Frequently Asked Questions - Basic Training

Where can I receive training?

The ministry’s basic training can only be offered by:

a public university;

a community college;

a private career college, as part of a program approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005;

an agency licensed under PSISA to sell security guards and/or private investigator services;

a business entity registered under PSISA that employs its own in-house security personnel (Note: registered business entities can only train their own employees).

The ministry does not endorse any training institutions or individual programs but encourages individuals to seek training from a company or institution that is compliant with the ministry curricula, meets the requirements as stipulated in the regulation, and/or is listed on the ministry website.


Can an independent training company offer the ministry’s training?

The ministry’s training can only be offered by a training entity that falls under one of the categories listed above. If a training entity does not meet this requirement, it can only offer training if it enters into a service agreement with licensed agencies or registered business entities.


Is there a training fee?

There may be a fee associated with training. However, the ministry is not responsible for setting one. Agencies may choose to set a fee; it will be the applicant’s responsibility to understand/agree to it.

Registered businesses may or may not charge a fee, but can only train their own employees.

Individuals enrolled in a college or university program that incorporates the ministry’s curricula will likely pay for the basic training as part of their overall tuition fees.


What will the training course consist of?

Training entities are required to develop a course based on the ministry’s curricula, which were made publicly available on May 30, 2008. You may view the curricula on the ministry’s website, under the “Training and Testing” section.

The security guard course must consist of at least 40 in-class hours, and must include certification in Emergency Level First Aid. The private investigator course must consist of at least 50 in-class hours.

Students will only be considered to have completed training if they attended the course in its entirety.


Can I take the training course online or by video conference?

Basic security guard and private investigator training obtained through web-based, instructor-led distance learning (e.g. virtual classroom) qualify to meet the ministry’s requirement for in-class training.

Unsupervised, web-based training programs that do not include some real-time interaction with an instructor (e.g. purely self-study) do not qualify.

Courses delivered live through a video conference are acceptable.

Only students who have attended a training course in full qualify to take the test.


Is there a training entity certification process? How will the ministry ensure that training entities comply with the Training and Testing Regulation?

There is no training entity certification process. However, licensed agencies and registered businesses that provide training which does not conform to the ministry’s curricula may be found guilty of an offence under the PSISA.

Businesses that are not authorized to deliver training under the regulation may also be found guilty of an offence.

Any business found guilty of an offence under the PSISA may be subject to a fine of up to $250,000.


How does the ministry know if a student has completed training?

Training entities electronically provide the ministry with a list of all students who have completed their training course.


Does the branch provide specifics on what material training entities must cover to ensure they give proper information to their students (i.e. train to the test)?

Training entities are expected to develop their own training materials based on the ministry’s curricula. However, the ministry published curricula crosswalks to help training entities to adequately prepare their students for the test.


I’ve read the basic training curriculum. Not all sections apply to my job description. Why am I required to take the full course?

The ministry’s training program ensures that all security practitioners possess the knowledge and skills to safely and professionally work as security guards or private investigators in Ontario. With the input of subject matter experts, this basic level of knowledge is regarded as common to anyone working in the security industry, and as such complements the portability of licences that was introduced when the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA) came into force on August 23, 2007.

This portability gives a licensee the flexibility to change employment situations without the need to reapply for their licence. Under the previous legislation a security practitioner had to be sponsored by their employer to get a licence and was prohibited from taking their licence  to another employer. The combination of basic training and testing and portable licensing  provides greater flexibility for individual licensees.


The security guard training course I took was over 40 hours long. Is this allowed?

The ministry’s training curricula cover the mandatory topics that must be taught to applicants. However, training entities are free to expand on the curricula and customize their training programs to suit their business needs. Individuals should consult the list of training entities on the ministry website to consider all available options.


Why can licensed agencies offer training to any member of the public, while registered business entities can only train their own employees?

Licensed agencies are in the business of selling security guard and/or private investigator services to the public. Many already provide training to their employees, and have already incorporated the ministry’s curricula into their training materials. The ministry believes that licensed agencies possess the necessary expertise to offer training to the public.

Registered businesses do not primarily provide security guard and/or private investigator services. The ministry encourages these businesses to have their employees trained by specialists. However, businesses who feel they have the capacity to train their own employees are permitted to do so.


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