Protecting Public and Property

As of April 15, 2010, the Ministry of the Solicitor General implemented new laws affecting the Private Security and Investigative Services industry. These new laws state that:

  • Anyone wishing to work as a Security Guard in Ontario must enroll in a 40-Hour Mandatory Security Guard Training program, obtain a valid First-Aid and CPR Certificate, pass a multiple choice Ministry test, and apply for a license through the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
  • Anyone wishing to work as a Private Investigator in Ontario must enroll in a 50-Hour Mandatory Private Investigator Training Program, pass a multiple choice Ministry test, and apply for a license through the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

The Security Industry

Security in Ontario refers to anyone performing work for remuneration consisting of protecting person, public and property.

This includes but is not limited to uniformed guards working at construction sites, shopping malls, apartment buildings, etc. It also includes people who may or may not be in uniform (like bodyguards). Bouncers also fall under this category, however, unlike loss prevention officers or bodyguards, bouncers are required by law to wear a uniform.

The Act & Regulations

The “Private Security & Investigative Services Act” took effect in Ontario on April 15, 2010. (It had been in development since 2005, was formalized in 2006, some regulations were implemented August 23rd 2008, more on August 23rd 2009, with new training and testing regulations having come into force as of April 15, 2010.)

A primary goal of this Act is to help the public more clearly distinguish between Private Security workers and police officers. As such, many of the new regulations are guidelines for the appearance and conduct of security workers, as well as the appearance of security vehicles, uniforms, and terminology. This is a formidable change in the industry as it standardizes and professionalizes Private Security workers.

The Act also brings the Ontario security industry in line with other provinces in terms of regulations and education standards that have been in place for several years.

The Act sets out brand the training and testing requirements. There is a mandatory 40 Hour Security Guard course, and a written test to pass before a license to work as a security guard in Ontario can be obtained. The same is true for the 50 Hour Private Investigator course.

The New Security Guard and Private Investigator Training & Testing

As of April 15, 2010, anyone wishing to work as a Security Guard in Ontario must complete the mandatory 40-hour Security Guard Training, complete a WSIB certified emergency level first-aid and CPR training, pass the Ministry multiple-choice test, and then apply for a license. Anyone wishing to work as a Private Investigator must complete the mandatory 50-hour Private Investigator Training, pass the Ministry multiple-choice test, and then apply for a license.

Only Security Guard and Private Investigator Agencies, Community Colleges, and Career Colleges registered under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act are entitled to offer the mandatory training. Once an individual student has completed their study material, the registered training entity will issue the individual student a Training Completion Number (TCN). The individual student must now pass a Ministry regulated test prior to being permitted to apply for an Ontario Security Guard License or an Ontario Private Investigator License. NOTE: The Ministry test can only be taken by individual students who have  successfully received their TCN.

The Security Guard and Private Investigator Testing each consist of 60 multiple choice questions in written format. These tests are designed to take a minimum of 75 minutes and a maximum allotted time of 2 hours. These tests are offered by a company selected by the Ministry of the Solicitor General (known as Serco DES – most commonly known as Ontario Drive Test Centre). The cost for each of these tests is $66.55+HST, payable to Serco DES. These tests can only be booked and paid for online by visiting www.ontariosecuritytesting.ca

The Security Guard License and Private Investigator License Application is a process in which the Ministry of Ontario collects the individual’s personal information for the processing of a criminal background check, as well as the successful issuance of said license. This step takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks for completion at which point, if no criminal record is found, a Security Guard License and/or Private Investigator License is issued. The cost for each license application is $80 payable to the Minister of Finance. This fee is currently $80 every two years.

All details relating to security guard and private investigator licensing can be found on the Ministry of the Solicitor General website by visiting www.ontario.ca/private-security

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