Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Requirements for licensed agencies

Requirements for licensed agencies

All licensed agencies are required to hire only licensed security guards or private investigators and to ensure that they maintain a valid licence. Individual security guard and private investigator licences can be verified online through ServiceOntario.

Licenced agencies are responsible for making sure all:

  • uniforms for security guards meet all necessary requirements
  • security guards and private investigators have appropriate equipment
  • security guards and private investigators always carry all applicable licences for identification

Learn about the requirements for security guards and private investigators.

Notifying the ministry of armed employees

Licenced agencies are also required to notify the Ministry of the Solicitor General, in writing, with the names of all security guards and private investigators who are authorized to carry a firearm. This must occur within five days after the employee receives that authorization.

Any changes, such as revoking an employee’s authorization to use a firearm, must also be submitted to the ministry within five days of the change.

Equipment issued to employees

An agency employing security guards or private investigators may issue equipment, such as batons, during their duties only for defensive purposes. However, it is up to the licensed agency to have adequate insurance to cover any risks associated with having employees carry such equipment. Handcuffs may also be issued to employees.

Reporting use of force

If a security guard or a private investigator uses force while on duty, the licenced agency who employs them is required to complete a Use of Force Report and submit it to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Examples of use of force can include:

  • usage of handcuffs, baton, firearm or any weapon
  • bodily or physical force used by a private investigator or security guard
  • a working dog with a private investigator or security guard attacks a person

Recordkeeping

Agencies are required to keep all records listed in the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, and to have these records for two years. All records must be provided to the Ministry of the Solicitor General upon request.

If the records are part of an ongoing investigation, inspection, complaint or legal case, they should be kept until the situation is fully resolved.