Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Basic training

Security guard and private investigator basic training

All new security guards and private investigators must complete a basic training course and pass the basic ministry test before applying for a licence.

There are different basic training courses for security guards and private investigators. Combined security guard/private investigator courses may also be offered.

If you wish to receive a dual licence that allows you to work as both a security guard and a private investigator, you must complete both courses or a combined course.

Where to take a basic training course

Basic training courses may be offered by:

  • public universities
  • community colleges
  • private career colleges
  • agencies licensed to provide security guard and/or private investigator services
  • registered employers that employ in-house security personnel (note: registered employers can only train their own employees).

The ministry maintains a list of training providers that have agreed to provide basic training in accordance with the Training and Testing regulation of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005.

Please note that the ministry does not endorse any specific training providers.

Course fee

Training providers set their own course fees.

Course length

Security guard basic training courses must be at least 40 hours long, including certification in emergency first aid/cardiopulminary resuscitation (CPR).

In order to opt out of the emergency first aid/CPR portion of the training, students must provide a valid first aid/CPR certificate (indicating they were trained by a St. John Ambulance or Workplace Safety Insurance Board-certified instructor) to the training provider. A list of providers approved to deliver first aid training is available on the Workplace Safety Insurance Board website.

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 first aid/CPR.

Method of instruction

You can complete basic security guard or private investigator training through either a classroom-based course or a web-based course. Web-based courses must allow for real-time interaction with an instructor.

Course content

The basic training program aims to ensure all security guards and private investigators in the province have the knowledge and skills to carry out their work professionally, effectively, safely and lawfully.

Security guard course syllabus

Topics for the security guard course:

  • Introduction to the Security Industry
  • The Private Security and Investigative Services Act and Code of Conduct regulation
  • Basic Security Procedures
  • Report Writing
  • Health and Safety
  • Emergency Response Preparation
  • Canadian Legal System
  • Legal Authorities
  • Effective Communications
  • Sensitivity Training
  • Use of Force Theory
  • Emergency Level First Aid Certification

Private investigator course syllabus

Topics for the private investigator course:

  • Introduction to the Private Investigation Industry
  • The Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005
  • Provincial and Federal Statutes
  • Criminal and Civil Law
  • Investigative Techniques
  • Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision-making
  • Key Principles of Communication and Interaction
  • Self-management Skills

Training completion number

After you complete the basic training course, you will receive a training completion number from your training provider. You need this number to register for the test.

Training certificate

Training providers are required to provide students with a training certificate once the student successfully completes training. Training certificates must include the following information:

  • student name
  • training entity name
  • type of training completed (i.e., security guard and/or private investigator)
  • date training completed
  • signature of training entity representative.

Learn more

For more information, read Questions and answers – security guard and private investigator licences.

If you have other questions about training, contact us.

Updates are posted in News and Information.