Section overview

Security guards work within the Canadian legal system. They need to be familiar with the criminal court system, the Ontario Evidence Act, the Canada Evidence Act and how these apply to their positions to ensure the information they obtain is admissible in court. The trainer outlines the difference between criminal, provincial and municipal law as well as case and common law, the hierarchy of the court system and offences and the requirements for the admissibility of evidence.

Suggested duration

In class: 3 hours
Outside class: 6 hours

Minimum requirements

  1. discuss the Canadian criminal court system
    • outline the Canadian criminal court system, the hierarchy of the court system and court protocols/procedures
    • describe the protocols and procedures for the purpose of giving evidence
  2. explain commonly accepted approaches to the collection, preservation and presentation of evidence including the handling and sealing of audio/visual materials
  3. explain relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act that pertain to admissible evidence
  4. discuss municipal by-laws

Note: There are three components in this section: Canadian criminal court system, Evidence handling techniques and Municipal by-laws.

The Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act do not specify how evidence is collected, but identify which types of evidence are admissible to the court. The trainer should concentrate on what is considered evidence and which methods a security guard can use to ensure it remains admissible. Security guards are only expected to know the municipal by-laws that relate to their role and where to find this information if it is not readily available on their premises.

Canadian criminal court system

Security guards may be required to prepare for legal proceedings, present evidence, prepare themselves and/or witnesses for testimony and follow up on the outcome of court proceedings. Security guards need a general understanding that all investigations should be conducted as if the case could potentially go to trial and therefore handle themselves accordingly to ensure that no procedural or administrative mistakes are made. The trainer covers the skills and knowledge required to present evidence in a judicial environment.

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading on the basics of the court system
  2. lecture with graphic depiction of the Canadian criminal court system
  3. exercise regarding the preparation for trial and/or preparation of witnesses for court
  4. simulation or mock trial presenting testimonies and evidence
  5. learning journal

Evidence handling techniques

Security guards protect evidence that may be used in court. The trainer will explain how to collect, preserve, and present admissible evidence in court while preventing the evidence from becoming contaminated. Concepts will include an introduction to the process and protocols for handling evidence, including:

  • the proper procedures for collecting and handling audio/video materials
  • the six core steps for containing evidence:
    • collect
    • secure
    • preserve
    • identify
    • continuity
    • log

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading of the relevant sections of the Ontario Evidence Act and Canada Evidence Act
  2. lecture with discussion on the six core steps and common mistakes
  3. an exercise applying all six steps to actual evidence acquiring situations
  4. demonstration and practice with audio/video equipment
  5. learning journal

Municipal by-laws

Security guards are required to work within the municipal by-laws of their specific location. They need to be familiar with the common by-laws they will encounter in their position (e.g. noise by-laws, occupancy limits, etc.) and where they can locate this information. The trainer focuses on creating awareness that different municipal by-laws exist and need to be considered. It should be noted that the student may obtain/require further training on by-laws relevant to his/her specific position and that the by-laws addressed in this section are the most common to the private security sector.

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading on overview of municipal by-laws (specifically how to find by-laws relevant to any security issues)
  2. lecture
  3. learning journal

Suggested training evaluation for section

A quiz focused on an overview of the criminal system in Canada, how to collect and prepare admissible evidence and how to find municipal by-law information.