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Private Investigations, Security Guards & Burglar Alarms

Through the Consumer Affairs Division, the department licenses and regulates activities relating to private investigations, security guards and burglar alarms.

What is an Agency?

There are four types of agencies:

  • burglar alarm - the business of selling, providing, installing or servicing burglar alarm systems or monitoring a signal from premises protected by a burglar alarm system or providing the services of burglar alarm agents who sell, install, service, test or patrol a burglar alarm system or act as operators to receive signals or respond in person to alarm warnings of a burglar alarm system;
  • private investigation - the business of providing the services of private investigator agents who, for hire or reward, investigate and provide information, and includes a person who searches for and provides information as to the personal character or actions of a person, or the character or kind of business or occupation of a person, searches for offenders against the law, searches for missing persons or property, performs shopping or other services in civilian or plain clothes for a client for the purpose of reporting to the client upon the conduct, integrity or trustworthiness of his or her employees, or provides services in civilian or plain clothes for the prevention or detection of shoplifting;
  • security consulting - the business of providing the services of security consultant agents who, for hire or reward, advise and consult on security systems for premises or other property and does not otherwise act as a private investigator, security guard or burglar alarm agent and includes a person who inspects premises or other property for devices capable of intercepting private communications;
  • security guard - the business of providing the services of security guards, guard dogs or armoured vehicle guards who, for hire or reward, guard or patrol for the purpose of protecting persons or property and includes a person who, on behalf of his or her employer, supervises and inspects security guards while they are guarding or patrolling, guards or transports valuable property in an armoured vehicle whether or not the property is owned by his or her employer, or accompanies a guard dog while the dog is guarding or patrolling.

You are not considered an agency or an agent if you are:

  • barristers or solicitors in the practice of their profession or the permanent employees of those barristers or solicitors in that practice;
  • persons who search for and provide information as to the financial credit rating of persons, to employers as to the qualifications and suitability of their employees or prospective employees, or as to the qualifications and suitability of applicants for insurance and indemnity bonds, and who do not otherwise act as private investigators;
  • members of The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires while acting within the objects of its incorporation;
  • insurance adjusters and their employees licensed under the Insurance Adjusters Act while acting in the usual and regular scope of their employment or the permanent employees of the adjusters while so acting;
  • insurers licensed under the Insurance Companies Act while acting in the usual and regular scope of their employment or the permanent employees of the insurers while so acting;
  • persons living outside the province who are employees in good faith of private investigation or security guard agencies licensed or registered in a jurisdiction outside the province who on behalf of an employer or client who lives outside the province, make an investigation or inquiry partly outside the province and partly within the province, and come into the province solely for the purpose of the investigation or inquiry;
  • a person who sells or provides a burglar alarm system where no survey or inspection of the premises to be protected by the system is carried out by his or her agent or employee and the person does not install, service, test, monitor or patrol the system;
  • a person who is not in the employ of a burglar alarm agency and who installs a burglar alarm system where specialized and final connections necessary to make the system operable are made by a licensed burglar alarm agent on the direction of his or her agency employer, or acts as an operator to receive a signal from a burglar alarm system where the service is provided without remuneration;
  • a person who is permanently employed by 1 employer in a business or undertaking other than the business of providing services of agents and whose work is confined to the affairs of that employer is not required to be licensed under the Act.

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How to become licenced as an Agency

Before operating in Newfoundland and Labrador, a business entity wishing to become an agency, where applicable, must comply with the following:

  • complete an Agency Application opens new window (146 KB) and submit a registration fee of $300.00 for each licence class. Cheques are to be made payable to the Newfoundland Exchequer Account;
  • if the business entity is a corporation, be in good standing as a company. If the corporation is outside Newfoundland and Labrador then it must be registered as an extra provincial corporation in this province. Please refer to the Registry of Companies for more information;
  • have a permanent place of business in the Province which is approved by the Administrator;
  • provide a Surety Bond opens new window (19 KB) in the amount of:
    one to five agents/security guards $5,000
    six to ten agents/security guards $10,000
    eleven or more agents/security guards $15,000
  • submit along with the application a description of the uniform and sample of the crest to be used. The uniform shall not resemble nor be easily confused with the uniforms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and must display on the sleeves of all visible dress at the shoulders the words "security guard" or "security" in clear legible letters not less than 9.1 millimetres in height woven into the fabric of the uniform or of a patch securely attached to it in such a way as to be legible whether in combination with other letters or symbols.
  • submit along with the application a criminal record screening certificate or a letter of conduct for the manager of a corporate applicant, partners of a partnership, or individual applicant. If one of the preceding has a criminal conviction the application must be accompanied by a previous convictions/findings of guilt report for that person. Applicants who are licenced in another province can submit a copy of their licence in lieu of a screening certificate or letter of conduct.

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How to become licenced as an Agent

Before operating in Newfoundland and Labrador a person wishing to become an Agent, must comply with the following:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a person with the status of a landed immigrant and be 19 years of age or older;
  • for new applicants, complete an Agent Application opens new window (146 KB) and submit a registration fee of $30.00 for each licence class. For transferring agents, complete a Renewal/Transfer Agent Application PDF (114 KB) and submit a transfer fee of $10.00 for each licence class. Cheques are to be made payable to the Newfoundland Exchequer Account;
  • submit along with the application a criminal record screening certificate or a letter of conduct. If the applicant has a criminal conviction the application must be accompanied by a previous convictions/findings of guilt report. Applicants who are licenced in another province can submit a copy of their resident province licence in lieu of a screening certificate or letter of conduct. A person shall not hold a licence as an agent where the person has been found guilty or convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code opens new window that the Administrator considers relevant to his or her fitness to act as an agent and a Pardon opens new window has not been granted in respect of the discharge or conviction.
  • please note there is no licencing requirement for a security guard. An applicant for a private investigation agent licence shall provide proof of successful completion of an approved training course. An applicant who has not completed the training course may be granted a licence which is subject to enrollment in an approved training course within four months of licencing and successful completion of the training within twelve months of licencing.

An applicant for a security guard or private investigation agent licence shall provide proof of successful completion of an approved training course. An applicant who has not completed the training course may be granted a licence which is subject to enrollment in an approved training course within four months of licencing and successful completion of the training within twelve months of licencing.

A peace officer shall not act as an agent or be eligible for licensing under this Act.

A licensed private investigator shall not seek or accept employment with more than 1 private investigation agency at one time.

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What an Agency should know

An agent and agency licence, unless sooner revoked, shall expire 12 months from the date of issue. The appropriate renewal application, either a Renewal/Transfer Agent Application opens new window (114 KB) with a licence fee of $30.00 for each licence class or a Renewal/Transfer Agency Application opens new window (148 KB) with an agency licence fee of $300.00 for each licence class, shall be submitted to the Administrator within 30 days of the expiry of the licence. Applications for renewal will be sent to the Agency’s mailing address 60 days prior to the expiry date of licences.

No insignia or markings on vehicles or equipment operated by agencies shall be designed in a manner which would resemble the markings or the insignia of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

A branch office of an agency shall not be opened or operated unless the person who carries on the business of the agency holds a licence to operate the branch office.

A person licensed to carry on the business of an agency shall within 5 days notify the administrator in writing of:

  • a change in the address of his or her office or a branch of it;
  • a change in the officers, directors or members in the case of an association of individuals, partnership or corporation;
  • a termination of employment of an individual licensed under this Act;
  • a change affecting the management of the business;
  • where a person licensed to carry on the business of an agency or to act as an agent has been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code or under this Act, that person shall immediately notify the administrator in writing of the charge and the particulars of it;
  • where a person licensed to act as an agent has had his or her employment terminated, the holder of the licence shall immediately return the licence to the administrator;

A person shall not carry on the business of an agency in a name other than that in which he or she is licensed.

A licensee shall not act as a collector of accounts or undertake, or hold himself or herself out or advertise as undertaking to collect accounts for a person either with or without remuneration.

A person engaged in a business or employment, whether licensed under this Act or otherwise, shall not use the expression "private detective" in connection with the business or employment or hold himself or herself out as a private detective.

A private investigator, while acting as a private investigator, shall not wear a uniform or carry or display a badge, shield, card or other evidence of authority except the licence issued to him or her under this Act and a business card containing no reference to licensing under this Act.

A private investigator or burglar alarm agent, while acting as an agent, shall carry on his or her person the licence issued to him or her under this Act and shall produce it for inspection at the request of a person.

A security guard or burglar alarm agent shall wear a uniform that is required by the Regulations while acting as an agent.

An Agency shall not employ a security guard, unless that person has provided a clear letter of conduct to the agency and successfully completed a training program that meets the training criteria established by the Administrator. For more details on the letter of conduct and training requirements please Contact our office.

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Private Investigation and Security Services Links

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Private Investigation and Security Services Forms, Pamphlets and Information

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