The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Private Investigator in Canada

A private investigator in Canada must first obtain a license from the province in which they will be working. The Canadian government does not offer a Private Investigator course or certification. A Private Investigator license is required in each province across Canada. There is less difficulty here than you might imagine. If you have a full Private Investigator license from one province, you can use it to apply for licenses in other provinces without meeting their individual requirements.


Licensing requirements for private investigators in each Canadian province:

Columbian Province of British






Specifically, the province of Nova Scotia.


In the province of New Brunswick

The Income of a Private Investigator in Canada

Find out More about Online Private Eye Courses

Assessment of Private Eye Skills

Provincial Background Checks in Canada

  1. Age requirement is at least 19

  2. You need to be free of any felony convictions.

  3. It's mandatory that you complete a government licensing program.

  4. To qualify for a PI entry-level license, you need to log 2400 hours of experience.

The Typical Path to Becoming a Private Detective

The steps necessary to become a private investigator are generally consistent across nations, regions, and jurisdictions. These include meeting the minimum age and language requirements, among others. In addition, you must complete a private investigator training program approved by the state. Licensed investigators are regulated by a specific agency in many countries. Therefore, this governing body will compile a list of recognized PI licensing programs. Internet-based lessons are one example. You can get your PI novice license once you've shown the relevant authorities that you have the necessary skills and have finished the necessary training. This is the first of many battles you'll face.

Canada PI

A Private Investigator (PI) Under Supervision License is what you'll need to get started. "You guessed it: if your license says "Under Supervision," that means you have to do your work under the watchful eye of a fully licensed PI. The phrase "Under Supervision" will exist merely in title. You won't be working under the watchful eye of a seasoned Private Eye. However, private investigation firms do not have the resources to employ mentor/student surveillance teams. Plus, the training required to obtain your license Only the laws that private investigators need to know about are covered. This is helpful, but aspiring PIs also need instruction on how to conduct effective investigations.

The high turnover rate among PI trainees and the widespread cynicism among PI veterans can be directly attributed to the industry's lack of training and support for the profession. In addition, low-income clients of private investigation firms often end up with inexperienced investigators. It's also unethical to randomly train new PIs by using small clients' files.

canada investigator

Your time has come to act as a Private Eye, despite your lack of training or experience in the field. You took a licensing course that was heavy on theory and light on actual PI content. Employers will always assure you that "soon you will get some training," but that training never comes. It took me more than five years to learn the ropes of the business and become proficient in a handful of niche areas. During that time, I had difficulty making ends meet and likely lost several hundred thousand dollars because of missed employment opportunities caused by my lack of skills and education. Tragically, this is a common occurrence in the private investigation industry.

To get a "full Private Investigator license," you need 2400 hours of experience in the field and to survive the industry's "meat grinder." If you have a bachelor's degree in a criminal justice-related field, you may be exempt from accumulating 2400 hours of private investigator experience in some jurisdictions. You can become a fully licensed private investigator after accumulating 2400 hours of experience and/or a relevant degree. Meaning, you can now launch your own private investigation firm. With any luck, you will recognize the value of a solid PI education when it comes time to fill open positions for new Private Investigators.

For Instance, Consider the Necessary Permits for a Private Investigator


Job limitations: you must remain an employee of PI at all times.


The legal age to participate is 18.

Past Convictions

You can't have a history of criminal activity.


Any applicant must provide proof of citizenship and a valid form of identification.


It is required that you have proficient English language skills, both verbal and written.

Online Private Investigator Training Approved by the Government

As such, you'll need to enroll in and successfully complete a government-approved licensing course before applying. This might even be a web-based education program.

Similar Academics

You can get your private investigator's license with a degree in most criminal justice fields.

Passport Picture

You must submit an official passport photograph.


Fingerprinting is mandatory.


There is a nominal licensing fee that must be paid.


You can either mail or upload the required paperwork.


Authorizations: Set up your own PI firm and work for yourself by applying for a PI business license.

Supervised Private Investigator License

Providing the government with a copy of your PI Umbrella must be a requirement.

Over 2400 Hours of PI Work History

Documentation of your prior PI work is required. The simplest way to do this is to submit paperwork verifying your hours worked as an employee.

Self-Employed Private Investigator Permits.

You will likely be asked to show proof of your PI experience and education in addition to your full PI license.

To Whom It May Concern: You Might Want to Start a Career as a Private Eye in Canada

Learn everything you need to know to launch an exciting and rewarding career as a real Canadian private investigator with "ICPI Level 100 online Private Investigator Training."

Even if you know nothing about investigations, ICPI will help you get off to a good start in your exciting new profession.

To help you quickly launch into the fulfilling career you've always dreamed of, our team has researched and vetted the best training and investigational methods.

You, the successful detective, will have access to all the models you need thanks to this training program. Everything you need to know to make six figures as an investigative Operative, including a detailed plan for entering the PI industry, learning the ropes of the trade, and developing a detective's eye for detail.

There are currently over a hundred slides, videos, exercises, and quizzes that make up this PI online training system and lay out a clear, concise, and comprehensive plan for how to become a private investigator.

In just two weeks, you can complete ICPI Level 100 and be well on your way to becoming an expert in the exciting field of private investigation. The course features more than 30 hours of training content.


Find a credential that "really" counts Canadian private investigation firms will recognize your expertise in the field if you earn Novel Data's 100-Level certification. To put it another way, this will set you apart from the competition in the private investigator job market. Most people applying for PI jobs don't have a clue what the position entails. Not you A PI employer is unlikely to take a chance on a candidate who isn't familiar with the industry, so they'll look for someone who knows what they're doing. You will be that candidate if Novel Data approves your application.

Canada detective

Make Your Mark as One of Canada's Finest Private Investigators

Indeed, you have the potential to excel as a private investigator in Canada. How Learning the Trade of a Private Eye A minimum of 100 hours of training beyond the Canada government's brief licensing course is required to become a private investigator there. Classes for becoming a private investigator can be taken either live or online. In order to become a successful Canada Private Investigator and meet Private Investigator requirements, you need to become educated on the complexities of the private investigation industry (this will also help you decide if you want to pursue the PI career) and how to set yourself up to become a successful Private Investigator Second, you need training in the methods of investigation.

Understanding a few Private Investigator industry topics will help you navigate the complexities of the Canadian private investigation market. What you need to know to get your Private Investigator license in Canada can be gleaned from the specific regional requirements that exist in that country. Discovering the most widely held falsehoods about the private investigation industry can help you decide whether or not this is a field you want to pursue as a career. Realizing the difficulty of the Private Investigator's learning curve will help you succeed in the field.

Canada detective

It is helpful to have an idea of what it takes to be a professional private investigator in Canada before diving in headfirst. You can use this information to aid in choosing a profession. The next step is to educate yourself on the duties of a private investigator. One way to prepare for this is to study the different types of clients and the records they require in order to become a professional private investigator. If you want to become a Canada Investigator, you need to find out how investigators get jobs and how often they work.

If you're unsure of your abilities as a Canada Private Investigator, it's important to gain insight into what makes a "good" Professional Private Investigator and the factors that will determine your aptitude. There are health concerns and physical needs to take into account as well. On top of that, there is gear. Acquiring the knowledge of the tools necessary to launch a career as a Professional Private Investigator is essential.

It is also important to learn about the function of various forms of electronic communication in private investigation. Finally, it is crucial that you develop what is called "The Investigative Mindset." Learn to approach problems with the analytical rigor of a PI with this. After absorbing these ideas, you'll be well on your way to becoming a PI, no prior experience necessary.

After gaining an understanding of the intricate workings of Canada's private investigation sector, you'll need to hone a range of applicable practical skills. Desk investigations, pre-surveillance, surveillance, mobile vehicle surveillance, on-foot surveillance, evidence collection, and court reporting are among the most crucial tasks. You'll need to be familiar with terms like "Desk Investigation," "Corroborated/circumstantial evidence," "The Evidence Document," "The Desk Investigator's Mindset," "Google Basics for North America," and "Social Media Search Basics for North America" before you can get a handle on desk investigations. The most extensive knowledge requirement pertains to surveillance. The proper use of a surveillance vehicle, conducting surveillance spot checks, and establishing a surveillance infrastructure for a wide range of investigative operations all fall under the purview of this subfield.

For the most part in your career as a private investigator in Canada, you can expect to work independently. That's why it's so important to master the art of one-on-one surveillance. You may also need to learn how to conduct surveillance with two or more operatives, as teamwork is a common feature of the surveillance industry. You need to know that private investigators in Canada don't just conduct surveillance from inside a vehicle, but also on foot. The whole point of hiring a private investigator in Canada is so that you can gather concrete proof of something. Obviously, it is necessary to learn how to gather evidence, and videos are the best form to use for this. You, as a private investigator in Canada, must collect legally defensible and client-satisfying video. When it's all said and done, you'll need to know how to write an investigation report that can be used in court. You will have no trouble becoming a respected private investigator in Canada once you have absorbed this information.

Why and how you can become a private investigator in Canada should be clear now. Although the government licensing course is required, it will not prepare you for a successful career as a private investigator. You must always have at least 100 hours of training as a private investigator, during which time you will study the ins and outs of the PI business and the techniques and procedures necessary to carry out your duties effectively. In fact, you'll have a better shot at success as a Private Investigator if you get the right training before you enter the field. This is true even if you have more experience than your competition but lack a solid educational foundation.

How to Get a Job as a Private Investigator in Canada and Succeed

Professional Private Investigators in Canada must comply with varying levels of licensing across the country.

Misconceptions About Private Investigation and How to Dispel Them

The Educational Path of a Qualified Private Investigator

-Individual obstacles I've faced while working as a private investigator in Canada

Expertise as a Licensed Private Investigator in Canada

-Different Kinds of Canadian Customers and the Documents They Must Have

The Assignment Process and Work Schedule of Canada's Investigators

-What aspects of being a private investigator will most influence your success?

-What characteristics characterize a "good" professional private investigator?

-Medical prerequisites and safety concerns

Starting a career as a professional private investigator requires a certain set of tools.

Equipment Location Map

Technology: PCs, tablets, and accessories

-Agreed-Upon Terms

NAO Phonetic Alphabet

The Attitude of Investigation

Canadian Investigations: What You Need to Know to "Perform" Them

The Methods Used in Canadian Desk Investigations

Locating Missing Persons in Canada

Helping Canada recover its missing children

Locating Canadians who have vanished on purpose

The weight of the evidence, both direct and indirect,

Define "evidence" and explain how to organize it

That Proving Document

Google as a research instrument

Finding a Person's Previous Address in Canada

Search for Past Addresses in Canada

Verification of Canadian Citizens' Criminal Pasts

Search Canadian phone numbers in reverse

OSINT stands for "open source intelligence."

Bug sweeps

Scheduled Routine Maintenance for Equipment

Protecting Private Information and Legal Evidence


Exploration Prior to Conduction of the Survey

Network protocols for communication

Point of view of Customers

Two or more detectives should conduct active mobile surveillance.

Competence versus chance and external factors

Risk vs reward

Identifying the Subject

Heat: Comprehending and Taking Control of Surveillance

Road conditions in Canada

Methods of driving in various Canadian settings

Documenting the gold standard

On-the-go foot patrols

Detective Equipment Sack

Equipment that is necessary

Establishing a Topic

Props and wardrobe

The mechanics of on-foot monitoring

Methods and gear for spying on people

Following methods and standards while walking

Migrating between structures

Picture composition and video quality

Examinations of Insurance Companies in Canada

Occasionally-used forensic techniques

Security for Canadian Executives


Accountability in surveillance

Author Notes

Canadian detective

Peter Sandru has worked as a professional private investigator and security expert in Canada for more than 14 years, and he is now an instructor and co-founder of NDIL. Peter has spent the better part of a decade traveling the world on behalf of businesses, law firms, and government agencies, conducting investigations and security operations. Peter has contributed to the development of numerous investigative and security training programs across Canada. Many Canadian PIs have benefited from Peter's one-on-one training.

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