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Our DNA tells us to favor safety over risk. Why leave the cave to venture where the monsters live when we can stay safe inside our shelter and live another day? To go out into the night is to court danger and death. Our primitive brain screams to us: Stay here! This is safety! This is life! – Nomadic Matt
Step 1 – 50 Hours of Basic Training
In order to apply for a license with the ministry of the province that you live in, you will need to complete the basic requirements that teach you to become a Private Investigator.
There are plenty of registered private and public schools that teach the course. I have taken the course at CSPIS in Toronto and would definitely recommend them. No, I am not getting any reference money from them 🙂
Step 2 – Ministry Exam
Once you have finished your certificate and completed your 50 hours of in-class and independent work you will receive your paperwork. This will allow you to make an appointment to write your exam. The passing rate is 70% and this is a multiple-choice exam.
Even though this exam is multiple choice people have failed. During my examination, I believe out of 12 people there was only 2 that passed. I was one of them, not because I studied better but the school I chose to take the course did a good job of preparing their students.
Step 3 – Applying For License
Once you have passed the Ministry Exam you will be eligible to apply for your license. This can be done online. You will require references, a digital picture, and payment.
The license will be valid for 2 years in the province of Ontario and you can choose 3 years in the province of British Columbia, which is the cheapest option.
Step 4 – Fingerprints
Application in British Columbia requires you to get fingerprinted by the Police Department, RCMP detachment or a third party recognized by the RCMP. This comes at a cost and these fingerprints are mandatory in order to apply for your license for the first time.
Step 5 – Receiving Your License
You will receive a digital version of your license with the license # that you can use to apply for jobs. The only thing is you will require the physical license in order to work on a case.
Becoming licensed is easy in Canada. In general, for you, that means as long as you don’t have a criminal record. That being said most employers will want you to have some sort of background that can relate to the field. If you don’t possess this there are plenty of surveillance courses to enhance your skills.
In Ontario, there are only 1 Private and 2 Public colleges that offer a certificate or diploma program. These career colleges will get you started at the professional level.
In order to join the CPIO, which is the Council of Professional Investigators in Ontario, you will need to have accumulated 2000 hours of work as a Private Investigator. Then you can apply to become a member.
In British Columbia, in order to get an unrestricted license, you will need to have worked 2000 hours. If not you will receive a license that lets the employer know you can only work under supervision.