any, would be extended to certified investigators? Should they know certain information or the use of certain equipment? Should they have to past tests? Would they be required to complete certain waivers, releases, and other legal forms for each non-publicly open location? Will there be a certification fee? If so, is it something fair like $20 or is it going to be a ridiculous amount like a PI licenses which is over $600? While I agree there should be standards and regulation and yes, maybe even a certification for investigators, I think it’s a fine line and there’s a lot more questions that need to be answered and fine tuned before it can be mandatory.

I feel that getting certified should require passing a test that included several laws, safety questions, an aptitude for drafting, adhering to, and dispensing legally binding contracts and release forms, etc. The idea is to protect both the individual’s privacy and property if that’s their wish and to protect the investigators if suddenly an individual changes their mind about something after the fact. Getting certified will show that these people that are coming to my home or establishment understand my rights, will respect my wishes, and will do their best to keep myself and my property safe from damage. This concept seems very reasonable to me. I also think many investigators should think logically, from multiple perspectives, and try to untangle their panties a little. =)