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If you are at least 18 years of age, you can apply to become a security guard or private investigator by submitting the following to the Registrar:
IMPORTANT: If your Criminal Record check indicates that you have, or may have, a record of conviction, you will have to provide a police document that outlines your criminal record conviction history (dated no older than six months at time of submission). This is also referred to as a transcript.
This may require your fingerprints to be taken and submitted for comparison at the National Criminal Records Repository. Your police service will be able to advise you how long this process may take. If you require a transcript, your application cannot be accepted until you are able to provide the results.
If you have no proof of training you may submit a complete application to the Registrar requesting a temporary security guard licence. You may only be issued one temporary licence and it cannot be renewed. A temporary security guard licence is only valid for six months. During this licence term you are expected to satisfy the mandatory training standard.
IMPORTANT: Only Canadian training standards will be recognized for equivalency.
IMPORTANT: Only Canadian training standards/experience will be recognized for competency.
All applications are processed as quickly as possible, but it may take between seven and ten business days to process your application. When the licence has been processed it will be mailed to the Manitoba address for service stated on your application form. Mailing times through Canada Post may vary.
To avoid additional delays, please ensure that your application is complete when submitted and contains all the necessary forms and documents. Incomplete applications will be returned.
You cannot act as a security guard or private investigator unless you work for one of these two types of employer.
As a private investigator, subsection 4(3) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act requires that you are employed by a business licensed to provide private investigators.
As a security guard, subsection 5(4) of the Act requires that you are employed by a business licensed to provide security guards or an employer registered as a security guard employer.
You must always carry your licence when you are working, as this is a requirement of the Act. If anyone asks to see your licence you are required to show it to them.
You can work for more than one employer, as long as they are licensed and/or registered under the Act.
While batons are not considered prohibited weapons, security guards and private investigators should not use or carry batons, truncheons, nightsticks, billy clubs or any similar item as a weapon. Possessing or using this equipment could place an individual in violation of the Criminal Code.
The use of handcuffs, although not specifically prohibited, should be closely monitored by your employer. As a general rule, only a minimum level of force may be used to restrain a person being lawfully placed under arrest. You must know that any other application of force is an unjustified assault and may lead to a charge under the Criminal Code.
d. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray (Pepper Spray)
No, security guards and private investigators are prohibited from the possession/use of pepper spray as it is a prohibited weapon under the Criminal Code.
Individuals acting as security guards and private investigators, and their employers, are regulated under The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act and Regulation.
The Manitoba Justice Private Investigators and Security Guards Program monitors businesses and individuals that employ security guards and private investigators. This is done to ensure they are abiding by the provisions and standards set out by the Act and Regulation. The Program also monitors the individual security guards and private investigators that work for these employers for the same reason.
The provisions and requirements set out by the Act and Regulation help enhance not only the safety of the public (including clients), but also the safety of the security guards, private investigators and employers themselves.
Subsections 4(2) and 5(3) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act provide that a business or employer shall not employ or engage anyone as a security guard or private investigator unless they are licensed. Businesses and employers are responsible for ensuring that the individuals they employ or engage as security guards and private investigators hold valid licences under The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act of Manitoba.
Subsections 4(3) and 5(4) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act provide that an individual cannot act as or hold themselves out as a security guard or private investigator unless they hold a licence under the Act authorizing them to do so. The individual is responsible for ensuring they hold a valid security guard and/or private investigator licence before acting as a security guard or private investigator.
IMPORTANT: Under section 37 of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, it is an offence to contravene a provision of the Act or Regulation. This includes the licensing requirements noted above.
Manitoba has a mandatory 40-hour training course called the Manitoba Security Guard Training Program. Manitoba Justice does not provide the training directly, but approves trainers who are authorized to deliver the program and a list of the training providers can be found here.
You are eligible for a one-time, six month temporary security guard licence that provides you with the ability to work and take the training program. Once you have successfully completed the training and passed the final exam, you can apply for a regular licence. At this time, mandatory training applies to security guards only, but proof of competency applies to private investigators.
You cannot renew a temporary security guard licence and must complete the mandatory training before it’s expiry. If your temporary licence expires and you have not met the Manitoba training standard, you may no longer work as a security guard. You cannot resume working as a security guard until you have completed the training, passed the exam and been re-licensed.
If you have moved to Manitoba from another Canadian Province or Territory where you completed a regulated security guard training standard, it may be recognized as equivalent to the Manitoba standard. You should contact the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program for additional information.
A criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a licence. If you are listed on the Child Abuse Registry your application for a licence may not be approved. The decision as to whether a licence is issued is made by the Registrar of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act.
The nature of an individual’s criminal conviction history, pending charges or placement on the Child Abuse Registry may be a factor in determining their eligibility to hold a licence to act as a security guard or private investigator.
If your licence application is denied, you will receive a letter from the Registrar advising you of this. You will have the opportunity to provide further information which you feel supports you licence application. The Registrar would then consider the additional information provided (if any) and render a final decision on the application.
If your licence is suspended or cancelled, the same process applies. However, in the case of suspension or cancellation, under section 19 of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act you must immediately return your licence to the Registrar. In some cases the suspension of a licence may be immediate, followed by notification to the licence holder.
Please note that during the review of an application the Registrar or anyone authorized by the Registrar has the authority to investigate the applicant. This may be done regarding the applicant’s character, criminal history, financial position and competence. The Registrar also has the authority to require an applicant to submit further information or material, and require verification by affidavit of that or any other information or material submitted.
Subsections 19.1(1)(b) and 19.1(1)(c) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act require that you report to the Registrar a charge laid against you for a crime and/or a conviction against you for a crime. You have 15 days from the time these things occur to report it.
IMPORTANT: Under section 37 of the Act, it is an offence to contravene a provision of the Act or Regulation. This includes failing to satisfy the reporting requirements noted above.
All of this information must be reported on your application and if you have a criminal record, you must provide a letter from a police service (also called a transcript) that details all of your convictions.
If you already hold a licence, subsections 19.1(1)(b) and 19.1(1)(c) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act require that you report to the Registrar a charge laid against you for a crime and/or a conviction against you for a crime. You have 15 days from the time these things occur to report it.
All fees are non-refundable.
As long as you continue to be licensed, your criminal record check and Child Abuse Registry check are valid for three years. Your photo is valid for three years from the date it is provided to the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program, unless your appearance significantly changes (e.g. change of hair colour; change in hair length; growth or removal of facial hair). If your appearance changes, you must provide an updated photograph as soon as possible.
Your criminal record check and Child Abuse Registry check must be updated every three years. Their expiry is not the same as the date displayed on the security guard or private investigator licence issued to you.
Your criminal record check and Child Abuse Registry check expire based on the date the results were processed by the police service or Child Abuse Registry Unit. For example, if you submit a criminal record check (or transcript) to the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program which has been dated July 15, 2014 by the police, it would expire on July 15, 2017. This same expiry process also applies to your Child Abuse Registry check. Check the dates on your criminal record check and child abuse registry check before you submit them so that you know when each of them will expire.
IMPORTANT: If you allow your criminal record check, Child Abuse Registry check or photo to expire, this will impact the status of your licence and you may no longer be able to work as a security guard or private investigator.
Further information regarding document expiry and renewal can be found here
Temporary security guard licences may be issued to security guards who have not satisfied mandatory training. These are only valid for 6 months and cannot be renewed.
Standard security guard and/or private investigator licences are valid for one year and must be renewed annually prior to expiry.
The expiry date of your licence is printed on the front of your licence card. It is your responsibility to renew your licence prior to the expiry date. It is recommended that you submit your renewal application and payment at least a month and a half in advance of licence expiry. The individual licence renewal application form can be found on the main web page.
It is important to remember that other essential documents providing information tied to your licence may expire at a different time than your annual licence term. As the licence holder you are responsible for keeping all of your related licensing documents up to date with the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program. This includes your criminal record check, child abuse registry check, and photograph.
If you allow your licence to expire or lapse you may no longer work as a security guard or private investigator, and must immediately return your licence to the Registrar. You may also be required to make a complete application re-submission. Failure to submit renewals for your criminal record check, child abuse registry check and photograph prior to their expiry may affect the status of your licence and you may also no longer be able to work as a security guard or private investigator.
It is an offence to work as a security guard or private investigator without a valid licence permitting you to do so.
More information on this is provided here
Fees for individual licences are as follows:
Temporary Security Guard Licence
Private Investigator or Security Guard Licence:
Dual Licence (Private Investigator and Security Guard):
Please note that an individual is entitled to one temporary security guard licence only.
You can not start work until you receive your licence.
Cash (exact payment amount only), cheque (no personal cheques permitted unless certified), money order, debit, credit card. Money Orders and cheques must be made payable to the Minister of Finance. American Express is not an accepted card for payment.
A security guard has the same powers of arrest as a private citizen as outlined in Section 494 of the Criminal Code. Security guards have no extra or special powers of arrest.
Subsection 33(1) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act provides that you must wear a uniform while acting as a security guard.
Uniforms worn by security guards cannot look the same as those worn by police officers or the military and must clearly identify the individual as a security guard.
The words “SECURITY GUARD” must be displayed in clear letters on the chest of the outer garment being worn.
A uniform exemption will only be issued to you if you will be working as a security guard and performing the duties of a Loss Prevention Officer. A Loss Prevention Officer, or LPO, means a security guard who performs duties to prevent or reduce loss from shoplifting.
A uniform exemption only applies when you are working as a Loss Prevention Officer. At all other times when you are working as a security guard you must wear a uniform that meets the requirements under subsection 6(2) of the Private Investigators and Security Guards Regulation.
A uniform exemption application must be submitted to and approved by the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program before the exemption can be issued. This application form can be found on the main web page.
If you have been issued a uniform exemption for LPO duties, it should be indicated on the back of your licence card.
The Act says that private investigators cannot wear a uniform while working.
These terms are not allowed under the Act.
The only form of identification that the Act allows is the licence issued by the Registrar under The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act. In the case of private investigators they may also carry a business card which contains no reference to licensing under the Act.
The program is a 40 hour training course designed to provide security guards with the basic knowledge needed to perform work safely and professionally.
The fee for the training program is not set by Manitoba Justice and varies between approved trainers. You must contact the approved trainers directly to obtain this information. A list of approved trainers is available here
Manitoba Justice charges a $25.00 administrative fee for each exam you book. If you are booked for an exam and do not attend this fee is non-refundable and cannot be used for another exam session.
You have three opportunities to take the training exam before you must repeat the training course in full.
The approved trainer must provide you with a certificate as proof that you completed the training and passed the exam. Once you have the certificate, a copy must be attached to your security guard licence application.
If you have a temporary security guard licence, you need to submit a copy of the certificate to the Private Investigators and Security Guards program so your temporary security guard licence can be changed to a regular licence.
Do not submit the original training certificate as you must keep it for your records as proof of having successfully completed the training program. A copy of the certificate must be attached to licence renewal applications.
There are some exceptions:
To be considered for an exam challenge you must:
Equivalent training from another Canadian Province or Territory
If you have moved to Manitoba from another Canadian Province or Territory where you satisfied a regulated training standard for security guards, this may be recognized as equivalent to the Manitoba standard. You should contact the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program for more information.
At this time there is no requirement to renew your training after you meet the standard set by the Manitoba Security Guard Training Program.
However, if a security guard’s conduct raises concerns that they are unable to proficiently apply the training knowledge to their duties, they may be required by the Registrar to repeat the training course to retain their licence.