Ministry of the
Solicitor General

PSIS - PI Study Guide

Private Security and Investigative Services

Basic Testing

Private Investigator Study Guide

Print version - PDF, 935 kb


This test preparation guide is designed to assist private investigators in preparing for the ministry’s mandatory test. The guide will outline key areas that private investigators should be familiar with to ensure they perform their duties in accordance with the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA) and its regulations.

The subjects covered align with the ministry’s Training Curriculum for Private Investigators. Although the guide is meant to assist candidates in preparing for and writing the test, it does not constitute a training manual, and is not a substitute for an in-person training course.

At the end of each section of this test preparation guide, you will find links to external resources that may be of further assistance to you. Many of these will bring you to various laws and regulations; it is recommended that you have an overall understanding of these and how they relate to key topics covered in the test.

Other links will bring you to existing training materials available to the public. While these materials may contain valuable information, please keep in mind that they were not specifically designed for Ontario’s security guard and private investigator training and testing program.

About the Test

The ministry’s tests were developed by subject matter experts (SMEs) in the private security and investigative industry who worked with the ministry’s test development consultant, CASTLE Worldwide Inc. The SMEs developed the test questions using a protocol of writing and review that conforms to the best practices of psychological and test development standards. They comprehensively reviewed and validated each question for appropriateness of the answers and correct answer keys. A panel of SMEs also reviewed and tested the questions and participated in setting the cut scores (pass marks) for the tests.

The private investigator test is in a written, 60 question, multiple choice format. Test appointments are two hours in duration, 75 minutes of which is the allotted test completion time.

Test results will be made available within five business days of completion of the test. The cut score for the private investigator test is 77 per cent.

All tests must be booked in advance either online, or through a call centre agent.

Eligibility Rule

You may only register and complete an examination if you hold a currently valid individual Ontario private investigator licence, or if you have completed mandatory training that meets the ministry’s requirements.

Candidates who are not licensed by Private Security and Investigative Services Branch must complete ministry prescribed basic training before they become eligible to register for and complete an examination.

If you are already licensed, you may only take the test for which you are licensed, or for which you have taken a ministry approved training course. It is important to take the test well in advance of your licence expiry to ensure there is adequate time to process the reissued licence.

Contact Us

For information on the ministry’s Training and Testing Regulation, on the topics covered in the training curricula and the tests, you must contact the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch:

Phone: 416-212-1650 or toll-free at 1-866-767-7454

To book a test, and for any information regarding test scheduling and payment, you must contact the ministry’s test delivery agent, Serco DES Inc.:

Phone: 1-866-248-2555