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PI Training — What to Look for in a Training Provider 

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So, you’ve decided that you want to be a private investigator. You’ve done all the research, and know that you would love to start your private investigation career at a great private investigation company.

This is great news! But before any private investigation firm will hire you, it is critical that you obtain your private investigator license. So critical, in fact, that it is not possible for any private investigation agency to hire you without one. It is also not possible to engage in any private investigation service without a license.

First Thing’s First

One of the first steps in earning your private investigator license is to pick the right training provider. The reason why you need to choose the right training provider is that they will help you understand everything you need to know to be a great private investigator. For example, you need to complete a number of hours studying a number of relevant topics in order to be eligible to take the private investigator exam. If you successfully pass the exam, you get your license.

In Canada alone, there are hundreds of companies to choose from, which can make picking the right company a challenge. How do you know that they will cover all the correct material? Will they help you to get a job once you pass the private investigation exam? Do they have trainers that really know their stuff?

Getting Your Money’s Worth

The last thing you want to do is sign up for private investigator training and not get the information or experience you need to pass the exam. Therefore, the first thing you need to do it put some of your private investigation skills to work.

Go online and research the different private investigation training providers in your area. This will help you to narrow your search. Poorly designed websites, unclear information, sketchy payment options should all be things you watch out for and avoid at all costs.  

That being said, there is no set fee amount for private investigator training (or private investigation services for that matter). This means that different training providers will charge different rates. You need to decide if the value charged is worth it—and only you know the answer to that question.

Licensed Private Investigator

Since you require your private investigator license in order to operate your own private investigation firm or to get hired by a private investigation firm, you need to make sure the training provider you sign up with also has their license.

While the Internet is usually a great place to find what you’re looking for, it’s also pretty easy to set up a fake business. Anyone can say that they’re offering private investigation training courses online when they aren’t qualified to teach it at all.

Therefore, checking to make sure that the company has licensed professionals with references is the best way to make sure that they are legit. Also checking the course content they offer against information available on the correct government website (MCSCS in Ontario for example) will also help you to avoid taking fraudulent courses.

Ratings and Reviews

When all else fails, you should look at the private investigator training provider’s reviews and ratings. Typically, when people are unhappy with something they’ve paid for, they aren’t shy about expressing their opinion. Asking for references is also a great way to find the right course, as is speaking with students or friends that have taken the same kind of training.

At the end of the day, if you want to invest in the private investigator training program, you want to start acting like a private investigator. Think about (or research) how private investigators find information. This will really help to improve your chances of finding type of trainers who can help you earn your license and even find your first job. And what could be better than that?

The Smith Investigation Agency provides award winning private investigator training in Toronto and the GTA, Ottawa, and various other locations across Canada. With years of experience in the industry, our trainers are some of the best in the industry. For more information on our private investigator training courses, contact us at:


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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