How to Become a Private Investigator in Newfoundland
Updated: Jun 19
Becoming a Private Investigator in Newfoundland is similar to most other jurisdictions: you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. To become a PI in Newfoundland, you also need to take a government approved Private Investigator licensing course. This is a requirement of many province. Furthermore, to get licensed as a Newfoundland PI, you need to be sponsored by a local Newfoundland Private Investigator agency as well as meet the basic requirements mentioned before. Because in-depth and practical Private Investigator training does not exist, your sponsor is most likely going to want you to have a background in policing/ military or education in criminal justice. Both of these will help you as a Private Investigator but will not set you up for guaranteed success the way a practical Private Investigator educational course would. The Newfoundland government body that controls Private Investigators is called the Newfoundland Consumer Affairs Division. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and proof of a Newfoundland PI sponsor, the CAD will give you your PI beginner’s license. This is where your struggle will begin.
Your Private Investigator beginner’s license in Newfoundland 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 Newfoundland 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, a background in policing/ military and criminal justice 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.
Call CAD for a list of approved PI licensing courses: (709) 729-2660
Mail PI application to:
Consumer Affairs Division,
149 Smallwood Drive, Mount Pearl
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL
This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Newfoundland Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Private Investigators are jaded. On top of this, Private Investigator 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 experience or education. Your background in policing/ military or criminal justice will offer little to no real practical Private Investigator knowledge. You will always be told by employers that “soon you will get some 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 loosing work opportunities from a lack of Private Investigator skill and education. What is sad is that this is a common story in the Newfoundland PI industry. If you make it through this meat grinder of an industry, you can qualify to work for yourself (run your own PI agency). You will need a Newfoundland Private Investigator business license for this. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.
Newfoundland PI License Requirements
-You need to be 19yo or older
-You need to be a Canadian citizen
-You need a clean criminal record
-You need to pay a $30 license fee
-You need to take an approved PI licensing course(it won't include PI training)
-You need to be sponsored by a Newfoundland PI agency