Private Investigator Syllabus

Private Security and Investigative Services

Training Syllabus for Private Investigators


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Training Content and Program Length

The minimum length of in-class time for the basic private investigators training program is no less than 50 hours. The following table suggests the duration for each training section and includes both in-class and outside class hours. Outside class hours refer to pre-reading only; all other training methods must take place in-class. These hours are estimates and may need to be adjusted based on student learning abilities/trainer preference. The trainer must determine the optimal number of hours for each section of his/her program design, but the total must be no less than 50.

Training content and suggested duration
Training content Suggested Duration
Inside Class Hours Outside class hours
1. Introduction to the Private Investigation Industry 2 2
2. The Private Security and Investigative Services Act 2 3
3. Provincial and Federal Statutes 6 10
4. Criminal and Civil Law 12 10
5. Investigative Techniques 14 2
6. Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision-making 2 0
7. Key Principles of Communications and Interaction 7 0
8. Self-management Skills 5 2
Total 50 29

Working and Detailed Knowledge

Each section identifies whether the student needs to have working knowledge or detailed knowledge of the training material.

Working knowledge is defined as involving a basic or sufficient understanding of the relevance of materials, products, subject matter, and/or services as required to perform the work assignment. Students with working knowledge can recognize departures from the standards set for the work assignment but require additional information through reference material or from others to correct the departures.

Detailed knowledge is defined as involving an in-depth understanding of materials, products, subject matter, and/or services that is necessary to complete the work assignment. Students with detailed knowledge can recognize departures from the standards set for the work assignment and correct the departure without the need to acquire additional information from reference material or from others.


Training Methodology

In addition to the requirements of each section, it is recommended that the training program include a learning journal, pre-reading materials and training evaluation components. These are common techniques used in training design to promote the integration of material and background preparation as a way of maximizing in-class time for discussion. Please note that these are suggestions only and that the primary focus of each section is the minimum training requirements.

Learning Journal

A learning journal is a notebook that the student uses to record course information and insights. It is a common tool used in training programs to facilitate additional learning and it is recommended that the journal be used throughout the course (and highlighted in appropriate sections) to enhance the learning experience of the student.

Pre-reading

Many sections suggest pre-reading activities for the student. This pre-reading should consist of summarized versions of the training content (e.g. legislation). Outside class hours have been allocated for this pre-reading.


Training Evaluation

As the majority of content in the private investigator training program is focused on the application of learned knowledge, it is recommended that training evaluation include knowledge-based tests.


Instructor/Student Ratio

It is recommended that the instructor/student ratio is 1/24 for the basic private investigator training program to ensure the quality of instruction for the student.

Training Delivery Method

Students can complete basic Private Investigator training through either a classroom-based course or a web-based course.

Web-based courses must include some real-time interaction with an instructor, should the student require it.

Private Investigator training obtained through web-based, instructor-led distance learning qualifies to meet the ministry’s requirement for training. Courses delivered live through a video conference are acceptable.  Only students who have attended an in-class or online training course in full qualify to take the test(s).


Table of Contents

Section 1: Introduction to the Private Investigation Industry

Section 2: The Private Security and Investigative Services Act

Section 3: Provincial and Federal Statutes

Section 4: Criminal and Civil Law

Section 5: Investigative Techniques

Section 6: Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision-making

Section 7: Key Principles of Communication and Interaction

Section 8: Self-management Skills

References

Appendix A: Syllabus Research Methodology for Security Guards and Private Investigators

Appendix B: Acts and Websites


Section 1: Introduction to the Private Investigation Industry

Section Overview

The trainer provides an overview of the principal duties and responsibilities necessary to work effectively in the private investigation industry. The student is introduced to job roles and responsibilities and the different fields of private investigative work.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 2 hours
Outside class: 2 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Describe and compare the different jobs in the security industry (e.g. private investigation, security services, loss prevention, and patrol services)
  2. Explain the occupational tasks and requirements of a private investigator
  • Describe the position of a private investigator with respect to the knowledge, skills and
  • abilities needed to perform well
  • Explain the job specifications, activities and demands of a private investigator (e.g.,
  • travel, stress, risks, dangers, etc.)
  1. Detail the various types of investigations and different specializations of private investigators (e.g. general, legal, insurance, corporate, etc.)
  2. Explain differences between private security and police officers

Note: It is recommended that the learning journal be introduced in this section if the trainer chooses to use the journal as a teaching mechanism throughout the course.

Outline

The trainer provides the student with a background on the private investigation industry including the new standardization and regulation of the field. S/he introduces the student to the challenges and benefits of becoming a private investigator.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

  1. Pre-reading of job description and introductory materials
  2. Lecture with group discussion
  3. Introductory video
  4. Facilitated discussion of the demands placed on a private investigator
  5. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz addressing the job specifications, types of investigations and specializations of private investigators.


Section 2: The Private Security and Investigative Services Act

Section Overview

The Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA) regulates the private investigation industry. As such, private investigators must be familiar with the PSISA to ensure that they follow the PSISA and its regulations, including the Code of Conduct and associated prohibitions. The trainer introduces the legislation to the student by outlining all relevant components.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 2 hours
Outside class: 3 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. PSISA
  • Explain an individual's responsibility regarding licensing, including the licensing process and mandatory requirements
  • Describe the general duties, standards, practices, regulations and prohibitions
  • Explain the requirement to produce a licence
  1. Code of Conduct
  • Introduce the regulation and the consequences of failing to comply
  • Define complaint procedures

Note: The relevant components of the Code of Conduct should be thoroughly discussed in Section 6: Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision Making

Outline

This section introduces the student to his/her responsibilities as a private investigator under the PSISA. The trainer provides instruction on all the relevant requirements of the PSISA, the consequences for non-compliance and public complaint procedures. The authority to conduct investigations and surveillance should also be discussed.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of the relevant sections of the PSISA and Code of Conduct
  2. Lecture on the elements of the act and code
  3. Discussion group for clarification of inappropriate behaviours
  4. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz on the relevant sections of the PSISA and Code of Conduct.


Section 3: Provincial and Federal Statutes

Section Overview

The student is introduced to the various statutes that apply to the field of private investigation in Ontario. The trainer addresses how criminal, civil, case and common law vary and explains the difference between provincial and federal statutes. It should be noted that the student may obtain/require further training on statutes that are relevant to his/her specific position and that the legislation addressed in this section is the most common to the private investigation sector.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 6 hours
Outside class: 10 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Discuss the relevant sections of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) that apply to the handling of information and the ability to access government information
  2. Introduce the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act in relation to the admissibility/inadmissibility of evidence and who is eligible to give evidence
  3. Outline the relevant sections of the following legislation:
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Provincial Offences Act
  • Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
  • Trespass to Property Act

Note: This section has three components: Handling Information and PIPEDA / FIPPA / MFIPPA, Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act and Additional Legislation.

Private investigators are only expected to be aware of this legislation as it pertains to their roles. The primary focus should be on best practices with respect to acquiring information in the context of relevant legislation.


Handling Information and PIPEDA / FIPPA / MFIPPA
Outline

Private investigators frequently deal with the collection, storage, dissemination and destruction of highly sensitive information. The trainer explains the procedures and regulations with respect to accessing and managing this kind of information. The student should learn how to obtain government information according to the freedom of information laws that regulate the different levels of government.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on the basic components of PIPEDA / FIPPA / MFIPPA
  2. Lecture with discussion
  3. Learning journal

Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act
Outline

Private investigators will be called upon to present evidence in court. The trainer outlines the relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act, explaining how these statutes apply to the role of a private investigator. The student must learn the importance of documenting and preserving evidence and understand evidentiary concerns (e.g. acquiring pertinent information or when to stop an investigation).

Note: The Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act do not specify how evidence is collected, but identify which types of evidence are admissible to the court. The trainer should concentrate on what is considered evidence and which methods a private investigator can use to ensure it remains admissible. The application of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act in relation to the processing and managing of admissible evidence will be addressed in Section 5: Investigative Techniques.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Working

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of the relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act
  2. Lecture with discussion on how to interpret and use the legislation
  3. Learning journal

Additional Legislation
Outline

Private investigators can encounter situations where they need to be familiar with additional legislation, especially when undercover. The trainer provides a brief introduction to the relevant sections to each of the following legislation:

  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Provincial Offences Act
  • Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
  • Trespass to Property Act

The trainer addresses the risks and dangers associated with private investigation and describes how each act can impact the safety and effectiveness of conducting investigations. Issues of liability should be discussed to ensure the student understands how to complete an investigation within lawful authority.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Working

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of the relevant sections of the acts
  2. Lecture with discussion
  3. Examples of scenarios involving contraventions and components in each act
  4. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz requiring the applicant to apply the relevant sections of the legislation to different scenarios.


Section 4: Criminal and Civil Law

Section Overview

Private investigators are expected to work in accordance with a wide range of criminal and civil legislative and procedural requirements while balancing their own organizational requirements. The trainer outlines the key legal and procedural principles of criminal and civil law as it applies to private investigation.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 12 hours
Outside class: 10 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Level of Authority
    Explain the authority to arrest under the Criminal Code, Canada
  • Describe the difference between a citizen’s authority to arrest and a police officer’s
  • Detail what a private investigator would have to present to the police to have an arrest made
  1. Discuss the different criminal offences
  • Explain what constitutes an indictable offence under the Criminal Code, Canada
  • Explain what constitutes an offence punishable on summary conviction under the Criminal Code, Canada
  • Explain the concept of private information in relation to a private investigator charging an individual with an offence
  1. Outline the Canadian Criminal Court System
  • Discuss the Canadian Criminal Court System, hierarchy of the court system and court protocols/procedures
  • Explain court protocols and procedures for the purpose of giving evidence
  1. Describe what constitutes intimidation under the Criminal Code, Canada and the effects of intimidation and stalking when conducting surveillance
  2. Explain the common elements of tort law and address libel, slander and perjury

Note: This section has five components: Criminal Code, Criminal Offences, Canadian Criminal Court System, Intimidation and Tort Law, Libel, Slander and Perjury.


Criminal Code, Canada
Outline

The trainer provides an overview of the Criminal Code, Canada, including a breakdown of the different parts and a segment on how to read law. Section 2 of the code should be addressed with particular reference to the definition of a peace officer and a public officer. The student must also be instructed on Section 494 and how to perform a citizen’s arrest.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of the relevant sections of the Criminal Code, Canada
  2. Lecture with discussion regarding how to interpret elements of the Criminal Code, Canada
  3. Presentation of case examples of abuse of authority
  4. Role-playing to conduct a citizen’s arrest (without use of force)
  5. Learning journal

Criminal Offences
Outline

Private investigators may encounter situations involving indictable or summary offences under the Criminal Code, Canada. They need to be able to accurately identify and categorize these offences when on duty. The trainer provides an introduction to the different types of offences and the common offences that must be known to make a citizen’s arrest.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on the different types of offences and common offences
  2. Lecture on the different levels of seriousness for each type of offence
  3. Exercise requiring the student to identify different types of offences
  4. Learning journal

Canadian Criminal Court System
Outline

The trainer identifies the skills and knowledge required to present evidence in a judicial environment. Private investigators may be required to prepare for legal proceedings, present evidence and follow up on the outcomes. Every investigation should be conducted as if the case could potentially go to trial and procedural and administrative requirements should be completed with the utmost care. The trainer discusses the different levels of the court system including how to prepare for trial/court, how to prepare for testimony, how to share the results of an investigation or evidence and how to prepare witnesses for court.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Working

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture describing the Canadian Criminal Court System
  2. Exercise regarding the preparation for trial and/or preparation of witnesses for court
  3. Simulation or mock trial presenting testimonies and evidence
  4. Learning journal

Intimidation
Outline

Private investigators may be put in situations where intimidation, as defined by the Criminal Code, occurs. They must be able to recognize when intimidation is being used against them and how they can become involved in intimidation and/or stalking when conducting surveillance. The trainer explains the consequences of breaching the Criminal Code and how intimidation and stalking may impact the admissibility of evidence. Section 423 of the Code is discussed.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of Section 423 of the Criminal Code
  2. Lecture with group discussion
  3. Examples of case law related to intimidation
  4. Demonstration of what is and is not acceptable
  5. Learning journal

Tort Law, Libel, Slander and Perjury
Outline

Private investigators must ensure that they are completing their job within their lawful authority. The trainer explains the common/relevant elements of tort law, libel, slander and perjury that are required to investigate the facts of a case appropriately.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on relevant cases and different categories of tort law
  2. Lecture with discussion on what is not acceptable and best practices
  3. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz addressing the pertinent components of the Criminal Code, criminal offences, the Canadian Criminal Court System, intimidation and tort law.


Section 5: Investigative Techniques

Section Overview

Private investigators often encounter a multitude of different situations on a regular basis. They need to have a thorough knowledge of research techniques, surveillance techniques, interviewing techniques, industry specific equipment and how to collect and preserve evidence. It is also imperative that private investigators understand how to take proper and complete notes. The trainer details the techniques and skills required to conduct investigations.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 14 hours
Outside class: 2 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Explain commonly accepted approaches for the following:
  • Collecting, preserving and presenting evidence
  • Storing, disseminating and destroying information of a personal nature
  • Handling and sealing audio/visual materials
  1. List the relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act that pertain to admissible evidence
  2. Describe the sequential steps of an investigation and different investigative methods
  3. Explain the following research techniques:
  • How to access public/proprietary sources of information (e.g. industry-related databases)
  • How to access industry-specific information
  • The basic techniques used to gather information on people, places or things
  1. Describe the different types of surveillance and address the following surveillance techniques:
  • Observing the physical environment
  • Attending to environmental details
  • Situational awareness
  • Identifying unusual behaviour/situations/activities
  • Maintaining awareness/vigilance of surroundings
  • Choosing an optimal location for surveillance
  • Drawing on knowledge and experience to focus observations
  • Recording appropriate/relevant details and ensuring accuracy of information
  • Consistently re-evaluating the situation
  1. Explain standard interview techniques and discuss the following:
  • How to conduct an interview in an arrest situation and in a non-arrest situation
  1. Provide instruction on the proper use of industry related equipment
  2. Provide instruction on how to write a report

Note: This section has eight components: Handling and Sealing Audio/Video Materials, Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act, Conducting Investigations, Research Techniques, Principles of Surveillance, Interview Techniques, Using Industry Related Equipment and Report Writing.


Handling and Sealing Audio/Video Materials
Outline

Private investigators often need to handle and seal audio and video materials from investigations. The trainer outlines the proper hands-on procedures for dealing with these materials to ensure their admissibility in court. Concepts will include an introduction to the process and protocols for handling evidence, including:

  • Collecting, preserving and presenting evidence
  • Inventory control and evidence chain of custody
  • The six core steps for containing evidence:
  • Collect
  • Secure
  • Preserve
  • Identify
  • Continuity
  • Log

Storing, disseminating and destroying information of a personal nature should be addressed.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on handling and sealing audio/video materials
  2. Demonstration and practice with audio/video equipment
  3. Learning journal

Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act
Outline

Private investigators protect evidence and appear in court as witnesses. The trainer instructs the student how to collect, preserve, and present admissible evidence in court while avoiding contaminating the evidence. Reading material from Section 3 should be reviewed and there should be a focus on the six key steps for processing and managing admissible evidence (collect, secure, preserve, identify, continuity and log).

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on the relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act
  2. Lecture with discussion on the six key steps and common mistakes
  3. Structured exercise applying all six steps and the process/protocols of handling evidence
  4. Learning journal

Conducting Investigations
Outline

The primary responsibility of a private investigator is to conduct investigations and it is vital that the student learn the proper techniques to be successful in the occupation. The trainer provides an introduction to the fundamentals of investigation and addresses preliminary, detailed and follow-up investigations. Trainers should refer to the various types of investigations (e.g. corporate espionage, workplace theft, insurance fraud, etc.) while discussing techniques.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of an overview of the investigative process
  2. Lecture on conducting investigations
  3. Learning journal

Research Techniques
Outline

Private investigators must be capable of conducting research to assist their investigations. The trainer explains fundamental research techniques including how to conduct a full background/due diligence check and how to cross-reference. Available sources of information and research tools should be discussed (e.g. internet, databases, archival data, etc.).

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture
  2. Exercise that requires the student to perform a background check using public/proprietary sources of information and basic techniques
  3. Group discussion of the exercise results
  4. Learning journal

Principles of Surveillance
Outline

Private investigators must be capable of conducting surveillance and are required to understand the legislation governing criminal harassment and intimidation as these offences relate to surveillance operations. Reading material from Section 4 should be reviewed and the following fundamentals of surveillance should be introduced:

  • Methods of surveillance
  • Overt/covert
  • Mobile/stationary
  • Surveillance techniques
  • Strategic positioning - distance, pacing, location
  • Preparation work - content of vehicle, site surveillance/scouting, scheduling, etc.
  • Cross-reference note taking, surveillance data, and reports (matching process)
  • Best practices
  • Situational awareness guidelines for assessing, recognizing and recalling investigations
Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture discussing the fundamentals of surveillance
  2. Instructional video depicting core techniques and field work examples
  3. Demonstration using maps, blueprints, and still pictures that demonstrate optimal camera angles and optimal location
  4. Video of a mock surveillance that requires the student to observe and complete reports (i.e. note taking, identifying key elements in surveillance, drawing conclusions) with group discussion afterwards
  5. Group discussions on what to do if a private investigator has been identified by the person being observed (referred to as “being made”)
  6. Learning journal

Interview Techniques
Outline

Private investigators are required to interview individuals in order to obtain information for their assignments. The trainer provides an introduction to fundamental interview techniques and addresses the following:

  • The difference between interviewing and interrogating
  • Different types of interviews
  • Narrative versus cognitive interviews
  • Civil versus criminal interviews
  • Note taking procedures
  • The protocols for statement taking and the law in relation to statements
  • Utilizing other resources (statement analysis, profiling)
  • Communication theory
  • How to assess the credibility, reliability and suitability of a witness
Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture on the types of interviews and when each type should be used
  2. Introduction to interview and communication skills
  3. Demonstration of each type of interview
  4. Role playing each type of interview (practice with coaching/feedback)
  5. Learning journal

Using Industry Related Equipment
Outline

The trainer discusses how to select and operate necessary occupational equipment for different situations. The student is introduced to the basic technical knowledge needed to efficiently use the equipment and routine maintenance should be addressed. The following tools are discussed:

  • Tape recorder
  • Video camera - overt/covert
  • Camera
  • Dictation recorder
  • Day/night goggles
  • Binoculars
Working/Detailed Knowledge

Working

Suggested Methodology
  1. Product demonstrations that require student participation
  2. Lecture on which tools are appropriate for different situations
  3. Learning journal

Report Writing
Outline

Private investigators regularly complete written reports of occurrences, duties performed and comprehensive descriptions of their tasks/observances. They need to create reports that are objective and standardized. The student is introduced to different types of situational reports (e.g. legal or insurance) as well as basic report writing protocols such as: date, time, location, actions/behaviours, description of individuals, observations, time of completion, etc. In addition, the trainer explains the legal implications of reports (e.g. for auditing or evidence purposes).

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading of sample reports
  2. Lecture on the different type of reports
  3. Lecture on the elements of an objective report (e.g. focus on factual information, written in third person, avoids use of emotional terms, avoids introspection, presents the information in a clear and concise manner)
  4. Report analysis exercise: detect and discuss in small groups problems with reports (e.g. missing information, bias, etc.)
  5. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz with components that address audio and video evidence, the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act, conducting investigations and research techniques. Role-playing investigative interviews, student demonstrations of equipment and sample report writing based on case information can also be assessed.


Section 6: Principles of Ethical Reasoning/Decision-Making

Section Overview

Private investigators are required to make quick decisions in a variety of situations and must utilize good judgment. They need to recognize and appropriately handle ethical dilemmas relating to diversity, cultural differences and contemporary social problems. The trainer discusses the PSISA Code of Conduct and the concept of duty of care.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 2 hours
Outside class: 0 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Discuss relevant components of the Code of Conduct and explain the meaning of duty of care
  2. Outline the following principles of decision-making:
  • Recognizing differences between relevant/irrelevant facts and details
  • Making sound and defensible decisions supported by facts and research
  • Making appropriate judgments suited to the time-frame, risks and facts of the case and potential hazards/dangers in the situation
  • Prioritizing situations/decisions/tasks
  • Drawing on legislation and laws to make decisions
  • Preparing next logical steps required for a task/job
  • Determining who should/should not have access to sensitive or confidential information/locations/people (PIPEDA)
  • Recognizing ethical dilemmas
  • Recognizing issues relating to diversity, cultural differences and contemporary social problems (e.g. stereotyping and discrimination)

Note: There are two components in this section: Code of Conduct and Duty of Care and Decision-Making.


Code of Conduct and Duty of Care
Outline

Private investigators need to be familiar with the Code of Conduct and the concept of duty of care, which outlines what a reasonable person should do in a particular situation. The trainer reviews the circumstances that require duty of care.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Working

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on the Code of Conduct and duty of care
  2. Case studies with consequences that emphasize the importance of duty of care
  3. Self-assessment - what would the student do in different situations?
  4. Learning journal

Decision-Making
Outline

Private investigators are required to make quick and ethical decisions and need to deal with issues of discrimination and prejudice in an unbiased manner. The trainer provides the student with an introduction to ethical reasoning and decision-making and addresses the following:

  • The theory of ethical reasoning and decision-making
  • Recognizing patterns (situational awareness)
  • Recognizing typicality and detecting anomalies
  • The effects and consequences of discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping

Issues such as impartiality, conflict of interest, entrapment and other scenarios that require effective decision-making should be discussed.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture on how to make decisions and conduct observations
  2. Case studies with analysis and group discussion
  3. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

A quiz on the Code of Conduct, duty of care and the principles of decision-making.


Section 7: Key Principles of Communication and Interaction

Section Overview

Private investigators encounter a wide range of situations and are required to act professionally under all circumstances. The trainer reviews the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to adapt to different environments/scenarios and to diffuse situations when required. The importance of using communication to one’s advantage should be emphasized.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 7 hours
Outside class: 0 hours

Minimum Requirements

Communication Skills

  1. Discuss the following oral and written communication skills:
  • Adjusting a communication style to accommodate an audience or situation
  • Using verbal and non-verbal feedback
  • Using effective and appropriate language in oral and written communication
  • Writing legibly and clearly (e.g. minimal spelling, grammar or typographical errors)
  • Effectively communicating main ideas orally and in writing
  • Avoiding personal bias/opinion when communicating
  • Asking probing questions to obtain information
  • Conveying oral information accurately
  1. Explain tactical communication
  • Adjusting behaviour/demeanor (e.g. passive vs. aggressive) based on an individual or situation

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Discuss the following interpersonal skills:
  • Demonstrating sensitivity/empathy to others (e.g. different cultures, persons with disabilities, human rights issues, mental health issues)
  • Establishing a rapport with a variety of people for the purpose of building trusting relationships
  • Diffusing, avoiding and managing difficult interpersonal relationships and/or potential conflict
  • Being assertive yet professional when interacting with the public

Note: There are three components in this section: Communication Skills, Communication, and Interpersonal Skills.

Although certain topics have been addressed in previous sections (e.g. report writing), the focus should be placed on technical components that allow information to be relayed, such as writing style.


Communication Skills
Outline

Private Investigators must provide clear and concise information. Their position requires them to communicate with a wide array of individuals both orally and in writing and to obtain information from sources that may be unwilling. The trainer addresses active listening, effective writing techniques and note taking.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture
  2. Role playing using communication techniques with feedback
  3. Learning journal

Communication
Outline

Private Investigators may need to utilize tactical communication during the course of their assignments. They must maintain their composure and adjust their behaviour to suit the individual and situation. The trainer explains the principles of communication (both verbal and non-verbal, including posture, tone, assertiveness, spatial distance, eye contact, facial expressions) and de-escalation techniques with progressive intervention steps.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture
  2. Role playing
  3. Learning journal

Note: Communication was formally known as “Tactical Communication”.


Interpersonal Skills
Outline

Private Investigators often interact with a variety of individuals during the course of their duties. Their conduct is vital to the professional image of the security industry as a whole. The trainer describes proper conduct and deportment, how to adapt quickly to different situations and how to perform duties in a culturally appropriate manner. Private Investigators should be able to scan for potential problems and act in a preventative way to avoid any escalation of events.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture
  2. Role playing (e.g. 5 minute interactions with feedback)
  3. Learning journal
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

Assess the student’s application of verbal communication skills, communication skills and interpersonal skills through role-playing.


Section 8: Self-management Skills

Section Overview

The trainer discusses the skills and knowledge required to work individually and as part of a team. Private investigators must be able to assess their own roles and responsibilities within a larger team framework, use acquired interpersonal skills to build positive relationships and comply with legislative and procedural requirements to complete tasks within designated timeframes.

Suggested Duration:

In class: 5 hours
Outside class: 2 hours

Minimum Requirements
  1. Discuss how to act under stress while maintaining professional composure
  2. Address the following time management skills:
  • Multitasking in a quick and efficient manner
  • Completing tasks within allotted timeframes
  • Prioritizing time to complete tasks safely and effectively
  • Arriving to assignments on time
  1. Discuss the ability to work independently and in a team and address the following:
  • Working well with others to accomplish mutual objectives
  • Understanding conditions/situations that are best accomplished by working in a team
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of team members, drawing on talents and compensating accordingly
  1. Explain flexibility/adaptability requirements in the workplace:
  • Being prepared for any type of investigation
  • Ability to modify actions, appearance or image to changing circumstances and environment
  • Adjusting to demands and changes in schedule, location, work environments, weather, and priorities
  • Adjusting to clients’ needs, preferences, and requirements
  • Working in physically or personally uncomfortable environments
  • Creating distinct and convincing presences/personae across different assignments

Note: There are four components in this section: Acting Under Stress, Time

Management, Working Independently and in a Team and Adaptability.


Acting Under Stress
Outline

Private investigators can encounter high-stress situations and must maintain their professional composure. The trainer will explain what to do if exposed when conducting surveillance, how to control situations by asking questions and when one should identify oneself. The trainer will also address how to manage stress when dealing with isolation, driving, and fatigue.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Pre-reading on common work related stressors
  2. Role-playing on how to control situations
  3. Learning journal

Time Management
Outline

Private investigators work under stringent timelines. The trainer discusses how to prioritize multiple tasks at once including how to properly manage cases, time, different types of reports and dealing with shift work.

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture and discussion
  2. Exercise: the student schedules and prioritizes multiple investigations
  3. Learning journal

Working Independently and in Team
Outline

Private investigators may be assigned to situations where they need to work in isolation or within a team. They need to be able to work under a variety of circumstances and be able to understand the different working styles of colleagues (e.g. two person surveillance, inter-agency cooperation).

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture and discussion
  2. Role play and demonstration
  3. Learning journal

Adaptability
Outline

Private investigators can encounter a multitude of situations and must adjust to changes quickly while maintaining their composure. The trainer will discuss how to prepare for a variety of situations and how to adjust to work environment and demands (e.g. sitting for long periods, in stairwells, confined environments, etc.).

Working/Detailed Knowledge

Detailed

Suggested Methodology
  1. Lecture on common items needed for the role of private investigator
  2. Discussion of typical unexpected situations with effective responses
  3. Learning journal
  4. Providing a list of helpful tools to prepare for situations in advance
Suggested Training Evaluation for Section

Role-playing can be used to assess how well training participants can focus on staying calm when under stress. A quiz on time management and concepts of teamwork and/or a quiz on appropriate items to bring for different situations could also be used as a form of evaluation.


References

Alliger, G. M., and Janak, E. A. (1989). Kirkpatrick’s levels of training criteria: Thirty years later. Personnel Psychology, 42, 331-342.

Alliger, G.M., Tannenbaum, S.I., Bennett, Jr., W., Traver, H., and Shotland, A. (1997). A meta- analysis of the relations among training criteria. Personnel Psychology, 50, 341-358.

Arthur, Jr., W., Bennett, Jr., W., Edens, P.S., and Bell, S.T. (2003). Effectiveness of training in organizations: A meta-analysis of design and evaluation features. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), 234-245.

Buster, M. A., Roth, P. L., and Bobko, P. (2005). A process for content validation of education and experienced-based minimum qualifications: An approach resulting in Federal Court approval. Personnel Psychology, 58, 771-799.

Button, M. (1998). Beyond the public gaze – The exclusion of private investigators from the British debate over regulating private security. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 26, 1-16.

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (2000). A national use of force framework. Aylmer, ON: Author.

Castle, R. A. (2002). A study of the private investigator. Richmond, VA: Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Fine, S. A., and Cronshaw, S. F. (1999). Functional job analysis: A foundation for human resources management. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Goldstein, I.L., and Ford, J.K. (2002). Training in organizations : Needs assessment, development and evaluation (4th edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.

Groot, N. J. (2001). Canadian law and private investigations. Toronto, ON: Irwin Law. Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1959a). Techniques for evaluating training programs. Journal of the American Society of Training Directors, 13, 3-9.

Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1959b). Techniques for evaluating training programs. Journal of the American Society of Training Directors, 13, 21-26.

Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1960a). Techniques for evaluating training programs. Journal of the American Society of Training Directors, 14, 13-18.

Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1960b). Techniques for evaluating training programs. Journal of the American Society of Training Directors, 14, 28-32.

Law Commission of Canada (2006). In search of security: The future of policing in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Author.

Levine, E. L, Maye, D. M., Ulm, R. A., and Gordon, T. R. (1997). A methodology for developing and validating minimum qualifications (MQs). Personnel Psychology, 50, 1009-1023.

Saskatchewan Justice - Corrections, Public Safety and Policing (2008). Private investigator and security guard training manual. Regina, SK: Author.

U.S. Department of Energy. (1997). Guide to good practices for developing learning objectives.

ashington, DC: Author.

U.S. Department of Energy. (1994). Training program handbook: A systematic approach to training. Washington, DC: Author.


Appendix A: Syllabus Research Methodology for Security Guards and Private Investigators

This document summarizes the methodology used to develop the training syllabus for both security guards and private investigators under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA). The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services developed the syllabus required for mandatory training and the following were the key steps used in the methodology:

  1. Occupational Grouping and Job Analysis
  2. Skills Modeling
  3. Validation of the Job Analyses and Skills Modeling Data
  4. Identification of Training Requirements, Syllabus Design and Validation
Occupational Grouping and Job Analysis

“Occupational groups,” composed of private security and investigative positions, were established to determine the necessary training requirements for each syllabus. The private security industry was regularly consulted to ensure the accuracy of the different groupings and to discuss the distinctions that exist between the various positions. A review of existing materials on the security industry was conducted in addition to working with industry representatives, resulting in the following definitions for the different occupational groups:

  • Private Investigators (PI)
  • Security Guards with “No Active Intervention” (SG1)
  • Security Guards with “Active Intervention” (SG2)

Once the occupational groups were established, a formal job analysis was completed to catalogue the components that comprised each position. The analysis was conducted using “Functional Job Analysis” (FJA) methodology, which focuses on the tasks that comprise a job and views each task as the smallest complete unit of work activity. The end product of the FJA is a list of “task statements, which indicate the required knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to achieve a specific task.

The FJA of an occupation requires input from job incumbents through a facilitated focus-group format. The ministry conducted focus group sessions for each occupational category. The focus groups were composed of individuals based on their experience, industry sector, gender, minority representation, and geography to ensure an accurate representation of the diversity, tasks and employment profile of the security industry in Ontario. To participate in a focus group, individuals were required to have a minimum of two years’ experience and his/her manager’s recommendation.

Skills Modeling

The knowledge, skills and abilities required by the different occupational groups were defined in detail after they were identified by the FJA. Performance-Oriented Skills Modeling (POSM) methodology was used to achieve a detailed definition of each skill and to articulate the standards for assessing skill performance. Similar to the FJA, the POSM methodology employs a facilitated focus group format with industry job incumbents as participants.

A POSM focus group session was conducted for each occupational group following the FJA focus groups and the same participants were used.

Validation of the Job Analysis and Skills Modeling Data

After the task statements were formally drafted, and the knowledge, skills and abilities formally defined, a survey was conducted with the primary objective of validating this data. The “Ontario 2007 Security Guard and Private Investigator Job Survey” listed 45 task statements, 79 knowledge and skills statements, and included general questions addressing role identification, location, experience, etc. Respondents (individuals in the security industry) were asked to evaluate each statement in terms of its applicability to their role, importance, clarity, frequency (task statement only), and if it was required before they started their career (KSA statements only). Prior to distribution, the survey was piloted as a draft questionnaire with professional security guards.

The distribution of the survey followed a “stratified random sampling” approach, which randomly selected individuals from important groups (i.e. strata) to receive the survey. For example, security personnel were randomly selected for survey distribution within different regions of the province to ensure representation of geographic location. Copies of the survey were also distributed to various private investigator firms, security firms and organizations, and the survey was posted on the ministry’s website and open to all security personnel in the province.

The results from the survey and statistical analysis confirmed the accuracy of the task statements, definitions of the knowledge, skills and abilities, and the occupational groupings.

Identification of Training Requirements, Syllabus Design and Validation

Results from the job analysis and the skills modeling served as the foundation for the final two stages of the syllabus development: identification of training requirements, syllabus design and validation. At this stage, an extensive review of existing materials pertinent to the training of the different occupational groups was conducted. This included research on books, papers and journals related to training design, security training, occupational licensing, use of force, the Canadian General Standards Board standards for security guards and security guard officers, and materials from security training programs offered by educational institutions and training agencies in Ontario.

Identification of Training Requirements

To identify the necessary training requirements, focus group sessions comprised of subject matter experts were conducted: one session for private investigators and a second for security guards.

Over the course of each session, the focus group reviewed the job analysis, skills modeling and research data. This was followed by a facilitated discussion to identify the KSAs that needed to be developed as part of the training program (i.e. training requirements), and to compose a draft of instructional objectives.

Syllabus Design and Validation

Once the training requirements were identified, each focus group met for a session to design the syllabus. The sessions addressed syllabus content (courses), delivery methods, course durations, course sequencing, program duration, and methods/approaches for training delivery.

The data collected from the sessions was consolidated, structured and compiled into the syllabus. The results from the survey analysis were also considered when forming the syllabus structure.

When the syllabus had been drafted, summary presentations for each occupational group were held for academic experts and the contents were validated.


Appendix B: Acts and Websites

Provincial statutes
Federal statutes

Act

Canada Evidence Act, R.S., 1985, c. C-5
Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43
Criminal Code, R.S., 1985, c. C-46
Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41
Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O. 1995, c. 1, Sched. A
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56
Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1
Occupational Health And Safety Act, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 860, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Evidence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.23
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5
Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 34
Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, O. Reg 363/07, Code of Conduct
Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Trespass to Property Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21