About the Ontario Private Security and Investigative Services ProgramTo work as a security guard and/or private investigator in Ontario, you must have a valid licence. Through licensing, the Ontario government aims to ensure security guards and private investigators carry out their work professionally, effectively, safely, and lawfully.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) — particularly the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB) of MCSCS — is responsible for licensing security guards, private investigators, and business entities that sell or retain security guard and/or private investigator services in Ontario, as well as registering employers that directly employ in-house security staff. The Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, provides the legal and regulatory framework for the private security and investigative services industry.
Security guards and private investigators are responsible for adhering to the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, and its regulations, including the Code of Conduct regulation. They must carry a valid licence at all times while on duty and show it to anyone who asks to see it — this includes employers, police, and members of the public.
To be eligible for either a security guard or private investigator licence, candidates must be 18 years of age or older, eligible to work in Canada, and have a clean criminal record.
In addition, a candidate must complete the training required by MCSCS (see the MCSCS website for a list of training providers) and successfully complete the basic test for security guards and/or private investigators. MCSCS has engaged a private company, Serco Canada Inc., to administer these in-person tests usually at DriveTest Centres distributed across the province.
Once a candidate has passed the test, he or she must apply for and renew a licence through ServiceOntario.