Private Investigator Licence Ontario – How To!

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Private Investigator Licence Ontario – How To!

Are you currently in school, getting ready to graduate and considering career paths? Or are you tired of the career you have been in and want to try something different? We would urge you to consider being a private investigator and taking our private investigator training in Ontario.

Many ask us how to become a private investigator. We would be happy to give you some insight on the investigative industry and what you can do to become a licensed private investigator.

How do I get the process started? How do I know your course is good? Well, we want to put your mind at ease and answer any questions you have. Keep in mind if you are on our website and would like further information about becoming an investigator, we would be happy to speak with you over email, or on the phone to answer any questions you may have.

So how do you know our course and that we are registered?

You can verify any company on the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services website under the list of training providers in Ontario. Once you have confirmed the company you wish to train with is registered and can offer training, take a moment to read reviews and do your homework on the investigative group or private investigator college.

Once you have read into the business and feel confident with the decision, you can move forward with payment. We offer a simple and easy method for payment you simply visit our Private Investigator Training Course tab on our website and simply hit the “Buy Now” button.

Once we receive the payment notification, we will already have your information, and we will set you up with the course right away. No waiting or mailing cheques. Your time is precious, and we want you to be able to get started on your investigator training right away.

What if I need assistance during the course?

Our course has a live chat 24/7 as well you can call anytime with any questions for the course.

How long do I have to complete the online investigator training?

The course itself is 50 hours in duration, and you can complete the PI course at your own pace. If it takes you less than a week to complete, great; you’re a speedy worker. If it takes you a few weeks or months, then that’s great also. You can also log into the course after completion and take the mock tests as many times as possible to ensure you feel confident and ready for the ministry exam.

I have completed my private investigator course, now what?

It’s a hassle-free policy here at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc. Once you complete the course, our system will notify us right away, and we will email you a consent form. Once the form is completed we will apply for your competition number from Serco, and once we obtain the completion number we will issue you a certificate of completion, and with that you can contact Serco to schedule your exam.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

The current cost for the exam is $80.00 each time you take the exam. We are happy to have a high success rate with less than a 2% fail rate with a few hundred students. If you were to fail the exam for any reason, there is an additional fee for the exam each time you take it.

I passed the exam, now what?

Once you complete the training and pass the exam you can apply for your private investigator licence. In order to obtain an investigator’s licence, you must be at least 18 years of age or older and have no criminal convictions which have not been pardoned. If you do have any criminal history, you can contact the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services to discuss the charges and whether or not they will issue a detective licence.

Are there jobs for private investigators?

Now we often have the question asked: “well are there jobs out there for private investigators in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, etc.?” The Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services released a list in January 2017 of the number of PI companies and licensed investigators in Ontario.

There are approximately 733 licensed agencies in the province and only 2,222 private investigators. Now if you imagine each company having only three investigators, then that is the entire industry of licensed private detectives. The majority of small companies will have at least 2-3 investigators and some companies have as many as 50-100, so there is always a need for more private investigators all the time.

If I live in a small town will I have as much work as a private investigator in Toronto?

The amount of work you will do will depend on the companies you work with. If you live in a rural area, you may still be busy if you collaborate with the right companies. Now if you live in Barrie you will likely be busier than an investigator in Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Timmins, however as the licensing in Ontario is now portable, you can work for any company in Ontario and multiple companies if you choose.

So if you get licensed and live in a rural area, then you can contact various companies who service the area where you live or nearby, and you can offer your services to those companies. We most definitely encourage this as it will not only keep you busy but give you a better opportunity to be a better investigator as you will work more files and a variety of files.

Can we call ourselves private detectives?

In the province of Ontario, you cannot describe yourself as a private detective. You can only advertise and or call yourself a private investigator.

What’s the average salary?

Like any career, it’s up to your employer to discuss the rates at which you’re paid. However, the average and standard for new private investigators in the industry can expect to make a minimum of $20.00 per hour, and you will receive reimbursements such as a kilometre reimbursement. So, for instance, on a file, you may be paid your hourly rate as well as .35-.55 cents per kilometre. As well, some companies pay for cell phones, report writing, video editing, and other things if you complete them.

Will I have enough hours to work?

As we mentioned with living in rural areas, if you live in Toronto and are looking for a job as a private investigator we encourage you to contact different companies if you have not received full-time employment yet.

Will I like it?

I have yet to meet someone who worked as an investigator and did not love what they do. Consider the type of work you get to do you could be doing surveillance for W.S.I.B. (workers’ compensation), insurance fraud, corporate investigations, labour dispute management, and investigative research including skip tracing, background checks, and cyber research.

You could also be working in criminal investigations locating missing persons or completing witness statements and interrogations. There are a vast variety of investigative services you could complete, and if you work in this industry, there is no reason for you to be bored. If you have a moment, search our blogs for a series we call “Tales of a PI” where we discuss the cases we have worked on in the past, and there is nothing short of awesome in those cases.

So now we have pretty much filled you in on everything you need to know when looking to become a private detective. Oh, did you get that we are trying to see if you are paying attention to detail right there where we said we were detectives?

You always want to ensure working as a private investigator that you follow the rules, laws, and regulations of the industry as the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services has very strict rules, and they enforce the industry to ensure people follow the rules and do not give our industry a bad name.


We are so happy to be the largest provider of investigator training courses in Ontario, and we are happy that so many of our students have told us in great detail how much they love the course. Here are some reviews from our students who are now full-time private investigators making great money and loving what they do.

“Just took the PI course through them. Whitney was very helpful in giving direction to get me going. Great information. Very interesting. I definitely recommend!” J.P. BBB Review

“I would like to say that my experience with The Smith Investigation Agency was absolutely great. When I applied to the Private Investigators course, it was easy, it was good, and it was a perfect example of what I think a Private Investigators course should look like. The course provided as much detail as possible into the responsibilities, roles and laws the PI will use in his/her everyday work. Also, the staff who are replying to my emails – they reply promptly and professionally and I appreciate that in a companies employees. Great job – overall, I’ve had a very positive experience!” J.K. BBB Review

“If you’re looking for a great PI training program in Ontario without breaking the bank, then you must contact the Smith investigation Agency. From experience, they were professional, courteous and quickly responded to questions I had arising from the PI training. I would definitely recommend this agency to any individual wanting to endeavour in the field of private investigation. Great service!” P.T. BBB Review.

If you have any questions about the industry that we have not answered, we would love to hear from you and answer any further questions you may have. You can call or email 24/7!

4 thoughts on “Private Investigator Licence Ontario – How To!

  1. Ive been a PI and Corporate Investigator for over 30 years. Been out for 4 years I am looking to get recertified. I live in Cambridge Ontario can you send me cost info .

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