In order to become a private investigator in BC, you need to complete an online ministry-approved private investigator course offered by the Justice Institute of BC. The modules taught during the course include licensing, liability and safety, laws and legal systems relating to the private investigator’s occupation, duties and powers of a private investigator, structure of the Canadian judicial system, basic tools of the trade and technological aids. The course offers a certificate of completion.

You must obtain the certificate before you can register for the exam. The online exam must be completed under supervision. Registration fee for the exam and the test lasts for two hours. The passing rate is 70%.

BC Security Worker License

Upon successful completion of the exam, you need to apply for a BC Security Worker license which would allow you to work as a private investigator under supervision. You are required to work for 2,000 hours before you can apply for an “unrestricted” BC private investigator license. You must be employed by a private investigation firm during that time and you can’t offer your professional services to a customer directly.

Other requirements to become a BC investigator are that a candidate must be at least 19 years of age and finished high school or obtained their GED certificate. They also must be fluent in English.

If you have been employed by the Canadian Police Force for at least five years, then you don’t need to take the course and, unless it’s been over five years since you retired from the Force, you may apply for the BC private investigator license directly.


The fundamental skill a private investigator needs to abide the profession in BC is communication. Ability to communicate well is significant because a private investigator is often asked to present evidence in the court of law and because it is important for an investigator to be able to connect with the clientele, especially when they are hired to handle sensitive cases. Also, interviewing people is a big part of a private investigator’s job.

Common Sense

It is also important for a private investigator to have a good common sense about things. Quite a lot of time will be spent gathering information and observing situations – a good private investigator needs to understand the significance of what he or she is working with. Analytical skills are vital to the job.

Being able to execute his or her duties is something a private investigator must be able to do. This skill is tied closely with the investigator’s ability to coordinate – working on multiple cases is quite common and the investigator should be able to multitask and complete the tasks required for the investigation.