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A letter from the President

29 October 2023 7:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

October 29, 2023

Dear CPIO Members,

I trust everyone is well, busy, and enjoying a good work/life balance.

As we are nearing our Professional Development Day (PD Day), not to mention the tail end of 2023, there are a few things I wanted to bring to your attention:

  1. Private Investigator License Cards
  2. CPIO Designation CPE (Continuing Professional Education) Credit Requirements
  3. Membership Benefits

As some of you are aware, the last PI License cards were printed and sent out by the Ministry at the end of September 2023. From October 1, 2023, onwards, all licenses will be digital. This has caused a number of complaints, some more serious than others. Our major concern is the ease with which the existing digital licenses can be manipulated by unscrupulous actors. Another flaw is the reliance on a charged, operative cellphone in a good reception area with sufficient data. Bad reception and/or a dying battery are commonplace.

We have been advised by the Director/Registrar of the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB) of the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SOLGEN) that our primary concern is being addressed. The Ministry is currently designing a new type of digital license that will be far more difficult to manipulate. In conjunction, there will be changes to the Service Ontario portal used to confirm the validity of a license. The information is to include the name under which the license is held, the category and the status of the license.

With respect to other concerns, apparently, we can expect our driver’s licenses to become digital in the near future and it is anticipated that everyone will have a digital wallet on their cellphones, with all their ID, credit cards, etc.

We are monitoring the situation and have a good relationship with SOLGEN. We will keep you updated with any developments.

CPIO Designations. A little over two years ago, we unveiled the CPIO Designation program, and it has been a huge success. For the first time in Canada, it is possible to differentiate a Professional Investigator from a Senior Investigator from a Master Investigator. Previously, anyone with a few years of surveillance experience under their belt was marketing themselves as a senior investigator, irrespective of their training, ability to write reports, ability to do a background check or even use a computer to advance their investigations. Now, a CPIO Certified Senior Investigator really is a senior investigator. They have a minimum of 5 years field experience, they have completed the Toddington OSINT and SOCMINT courses (with an 80% or greater passing grade in the CPIO exam), they have completed the Report Writing and Note Taking course and they have completed two other industry related courses of their choice. I think you will agree that from an employment perspective, a professional perspective and from the perspective of our clients, a CPIO Certified Senior Investigator is the person you want on your side.

To keep your Designation, you need to be a licensed PI, a CPIO Member in good standing and you need to obtain 20 CPE Credits per year. In January 2024, you will be asked to attest that you have acquired your CPE Credits and, if not, you will be given until the end of March to do so. It has been said that it is too expensive to maintain the CPIO Designation. Membership fees have not been increased for many years. Members get a minimum of 10 free webinars per year, which equates to 10 CPE Credits. Professional Development Day (Thursday, November 16, 2023) carries another 6 CPE Credits and is free for Members who pay for an Agency Membership. The FIT conferences carried another 7 to 8.5 CPE Credits. The cost of maintaining the Designation is designed to be based on how professional the designation holder wants to be, not how deep their wallets are (digital or otherwise!).

To assist those who are behind in their CPE Credits, the CPIO will offer all courses at a 50% discount for Members, until the end of March 2024. The dates of the 2024 courses are being arranged and will be advertised shortly. Each course carries 14 to 16 Credits and can be used to advance through the Designations or as a special interest course, whichever is applicable.

Let me ask you: Would you hire an electrician, for instance, who says they are a professional? Or would you rather hire an electrician that you know did 8,160 hours as an apprentice and received their certification by passing their exams? Why is the PI industry any different to many other industries (including legal, medical, insurance, police, teachers, to mention a few) that require their Members to have continuing education and attain a certain number of CPE Credits, or the like, each year? And why should our clients not demand the same? I would like to believe that we, as professional investigators, are willing to build the experience necessary, seek out new training opportunities and strive to be the best we can be so that we can be recognized by our peers and our industry as being worthy of the title: Professional, Senior, or Master Investigator.

So, I urge you to attend our PD Day and to take one (or more) of the many courses offered; your total cost will be equivalent to a reasonable night out and you will learn from experts as well as retain your professional designation for 2024. For those of you who have yet to commence the designation process, this is an ideal time to start.

What about membership benefits? In addition to being a Member of the largest professional organization in our industry in Canada; in addition to free webinars and professional courses specifically designed for PIs; in addition to the three-tier designation program; and in addition to the CPIO working with SOLGEN and other government entities on our industry’s behalf; Members can now go to the Community Partners section of the CPIO website to access affordable healthcare insurance, as well as obtain discounts from Kal-Tire and Henry’s!

I hope to see you all at the Professional Development Day on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

Stay safe everyone!

Yours sincerely,

James Meadway, CPIO-MI, CFE

President, CPIO


The Council of Professional Investigators of Ontario (CPIO) is dedicated to the representation of the profession of Private Investigators in the Province of Ontario, through the development and application of industry training, professional standards, and code of ethics.


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