Private Investigators and Security Guards Program

Frequently Asked Questions - Individuals

  1. How do I become licenced as a security guard/private investigator?
  2. After the application has been submitted, how long before I receive my licence?
  3. Do I have to work for a licensed business or registered employer?
  4. Must a licensed security guard/private investigator show their licence when asked?
  5. Can a security guard work for more than one employer?
  6. Can a security guard or private investigators use the following equipment?
    1. Batons/Nightsticks
    2. Firearms
    3. Handcuffs
    4. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray (Pepper Spray)
  7. How are security guards and/or private investigators regulated and who ensures they are licenced?
  8. How do I get the training needed to become a security guard?
  9. Do I have to complete the mandatory training and pass the exam before I can be licenced?
  10. Can I get a licence as a security guard/private investigator if I have a criminal record?
  11. Who is notified if I have a criminal history and I can't be licenced?
  12. Do I have to report if I have been charged and/or convicted of a criminal offence while I am licensed?
  13. If I have charges that have not been dealt with and/or have a record with a conviction(s), including a conditional discharge, do I still need to report the charge and/or convictions on my application?
  14. Is the licence fee refundable if I am not eligible for a licence?
  15. How long are the criminal record and child abuse registry checks and photo valid?
  16. How long is a security guard/private investigator licence valid?
  17. How much does a licence cost?
  18. Once my application is dropped off, faxed, mailed or e-mailed to the Private Investigator and Security Guard program can I start working right away?
  19. What types of licence fee payment are accepted?
  20. Do security guards have any "powers of arrest?"
  21. Must I wear a uniform while working as a security guard?
  22. Are there restrictions on the type of uniform I can wear as a security guard?
  23. Can I obtain a uniform exemption and not have to wear a uniform?
  24. Can private investigators wear uniforms?
  25. May I use the term "private detective" when working as a private investigator?
  26. May I carry a badge or "shield" when working as a security guard and/or private investigator to prove my authority or as identification?
  27. What is the Manitoba Security Guard Training Program?
  28. How much does the training and exam cost?
  29. What do I need to do after passing the final exam?
  30. Is everyone required to attend the training program or write the exam?
  31. Am I required to repeat or renew my training?
  1. How do I become licenced as a security guard/private investigator?

    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:

    • Completed Private Investigator/Security Guard Licence Application (guide and form available on the main web page).
      • Please note that all applications must state an address for service within Manitoba. All notices and documentation, including your licence, will be sent to this address. Applications which do not state an address for service within Manitoba will be returned.
      • Section 19.1 of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act requires you to report a change in your address for service to the Registrar within 15 days of it occurring.
      • Please note that incomplete application forms and submissions will not be accepted.
    • Results for a current Child Abuse Registry check (dated no older than six months at time of submission).This must be obtained directly from Manitoba Child and Family Services. The results of a Child Abuse Registry check are not the same as a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) performed by a police service.
    • Results for a current Criminal Record check (dated no older than six months at time of submission). This should be obtained from the police service in your jurisdiction of residence.

    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.

    • Proof of successful training completion (security guard). This includes the following:
      • Certificate issued by a trainer approved by Manitoba Justice to deliver the mandatory Manitoba Security Guard Training Program (MSGTP). This certificate can only be issued to you if you have completed the training and passed the requisite exam.
      • 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 MSGTP. You should contact the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program for more information.

    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.

    • Proof of competency (for private investigator). This includes the following:
      • Proof of prior work experience which would be applicable to the role of a private investigator. For example experience working as a police officer.
      • Proof of successful training completion that is directly applicable to the role of a private investigator.
      • If you have moved to Manitoba from another Canadian Province or Territory which has a regulated training standard for private investigators, this may be recognized for proof of competency in Manitoba. You should contact the Private Investigators and Security Guards Program for more information.
      • A letter from a business licenced in Manitoba to provide private investigators which confirms your employment and their commitment to adequately training you to work as a private investigator. This should only be sought if you cannot satisfy one of the other three competency criteria.

    IMPORTANT: Only Canadian training standards/experience will be recognized for competency.

    • Digital photo image (jPeg file format) or ;
    • Paper photograph (colour) taken by a photo studio.
      • Digital photos on disc, flash drive, etc. are not accepted; forward a digital jPeg photo to pisg@gov.mb.ca
      • The style and quality of photograph submitted (both paper and digital) must be that which would be accepted for a passport application.
      • Photographs which do not satisfy the standards noted will not be accepted and may result in your application being returned.
      • Your photograph must be recent. If you change your appearance after submitting your photograph (cut your hair or grow facial hair, for example) you must provide a new photograph as soon as possible.
    • Payment of licence fee
      • Please note that all fees are non-refundable.
  2. After the application has been submitted, how long before I receive my licence?

    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.

  3. Do I have to work for a licensed business or registered employer?

    Yes.
    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.

  4. Must a licensed security guard or private investigator show their licence when asked?

    Yes.
    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.

  5. Can a security guard work for more than one employer?

    Yes.
    You can work for more than one employer, as long as they are licensed and/or registered under the Act.

  6. Can a security guard/private investigators use the following equipment?

    a. Batons/Nightsticks
    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.

    b. Firearms
    No, individuals licensed under The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act may not carry any type of restricted weapon.

    c. Handcuffs
    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.

  7. How are security guards and/or private investigators regulated and who ensures they are licenced?

    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.

  8. How do I get the training needed to become a security guard?

    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.

  9. Do I have to complete the mandatory training and pass the exam before I can be licensed?

    No.
    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.

  10. Can I get a licence as a security guard/private investigator if I have a criminal record?

    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.

  11. Who is notified if I have a criminal record and my licence is denied?

    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.

  12. Do I have to report if I have been charged and/or convicted of a criminal offence while I am licensed?

    Yes.
    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.

  13. If I have charges that have not been dealt with and/or have a record with a conviction(s), including a conditional discharge, do I still need to report the charge and/or convictions on my application?

    Yes.
    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.

  14. Is the licence fee refundable if I am not eligible for a licence?

    No.
    All fees are non-refundable.

  15. How long are the criminal record and child abuse registry checks and photo valid for?

    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

  16. How long is a security guard/private investigator licence valid for?

    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.

    IMPORTANT

    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

  17. How much does a licence cost?

    Fees for individual licences are as follows:

    Temporary Security Guard Licence
    (one-time, six month term for training purposes):

    $30.00

    Private Investigator or Security Guard Licence:

    $30.00 annually

    Dual Licence (Private Investigator and Security Guard):

    $60.00 annually

    Please note that an individual is entitled to one temporary security guard licence only.

  18. Once my application is dropped off, faxed, mailed or e-mailed to the Private Investigator and Security Guard program can I start work right away?

    No.
    You can not start work until you receive your licence.

  19. What types of licence fee payments are accepted?

    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.

  20. Do security guards have any "powers of arrest?"

    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.

  21. Must I wear a uniform while working as a security guard?

    Yes.
    Subsection 33(1) of The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act provides that you must wear a uniform while acting as a security guard.

  22. Are there restrictions on the type of uniform I can wear as a security guard?

    Yes.
    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.

  23. Can I obtain a uniform exemption and not have to wear a uniform?

    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.

  24. Can private investigators wear uniforms?

    No.
    The Act says that private investigators cannot wear a uniform while working.

  25. May I use the term "private detective", “protection officer” or “law enforcement officer” when working as a security guard and/or private investigator?

    No.
    These terms are not allowed under the Act.

  26. May I carry a badge or "shield" when working as a security guard and/or private investigator to prove my authority or as identification?

    No.
    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.

  27. What is the Manitoba Security Guard Training Program?

    The program is a 40 hour training course designed to provide security guards with the basic knowledge needed to perform work safely and professionally.

  28. How much does the training and exam cost?

    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.

  29. What do I need to do after passing the final exam?

    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.

  30. Is everyone required to attend the training program or write the exam?

    No.
    There are some exceptions:

    Exam Challenge

    To be considered for an exam challenge you must:

    1. Provide the Private Investigators and Security Guards program with proof that you have sufficient prior work experience that relates directly to duties performed by a security guard; or
    2. Provide the Private Investigators and Security Guards program with proof of having worked as a security guard for a minimum of 1500 hours within the two years immediately prior to requesting the exam challenge.  Hours worked as a security guard with a temporary security guard licence cannot be used to support an exam challenge request.

    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.

  31. Am I required to repeat or renew my training?

    No.
    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.