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How to Become a Licensed Private Investigator in Alberta

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How to Become a Licensed Private Investigator in Alberta

If you’re considering a career as a private or in-house investigator in Alberta, it’s essential to understand the licensing requirements and process. Alberta Justice oversees the issuance of investigator licenses under the Security Services and Investigators Act. This guide will provide you with the necessary information to apply for or renew your investigator license in Alberta.

Why You Need a License

In Alberta, you must be licensed to work as a private or in-house investigator. Licensed investigators handle various tasks, including:

  • Investigating accidents and personal injuries
  • Examining damaged or stolen property
  • Conducting background checks
  • Tracking the whereabouts of individuals and organizations

As an investigator, you will:

  • Collect information
  • Interview individuals
  • Conduct surveillance
  • Obtain statements
  • Research reports and records

Licensing Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a license, you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be eligible to work in Canada
  • Be fluent in English (level 5 benchmark as per the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks)
  • Have no criminal record
  • Have no outstanding criminal charges
  • Not be the subject of a criminal investigation
  • Training and Examination

All aspiring investigators must complete an approved training course and score at least 80% on the provincial final exam. You can choose from two approved courses:

Alberta Professional Investigator Training Course

Accredited Investigator Training Course

These courses must be completed through an approved training provider. After successfully passing the exam, you will receive a training certificate by mail within one week.

If you have previous law enforcement experience or have completed equivalent training outside Alberta, you should contact Security Programs to discuss your eligibility.

Baton Training

If your employer requires you to carry a baton, you must complete a 40-hour baton use of force training course and submit the training certificate with your application. Recertification is required every 36 months.

Application Process

Step 1: Records Check

You must undergo three mandatory searches: 

  1. Criminal record check
  2. Vulnerable sector search
  3. Local police database search

Ensure you specify ‘security services’ as the employment type and request a print/mail copy of your results.

Step 2: Fill Out the Application Form

Complete the “Application or Renewal for Individual Licence” form available from Security Programs.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

Prepare photocopies of:

  • Canadian photo ID
  • Approved training course certificate
  • 40 hour baton use of force training certificate (if applicable)

Also, provide a current police information and criminal record check and a passport size colour photo.

Step 4: Submit and Pay for Your Application

You can submit your application either in person or by mail.

In Person:

Visit a registry agent offering Security Programs licensing services.

Pay the licensing fee ($160) and service charge ($9).

By Mail:

Send your completed application form, required documents, and payment to:

Security Programs Alberta Justice

P.O. Box 1023 Station Main

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2M1

Accepted payment methods include certified business cheque, certified personal cheque, money order, or bank draft. You can also pay online and mail the receipt with your application.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a temporary license valid for 60 days. Your official license card will be mailed to the address provided in your application.

After You Apply

You must provide a photocopy of your license card to your employer and carry the original while working. If you need to update your personal information, modify your license class, or report a lost or stolen license, you must notify Security Programs within 24 hours.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 18774620791
  • Email:

 Mailing Address:

Security Programs

 P.O. Box 1023 Station Main

 Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2M1


Becoming a licensed private investigator in Alberta involves meeting specific eligibility criteria, completing approved training, and successfully navigating the application process. By following these guidelines, you can embark on a rewarding career in the investigative field.

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About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Whitney Joy Smith is a prominent figure in the field of private investigation and security, serving as the founder and CEO of The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., Smith Security Inc., and Training Centre Canada, as well as a sitting politician.

With a remarkable journey that began in the early 2000s, Whitney's professional background as a private investigator is underscored by her unwavering dedication to the role. Born in Canada and having spent her early years between Canada and the United States, Whitney possesses a unique perspective shaped by her experiences in both countries. This background equips her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of private investigative laws, regulations, and operational standards in North America.

Throughout her career, Whitney has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades. She takes great pride in working closely with her continually expanding agency, striving to elevate industry standards, maintain compliance, and effectively meet the diverse investigative needs of clients.

Whitney actively engages in various membership, committee, board and support roles, demonstrating her commitment to the industry and professional community. She is affiliated with all local chambers, associations and more.

Whitney's wealth of experience is not limited to her professional achievements; her thought-provoking articles have been featured in publications ranging from Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Mens Health to Business News Daily. She constantly seeks to redefine standards and push the boundaries of excellence within the private investigative and security fields.

To discover more about Whitney Joy Smith and the dedicated team at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., visit our website to learn more.

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