Ontario Private Investigator Training

What types of jobs can you get with a private investigator licence?

When you are a licensed private investigator there are a variety of jobs that you will be able to pursue. Some examples include:

Conduct background checks, obtain and provide information on the person character or actions of a person such as in a child custody case, domestic infidelity, fraud, identity theft or assist in a civil or criminal investigation.

Obtain and provide information on the business character or kind of business or occupation of a person.

Search for offenders who have committed a crime.

Determine the location of a missing person or missing property.

How much can I make per hour as a private investigator?

Private Investigators must work for a licenced agency to provide Private Investigation services. Once you are hired by that agency, private investigators usually make approximately $21-$27 per hour depending on the location and the nature of the file. Senior investigators can make upwards of $45-$55 per hour.

Requirements for Private Investigators

To work as a private investigator in Ontario, you must have a valid private investigator licence.

Applicants may apply for a licence through ServiceOntario.

Please note that ServiceOntario does not accept applications at its service counters.

Before you apply for a licence, you must take the private investigator basic training course AND pass the private investigator basic test.

The Basic Training course is a 50-hour self study on-line course provided by RSMac Consulting Inc.

Testing is done through DriveTest centres across Ontario at a cost of $66.50 plus HST. Testing is done based on availability through the DriveTest centre. You cannot apply to write the test until you have taken the training provided and RSMac Consulting Inc registers your successful completion of the training.

Once you pass your test and RSMac Consulting has registered you, applicants can apply for a private investigator licence through Service Ontario. Applications can take up to 30 business days to be processed.

Who can get a private investigator licence?

To be eligible for a licence:

You must be 18 years of age or older

You must be eligible to work in Canada

You must have a clean criminal record

Government approved Ontario Private Investigator Training provided by RSMac Consulting Inc

Sign up for only $199


About the Course

RSMac Consulting Inc. is a Licenced & Insured Private Investigator Agency by the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General under the Private Security & Investigative Services Act, 2005

Are you interested in working in the Security Industry? Getting your Private Investigator’s Licence is the first step to starting your career. Prior to submitting an application for your PI Licence, you will need to go through the Ontario Government’s mandated 50-hour training course.

RSMac Consulting Inc., is recognised by the Ontario Government as a certified training entity in providing the necessary training to apply for your PI Licence in the Province of Ontario.

This specialized 50-hour course meets the syllabus requirements of the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services. (MCSCS). The course is delivered 100% online and is accessible 24/7, which allows students to complete the course on their own time and has been updated to reflect any recent changes in relevant legislation. Upon sign-up and received payment, our Private Investigator students receive a comprehensive practise test to complete at their own pace to further prepare them for the Provincial Exam. Further, you will receive private consulting to ensure you are ready to take on the exam, pass and launch your career.

RSMac Consulting can provide links to Security & Investigations companies that will gladly accept your application. As a Private Investigator in Ontario you will have to deal with many challenging circumstances that will require you to draw upon your training to deal with effectively. RSMac Consulting Inc offers a comprehensive private investigator program that is aligned with the MCSCS’s 50 hr syllabus and meets Ministry requirements. Our curriculum will also give you all the practical tools and training you need to be successful.

What you will learn:

All new Private Investigators must complete a basic training course and pass the basic ministry test BEFORE applying for a licence. The basic training course for Private Investigator must be a least 50 hours in length. You will have access to a real-time instructor during your on-line time in order to pose questions and seek clarification on any topic.

The basic training program aims to ensure all private investigators in the province of Ontario have the knowledge and skills to carry out their work professionally, effectively, safely and lawfully.


Private Investigator Course Syllabus

1. Introduction to the Private Investigation Industry.

Brief history of the investigation industry & what private investigators can expect in Ontario. Who needs a private investigator Licence and about the regulations that govern the way private security and investigation industry operates in Ontario.

2. The Private Security & Investigative Services Act, 2005. (PSISA)

As a private investigator, the Private Security & Investigative Services Act is where investigators find their regulations & prohibitions, including the Code of Conduct. Key learning points will address Licensing Requirements, General Rules & Standards of Practice, Regulations, Complaints and Penalties for contravention.

3. Provincial & Federal Statutes.

While you won’t be an “officer of the law”, “peace officer”, or “private detective”, you will still be working within the federal and provincial statutes that relate to the industry. A Private Investigator should have basic understanding of the various statutes that apply to their field in Ontario and have a familiarity with criminal, civil case and common law. This also applies heavily to Privacy Laws, Ontario Evidence Act & the Canada Evidence Act, Trespass to Property Act, and many others.

4. Criminal & Civil Law.

Private investigators are expected to work in accordance with a wide range of criminal and civil legislative and procedural requirements, while abiding by the policies of their own organization. It can be difficult to balance all the regulations you need to work within. This section will review the key legal and procedureal principles of criminal and civil law as it applies to private investigation. Areas learned will include the Criminal Code of Canada, Canadian Criminal Court System and intimidation.

5. Investigative Techniques.

Investigations will be a significant part of your role. You may be hired to follow a spouse suspected of being unfaithful, or to track down the location of someone. Whether you are hired to work on a civil or a criminal case, there is one thing you can be sure of: you will need analytical investigative skills to get the job done and professional conduct to ensure your work supports the legal case you are assisting with. Research, surveillance, interviews, and the use of special equipment will all be covered. We won’t just teach you how to use these techniques — we will also teach you when it’s appropriate to use them. Areas covered include Evidence Handling Techniques according to the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act, Research Techniques, Principles of Surveillance & Other Private Investigator Functions, Interview Techniques, Statements, Reporting Writing, Note Taking, covert operations and Rules of Civil procedure & Document Service.

6. Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision-making.

As a Private Investigator you will have to work on a wide range of cases that will require a working knowledge of legal human rights. Private Investigators are required to make quick decisions in a variety of situations and must utilize good judgment. They need to recognise and appropriately handle ethical dilemmas relating to diversity, cultural differences and contemporary social problems, as well as be familiar with the PSUSA Code of Conduct and concept of duty of Care. Areas covered will include understanding different types of prejudice and the skills and concepts to apply.

7. Key Principles of Communication & Interaction.

Communication plays a large role in investigative work. Whether you are interviewing a suspect or speaking to witnesses, you will need to be able to effectively communicate with those around you and interpret their communicative and social cues. Learned key points will include Communications Skills, Tactical Communication and Interpersonal Skills.

8. Self-Management Skills.

Some private investigators choose to join a company when they become licensed and are ready to enter the workforce, while others may want to branch out. Whatever you choose, it’s important to have self-management skills and to be able to regulate yourself. Learned key points here will reviewing Acting under Stress, Time Management, Working Independently & In a Team and Adaptability.


Private Investigator Q&A from the Ministry of the Solicitor General

What type of work can I do with a private investigator licence?

A Private investigator licence allows you to be employed and paid to investigate:

• The character or actions of a person

• A person’s business or occupation, or

• The whereabouts of persons or property

Who is responsible for getting my licence – me or my employer?

Security guards and private investigators are responsible for getting a licence and for renewing it before it expires.

How can I get information about the status of my application?

If you apply online you will be able to check the status of your application online within two business days through your ServiceOntario account.

If you apply by mail, you may contact the Ministry of the Solicitor General for an update. Please keep in mind that it can take up to 30 business days to process an application.

Can I get a licence that allows me to work as both a security guard and a private investigator?

Yes. In order to get a dual licence, you must complete both basic training courses (or a dual course) and pass both tests.

What identification documents do I need to submit with my application?

You will need copies of two separate pieces of valid identification. One piece must prove that you are eligible to work in Canada. The other piece should be government issued and feature a photograph, your full legal name, your signature and your date of birth.

If you are applying by mail, you will need to submit photocopies of these documents. For online applications, you will need to scan these documents and have them ready to upload before you begin the application process.

Acceptable identification documents are listed in the application instructions on the web site: https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PSIS/ApplyforaLicence/PSIS_apply.html

Can I get a licence if I have a criminal record?

The Eligibility to Hold a Licence - Clean Criminal Record regulation lists over 80 different offences that prevent you from getting a licence, unless you receive a pardon. These are known as prescribed offences.

Within five days of being convicted of a prescribed offence, you must update your criminal record information online or by completing a Change of Information Form and submitting it by mail.

For information on how to receive a pardon, contact your regional Parole Board of Canada office.

How often do I need a criminal record check?

A criminal record check will be done when you apply for a new licence and every time you renew your licence.

Within five calendar days of being convicted of a prescribed offence, you must update your criminal record information online or by completing a Change of Information form and submitting it by mail.

I already have a security guard or private investigator licence from outside of Ontario. Do I need an Ontario licence to work in Ontario?

An Ontario licence is required in order to work as a security guard and/or private investigator in Ontario. If you hold a valid security guard licence or private investigator licence from another province or territory and if that licence was issued to you after successful completion of training and/or testing you may be exempt from training and testing in Ontario.

How to I get my basic training completion number?

To get your basic training completion number, contact RSMac Consulting Inc.

Is it possible to find out why I got some answers wrong on the test?

In order to preserve the integrity and security of the test questions, we do not provide candidates who write the test with feedback on test results. Private investigators and security guards are expected to possess a broad understanding of the curriculum and have the ability to apply such knowledge to real life situations.

Can I work as a security guard or private investigator if I’ve completed all of the necessary steps, but my licence card hasn’t arrived in the mail yet?

You must have a valid licence card to work as a security guard or private investigator. Working without a valid licence is a violation of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act and may lead to charges.

What testing accommodations can be made for people with disabilities?

The test provider, Serco DES Inc., meets the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005, which includes appropriate accommodation to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to testing services. When scheduling a test, you can arrange accommodation by calling 1-866-248-2555.

What is a digital licence?

If you apply for a licence online through ServiceOntario, you will be able to access a digital licence through your online account as soon as your application is approved.

The digital licence includes a QR code which can be used to verify the information printed on the licence. You must replace the printed digital licence with your plastic licence card once it arrives by mail.

Will I get a certificate at the end of my Basic Training Course?

RSMac Consulting Inc. will provide students with a training certificate once the student successfully completes the training for private investigators. Training certificates must include the following information:

• Student name;

• Training entity name;

• Type of training completed (i.e., security guard and/or private investigator);

• Date training completed; and

• Signature of training entity representative.

For more information on writing the security guard and private investigator basic testing exam, please visit the Ministry of the Solicitor General website.


How to register to write your exam before applying for your licence

If you have any questions about test accessibility, or if you require accommodation due to a disability, contact the testing provider, Serco, at SGTregistration@serco-de.ca or 1-866-248-2555.

For information about locations and testing procedures, and to register for a basic test, visit www.ontariosecuritytesting.com.

Test fee

As of January 25, 2015, the cost to take each basic test is $66.50 plus HST, for a total of $75.15.


The basic test is available in English and French.


Test results are available within two days of taking the test.

If you pass the basic test, you can apply for a security guard or private investigator licence.

If you fail the basic test, you can take it again as many times as necessary. You must pay the full fee each time.

Test preparation

The test preparation guides and checklists are available below and can help you prepare for the basic security guard or private investigator test. RSMac Consulting can send you these documents after you pass the training.

For more information on writing the security guard and private investigator basic testing exam, please visit the Ministry of the Solicitor General website.

Registration for Training

Getting your Private Investigator’s Licence is the first step to starting your career. To register for the Private Investigator on-line training course for $199.00 send an email to training@rsmac.ca

PI Training Registration (Payment)

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Additional Information

Once you have completed the training and passed the training test, you will be sent a “Consent & Release of Liability Form Regarding Training” form which is an Ontario government form that will need to be scanned and emailed back to training@rsmac.ca prior to you being registered to take the Government Exam for Private Investigators.




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