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Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)

Download the PCI Action Guide

As you work toward your PCI certification, ASIS resources can help guide you through each step of the process and set you up for success before, during, and after your exam. Use this quick-reference guide to review the steps you’ll need to take to earn your PCI certification.

Take the next step and apply for your PCI Certification.

Apply for PCI

Getting Started

Certification Handbook

Review all the policies and procedures you’ll need to follow to apply, study, and sit for each exam, including familiarizing yourself with the exam contents for each program.

Download the Handbook

Manual de Certificacion

Self-Assessment Guide

Assess your readiness for each of the certification programs. Use this tool to help you decide which exam is right for you and to set your study plans. *Note: Does not currently include APP certification.

Becoming a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)

Why Apply for the PCI?

Earning a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) designation provides independent confirmation of your specialized skills in security investigations, including case evaluation and review of options for case management strategies. It validates your ability to collect information through the effective use of surveillance, interviews, and interrogations.

What's on the Exam?

The PCI examination consists of 125 scored multiple-choice questions and may also contain 15 randomly distributed pre-test (unscored) questions for a total of up to 140 questions. The 2.5 hours allowed takes into consideration the review of pre-test items.

The exam covers tasks, knowledge, and skills in three primary domains that have been identified by professional investigators as required areas of competency in this field.


Three (3) to five (5) years of investigations experience depending on education level and two years of case management


  • Have been employed full-time in a security-related role

  • Not have been convicted of any criminal offense that would reflect negatively on the security profession, ASIS, or the certification program

  • Sign and agree to abide by the ASIS Certification Code of Conduct

  • Agree to abide by the policies of the ASIS Certification programs as outlined in the Certification Handbook.

*Definitions for this term can be found in the Certification Handbook.


ASIS members: $550
  • Emerging Market 1: $450
  • Emerging Market 2: $430
Nonmembers: $855
  • Emerging Market 1: $680
  • Emerging Market 2: $645

Retake Fees


ASIS Members and Nonmembers: $455
  • Emerging Market 1: $340
  • Emerging Market 2: $315


ASIS Members and Nonmembers: $300
  • Emerging Market 1: $225
  • Emerging Market 2: $210

Preparing for the PCI Exam

Reference Material

We encourage candidates to refer to the below reference materials as you prepare for the PCI certification exam. Our item writers and reviewers use these same materials to reference the correct answers on our exams. Remember: the ASIS exams are experienced-based; therefore, you will need to apply your own experience to help you answer the questions correctly.  Please don’t attempt to memorize these reference sets. 

Protection of Assets (2021 edition) - Investigations

Investigations Standard
PCI Practice Exam
The PCI practice exam contains items that once appeared on the actual certification exams but are now retired. Use the practice exam to familiarize yourself with how exam items will appear on the current exam(s).​



Study Resources

The PCI Study Guide includes information about the test and how to study for it, plus an outline of the recommended reference materials.

Softcover | eBook

Flash Cards are a simple, yet comprehensive tool to help you identify key terms, understand critical concepts, and recall facts. Available in print or digital.

Print | Digital

Many ASIS Chapters also offer study groups. Contact the ASIS Chapter in your area for more information.

Certification Study Resources

Affordable, Flexible, Convenient

Whether you choose to prepare on your own or join a group of peers to study together, ASIS offers a wealth of resources to help you prepare. Mix and match from various delivery formats to fit your schedule and learning style.

  • Reference Materials
  • Certification Review Courses
  • Flash Cards and more

Learn More


Reaching Your Career Potential: Why ASIS Certifications Are a Vital Professional Investment

Listen to this free, on-demand webinar to learn more about ASIS certifications. We’ll explain each of these programs—including which program is right for you—how to apply for the exams, study tips, and why employers hire those with these designations. Plus, we’ll give you the answers to our most frequently asked questions to set you up for success!

Manage My Certification

The online ASIS certification portal provides a user-friendly experience for both exam applicants and those recertifying.

ASIS members and those who have applied for or taken an ASIS certification exam, already have a login to the portal. Those new to ASIS should follow the prompts to set up your account.

IMPORTANT: Please click the Calculate Hours button before adding new CPE credits in order to ensure your CPE total hours are correct.

Meet a PCI

"I’m recognized as a subject matter expert, and I’ve been given greater job responsibilities." - Nicholas G. Breiner, CPP, PCI, PSP

Nicholas G. Breiner, CPP, PCI, PSP, got a taste of the security field shortly after high school when he worked for two corporate security departments. But his true passion lay in law enforcement, so in 1995 he joined the Belleville Police Department in New Jersey. 

Taking the exam

Ready for exam day?

Get details on taking the exam, including check-in procedures, weather emergencies, and getting your results.