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Private Investigator Training: You Can Skip Police Foundations!

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You want to become a private investigator? This is fantastic news! Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, we know what it takes to become a great private investigator in Ontario. However, it’s come to our attention, that people have a few questions regarding exactly how they can earn their private investigator’s license.

Want our honest answer? It’s simpler than you think!

For all the details you need to become a private investigator—and fast—keep reading. We’ve got you covered.

Do I Need Police Foundations Training?

Many people ask us if they need to take police foundations training in order to earn their private investigator’s license. The quick answer to this question is: no. Any individual who wants to earn their private investigator license does not require police foundations training.

All you need to do in Ontario is take and pass the private investigator’s training course. In Ontario, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services keeps track of the content for the province’s private investigator training course.

Police Foundations – What is it?

Police foundations training is a course to help those who wish to enter the police force. When someone completes the police foundations training course in Ontario, he or she is allowed to apply for a police constable position.

As a result: if you want to become a police officer in Ontario, taking a police training foundations training course is mandatory. If you do not want to become a police officer, than you do not require this course.

That being said, it’s important to remember that it is possible to earn a security guard license while taking police foundations. This might help you to enter the police force later on. However, if your current employment as a security guard requires you to perform any private investigation services, you will likely not be accepted into the police force.

The Difference Between Police Foundations and Private Investigation Training

The major difference between the two types of training is that police foundations require a 2 year commitment. Private investigation training only requires 50 hours. This means that it is simply much faster to get hired as a private investigator.

Other differences between police foundations and private investigator training include cost and some of the course material. For example, police procedures is a large component to police foundations training. It includes,

  • Traffic Management
  • Police Powers
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Lifestyle Management
  • Community Policing
  • Interviewing and Investigation
  • Field Placement in Community Policing

While interviewing and investigation skills are important to a private investigator, traffic management is not applicable. At the same time: since the course load is much lighter, the cost to become a private investigator is much less (in comparison).

Therefore, if you want to become a private investigator, you will graduate faster and for less money compared to police foundations.

How to Advance Your Private Investigation Career

Most private investigator instructors will ask his or her class the following question: who here wants to become a police officer? In many cases, people will earn their private investigator’s license in hopes that it will further their career in the police force.

For anyone in the class who does not raise their hand, this is actually a benefit. Private investigator training course instructors want to help those who truly want to develop their career as a private investigator. Therefore, these committed individuals will get selected to earn more hands on experience. An instructor will want to provide them with all the tools and techniques they need to really excel in the field.

What do you REALLY need to become a Private Investigator?

The very first thing you need to do is to find and sign up for a private investigator training course. However, you need to make sure you sign up for the right private investigator training course.

Private Investigator Training Course Locations:

In Ontario, only a few select businesses offer private investigation courses. These businesses include,

  • University (public)
  • College (public or private career colleges)
  • Licensed Agencies

Now that you know the different types of businesses that can offer the private investigator training course in Ontario, you need to make sure you do a little more research.

Choosing the Right Private Investigator Training Course:

Look Out! Not all Private Investigator Training Courses are alike. It is possible that the first one you find on the Internet is a scam. That’s why we highly recommend doing your research.

A good private investigator will always do their research. He or she will want to make sure that the course they sign up for actually delivers. At the end of the training course, it is pretty important to have all the skills required to earn employment as a private investigator. If you receive bad training, due to poor instruction or even illegal operation, no private investigation agency in Ontario will want to hire you.  

Private Investigator Training Course Material:

The private investigator training course will cover a wide range of topics. These topics will help you to better understand how to operate in the field. Some of these topics include,

  • Interview Techniques
  • Private Investigation Laws (The Private Security and Investigative Services Act)
  • Civil and Criminal Law
  • Research
  • Surveillance
  • Equipment Training (cameras, video recording, etc.)
  • Decision making
  • Communication skills

It is possible to receive private investigator training online or in class. If taken at the right training school, it will not matter which option you choose. Both require interaction with the instructor in person. This is primarily to ensure that you receive a chance to practice your new private investigator skills.  

After Private Investigator Training – What’s Next?

The moment you successfully complete the private investigator training course, the instructor will allow you to take an exam. Passing this exam will ensure that you receive your private investigator’s license. The moment you have your private investigator’s license it is possible to apply for employment at a private investigation agency or company. You can even start your own!

One of the benefits to becoming a private investigator is that if you choose to take the private investigator training course with a private investigation agency, that agency might hire you. Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, for example, we run an award wining private investigator training course. We often hire students who earn a license and show great promise.

Overall, the choice is yours. Therefore, if you feel that you require police foundations training, nothing should stop you from signing up. The truth is if you want to earn your private investigator’s license, taking police foundations training will only delay the process.

For more information on our training program, contact the Smith Investigation Agency today! Phone: 647-479-8474 or Email:

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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