Clarifying the position of OntarioACHI

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking to a number of inspectors across Ontario.   Most of these members are from our own association, others have no association affiliation and others belong to one or more.

I have had a similar set of questions asked of me, and apparently, other members of the board have heard these as well, so I going to take an opportunity here to clarify the position of OntarioACHI.

Q. What’s the relationship between OntarioACHI and InterNACHI?

A. We’ve been asked this question several time over the last few years, and the question crops up again and again on our FAQ site.

The answer is the same. OntarioACHI is an independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-run, incorporated as a letters-patent company in Ontario. We have no formal relationship with any other association, including InterNACHI.

Up until 2014 members from the OntarioACHI board used to help administer the InterNACHI Ontario Chapter, but with only few volunteers and enough work to concentrate on our own members we have not managed to continue that support.

It appears that since we stopped supporting it, that chapter has gone dormant.

Hopefully someone will be able to take over maintenance to keep InterNACHI members who operate in Ontario up to speed with changes that are occurring here.

Q. We see that you have supported CAHPI at their conference and CAHPI has supported OntarioACHI, is there a relationship between OntarioACHI and CAHPI?

A. As we said above, we have no formal relationship with any other association. This also includes CAHPI.

From the outset, the vision of OntarioACHI has been a stronger profession in Ontario through a process of collaboration. For the seven years of our operation, OntarioACHI has reached out to other association to work together to promote areas that we align with, support areas were we are lacking and discuss areas where we think change is needed.

This goes for all the Canadian associations, including CAHPI, PHPIC the NHICC (which technically is not an association) and OAHI.

We see that working together while respecting each others differences leads to a stronger voice for the profession.

Q. With CAHPI now offering memberships directly to inspectors are you threatened by them?

A. No. We see CAHPI as a federal association with many aspects of their visions aligned with ours. They, play in a space we do not have the manpower or geographic spread to, and that is at the Federal level. The same could be said of PHPIC and to some extent the NHICC.

While they all also work at Provincial levels, because of our concerted efforts over a long period of time working with regulators and at Queen’s Park, we feel our strengths lie, and will remain, at the provincial level, here in Ontario.

It is our belief that the CAHPI leadership see us in this vein, as do other federally focused organisation, and we tend to lean off each others strengths, again to strengthen the overall position of our combined members.

Q. Should we be a member of more than one association?

A. That is a personal decision. You should choose to belong to the association you feel gives you the greatest value for the membership dollars you spend.

In an ideal world, we would love all Ontario Inspectors to be a member of OntarioACHI, and to consider belonging to a federal organisation that can work in conjunction with our vision.

We realise however that everyone is different, has different views and respect whatever decision they wish to make with respect to allegiance.

What we will say, is that until government regulation in proclaimed in Ontario, we will continue to work in conjunction with other Canadian Association, regardless of our views, to prevent association hopping by errant inspectors.

Regardless of the Association, at Provincial or Federal level, I believe we are all trying to work towards a more respectable and trustworthy Home Inspection Profession and it is only by collaboration and sharing information that we can weed out inspector who don’t come up to the mark we are aiming for.

Q. What designation should I get to ensure I will be grandfathered in to licensing?

A. First and foremost, noone should be under the impression that the licensing process will even have a grandfathering agreement. Anyone who tells you that this designation or that designation will guarantee you a license if and when Ontario regulation is proclaimed is not being honest with you.

What we do know is what has been published to date.

First, the recommendations paper, A Closer Look, which was published in 2013 and was the driver for pushing the Home Inspection Act, 2017 forward has a number of recommendations with respect to qualifications expected of Home Inspectors.

We also know, that under the Home Inspection Act, 2017, one of the first things that will happen is that the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994 will be repealed. By doing so, the OAHI as it operates not will be dissolved, and presumably reformed as a letters-patent, not-for-profit association no different from OntarioACHI.

At the same time, the protective right to the RHI and Registered Home Inspection designations will be terminated, and again, presumably, revert to the copyright owners CAHPI.

My understanding is that OAHI may be looking for a way forward for their version of the RHI but their board of directors would be better placed to answer questions about that than I.

As for IF any designations will be grandfathered is such a facility is adopted, one would assume that only those designations that meet the criteria set out, and have a documented audit process to should how inspector obtained and maintained their designation(s) will be considered.

While I can’t speak for any other association, I can say that our information systems and documented processes provide a full audit of all CCHI members (as well as other designations awarded by OntarioACH) and the criteria is, as most have found out, difficult to achieve. we make no apologies for this, as we are focussed on higher standards.

Our understanding is that at least CAHPI and the NHICC have similar processes and audit trails, as does ASHI for the ACI. We have not had enough input from the other associations that award their own designations to ascertain the status of qualification or audit. As member of PHPIC are awarded the NHI through the NHICC we would assume that they also undergo stringent audit.

As you can see, from just these few questions our approach has not altered in the seven years since our formation. We will continue to reach out to work with others in a collaborative manner. We will continue to demand high standards from our members, and we will continue to work with the regulatory authorities to ensure our members are at the forefront of consumer protection.

While this may seem altruistic, it is at the same time self-serving. the more we improve our service towards protection of consumers, who are our clients, the better those consumers will think of our members and their services.

Sure it’s going to upset the apple cart with other professions sometimes, but we have to remember, the Home Inspection Profession is here to provide comprehensive, informed, objective, independent, Professional advice on the condition of properties that our fellow Canadians are thinking of investing what may be their lives’ savings into.

We owe it to them to do better every day.

That’s was our vision in 2012 when we formed, nothing has changed.

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