Glossary

When you interact with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Serco Canada, and/or ServiceOntario, you may encounter terms specific to obtaining your Ontario security guard or private investigator licence.

Appointment Confirmation Number (ACN)A number used to signify a successful private security test booking and obtain test results from this website. This number is emailed to you for safekeeping and future reference during the private security licence application process.

Basic Training Completion Number: See Testing Completion Number (TCN).

Candidate Protocol: A set of instructions, rules, and policies that private security candidates must follow to successfully complete the private security test. Please see the Candidate Protocol page for details.

Desjardins: A partner company that Serco Canada and MCSCS have engaged to securely and promptly process credit card information so that candidates can book tests online.

DriveTest: A brand name for the test centres across Ontario that Serco Canada operates on behalf of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to license qualified both commercial and non-commercial drivers. 

Dual Licence: A licence that allows a qualified and responsible person to work both as a security guard and private investigator in Ontario. To get a dual licence, you must complete both a ministry-approved security guard training course and a private investigator training course (or a dual course) and pass both private security tests.

Identification (ID): An abbreviation for identification. To complete a private security test, you must bring valid, government-issued identification for proof of identity.

Invigilator: A synonym for proctor. A Serco employee authorized to supervise/administer and to mark security guard and private investigator tests on behalf of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. A person that provides a test environment that is conducive for candidates to perform their best on the private security exam.

MCSCS: An abbreviation for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of Ontario. MCSCS focuses on serving all of Ontario's diverse communities to keep our province safe through high performance policing, strong enforcement, leading edge scientific and technological investigative work, emergency management expertise, community safety preparedness and effective inmate supervision, and offender rehabilitation. MCSCS delivers services and sets standards, policies, and guidelines in policing, corrections and public safety, including private security and investigative services, to keep Ontario's communities and Ontarians safe. Please see the MCSCS website for more information. 

Ministry-approved course (or ministry-approved training): A training course that is offered to security guard and/or private investigator candidates that meets the minimum standards and requirements specified by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Universities, colleges, licensed agencies, and registered employers may deliver the different basic training courses for security guards and private investigators. Combined security guard/private investigator courses may also be offered by these organizations. Security guard basic training courses must be at least 40 hours long, including certification in emergency level first aid. Private investigator basic training courses must be at least 50 hours long. Combined dual licence basic training courses must be at least 90 hours long, including certification in emergency level first aid. For a list of ministry-approved training providers, please see the MCSCS website.  

Private Investigator (PI): person employed to investigate the character or actions of a persona person's business or occupation, or the whereabouts of persons or property. In Ontario, you must adhere to the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, and its regulations, including the Code of Conduct regulation, and have a valid licence to work as a private investigator. 

Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB): The branch/department of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services that oversees the private security testing and licensing program. 

Proctor: A synonym for invigilator. A Serco employee authorized to supervise/administer and to mark security guard and private investigator tests on behalf of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. A person that provides a test environment that is conducive for candidates to perform their best on the private security exam.

Serco Canada: A service delivery company that specializes in delivering essential services on behalf of local and national governments and companies around the world. Serco Canada delivers private security testing on behalf of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as well as driver examination services to Ontarians on behalf of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario under the brand DriveTest.

Serco DES: One of the names that Serco operates under in Canada. It's an abbreviation for Serco Driver Examination Services and was coined in the context of operating DriveTest Centres across the province.

Security Guard: A person employed to mainly protect persons or property. This includes working as a security guardbodyguardbouncer, or loss prevention employee. In Ontario, you must adhere to the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, and its regulations, including the Code of Conduct regulation, and have a valid licence to work as a security guard. 

Security Guard Testing (SGT): An unofficial term that Serco Canada employees occasionally use internally to refer to the overall Ontario private security testing program for both security guards and private investigators.

Service Disruption: A brief interruption in service provision, usually as a result of extreme weather conditions, emergencies, construction projects, etc. Service disruptions may have an impact on scheduled test appointments. 

ServiceOntario: A government agency that delivers services to the public on behalf of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and other ministries. ServiceOntario delivers private security licensing services online and by mail

Testing Completion Number (TCN): An id number automatically generated when your training provider uploads proof of completion of a ministry-approved security guard or private investigator course into the Ontario Security Guard and Private Investigator Testing system. After generation, your TCN is automatically emailed to you so that you can use it along with your date of birth to book your private security test. You can also use this number along with your date of birth,  to get your test results.

Training Completion Number (TCN): See Testing Completion Number (TCN).

Travel Point: A part-time DriveTest Centre designed to examination services to a smaller community from a shared, locally well-known facility, such as a community centre or town hall. 

Valid Licence: A licence that is not expired, cancelled, or under suspension. A valid, permanent private security licence is made of plastic, features shades of red and a passport-type photo, expires every two years, and has your current address and legal name. While waiting for your permanent private security licence to come in the mail, you may use a printed copy of your digital licence. See ServiceOntario for more information.

Verbal Test: A means by which a candidate can complete a private security test. Verbal tests are available by appointment only to candidates who have trouble reading and/or writing.

For More Information

Please see the FAQs page on this website for additional definitions and information that may assist with successfully completing the Ontario private security test.

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