How to become a PI in BC

In British Columbia, private investigators as well as locksmiths, security guards, security systems installers all fall under the category of Security Worker. The following link explains how to become a Professional Private Investigator in British Columbia and provides all the relevant links to government forms. BC Security Industry Licensing

The following information pertains on to the private investigators security worker category.

Training Requirements

Persons entering the PI field are required by British Columbia Security Programs Registrar to complete the Introduction to Private Investigation (IPI) course and pass a Provincial Licensing exam. The IPI Course and Exam are available through the Professional Security Knowledge Network.

Persons entering the PI field do so as ‘under supervision’ investigators. They are required to accumulate 2000 hours of training and work experience before they qualify for an ‘unrestricted’ private investigator’s license.

PIABC also recommends intermediate and advanced courses for those who are involved in professional investigation careers. Membership in PIABC may qualify you for discounts for many of the courses.

A PI cannot work directly for any client. A PI can only be an employee of a private investigation firm licensed by the Registrar. Only PI businesses licensed by the Security Programs Registrar can work for clients.

You must have an ‘unrestricted’ PI license before you can start your own business. If you qualify to own a private investigation business, then applying for such a security business license is straightforward. Your PI business must prove that you have appropriate Commercial General Liability as well as Errors and Omissions


  1. Register for the online course. Registering and completion of this course is mandatory for getting a PI license. Professional Security Knowledge Network
  2. Request the study guide and subscribe to the PIABC Newsletter at Student Subscription .  The study guide identifies the 400 areas where formal exam questions come from.
  3. Do the exams at the end of each chapter within the course material. These are easy questions but passing them is required to get a certificate of completion. These exams are different from the licensing prequalification exam.
  4. Take the practice exam which will give you an idea if you are ready for the more challenging exam questions. The practice exam has questions that include some of the questions on the actual exam. This is optional but highly recommended.
  5. Get your certificate of completion from Professional Security Knowledge Network after you finish the chapters and assessment exams for the online course.
  6. Upon completion of your IPI course, send a request to to write your online proctored exam. Online Proctored exam are written through eProctor Canada and can be written Tuesday through Friday.
  7. Upon passing your Provincial Licensing exam, PSKN will send you a copy of your Provincial exam certificate of passing the provincial proctored exam.  PSKN will send your Provincial Exam marks to the British Columbia Security Programs Registrar.
  8. Apply for your PI under supervision license through the Province of British Columbia Security Worker License Application
  9. Get your fingerprints taken at your local constabulary and have criminal record check results sent to Registrar of British Columbia.
  10. Submit your application form to Security Worker License Application