Obtaining your private investigator license in Ontario and finding private investigator jobs in Ontario is a process similar to the licensing process for security guards, though job prospects are very different.
Proper training, conceptual and practical knowledge, and administrative requirements all form the basis of licensing before you can work in this field. Private investigators are governed by the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, where training protocols are regulated.
In this blog post, we will look at the types of jobs that private investigators can expect in Ontario, possible duties that will be required, and the qualifications required to obtain licensing and employment as a private investigator in Ontario.
Employment Requirements for Private Investigators in Ontario
Just like security guards, private investigators in Ontario must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in Canada, and must have a clean criminal record. If these requirements are met, then a license can be obtained through ServiceOntario. However, prior to obtaining a license, private investigators must possess training through a licensed organization and pass the required private investigator exam.
Preparing for a Job in Private Investigations
Be sure to choose a training provider that meets and exceeds that basic requirements of training as governed by the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General. Experience training providers are available online and can ensure that you are provided relevant training to adequately prepare you for a job in private investigations.
In terms of skills, private investigators in Ontario are usually tasked with duties that include noting the character or actions of a person of interest, tracking their location or property, and also noting their occupation. From this, it is safe to say that private investigators must be adept in note taking, observing details and writing proper reports.
Many employers will require prior experience with skills applicable to the job posting as well. These may include experience in conducting foot surveillance for insurance fraud claims or prior experience using types of surveillance equipment and technology that is common to the field (i.e. HD cameras). This is often in addition to requiring a valid G class license.
Types of Private Investigator Jobs
Private investigators may be hired privately by citizens who are looking for information on their spouse or immediate family. They may also be hired to assist in documenting information for legal cases that require evidence or additional notes that only a private investigator can obtain through using the proper investigative techniques. Insurance companies may also provide jobs to private investigators when they require more information on persons who have submitted claims that require verification.
Regardless of the position and duties you will be assigned to. All private investigators require a good grasp of investigative techniques, good decision-making and also strong ethical reasoning that will need to be applied in a variety of situations.
Statutes, Codes and Acts
There are several core documents that all private investigators should familiarize themselves with for a career in the field. These include the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, the Criminal Code of Canada and also a solid understanding of criminal and civil law jurisdictions, including provincial and federal statutes. This is all on top of the specific requirements by the agencies or employers that hire private investigators, who may have their own codes of conduct that their investigators must comply with.
If you are not hired by an agency as a private investigator, and choose to work on your own without affiliation, know that self-management skills are crucial for success in the field. Keeping track of your own role and responsibilities during the investigation is crucial to success and to make sure ethical practice are always used. There will also be licensing and insurance requirements via the MCSCS.
Your Next Step
Private investigators in Ontario encounter new and challenging situations every day. If you are looking for a career that is exciting, varied and involves skills such as problem solving, patience and attention to detail, then private investigations might be for you. For more information on this line of work and how to obtain proper training, click here.