1. Who is PIABC?

PIABC is a volunteer association that represents the industry, and is administered by a volunteer board.  Its primary function is to represent the industry with Government and the Public, as well as educate the industry with continuous training.

2. Who performs Licensing?

Licensing is administered by the BC Government in Victoria under Security Programs Division and all the details and requirements are available here.

3. Who needs to be licensed in this profession?

In British Columbia, professional investigators as well as locksmiths, security guards, security systems installers fall under the category of Security Worker. The government site explains how to become a licensed investigator in British Columbia and provides all the relevant links to government forms here.

4. How does one enter the industry with no experience?

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’ investigator’s license. Training is available through the Canadian Police Knowledge Network.

5. When can I apply for a license?

Before applying to the Govt Registrar for an investigator license, you must complete the online course Introduction to Professional Investigation by the Private Security Training Network (Canadian Police Knowledge Network) or an equivalent course by another school. PIABC recommends CPKN.

6. What if I’m from another province, and already have a license or law enforcement experience?

If you have private investigation (or security consulting) training or certification from another Province but want to work in British Columbia, submit documentation demonstrating your training and experience to the Government Registrar sgspdsec@gov.bc.ca

7. Can I work directly for clients or public?

No.  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 or public.

8. How can I start an agency?

You must have an ‘unrestricted’ PI license before you can start your own business, and years of experience, that is well documented and reviewed by the BC government.

9. Where can I get more information on licensing?

Please review the government site for more info, and then we look forward to you joining our Association.   You can also join as an out of province member as well.  Become a member.