FAQs

Thousands of candidates take security guard and private investigator tests every year. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions and lesser known facts about the test.

Before visiting a Test Centre to complete a scheduled Security Guard or Private Investigator examination, please read the following updates and FAQ’s. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

When will Security Guard and Private Investigator testing resume in Ontario?

Ontario Security Guard and Private Investigator testing will resume at 19 testing centres on June 22, 2020. Additional testing centres will become available in the weeks and months ahead to increase appointment availability and to serve you better.

Which testing centres are offering Security Guard and Private Investigator testing?

The following Test Centres are offering Security Guard and Private Investigator testing sessions. Please select “Book a Test” to schedule an appointment at one of these locations.

Brampton, Brantford, Burlington, Downsview, Etobicoke, Guelph, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Metro East, Mississauga, Oakville, Oshawa, Ottawa Walkley, Peterborough, Port Union, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay, Windsor

Why are only 19 testing centres offering Security Guard and Private Investigator testing?

To limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, security guard and private investigator testing will be initially be offered at 19 testing centres; however, in the weeks and months ahead, additional testing sites will be added. The initial 19 testing locations have been selected to ensure there is adequate geographical coverage throughout the province. As part of the selection process, consideration was given to service demand at each location, and seating capacity at each site.

My test was cancelled because offices closed in March due to COVID-19. Will I be refunded my test fees?

All Security Guard and Private Investigator examinations scheduled to take place on or after March 26, 2020, were cancelled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Test fees for cancelled examinations were refunded to all applicants affected by this situation. A new booking fee will be requested when scheduling a new exam.

Will Serco be contacting me to reschedule my examination which was cancelled due to the office closures, and to offer me a priority booking?

Due to high exam cancellation volumes, Serco is unable to offer priority service to customers whose exam was cancelled on or after March 26, 2020. The booking system is now open, and appointments are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants will need to schedule their own appointments, and complete payment at the time of booking. Please select “Book a Test” to schedule. Only the current available dates will be shown as eligible for booking.

Are the Security Guard and Private Investigator examinations available online?

All Security Guard and Private Investigator examinations are delivered in person with invigilators providing over-sight of the test to ensure proper security. There are currently no online options.

May I walk-in without an appointment to complete a private security test or do I need to book my test in advance?

Test candidates are required to schedule and pay for their private security test in advance and to adhere to all health safety measures put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and other applicants.

My documents expired on or after March 1, 2020. May I present these expired documents to prove my identity when I arrive at the testing centre to complete my exam?

The Ministry of Transportation has extended the validity of all driver’s licences expiring on or after March 1, 2020 until further notice. If your Ontario driver’s licence expired on or after March 1, 2020, you may present this Identification document to confirm your identity when registering for your private security examination until such time as the temporary regulation is revoked. All other Identification documents presented (i.e. passport) must be valid.

What preventative measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees?

To ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees, we will be denying access to our facilities to anyone who:

  • Displays COVID-19 symptoms including coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of taste and/or smell
  • Has returned from a trip outside the country within the past 14 days
  • Has been in contact with a person who is displaying COVID-19 symptoms
The following measures and procedures are in place at all testing sites (Test Centres):

Inside Test Centres
  • Employee temperature screening will occur at the start of their shifts.
  • Gloves will be provided to staff.
  • Staff must wear face coverings while at work.
  • Customers and visitors must wear face coverings when attending a testing facility to complete their Security Guard or Private Investigator test. Customers must provide their own face coverings. Exceptions will be made for customers with health or other underlying conditions.
  • All customers will be asked basic COVID-19 health screening questions. The questions are as follows:
    • 1. Have you or are you experiencing any symptoms currently or within the last 14 days?
    • 2. Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
  • Capacity restrictions are in place in accordance with building size. Only customers completing a Security Guard or Private Investigator test will be permitted into the building.
  • Customers will be required to line-up outside the building as per markings until a Customer Service Agent admits them into the building. Customers will be required to maintain 2 metres (6 feet) of physical distancing from one another and from staff.
  • Seating in the waiting room will be limited and/or removed to maintain physical distancing.
  • Employees and customers will have access to hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
  • Test Centres are adopting enhanced cleaning practices for offices and examination rooms.
  • Invigilators may be sitting behind a portable plexiglass screen.
  • Desks in the testing room will be assigned to customers to maintain physical requirements.

Are there procedural changes I should be aware of for the day of my examination?

Please select the Test Day Instructions and Candidate Protocol pages on our website for information regarding what to expect on the day of your test.

I urgently need to complete a private security test, but no tests are available in the near future. How can I book an earlier appointment?

With the new requirements for physical distancing and enhanced sanitation at testing centres, seating capacity for each session has been significantly reduced. We are working diligently to schedule additional sessions but, in the meantime, appointment wait times may be longer than usual. We appreciate your patience as we work to offer quality services at reduced capacity.

Has my training completion number expired? Do I need to re-do my security guard/private investigator training to get the training completion number so I can book my test?

The training completion number does not expire and may be used to book a security guard and/or private investigator test at any time.

I do not have a valid First Aid/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate. Can I still complete my security guard training and schedule a test session?

If you do not have a valid First Aid/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate, your training is deemed incomplete and you may not schedule a test. Only individuals who have completed the full training program and have a full Emergency First Aid/CPR certificate are eligible to schedule a test. Interim first aid certificates will not be accepted.
First aid training for all new applicants must be delivered and attended in-person for no less than 6.5 hours. This training must be provided by an instructor certified by St. John Ambulance, or a first aid trainer approved by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). If, due to COVID-19, the practical component of the First-Aid/CPR certificate could not be completed, students will need to wait until in-person classroom training is once again available.

Will training and testing requirements be waived during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Section 10 of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA) outlines the mandatory licensing requirements that individuals must meet in order to apply for a security guard and/or private investigator licence. Training and testing requirements were established to ensure that security guards licensed in Ontario have the skill set required to maintain public safety. This includes certification in emergency First Aid/CPR. These training standards were created to ensure security personnel carry out their work safely and effectively. As such, all training and testing requirements remain mandatory and no exemptions will be made.

How do I get my test results? I don't have a TCN or appointment confirmation number available.

An email will be sent to you when your results are available. If you do not have either of these numbers, please contact us with your full name and date of birth, requesting this information.

My test results do not appear when I enter my confirmation number.

You may have already viewed and then removed the test results from the website. If you suspect this is the case, please contact us with your full name and date of birth to request your result.

Alternatively, the testing completion number (TCN) or appointment confirmation number you are entering may be incorrect. Try copying the number from the email and then pasting it into the field. Or, check that you are not confusing an alphabetical O with the numerical 0. If you are still having trouble, please contact us with a description of your issue, your full name, and date of birth.

How do I apply for my licence/how do I renew my licence?

You must apply for or renew your licence through ServiceOntario. You can find more information on the licensing process and find the licence application documents on the ServiceOntario website.

Do I have to take a course and write the test if I was a security guard or private investigator in another province?

Should you hold a licence from another province, please contact ServiceOntario.

I want to transfer my security guard/private investigator licence to Alberta or another province. How do I do that?

Please contact us with a description of your request, your full name, date of birth, and your testing completion number.

What is a testing completion number (TCN)?

Your Ontario testing completion number is your ID code for your test and will be used by ServiceOntario and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) for licensing purposes. Your testing completion number can be found on your appointment confirmation and reminder emails. If you are having trouble locating this number, please contact us with your full name and date of birth and a description of your issue.

How do I get a testing completion number (TCN)?

Once you have completed your training, your training provider will upload your information to the private security and investigative services database. The system will generate a testing completion number for you and send it to you in an email.

What do I need to bring with me to the test session?

All materials required to take the test will be provided to you. No aids are permitted while taking the test. The guidelines for taking the test are fully explained in on the Test Day Instructions page.

What do I do to get a "dual" security guard and private investigator licence?

The licensing tests for security guards and private investigators are different. Someone wishing to obtain a "dual" licence will be required to successfully complete both tests, during different test sessions. For licensing requirements, please contact ServiceOntario.

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

No, unfortunately not. While we understand this would be a helpful study tool, to preserve the integrity and security of the test questions, we do not provide individualized feedback on marked tests. 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.

I failed my last test. Do I need to pay for and write the whole test again? Is there a wait time between tests?

Yes. You must book another test appointment and then rewrite the whole test, not just the parts that you missed last time. There is no specific wait time requirement between test appointments but, bookings must be made by 3:00pm on the day before the test.

Can a parent or employer access a candidate's test results?

No, not directly. We do not release test results to parents, employers, or prospective employers. Only the candidate can share (or give the consent to access) security guard or private investigator test results or the Ontario testing completion number that, along with the candidate's date of birth can be used to access results. Some candidates without computer access, for example, can ask their chosen ministry-identified training provider to assist with booking tests and downloading results.

My licence has expired. Do I need to take the test again?

Testing became a requirement in 2010. If your licence expired before 2010 and you have not yet written a security guard and/or private investigator test, then you will be required to write one before you renew your licence. Please see the ServiceOntario website for details on renewals.

I am in Ontario on a visitors/working/student visa. Am I allowed to take the test and apply for a licence?

Please contact ServiceOntario.

Why do I need to pre-pay for my test? I would rather pay on the day of the test.

Your prepaid test fee shows your commitment to follow-through on your appointment, reserves your seat, and ensures that the test centre has enough invigilators available and ready to administer and mark your test according to ministry standards.

Does the test fee include the licence application fee?

No. A separate licensing application fee must be paid to ServiceOntario.

For More Information

Please see the FAQs on the MCSCS website to learn more about testing and applying for a licence.

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