Many private detectives in Canada work without a license. This can be risky, as private investigators must comply with provincial laws governing the profession. Therefore, all private investigators need to have a license in order to legally operate within their province.
Why Do Private Detectives Need a License?
All private investigators need some professional accreditation to practice legally in Canada. Here are the main reasons why:
Protects the Client
Licensing helps protect consumers against negligence on the part of private investigators through government regulation and ensures that private eyes have at least minimal training before beginning an investigation.
The Investigations They Do
Private detectives need a license when conducting investigations that fall under provincial law. This includes investigations into fraud, securities offenses, the sale of insurance policies, labour relations, and real estate transactions.
Easy Access to Public Information
One of the main reasons private detectives need to be licensed is because they often have access to sensitive information. This information could be damaging if it were to get into the wrong hands. Private detectives are held accountable to certain standards and regulations by having a license.
They Work with Law Enforcement in Some Cases
Another reason private detectives need a license is that they often work with law enforcement. They may even be working as part of a private investigation team in some cases. Working closely with police ensures private detectives comply with the law and adhere to certain standards of behaviour that help ensure safety for private investigators, their clients, and others involved in investigations.
They Must Have NO Criminal Record
Private detective licenses vary from province to province; however, some requirements apply across Canada. For example, all private detectives must have a clean criminal record. In addition, private detectives must be 18 years or older and complete an accredited training program in private investigation.
They Cannot Make Arrests (as they are not Law Enforcement)
It is important to note that private investigators are not law enforcement officers; they cannot make arrests or carry out investigations on their own. They often work closely with law enforcement to support ongoing investigations. Private detectives must also comply with the provincial private investigator act and any other applicable acts or regulations.
There are a Few Exceptions to Getting a License
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, private detectives who a company employs do not need to obtain their own license as long as the private detective works within the scope of their employment agreement and is bound by company policy.
What are the Requirements for a Private Investigator License?
The requirements for becoming a private detective vary depending on the province; however, there are some basic criteria that apply across all provinces. Private detectives must have clean criminal records, be 18 years old or older, and complete accredited training courses specific to private investigation.
In addition, many private detectives choose to become certified with official licenses by completing exams administered by provincial licensing boards/associations.
Private detectives may receive certification or license if they complete an exam. This ensures private investigators are able to provide the best service possible and adhere to standards expected of private investigators in Canada. Also, obtaining licensing can help build trust among private investigators and their clients.
A police background check will also be conducted when applying for licensure – this shows that the private investigator is reputable and trustworthy enough to work with sensitive information provided by their clients.
Make You You Do Your Due Diligence
If you are looking for a private detective, it is important to ensure they are licensed in your province. This will help protect you and ensure that the private detective follows all of the appropriate rules and regulations. Make sure you ask about the following:
- If they have experience as a PI (how many years have they done it for?)
- If they are licensed in the province of Canada
- Ask them for proof of their license
- Ensure that is valid for the time period you’re hiring them for
For more information on private investigation licensing in Canada, please visit the website of your provincial/territorial private investigators’ association.