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Online Private Investigation Course: Don’t Let COVID-19 Stop You from Starting Your Career!

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Does the COVID-19 pandemic have you stuck at home? Don’t worry. You’re not alone, so let’s look at the bright side. If anything, staying at home during this time gives you time to think about your current career, skills and the wonderful opportunity for growth. As this is the case, it might interest you to know that many private investigators and private investigation agencies offer online private investigation courses. What this means is, you can self-isolate and earn your private investigation license from the comfort of your own home. If you believe that earning your private investigator’s license is the right step for you, you’ve come to the right place. Take an online private investigation course and don’t let Covid-19 stop you from starting a great career.

Do I Need Any Special Private Investigation Skills?

To start your career as a private investigator, you don’t need to worry about too many pre-requisites. What this means is, there is very little experience you need to have under your belt before you sign-up! Think of it like a chef’s training. All you need to start is a love for food. Once you start training, you’ll learn all the skills you need to make it in a top kitchen. The same thing applies to a career as a private investigator. If you have the desire to help people solve problems, taking the private investigation training course. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to go on to become a great private investigator.

That being said, there are a few things you need to check off your list before a private investigator course instructor will accept your application. First, you must be at least 18 years of age. Second, you must have a clean criminal record. And, well … That’s it! If you are both 18 and older, and have a clean criminal record, you can sign up for (and take) a private investigation course.

Private Eye Training – What Can I Expect?

In Ontario, the private investigation course is monitored through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). To earn a valid private investigator license, it is important to make sure that the course you take follows the rules the MCSCS has set out. The reason for this is simple. If the MCSCS didn’t put rules into place, anyone could claim that they’re a private investigator.

To earn your private investigator’s license, you must learn, practice and develop the necessary skills. Anyone who believes they can simply become a private investigator without a valid license is in for a rude awakening. If caught, an individual can receive a fine and even jail time. So, if you want to become a private investigator: taking the private investigation course, passing an exam and earning a license is non-negotiable.

To help you prepare, an overview of the course material is available to the public online. It is covered in this article. Overall, you should know that the private investigator’s course is a minimum of 50 hours in length. It must also cover both in and outside class learning.

Can I Apply?

Before you sign up for the private investigator course, you should at least know whether or not you have an interest in becoming a private investigator. If you are interested in what you’re learning, it will truly make for a more enjoyable experience. After all, human beings don’t like to invest time and energy in the things that don’t motivate them to excel! Another factor in considering whether or not to apply or sign up for a private investigator’s course is to evaluate your current skills.

There are many skills that lend themselves to private investigation work. If you believe you possess these skills, it can help to make your decision easier. Although, it’s important to note that this list is not complete. If you truly want to become a private investigator and take the right private investigation course, you will develop and learn more about the skills you need.


Are you someone who likes to pass along information? Do people often tell you that your directions are clear or direct? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, then you will likely make an excellent private investigator.

Communication is extremely key to private investigative work. The reason for this is because you will be working with clients who have specific needs. If you do not understand your client’s needs, he or she will not feel understood. You will also likely misunderstand the details of the case. This will not help you to solve the client’s problem.

On the flip side, if you need to work with other private investigators, you will need to communicate details of the case clearly and effectively. This is so that other private investigators understand their job. Communication is especially key for large surveillance cases. Each member of the team must know exactly what to do and where to be—otherwise the case will completely fall apart.

Learning communication skills is a big part of the private investigation course. However, if you already feel that you’re a great communicator, this is excellent news. You’ll likely make a great private investigator.

Reading & Writing

Much of the information a private investigator must look through requires good reading skills. When it comes to private investigation tasks including, background checks, surveillance, locates, and more, a private investigator must read to understand and then piece together the facts.

When it comes to writing, a private investigator is required to write reports. For every case a private investigator works, he or she must put together a report for the client. The report will include all findings from the case. A report helps give the client a comprehensive answer to their problem.


Many private investigators work alone. Many private investigators also work for an agency. Some private investigator do a bit of both—they will work privately but will also work for an agency when needed. Regardless of which option you choose, you will need to have leadership skills. A private investigator must take the initiative on a case. He or she must know how to work within the legal jurisdiction to gather evidence and information. Since a lot of a private investigator’s time involves working alone (even if for a company), taking the initiative is often the only way a case will move forward.

Problem Solving

When presented with a case, you will need to evaluate the information and decide on the best approach. Does the client require surveillance services? Or are they really just asking for a background check on their significant other? You will need problem-solving skills when on the case too. What if you hit a dead-end? Do you give up and tell the client you can’t figure out their problem, or do you keep trying different angles until you get an answer?

If you enjoy problem-solving, taking the private investigator’s course is a great match for your skills. At the same time, if you feel like problem-solving is something you could improve on, taking the private investigator’s course will do just that. It will give you the tools and techniques you need to move forward in a career as a private investigator.


It’s true that a lot of private investigation work requires a private investigator to spend a lot of time alone. However, this isn’t always true. In some situations, a private investigator must interview witnesses or people involved in a case. In other situations, a private investigator will need to go undercover and blend into a busy office. Even in a private investigator’s daily life, he or she will need to assure clients that they can get the job done right.

Based on the examples above, it’s clear that a private investigator will need to interact with others quite often. As this is the case, it’s important that you be personable. A grumpy private investigator will find it difficult to attract clients. In addition, it will be challenging to get information as most people do not want to help an unfriendly person. So, if you feel that you have a bubbly, energetic personality, it might be a great idea to earn your private investigation license.

Reliable & Trustworthy

If people can depend on you to get the job done right, becoming a private investigator is a great career choice. Every day, people reach out to private investigators with a problem. It is up to the private investigator to work through a case with honesty and integrity. A good private investigator does not lie to his or her clients. For example, a good private investigator will not charge the client a fee and then tell the client they require more money to gather more information. A good private investigator will understand that it is their job to uncover the facts and present those facts to the client. So, if you are a reliable and trustworthy type of person, working as a private investigator is a great career match.

The Course Material

Private investigation course fees can differ between the locations and instructors that offer the services. However, the course material itself must remain true to the Ministry’s guidelines. Therefore, no matter which private investigation course you choose to take, you will learn the same information.

The private investigation course material in Ontario includes,

Information on Criminal and Civil Law

Details on the Private Investigation Industry

Key Principles of Interaction and Communication

The Techniques of Private Investigation

An Overview of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act (2005)

How to Develop Self-Management Skills

The Provincial and Federal Statutes

In-Depth Details Surrounding Criminal and Civil Law

The Principles of Ethical Decision-Making and Reasoning

As you can see, the Ministry wants to ensure that private investigators within the province know and work within the boundaries of the law. The days when anyone who figured they could become a private investigator without training are over. This is good news for you. With a little hard work and determination, you can earn your private investigation license and truly help people.

Learn at Home

With COVID-19 restricting many of our activities, you might be wondering how it’s possible to earn your private investigator’s license. The good news is, many private investigators and private investigation agencies offer an online private investigation course. The online private investigation course follows the same material as in-class and if the instructor is a good one, you will still learn necessary skills.

Once you complete the minimum 50 hours of training, your instructor will allow you to write the private investigator’s exam. When you successfully pass the exam, the Ministry will send you your private investigator’s licence. You’ll be ready to start work as a private investigator.

Good Private Investigator Training is Only a Click Away

Don’t just click on the first Google ad you see for private investigator training. If you’re considering taking the course during the COVID-19 outbreak, you’ve got the time to really make sure you take the best available training in your area. Why? Well, it’s important to remember that not all private investigator training courses are alike. Some private investigators or private investigation agencies don’t provide good instructors.

Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, we have multiple five-star reviews from our previous students. We also have many other awards and continuously put in effort to ensure that our training program is the best on the market. We want to help train and develop good private investigators. In certain circumstances, we also look to hire the best and brightest students once they earn their private investigation license. So, if you show great promise, you could end up with a job straight after graduation.

Don’t let self-isolation or COVID-19 get you down. Think about your future and what you can do today to kickstart the career you’ve always dreamed of! Sign up for the private investigation course. You’ll be glad you did.

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.

The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.

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