Home Inspector Qualifications
In 2012 there were around 13 Associations operating in Canada that deal with the home Inspection Industry. Due to the way the assosications are structured, and intertwined, this can be distilled down to just six.
The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors (OntarioACHI) is an independent not-for-profit association based out of Ontario supporting solely Ontario Inspectors. The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) is also an Ontario Based Not-for-Profit Organisation, formed by private members Bill and is also the Ontario Chapter of, the U.S. based, American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) is a country wide focussed Association. Another major association is the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) also based out of the U.S. InterNACHI appears to provide most of the organisational structure for CanNACHI, an Canada-wide focused Association based out of Ontario focused mainly on training.
These associations all offer Home Inspector Certifications and Designations in Ontario that are aimed at offering the public an indication of the capability and skills of the Inspector that carries them.
The problem is that these designations and certifications are not well laid out to allow the public to identify exactly what those capabilities are. At OntarioACHI we are aiming to give honest and accurate information to the public regarding the qualifications required by a Home Inspector to call themselves Certified or Registered. The public needs to remember that in the absence of Government regulation of the profession, Home Inspectors are regulated by their own peers.
The first thing to understand is the if a Home Inspector is not a member of any association, then they are not held to any level of accountability save for recourse to the law.
Of the 13 Associations, there are really only 5 Certifications that actually confirm the Home Inspector has been educated to any standard at all.
Certified Professional Inspector, or C.P.I., awarded by InterNACHI
National Home Inspector, or N.H.I., awarded by the National Home Inspectors Certification Council
Certified Master Home Inspector, or C.M.H.I. awarded by CanNACHI
Certified Canadian Home Inspector or C.C.H.I., awarded by OntarioACHI
Certified Master Inspector or C.M.I.,awarded by the Master Inspector Certification Board.
In addition to these four, in Ontario there is the designation Registered Home Inspector, or R.H.I., which is a term reserved by Provincial Act of Parliament and indicates that the holder is a registered member of Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, but does not confirm that the holder is qualified to any specific level of training or skills.
Here is a table that attempts to explain the various skills, education and cost requirements to attain each level.
Key to annotations
¥ Test Inspection & Peer Review
Key to abbreviations
|CPD||Continued Professional Development|
|CEU||Continued Educational Units|
|TIPR||Test Inspection & Peer Review|
Certified Canadian Home Inspector Program
OntarioACHI in conjunction with AlbertaACHI have adopted the Certified Canadian Home Inspector Program (CCHI). This program requires serious commitment from the home inspector towards their education and professional development. The difference between this program and others is that it concentrates on the Professional development of the inspector with regard to Consumer Protection. Most other certifications at this level require expensive education to be taken. This education is provided at great expense either by the Associations offering the Certification or through third parties that have a relationship with either the Association of the executives of that association.
We see this as a conflict of interests. The education required for the CCHI can be obtained by members of OntarioACHI from any means recognised by ANY of the other Certifications. This means that the Inspectors who choose to train for the CCHI can avail themselves of inexpensive training. Their training at the educational level is tested independently from this 3rd party training and verified through examinations developed by OntarioACHI and proctored by 3rd party individuals.
We also believe that practical experience should be tested. It is important that Inspectors should be able to inspect, diagnose and adequately report the information they see to their clients. This is why, to be awarded a CCHI designation, our inspectors must prove themselves at an adjudicated Test Inspection. Here they must be able to show they follow a standard that ensures all the required components are inspected, that they recognise and correctly identify components and any defects, and subsequently report, both verbally and in writing their findings.
This Test Inspection & Peer Review (TIPR) is adjudicated by more than one oversight inspector, who has been properly trained in their own right.