How is the BSP protecting the public?

Role of BSP

The mission of BSP is to protect the public. To do so, it is responsible for enforcing the Private Security Act (PSA) and its regulations and issuing private security agent and agency licences.

Among other things, BSP ensures that:

  • Any individual who carries on or any enterprise that offers private security activities in Quebec has the required licence(s):
  • Only individuals and enterprises that meet the licensing criteria are issued such licences;
  • Licence holders fulfill their obligations throughout the validity period of their licenses.

The purpose of regulating this industry is to give you peace of mind and confidence in private security providers.

Continue reading to discover the six main private security activity sectors covered by the PSA, and realize the importance of requiring the BSP licence!

Six main private security activity sectors

Did you know that you interact with private security providers more often than you think ?

Here are a few examples:

  • You see security agents at the entrances to many buildings or businesses.
  • You hire a private investigator for personal or professional reasons.
  • You have the locks on your house changed.
  • You have a home alarm system installed or repaired.
  • An agency is responsible for transporting your company's currency.
  • An advisor suggests a detailed analysis of your company's security needs.

These are just a few scenarios from the six main activity sectors in question.  

Private security activities subject to the PSA

Security guarding

Watching or protection persons, property, or premises, mainly to prevent crime and maintain order.


Searching for persons, information, or property, particularly:

  • Searching for information on an offence or
  • Collecting information on the character or conduct of individuals

Locksmith work 

Locksmith work, namely:

  • Keying
  • lnstalling, maintaining, and repairing mechanical and electronic locking devices
  • Installing, maintaining, and repairing or changing the combinations of safes, vaults, and safety deposit boxes
  • Designing and managing master key systems

  • Maintaining key code records

  • Cutting keys otherwise than by duplicating existing keys

  • Unlocking a building door, piece of furniture, or safe otherwise than by using a key or following the prescribed procedure.

Electronic security systems  

Installing, maintaining and repairing, and ensuring the continuous remote monitoring of:

  • Burglar or intrusion alarm systems

  • Video surveillance systems or

  • Access control systems

(except vehicle security systems).

Transport of valuables  

The transport of valuables.

Security consulting  

Providing consulting services on protection against theft, intrusion, or vandalism independently from other private security activities, particularly by:

  • Developing plans or specifications or

  • Presenting projects

Verifications for your protection!

Before issuing a licence, each application is thoroughly analysed by the BSP multidisciplinary team.


To obtain an agency licence and keep it valid, enterprises must meet the following criteria:

Security Checks:
When applying, and each year thereafter, the representative, owner, shareholders or partners with a major interest in the enterprise, and directors are subjet to a Sûreté du Québec security check to ensure they are of good moral character and have never been convicted of a criminal offence related to the private security activity provided by the agency.

Agencies must have a civil liability insurance covering any wrongful act that occurs in the performance of their private security activities.

BSP continuously ensures that agencies are not in a bankruptcy situation.

Agencies must provide BSP with a security to guarantee the performance of certain of their obligations.


To obtain an agent licence and keep it valid, individuals must meet the following criteria:

Mandatory training is required for most private security activities. Agents may also demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills to meet this criterion. This requirement promotes the quality of available services and enhances the industry's professionalism.

Security Checks:
When applying for a licence, agents are subject to a Sûreté du Québec security check to ensure they are of good moral character and have never been convicted of a criminal offence related to the private security activity they wish to carry on.

Individuals who are issued a licence will be subject to continuous security monitoring by Sûreté du Québec.

Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Resident Status, or work permit in Canada:

In order to obtain an agent licence, a person must have Canadian citizenship, permanent resident status or a work permit in Canada issued by the competent authority. It is the duty of this person to ensure that his or her work permit is in force for the time that he or she wishes to carry on private security activities and to notify the Bureau when his or her work permit is no longer valid. 


Physical and Mental Condition:

The applicant for an agent licence must be in a physical and mental condition enabling him or her to carry on the private security activity for which the licence is applied for. At the time of the application, or at any time during the validity of the licence, the Bureau may require a medical certificate certifying to this fact.

Standards of Conduct:

Agent licence holders must follow the standards of conduct set forth in the regulations. As a member of the public, you have the right to expect agents to:

  • Conduct themselves so as to preserve the trust required by the exercise of their functions
  • Present their licence when requested to identify themselves;
  • Avoid any form of abuse of authority in their relations with any person;
  • Act with competence and professionalism;
  • Exercise their functions by showing the highest degree of integrity, competence, vigilance, diligence, and care;
  • Exercise their functions with dignity and loyalty and avoid any situation of conflict of interest;
  • Exercise discretion regarding matters of which they have knowledge in the exercise of their functions and respect the confidential nature of the information thus received;
  • Use a firearm with caution and judgment, where authorized.

For more details and examples of these main principles, we invite you to read the Regulation respecting standards of conduct.  

Do you have doubts about the actions of an agent and think he/she has violated the standards of conduct ? Please inform us by filing a complaint

How can you be sure you're doing business with a valid licence holder?

Every private security enterprise is required to display its agency licence in full view at each of its business places in Quebec. Ask to see it if you go there in person!

Agents must present their licence to identify themselves if you ask them do do so. Feel free to ask them!

In any case, make sure the licence you're shown is valid. You can use the Register of licence holders online to find out the status of a licence in real time. Check it out now!

A licence is mandatory. Require it!

It's important to require the agent and/or agency licence, and to ensure such licence is valid.

In Quebec:

  • Any enterprise offering private security activities covered by the PSA must hold an agency licence in the appropriate class(es).
  • Any individual carrying on a private security activity covered by the PSA must hold an agent licence in the appropriate class(es).

Caution! An individual entrepreneur must hold both an agency licence AND an agent licence in the same class.

Have you observed an individual carrying out private security activities or a business offering private security services without a licence in the appropriate class? Please inform us by filing a complaint