Frequently asked questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is a quick way for you to find the information you need. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, see the different sections for information to help you in your research.

For more information, contact us.  

GENERAL INFORMATION

You can perform a search by name or licence number in the Register of Licence Holders to verify in real time if a person or a business holds a valid and proper licence.

You can ask agents to identify themselves by showing their licence. Agencies must display in full view their licence in each of their business places.

The licence status must be listed as “valid” in the Register of Licence Holders. If the status is listed as “suspended”, “revoked”, “expired” or other, it means that the person or business is not allowed to carry on or offer services in private security.

Should you witness a person or business carrying on or offering private security activities without a valid licence in the appropriate class, we invite you to file a complaint.

Not necessarily. To obtain a correct search result, you must enter the exact name or licence number. It is possible that your search does not give any result due to an error in the name or licence number.

Also, some agents in the investigation and transport of valuables classes are exempted from being listed in the Register of Licence Holders for security reasons.

Should you need help in your search within the Register of Licence Holders, contact our Information Department at 514 748-7480 or our toll-free at 1 877 744-7700.

All private security agents must respect the standards of conduct as defined by the regulation.

Among other things, security agents must:

  • Behave in a manner that preserve the trust required by the exercise of their duties.
  • Identify themselves by presenting their licence when requested to identified themselves. 
  • Avoid any form of abuse in their relations with any person. 
  • Act with competence and professionalism. 
  • Perform their duties with the highest level of integrity, competence, vigilance, diligence and care. 
  • Perform their duties with dignity and loyalty and avoid any conflict of interest. 
  • Use discretion regarding matters of which they have knowledge in the exercise of their duties and respect the confidential nature of the information thus received. Use their firearm, when duties require it, with caution and judgment.

You have doubts about the way an agent behaves and you believe the said agent did not act according to the standards of conduct? Inform us about the situation by filing a complaint.  

We encourage any person to file a formal complaint to the Bureau if you witness one of the following situations:

A person acts as a private security agent without holding a licence
A business offers private security services without a valid licence
A security agent that has an unprofessional behaviour, in breach of  the standards of conduct
An employer that use the services of a person to perform private security activities, while he or she does not hold a valid and appropriate agent licence
Any other breach to the Private Security Act or its regulations.

To do so, consult the File a complaint section. 

ABOUT REGULAR AGENT LICENCE

Yes. Even if you hold a licence from another Canadian province, you must obtain a licence from the Bureau to carry out private security activities in the Province of Quebec. 

However, make sure to attach a copy of the licence you hold to your application. Holding a valid licence from another Canadian province may exempt you from the training that is required by regulation in this category of service. You must also provide a proof that you have attended first-aid training similar to the one that is mandatory in Quebec. 

Yes. You can apply for a licence even when you’re seeking employment in the private security industry. Also, your licence is still valid if you resign from your job.

However you must remember that you must inform the Bureau of any change or new employment in private security. You can get fined if you fail to do so.  

 

No. Only those holding a valid licence are allowed to carry out private security activities.

Therefore, you must wait to receive your licence before carrying out private security activities to avoid being liable for penal sanctions (fines). 

No. If you operate a business that offers private security services, you must hold an agency licence in one or several of the applicable categories. This includes self-employed workers that are operating, namely, as an individual entrepreneur or as a company with a sole shareholder/director. This also applies to the subcontractors of private security enterprises.

You must therefore hold two (2) licences:

  • An Agent Licence to carry out private security activities, and 
  • An Agency Licence of the same category to offer private security services. 

If you are an immediate supervisor of private security agents in the meaning of the Private Security Act, but you don’t personally perform private security duties, you must still hold an agent licence. However, you won’t have to comply with training requirements, and the said licence will be delivered, “without right to practise.”

According to the Private Security Act (PSA), an Immediate Supervisor is the first-level manager of a private security agent which responsibility consists in direct control of the work carried out by the agent.

An immediate supervisor does not necessarily have this position title within the organization; it’s the reporting relation with the agent that defines this role.

To know if you are considered an immediate supervisor according to the Private Security Act, write us at info@bspquebec.ca and provide a detailed job description.

Most of private security activities require that a person has successfully completed a mandatory training provided by regulation, depending on the licence category applied for.

However if you did not complete successfully the required training but believe you have equivalent knowledge and skills, you can ask the Bureau to analyze such equivalence,  based on relevant related training and experiences.

Consult the Required Training section to get all the information you need about the training criteria and the documents you must provide with your application. 

If you have been guilty of a criminal offence and were not granted a pardon for such offence, when submitting your licence application form to the Bureau, you must declare it in the space provided to this effect. Moreover, the Sûreté du Québec will inform the Bureau of such offence when conducting the security check.

The Bureau will need to decide if the offence for which you were guilty is related to the private security activity for which you are applying for an agent licence. If the Bureau concludes to this effect, your application will be refused.

Therefore it is up to you to decide if you want to apply for a licence despite this offence while keeping in mind that your application may be refused, with no fees refundable, or if you prefer to file your application only once you will be granted a pardon.

To obtain information on how to file an application for a pardon, we invite you to contact the Parole Board of Canada

Yes, you may, depending on the period elapsed since the discharge was granted.

Absolute or conditional discharge is not the equivalent of a pardon. Therefore, the Bureau must take this offence into consideration when analyzing your application or to decide if your licence can remain valid. In this regard, Section 6.1 of the Criminal Records Act (R.S.C. 1985 c. C-47) stipulates that this is only once a specified delay as elapse that rehabilitation become effective.

Therefore if you have been guilty of an offence for which you were granted absolute discharge, you must declare this offence for a period of one (1) year following the date of the discharge.

If you were granted conditional discharge, you must declare this  offence for a period of three (3) years following the discharge.

The Sûreté du Québec will inform the Bureau of any offence for which you have received discharge, within this timeframe. 

Only those holding an agent licence in the investigation or transport of valuables classes may be exempted from the Register of Licence Holders.

If you hold an agent licence in the investigation class, you must fill in the Application for exemption from the Public Security Agents Register. You will have to demonstrate that the disclosure of your information would be likely to hinder your activities and pose a serious threat to your safety.

If you hold an agent licence in the transport of valuables class, you will be automatically exempted from the Register of Licence Holders based on the nature of your duties and related risks. 

An agent licence is delivered for a period of five (5) years.

Annual Fee: To ensure a licence remains valid, the licence holder must pay the annual fees. The payment covers each category of licence the person holds while a portion covers the continuous security monitoring carried out by the Sûreté du Québec. This payment must be made every year, at the latest on the licence’s issuance anniversary date. Failure to do so will result in the licence to be suspended and possibly revoked due to failure of payment.

Renewal: In the course of the fifth year of validity of your licence, you will receive a notice to inform you that your licence will soon expire and that you must renew it. You must return your application for renewal with the required documents and payment at the latest 45 days prior to the expiry date of your licence. Failure to do so will result in the licence renewal to be denied, in which case you will have to submit a new licence application with all required documents and payments. Note that the renewal security verification fee is not the same as the annual security monitoring fee considering that the Sûreté du Québec must carry out a new and complete security verification.

If the licence is renewed, it will be valid for five (5) years during which you must pay the annual fees.

Yes, you can pay your agent licence fees at most financial institutions.

If you go to your bank in person, you must bring the original copy of the invoice issued for the annual fee including the invoice detailed portion and the remittance form.

You can also pay your annual fee at an ATM of your financial institution branch by using the remittance form or if the financial institution permits it via Internet or phone by using the “File Number” which you’ll find on the remittance portion of the invoice.

Please allow at least three (3) business days for the transmission of your payment to the Bureau for processing. Upon receiving your payment, we will send you a receipt.

If we don’t receive the payment of your annual fees at the latest on the anniversary date of your licence, your agent licence will be suspended and your employer will be informed. Upon suspension of your licence, you will be prohibited from carrying out private security activities, subject to penal sanctions.

In such case, for your agent licence to be valid again, you must pay the annual fees at the latest on the date indicated in the suspension notice.

If the non-payment situation is not rectified within this delay, your agent licence will be revoked, and your employer will be informed accordingly.

If your agent licence is revoked, if you wish to hold an agent licence again, you will be required to submit a new application by sending all required documents and payments. In such case, your application will be analyzed based on the applicable criteria. In addition, the licence holder that benefitted from the exemption of training according to Section 4 of the Regulation respecting the training required to obtain an agent licence to carry on private security activities will cease to benefit from such exemption since this person’s licence is no longer considered regularly renewed. 

Upon the suspension or revocation of your licence, or upon its expiration due to a refusal of renewal, you will be prohibited to carry on private security activities, subject to penal sanctions.

Also, your employer will be informed of the suspension, revocation or non-renewal of your licence.

If your licence is revoked, you must return it to us within 15 days. 

Don’t throw your licence away. You must return it within 15 days of its revocation. If you fail to do so, you may be fined.

As indicated in the decision you received, you may contest a decision made by the Bureau regarding your licence by filing a motion before the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec within 30 days of the receipt of the decision of suspending, revoking or not renewing your licence.

This being said, any decision the Bureau makes is immediately enforceable despite your contestation. Therefore, you must cease any private security activity upon the suspension, revocation or expiration of your licence, whether you agree or not with the Bureau’s decision. Failure to do so, your employer and yourself will be subject to penal sanctions.  

If you lose your licence, it is possible to obtain a replacement copy. To do so, you must fill in the Agent Licence Replacement Application form and mail it to us or bring it to the Bureau in person. The fee provided by regulation for a licence copy, plus taxes, will be required.  

No. You must keep your licence as long as it’s valid even if it’s your employer that paid for it since the licence is delivered to you regardless of your employment.

Should an employer require that you hand over your licence, please advise the Bureau at info@bspquebec.ca.

No. To this day, according to the Regulations respecting the training, as long as you licence is regularly renewed, you don’t have to demonstrate again that you meet the training requirements, including first-aid.

However, we strongly recommend that you keep your knowledge up to date, including the required first-aid training.   

We encourage you to file a formal complaint to the Bureau if you witness one of the following situations: 

  • A person that carries out private security duties without a valid agent licence 
  • A business that offers private security services without a valid agency licence 
  • A security agent that has an unprofessional behaviour, in breach of the standards of conduct. An employer that use the services of a person to perform private security activities, while he or she does not hold a valid and appropriate agent licence


Any other breach to the Private Security Act or its regulations

To do so, please consult the File a complaint section.

ABOUT TEMPORARY AGENT LICENCE

If you are the holder of a valid temporary agent licence for training (traineeship or work-study program), and meet the mandatory conditions to obtain a regular agent licence, please complete the 194.008 - Temporary Licence Conversion – Training form to apply for the conversion of your temporary licence into a regular agent licence of the same class.

If you are the holder of a valid temporary pandemic, special event or investigation agent licence, and meet the mandatory conditions to obtain a regular agent licence, please complete the 194.001 – Agent Licence Application form to proceed with such application. 

It is mandatory that your application is received by our team within the validity period of your temporary agent licence to benefit from the following rates:

If you are the holder of a valid temporary agent licence - training (traineeship or work-study program), the current conversion fee is the licence copy fee, plus applicable taxes.

If you are the holder of a valid temporary pandemic, special event or investigation agent licence, the fees are those of a new agent licence application. However, please note that no fees will be applied for security verification if your regular agent licence application is received by our team prior to the expiry date of your temporary licence.

For the current applicable rates, see our Fee schedule section

Unless there is a major turnaround in the pandemic evolution, October 31st, 2021 will be the last day to submit an application for a temporary licence in the context of the pandemic. In addition, temporary licences issued in this context and expiring after that date cannot be renewed.

The holder of such a licence may carry on private security activities during the validity period of his licence.

Internship: to complete an internship as part of a training that qualifies you to obtain a regular licence in this class.

Work-Study Program: to complete a training that qualifies you to obtain a regular licence of this class in a Work-Study Program.

Special needs of an investigation: in particular to act as an undercover agent or double agent.

Special event – Sporting or cultural activities.

Special event – Pandemic.

Special event – Labour dispute.

Special event – Disaster.

 

To submit your application, visit the "Apply Online"

ABOUT AGENCY LICENCE

No. Key cutting services from an existing key (duplicating existing keys) are not subject to the Private Security Act. Consequently, such a retail business is not required to hold a locksmith agency licence and its employees don’t have to hold a locksmith agent licence.

However, all retailers that install, maintain and repair mechanical or electronic unlocking devices must hold a locksmith agency licence, and their employees must hold a locksmith agent licence.  

Not necessarily. If the main activity of the business is not to offer private security services, it does not have to hold an agency licence. However, the persons hired within this inhouse security service  must hold a security agent licence in the proper category, subject to penal sanctions, both for the employee and employer.

For instance, a retail business that hires security guarding agent to prevent losses does not need to hold an agency licence since its main activity is to sell consumer goods and not to provide private security services. Therefore, such retail business does not have to apply for a security guarding agency licence. However, security guarding agents that are hired by such retailer must hold an agent licence in the security guarding class since their main duty is to carry out such private security activity.  

Yes. The Private Security Act provides that any person operating an enterprise offering a private security activity, as well as any natural person carrying on a private security activity, must hold an agency and an agent licence of the appropriate class.

On the one hand, the activity of electronic security systems subject to the Private Security Act includes, among other things, the continuous remote surveillance of burglar or intrusion alarm systems. Thus, for example, if you offer to act as an alarm respondent for one of your customers, you are offering an Electronic Security Systems service and your enterprise must hold an agency licence issued by the Bureau in such class. Also, anyone within your enterprise who performs the alarm response must hold an Electronic Security Systems agent licence.

On the other hand, if, as an alarm respondent for your clients, you also offer to go to their property to ensure the surveillance or protection of the premises when an alarm goes off, you are then offering a Security Guarding service, and therefore your enterprise must hold an agency licence issued by the Bureau in this class. Indeed, Security Guarding activity subject to the Private Security Act is defined as the surveillance or protection of persons, property or premises, mainly to prevent crime and maintain order. In such a case, any person within your enterprise who respond to the alarm without going to the premises will need to be licensed as an Electronic Security Systems Agent, and anyone who, in the event of an alarm, is going on the premises shall instead hold a Security Guarding Agent licence issued by the Bureau.

It should be noted that the registration, without financial compensation, of a neighbour, parent or friend on the list of respondents that would act on a voluntary basis if a burglary or intrusion detection alarm goes off, does not constitute an activity subject to the Private Security Act

Yes. Any person who operates a business that offers private security services in the Province of Quebec must hold an agency licence issued by the Bureau in the category of the said activity.

In addition, any agency licence holder must, among other things, have at least one establishment in the Province of Quebec. For all the requirements that must be met, visit the section New applicant for agencies.   

No. Only the persons holding a valid licence are authorized to offer private security services.

You must therefore wait for your agency licence to be delivered before offering any private security services. Failure to do so would lead to penal sanctions, which means that you can be fined.  

The following individuals related to the agency must undergo security verifications: 

  • The business owner 
  • All partners or shareholders that have a major interest in the agency 
  • All directors 

A significant interest means to hold directly or indirectly 10% or more of the shares in a partnership or 10% or more of voting shares in a company. 

For example, the following individuals must undergo security verifications:

  • Individual Entrepreneur: the owner or sole entrepreneur 
  • Partnership: partners holding directly or indirectly 10% or more of shares, and administrators, if applicable 
  • Company: shareholders holding directly or indirectly 10% or more of voting shares and members of the Board of Directors 

Do not confuse directors and officers. Only the directors must undergo verifications.

Is the owner, shareholder or partner of the agency is a legal entity?
In the case of a legal entity, shareholders and partners that hold, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of voting shares or shares, as the case may be, as well as the directors of this legal entity shall undergo security verifications.

In all cases all these people should be verified, whether they live here or abroad, since the territorial aspect does not affect the decision-making power within the company.

Here’s a practical advice to businesses with multi-level corporate structure: create an organizational chart and write the names of all partners or shareholders, and indicate their percentage of interest in the entity (shares or voting shares). Add the name of the directors for each these entities.

If you are a person related to the agency that must be the subject to security verifications according to the Private Security Act and that you were found guilty of a criminal offence for which pardon was not yet granted, you must declare it to the Bureau on the licence application form where required. Also, the Sûreté du Québec will inform the Bureau of such offence when conducting the security verification.

The Bureau will need to decide if the offence for which you were guilty is related to the private security activity for which your company is applying for an agency licence.
Should the Bureau conclude to this effect, a notice of denial will be sent to the representative to give the agency and granting a delay to provide any observation of other relevant documents. This time will allow your business to change representative, dismiss a director or buy back shares or voting shares of the partner or shareholder, as applicable, in order to become compliant with the requirements of the Private Security Act..

It is therefore your business responsibility to decide if you want to apply for an agency licence despite the offence of a person related to your company by keeping in mind that your application may be refused due to such offence, only one-half of the licence fees being refundable, or that your business may be obliged to change the status of the said person within the agency.

For information on how to ask for a pardon, contact the Parole Board of Canada.  

Yes, you may, depending on the period elapsed since the discharge was granted.

Absolute or conditional discharge is not the equivalent of a pardon. Therefore, the Bureau must take this offence into consideration when analyzing your application or to decide if your licence can remain valid. In this regard, Section 6.1 of the Criminal Records Act (R.S.C. 1985 c. C-47) stipulates that this is only once a specified delay as elapse that rehabilitation become effective.

Therefore if you have been guilty of an offence for which you were granted absolute discharge, you must declare this offence for a period of one (1) year following the date of the discharge.

If you were granted conditional discharge, you must declare this offence for a period of three (3) years following the discharge.

The Sûreté du Québec will inform the Bureau of any offence for which you have received discharge, within this timeframe. 

Your agency licence or an official copy thereof must be clearly displayed in each of the agency’s business places.

To obtain a copy of your licence, you must send a request to the Bureau by filling in the appropriate form. The fee provided by regulation for a licence copy, plus taxes, will apply. 

No. It is strictly forbidden to reproduce or copy an agency licence. To obtain an official copy of your licence, you must complete and submit the  appropriate form. The fee provided by regulation for a licence copy, plus taxes, will apply  for each copy requested.

Exceptionally, if your agency must provide this document when responding to an invitation to tender, it is possible to make a photocopy of the said licence.  

Yes. You must notify the Bureau when you decide to cease your agency’s operations and follow these steps:

Step 1: You must fill in the Revocation of Licence Form and forward it to the Bureau that will revoke your licence as of the date when your agency ceases its operations.

Step 2: You must return your licence as well as any existing copies by mail or in person within a period of 15 days following the date of the revocation. If your agency has ceased its operations, you must attach your licence and any existing copies to the Revocation of Licence Form. 

No. The agency licence is not transferable to another legal entity since it was delivered based on the specific characteristics of the business holding the licence.

Please contact us to know what measures you must take to ensure the compliance of your business if you plan to:  

  • Change the legal form of your business (for example, a sole entrepreneur that chooses to incorporate his/her business) 
  • Sell your private security operations to another entity 
  • Merge with another entity

If we don’t receive the payment of your annual fee at the latest on the 60th day before the anniversary date of your agency licence issuance, we will send you a notice of revocation granting you a last additional delay to pay such fees.
Failing to pay the annual fees within this additional delay, BSP shall make a decision of revocation of the agency’s licence, which would be taking effect on the anniversary date of the licence. Upon revocation of your licence, your agency would be prohibited from offering private security activities, subject to penal sanctions.

If your situation is not reinstated within this period, your agency licence will be revoked. In such case, your company will have to submit a new application and forward all the pertaining documents and payments, and the said application will be analyzed based on the applicable criteria.  

No. Processing the payment will take 24 hours during business days before the reactivation of a licence suspended due to the non-payment of the annual fee. For example, if you pay your licence fee at the Bureau on Friday, your licence will be reactivated at the latest on the Monday following.

Don’t throw away your licence or its copies! You must return your agency licence as well as all copies to the Bureau within 15 days following the revocation of your private security operations, subject to penal sanctions as per the Privacy Security Act.  

If your agency licence is suspended or revoked, or if its renewal is refused, your company will be prohibited from offering private security services, subject to penal sanctions.

In addition, in cases of revocation, you must return your agency licence and any copies within 15 days following the date of the revocation.  

No. Since the Private Security Act came into force, an agent licence is delivered regardless of an agent’s occupation or employer. Therefore, agents who hold a licence must keep it as long as it is valid, and such licence remain the property of the Bureau de la sécurité privée, even if it’s the employer that paid the fees.