Online Private Investigator Training Course

Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Take the first step towards your goal of becoming a Private Investigator with ICS Canada’s online Private Investigator Career Diploma training course. Private investigators have exciting and challenging careers conducting investigations involving missing persons, corporate intelligence, or other fascinating areas. Our training program can teach you how to perform private investigator duties. Study at home, on the go, and all at a pace that’s right for you. ICS Canada provides training that can help you pursue your passion for solving mysteries and take the first step towards a new career as a private investigator.¹

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students to gain entry-level employment in an investigative agency as a private investigator.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the career opportunities that exist for private investigators, including the characteristics and skills necessary to succeed in the field
  • Differentiate between criminal law and civil law, and outline how tort law and civil law affect private investigations in Canada
  • Describe the elements of effective communication and its role in private investigation practice
  • Recognize available information sources, and explain how to access various records and information sources that can assist in an investigation
  • Identify the role of the computer in private investigation, including the basic security measures for using databases and computer forensics
  • Describe various methods of reporting investigative findings to clients, including the best reporting format for each type of case and best practices for preparing reports
  • Outline the role of observations and descriptions in investigations, and develop a systematic method of observing and describing persons, places, and things that will help make an investigation successful
  • Identify different types of cases that require surveillance, and recognize the different types, methods, and techniques of surveillance to use
  • Name equipment used by private investigators, including operational, surveillance, evidence collection, and safety equipment
  • Recognize the proper methods for obtaining, recording, preserving, and analyzing evidence; explain the role of expert witnesses
  • Recognize the skills and techniques necessary to providing protection services, such as executive and bodyguard protection
  • Outline the role of the investigator in access control and discuss the various locks, alarms, and design elements to safeguard physical security, information security, and personnel security
  • Discuss the role of providing security in special settings, and identify the security problems, special characteristics, and crime-prevention programs applicable to each setting
  • Specify the role of the investigator in a variety of Canadian investigations, and list the many types of investigations, the way in which evidence is gathered, and the proper procedures and techniques used to gather evidence

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies

The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

Investigation as a Career

Various job opportunities in private investigating; how to collect and use information; how to perform private investigations; the difference between the real world of private investigations and the fictional version described by writers and moviemakers; basic knowledge of related fields you might need to call on as an investigator; personal characteristics of a private investigator.

Instruction Set 2

Principles of Law in Investigation

The principles of law related to private investigations; the basics of the legal system; Supreme Court cases and constitutional amendments related to private investigation; local, state, and federal laws that affect the work of a private investigator.

Communication Skills and Investigation

The importance of communication skills in private investigation; verbal and nonverbal communication; developing good communication skills; how having good communication skills helps the investigator gather information.

Instruction Set 3

Sources of Information

Classifications of investigative information resources; role of the Internet in private investigation; differences between public and private records; computerized databases; field investigation.

The Computer and Investigation

The role of the computer in investigation; personal computer technology; using online computer databases; computer security issues; using the Internet in investigations.

Truth-Finding methods: Interview and Interrogation Techniques

Preparing for the interview; conducting the interview; conducting the interrogation; polygraph examination; rights of suspects.

Instruction Set 4


Basics of report writing; how to report to clients; appropriate use of intermediate reports and final reports; how to prepare a report; when to verbally advise a client.

Observation and Documentation

How the terms observation and documentation are related to investigations; systematic approach to observing persons, objects, events, and places; systematic approach to asking others for their observations and documentation in interviews; building a rapport with a witness; observing and interpreting body language.


How to plan, prepare, and conduct a surveillance; when to use foot and vehicular surveillance; how to detect and defend against counter-surveillance; the use of photographic equipment for surveillance; the techniques of covert photography; appropriate indoor and outdoor observation posts; recording in the surveillance log.

Instruction Set 5

Equipment for Private Investigators

The equipment used by private investigators, including operational equipment, surveillance equipment, evidence collection equipment, and safety equipment.


Obtaining, recording, preserving, and analyzing evidence; processing an arson crime scene; getting evidence admitted into court; obtaining dental records and identifying what records are important.

Instruction Set 6

Executive Protection and Bail Enforcement

Differences between body guarding and executive protection; adequate budget and authority for executive protection; risks of protecting a person; protection techniques; relationship between a bodyguard and a principal.

Security Management, Part 1

Opportunities for trained security personnel; access control - a working definition; access control terminology; environmental design; lighting in crime prevention locks.

Security Management, Part 2

Security in special settings; types of crimes associated with each setting; concepts associated with each setting; crime prevention strategies; railway and port security.

Instruction Set 7

The Canadian Private Investigator's Manual

Qualities of a successful private investigator; investigative procedures; obtaining and retrieving information; special investigations.

Additional Material

Textbook: The Canadian Private investigator's Manual

Work Experience Option: (Not required for graduation.)

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
* Perspective students should note that completion of this program does not automatically qualify them to obtain a licence as a private investigator. Licencing requirements vary from province to province. Students are advised to check with their provincial regulatory agent to determine what additional training, if any, they will need in order to obtain a licence as a private investigator.

Sample Lesson

To view a Private Investigator sample lesson, click here.

Private Investigator Training Course Details

In ICS Canada’s Private Investigator course you’ll cover topics such as:

  • Surveillance
  • Corporate espionage
  • Firearm usage and safety
  • Undercover investigations

Private Investigator Student Discount Program

Personal Defense Network Video Resources
Students enrolled in the Private Investigator Career Diploma Program are eligible for discounted rates for the Personal Defense Network premium online how-to videos. This video resource site can serve as a supplement to your ICS Canada program, but is not required to complete your coursework. Learn more about this offer here.


Online private investigator training course

Here are a few qualities that effective private investigators have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and be able to analyze a situation.
  • Dependable: Clients and law enforcement rely on you to be organized and prepared.
  • Persistent: You work well under pressure and in the face of obstacles.
  • Honest: You are honest and ethical in investigations and security concerns.

"I chose to further my education and accounting knowledge with ICS Canada while working as an accounting clerk, which allowed me to move up within the company at which I am currently working. Studying with ICS Canada was a great experience, and the instructors were very helpful when it came to resolving any issues I had while studying."

- Sean S., ICS Canada graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does ICS Canada offer career services to its students?

Yes, students have access to career services through Career Cruising as soon as they are enrolled with ICS Canada. Career Cruising offers students with tips on setting up a career portfolio, learning assessments to find the right job fit, employment guides with interview do’s and don’ts, and resume writing tips.

More FAQs >

¹ Prospective students should note that completion of this program does not automatically qualify them to obtain a license as a private investigator. Licensing requirements vary from province to province. Students are advised to check with their provincial regulatory agent to determine what additional training, if any, they will need in order to obtain a license as a private investigator. This is particularly important for students who reside in British Columbia and Ontario.