- Certification, Professional Standards

Inspector Qualifications in Ontario and across Canada

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.

How to identify a Professional Home Inspector in Ontario

The following designations are from organizations that are Headquartered in Ontario of which we, the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors, are one.  These organizations have an auditable certification process with a single stream to each designation awarded.  Two of the Organisations (CAHPI and the NHICC) have designations that are national.  OntarioACHI and OAHI are specifically focused on provincial matters affecting the profession in Ontario

Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors logo
Any Inspector displaying this logo identifies that they are holding themselves out to be a fully paid-up member of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors, in good standing.
This means that he or she has committed to conform at least to the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA A770-16 Home Inspection Standard and Code of Ethics (CoE) set out in this website and is accountable to the Disciplinary Processes and procedures of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
The public can check these claims by checking their profile here
Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors CCHI logo
Any Inspector displaying this logo is holding themselves out to be both a fully paid-up member of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors, in good standing and has also achieved all the educational, skills, insurance and police background check requirements to be recognised as a Canadian-Certified Home Inspector and entitled to use the CCHI designation.
In addition to the public being able to check these claims by checking their profile here, each Canadian-Certified Home Inspector is asked to carry a membership card with a QR code that can be read by any smartphone app that will immediately interrogate our database to confirm the inspector’s claims.
The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) have two professional designations they confer to members of the association who have met the appropriate qualifications.

Any Inspector claiming to be qualified to this level should be able to provide a certificate, issued by CAHPI that identifies they are entitled to use these titles and designations. This logo identifies that they are holding themselves out to be a fully paid-up member of the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors, in good standing.

The public can check these claims by checking their profile here

The National Home Inspector Certification Council (NHICC) is a certifying body that does not require membership but exists solely to assess and certify Home Inspectors to a national standard across Canada.
After successfully confirming a level of education, completing examinations, and a test inspection peer review, successful Inspectors are conferred with the title

Any Inspector claiming to be qualified to this level should be able to provide a certificate, issued by the NHICC that identifies they are entitled to use these titles and designations.   This logo identifies that they are holding themselves out to be an  Inspector qualified to the National Home Inspector (NHI) standard.
The public can check these claims by checking their profile here

OntarioAssociation of Home Inspectors
The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) offers inspectors a number of membership levels and categories.
The highest level of membership is “Registered Home Inspector” or “R.H.I.
While those inspectors who have correctly been assessed to use these two designations in Ontario, some confusion exists about the capability to identify a fully qualified inspector using these designations and those that are solely members of the association’s multiple categories.
We recommend anyone who calls themselves a”Registered Home Inspector” or using the designation “R.H.I.” is checked against the OAHI online find an inspector service which can be found here
It is important to note the distinction between “Registered Home Inspector” and “R.H.I.” of OAHI and “Registered Home Inspector (RHI)” and “RHI” from CAHPI.
The latter two are registered trademarks of CAHPI and define an auditable path to designation for a single membership type and depends upon membership of CAHPI (above) and not OAHI.

Certifications and designations from non-Canadian Associations

ACI Logo
The logo of the American Society of Home Inspectors Certified Inspector (ACI) indicates that the Inspector purports to have:

  • Passed the U.S. National Home Inspector Examination
  • Completed the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics Education Module
  • Had Inspection Reports successfully verified for compliance with ASHI Standards
  • Submitted valid proof of performance for at least 250 home inspections
CMI Logo
This logo indicates the Inspector purports to have provided documentary proof they have achieved the Certified Master Inspector requirements standard.   The Master Inspector Certification Board, Inc., is not a trade association. Certified Master Inspector® is not a membership level, nor do CMIs belong to any specific trade organization.

Certified Master Inspector® is a professional designation available to all qualifying inspectors in the U.S. and Canada.  It does not require ongoing re-certification.

 

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.

Ontario Certifications as of March 9th 2016
Key to annotations

¥ Test Inspection & Peer Review

Key to abbreviations

CPD Continued Professional Development
CEU Continued Educational Units
hrs Hours
pts Points (educational)
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.

About OntarioACHI

Founded in 2012 the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors is a not-for-profit association of members with aims to improve the quality and standing of Home and Property Inspection for the benefit of consumers and our profession. The association is run by, and for, Home & Property Inspectors in Ontario. Our goal is to ensure all Home Inspectors are qualified to the highest standards and comply with the most exacting professional Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Duty of Care. A consumer hiring an OntarioACHI qualified Canadian-Certified Home Inspector (CCHI) will know they have they hired a truly Professional Home Inspector.
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