How to Become a Private Investigator in Alberta
Becoming a Private Investigator in Alberta is similar to most other places: you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. Furthermore, you need to take a government approved PI licensing course. In Alberta, the government body that controls licensed Investigators is the Solicitor General regulating PIs under the Security Services and Investigators Act. So, it is the Solicitor General (SG) that will have a list of approved PI licensing courses. This list is available on the Alberta government website. After completing the course, you will need to pass an Alberta government PI test. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the licensing course/ test to the SG, you will get your PI license. Most jurisdiction will have a PI beginner’s license, Alberta does not. You will get to start out with a full Private Investigator license. This is where your struggle will begin.
Your Private Investigator beginner’s license in Alberta is just a regular Private Investigator license. It will allow you to work for a PI agency, but you will not be able to work for yourself (your own PI company). This PI license means you must work under the supervision of a fully licensed Alberta PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Private Investigator. In fact, PI agencies are not economically structured to have mentor/ student surveillance teams. Furthermore, the Alberta licensing course will give you some transferable knowledge but it will not set you up to become a successful Private Investigator. New Private Investigators still need to know how to be successful working operations. This is why practical Private Investigator education and training specifically for Private Investigators is necessary.
Mail application to:
Security Programs Alberta Justice and Solicitor General PO Box 1023 Station Main Edmonton, AB T5J 2M1
This lack of guidance is why so many new Alberta Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Private Investigators are jaded. On top of this, PI clients with small budgets typically get the new unqualified Private Investigators, nobody wins in this situation. It is also not fair to small PI clients to use their files to haphazardly train new Private Investigators.
So, the time comes for you to work investigations with no Private Investigator experience or education. The Alberta licensing course you took focused on legal matters with no real practical Private Investigator training or topics. You will always be told by employers that “soon you will get some PI training,” which never happens. It took me over five years to figure out the industry and get good at a few specialized fields. During that time, I struggled and probably lost several hundred thousand dollars due to losing work opportunities from a lack of skill and education. What is sad is that this is a common story in the industry. If you make it through this meat grinder and get an Alberta Investigator business license, you be qualified to work for yourself with your own PI agency. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.
Alberta Private Investigator License Requirements
Age: You must be 18 or older.
Criminal Record: You cannot have a criminal record or be the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. You must obtain your own record check. The RCMP offers this service for typically $50.
Canadian Citizen: You need to be a Canadian citizen and submit a copy of government ID.
English: You must be able to speak and write in English.
Government Approved PI License Course: You will need to complete a license course approved by the SG.
Test: You will need to pass an Alberta government PI test.
Passport Photo: You have to provide the SG with a certified passport photo. This needs to be certified by the RCMP.
Fee: You will have to pay a $160 licensing fee. The PI license will be valid for two years.
Submitting: The documents you submit can be sent to the SG via mail or online uploading.
Working for Yourself: You need an Alberta PI business license to work for yourself. You first need an Alberta PI license to apply for the business license.
Thinking of Becoming an Alberta Private Investigator?
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