In the investigative realm, as in any other occupation, certain skills, qualities, and competencies are essential to success. While differing personalities, styles of operation, and skill levels exist, there are traits that are common in all professional investigators. Although there is variation in how to accomplish the investigative task, there is a sort of “investigative DNA.” Russell Colling, in his text, Hospital Security, portrays the solid investigator as a “natural.”

The really good investigator has a natural aptitude and is intrigued by the investigative process coupled with the human relations involved. An investigation offers a challenge and will often succeed or fail in direct relation to the degree of competence and enthusiasm displayed. 1