To become a licensed Private Investigator in Nova Scotia does not require investigative experience or a Private Investigator course/ Private Investigator training. The province will issue you a Nova Scotia Private Investigator's license if you meet basic Private Investigator requirements and have a PI sponsor/ employer. You will need to apply through a Nova Scotia PI agency. When you get your Nova Scotia PI license, you'll need to know how to perform investigations fit for Private Investigations, such as surveillance. After learning how to perform investigations, you can simply work as a Private Investigator in Nova Scotia for a PI agency. You need a PI business license to work for yourself. To become a Private Investigator in Nova Scotia that can perform, it is recommended that you first learn how to work investigations relevant to the PI industry, such as surveillance for insurance fraud files. The fact that Nova Scotia does not have experience or education requirements does not mean that the quality of investigations is less in Nova Scotia than in other provinces. In fact, due to poor industry standards, having a PI license in general does not make you a qualified Investigator regardless of experience or education requirements. The poor industry standard come from the non-relevant experience most, if not all, provinces require of you to become a licensed Private Investigator. This non-relevant experience can be education degrees and non-PI investigative experience.
Be 18yo or older.
Be a citizen.
Have a clean criminal record.
Be sponsored by a NS PI agency.
Private Investigator Jobs: How to Get Hired?
An industry standard flaw most places have is regulations regarding law enforcement experience. Most places allow you to obtain a PI license if you have law enforcement experience. Some places also accept non-PI investigative experience to obtain a PI license. The problem with places requiring previous investigative experience is that there is no such thing as equivalent Private Investigator experience. Sure, a career in law enforcement will gain you some transferable skills to bring to the PI world. However, an investigative career outside of PI work will not provide you the skill-set to perform what we do the most: single person surveillance for insurance fraud investigations. Furthermore, PIs typically obtain all evidence via quality and litigious video. This is uncommon for most other investigative careers. Being a police officer will not make you a good PI the same way being a PI will not make you a good police officer.
Some places also require you to take an approved PI licensing course, not Nova Scotia. However, these courses/ tests typically focus on what laws you need to be aware of. This is of course useful, but new Private Investigators still need to learn how to perform investigations. The required tests/ courses do not focus on what we do most: single person mobile surveillance. Often, these tests/ courses do not not even mention single person mobile surveillance. If you are becoming a PI, you need at least 100 hours of surveillance experience to be able to perform safely and meet client's high standards.
Another requirement issue is the acceptance of post-secondary degrees. These degrees that are accepted for Private Eye licensing are typically in the criminal justice field. However, some provinces accept any post-secondary degree. The issue is, having an educational degree will offer almost no help to you in the Private Investigation industry.
Novel Data Investigative Learning offers the only Private Investigator education courses that focuses on mobile surveillance and understanding the PI industry. For more information on PI education, click here.
Thinking of Becoming a Nova Scotia Private Investigator?
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Become a Great Nova Scotia PI
Yes, you can become a great Nova Scotia Private Investigator. How? Through Private Investigator education. Not through the short Nova Scotia government licensing course, but through at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. This can be online Private Investigator training classes or in an in-class training environment. In order to become a successful Nova Scotia Private Investigator and meet Private Investigator requirements, you need to become educated on the complexities of the private investigation industry (this will also help you decide if you want to pursue the PI career) and how to set yourself up to become a successful Private Investigator. Secondly, you will need to become educated on how to perform investigations.
To learn the complexities of the Nova Scotia Private Eye industry you will need to understand a few Private Investigator industry topics. Regional licensing requirements for Private Investigators will teach you what you need to obtain your Nova Scotia Private Investigator license. To help you decide if you want to enter the career of private investigation you, will have to learn the common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry. Understanding the learning curve of a Private Investigator will set you up to become a successful PI.
Before entering the Nova Scotia PI industry, it is useful to know the challenges encountered as a Professional Private Investigator. This will also help you make career decisions. Then you need to learn what you will be doing as a Private Investigator. Learning the areas of specialization as a Professional Private Investigator and types of clients and corresponding file requirements will help with this. You will need to learn how Nova Scotia Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work to determine if this work environment is right for you.
If you are concerned about your ability to perform as a Nova Scotia Private Investigator, learning what factors will determine your aptitude as a Professional Private Investigator and what makes a “good” Professional Private Investigator will be essential. It is also important to know the physical and health requirements and health considerations. Then there is equipment. Learning about Private Investigator equipment needed in order to get started in a career as a Professional Private Investigator is a must.
Furthermore, you will need to educate yourself on communication devices and their role in private investigation. Lastly and most importantly, you must learn “The Investigative Mindset.” This will teach you how to think like a Private Investigator. After you learn these concepts, you will be well on your way to becoming a Private Investigator even without experience.
After learning the complexities of the Nova Scotia private investigation industry, you will need to develop practical skills in various areas. The most important areas are Desk Investigations, Pre-surveillance, surveillance, mobile vehicle surveillance, on-foot surveillance, obtaining evidence, and litigious reporting. To learn Desk Investigations, you will need to understand what is a Desk Investigation, Desk Investigation nomenclature, corroborated/ circumstantial evidence, The Evidence Document, The Desk Investigators Mindset, Google Basics for North America, and social media search basics for North America. Surveillance will be the largest subject to learn. Under this field you should learn about setting up a proper surveillance vehicle, surveillance spot checks, and surveillance set ups for various investigative operations.
As a Nova Scotia Private Investigator, you will spend the majority of your time performing investigations solo. This is why learning single person surveillance is crucial. Furthermore, you will occasionally work in surveillance teams, so you will need to learn how to perform surveillance with two or more surveillance operatives. Nova Scotia Private Investigators perform a lot of their surveillance from a surveillance vehicle, but also on foot, you will need to learn this also. The entire reason Nova Scotia Private Investigators are hired, is to obtain evidence. Obviously, learning how to obtain evidence, mostly in video form, is a must. As a Nova Scotia Private Eye, you will need to obtain quality video that is litigious and that will satisfy your client. At the end of all this, you will need to learn how to create an investigative report that will most likely be used in litigation. After you learn all of this, you will have no trouble becoming a successful Nova Scotia Private Investigator.
It should be apparent now, why and how you can become a Nova Scotia Private Investigator. Yes, the government licensing course is necessary but it will not set you up for success as a Private Investigator. You will always need at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. You will need to learn the PI industry, as well as how to perform. In fact, becoming a Private Investigator through proper education will set you up to become more successful than Investigators with many years of experience but who have not developed a strong foundation with proper Private Investigator education.
What You Need to Learn to Become a successful Nova Scotia PI
-Regional licensing requirements for Nova Scotia Professional Private Investigators
-Common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry
-The learning curve of a Professional Private investigator
-Personal challenges encountered as a Nova Scotia Professional Private Investigator
-Areas of specialization as a Nova Scotia Professional Private Investigator
-Types of Nova Scotia clients and corresponding file requirements
-How Nova Scotia Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work
-What factors will determine your aptitude as a Professional Private Investigator
-What makes a “good” Professional Private Investigator?
-Physical health requirements and health considerations
-Equipment needed in order to get started in a career as a Professional Private Investigator
-Computers, tablets and peripherals
-NATO – Phonetic Alphabet
-The Investigative Mindset
What You Need to Learn to "Perform" Nova Scotia Investigations
How NS Desk Investigations are performed
Finding missing persons in NS
Finding missing children in NS
Finding people in NS who intentionally disappear
Corroborated & circumstantial evidence
What is evidence & how to structure it
The Evidence Document
Google as an investigative tool
Background checks in NS
Daily Gear Protocol
Data & evidence security
Skill vs, luck and circumstances
Risk vs. reward
Understanding & managing "Heat"
NS traffic conditions
Driving methods for different NS environments
Filming best practices
Mobile foot surveillance
PI surveillance Gearbag
Required surveillance equipment
Clothing and props
The physics or mechanics of foot surveillance
Covert PI equipment & techniques
On foot following techniques & best practices
Transitioning in and out of buildings
Video framing and quality
Forensic investigations in NS
About the Author
Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 14 years as a Professional Private Investigator. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting investigations and security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous investigative & security training programs in various capacities.