Becoming a private investigator has many benefits. This job is in high demand as security and safety concerns continue to grow throughout the country. When you are working as a private investigator, you can enjoy flexibility in your schedule and your job choices. It also opens up a lot of potential job opportunities as you can work in many different areas including banks, law firms, and government agencies.
As a private investigator, this career choice also offers competitive compensation and lots of job fulfillment. If you want to become a PI, here are seven private investigator requirements to help you decide whether this career choice is meant for you.
1. Meet the initial private investigator requirements
Before you become a PI, make sure you meet the initial private investigator requirements for obtaining a licence. The private investigator requirements include being 18 years of age, being eligible to work in Canada, and possessing a clean criminal background.
It’s imperative that if you wish to pursue a career in this field that you fully understand the legal requirements of the job. This is important for several reasons. First, it ensures that you act within the law at all times. Second, by knowing the rules and regulations of this industry, you can ensure that you don’t break any laws while out on jobs.
2. Take a private investigator training course
All private investigators in Ontario must be licenced. Your licence will be issued by the Ministry Of Community Safety & Correctional Services (MCSCS). This industry is governed by Ontario’s Private Security and Investigative Services Act. This Act specifically outlines the rules, regulations, and the Code of Conduct that each private investigator must adhere to.
The first step in qualifying for a licence is to complete a training course. These courses are offered at colleges and universities across the province. Each course is different, but mainly you will need to complete 50 hours of applicable instruction. Some institutions also offer online courses if that suits your needs better. The fee for this type for this course is usually around $250.
Some of the classes you can look forward to include introduction to investigation, surveillance operations, interview techniques, and fraud investigations, among others. Once you have graduated from the program, you’ll be given a certificate of completion. With this certificate comes a number that you will use to register for and schedule your licensing exam with ServiceOntario.
3. Prepare for the PI licensing examination
To boost your knowledge and help you prepare for the examination, you can purchase a study guide from the Ministry. This is a good way to get a feel for which types of questions will be on the exam.
Also, pay close attention to the notes you took during your training course. This will also shed some light on the content that will be covered on your exam. If you’re looking for some additional tips and tricks, the Ministry also has a test preparation guide on their website.
4. Pass the licensing examination
Once you’ve registered for your licensing examination, you just need to wait for your appointment. When the time comes, you’ll undergo an exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions. The exam will test the knowledge you gained during your training course and ensure that you have a good understanding of the material.
There is an associated exam fee of $75.15 (including HST) that you’ll need to pay at the time of your exam. Passing the exam is one of the mandatory private investigator requirements, so make sure you study for this examination thoroughly.
5. Apply for your private investigator licence
Once your licensing exam is complete and you’ve paid your fees, you should have the results within two business days. If you’ve successfully passed the exam, you can start the process to apply for your licence.
To start, you’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself to ServiceOntario, including your name and address. They’ll also ask for your testing completion number, a completed “Guarantor Information Form”, a photo, and copies of two forms of identification.
6. Pay a licensing fee
In addition to what you need to pay to write the licensing exam, you’ll also need to pay a licensing fee. The fee payment is due when you file the application for your licence.
7. Keep your licence up to date
One of the most important things you’ll need to do as a private investigator is to keep your licence up to date. Your licence will expire and come up for renewal every two years. It’s important that you don’t let your licence lapse while still practicing, so be sure to renew it at least a month before it’s due.
When looking to have your licence renewed, you’ll need to submit a new application form through ServiceOntario. Remember that once you are a licenced private investigator, you must carry your licence with you at all times and show it to anyone who asks to see it.