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Private security complaint resolution

Region: Ontario Answer # 6011

Effectively addressing complaints and disputes related to security services is essential for maintaining trust and integrity within the Canadian security industry. This involves a structured process and the involvement of regulatory bodies or industry associations when necessary.

For help with security services, including corporate, business, and personal security, contact our preferred experts, Smith Security.

How can you file a complaint?

There are two ways to file a complaint against a security guard or company in Ontario:

  1. With the security company.
  2. With the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB) of the Ministry of the Solicitor General (MSG).

Make a complaint with the security company

You should start by making a complaint with the security company, providing clear and detailed information about the complaint. Maintain records of all communication, including emails, letters, or phone calls related to the complaint.

Once a complaint is made, a process is followed to deal with the complaint. This involves:

  • Internal review: The security company initiates an internal review of the complaint, seeking to understand the issue, gather relevant information, and assess its validity.
  • Resolution attempts: The security company takes steps to resolve the complaint promptly and professionally. This may involve corrective actions, communication with involved parties, or adjustments to security procedures.

If a complaint is made with the security company and the result is unsatisfactory or if there is no response within a reasonable timeframe, then consider escalating the complaint to the relevant regulatory body.

File a complaint with the regulatory body

Regulatory bodies are vital in handling more complex or unresolved grievances, ensuring fair and impartial resolution.

In Ontario, the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB) in the Ministry of the Solicitor General (MSG) regulates the security industry and deals with public complaints. The MSG handles complaints specifically involving:

Complaints can be made to the Registrar/Director of the PSISB, either by mail, online, or email. If the complaint is related to a Code of Conduct regulation violation, it must be about conduct while on duty, and it must be filed within 90 days of the incident.

The PSISB will review complaints against:

  • licensed security guards (and private investigators)
  • licensed agencies, including sole proprietors, partners, and in the case of corporations, its officers and directors
  • individuals or agencies not licensed by the MSG

The PSISB will do the following once a complaint is received:

  • An acknowledgement letter will be sent to you within three business days of receiving the complaint.

 

  • The complaint may lead to several possible actions, including:

 

      • An investigation
      • Referral to police
      • Licence revocation
      • Inspection of agency
      • Facilitation
      • Dismissal of complaint

 

  • Facilitation: If the complaint meets the criteria for a code of conduct violation, it will be referred to a facilitator who will attempt to resolve the complaint through face-to-face meetings or teleconference. If facilitation takes place:

 

      • Issue report: The facilitator will issue a report of the results of a facilitation session to the registrar.
      • Recommendations: The Registrar will make a recommendation based on the facilitator’s recommendation, such as training in anger management, race relations or communication skills.
      • Licence revocation: The registrar may revoke the licensee’s licence and serve a written notice, if the licensee fails to meet the registrar’s-imposed condition(s).

Throughout the complaint resolution process, security companies should cooperate with all parties involved and adhere to the guidance provided by regulatory bodies or associations.

More information about the complaint process can be found at Ontario.ca

An effective complaint resolution process is vital for the Canadian security industry. Transparency, clear communication, and cooperation are key elements in addressing complaints. Clients and security companies should work together to resolve grievances promptly and professionally. Regulatory bodies or industry associations are available to ensure fair and impartial resolution in cases where internal efforts are insufficient or unsatisfactory.

For help

For help with security services, including corporate security, personal protection, construction site security and retail loss prevention, contact our preferred experts, Smith Security. If you are interested in becoming a professional security guard, they also offer a government approved security guard training course.


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