The following letter has been delivered from the Board to the Presidents of the other Home Inspector Associations that operate or have representative Inspectors in Ontario.
This includes (in alphabetical order):
These Associations will be at the Stakeholders meeting later this month, and we wanted to ensure that we set the tone of our approach. The Board believe that a collaborative, positive strategy taken by all will show that this profession is still able to be self-regulated.
Many of our members and representative Inspectors of InterNACHI are also members of multiple Associations.
One of the aims of the Collaboration is to develop a unified SoP for Ontario that any Inspector, regardless of their association membership can use.
This will remove the divisive leverage used against all of the Associations’ members with respect to Insurance. We would hope that work towards this would be one of many steps we can make as a group that will allow all Inspectors to benefit from a more visible profession, and the public with a recognisable and freely available set of Standards that apply to all inspectors.
Presidents and Executive Boards of Professional Property Inspector Associations in Ontario.
The Board of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors (OntarioACHI) has decided to send this letter to outline the mandate for OntarioACHI and its members, in order to explain our vision for the Home Inspection industry in Ontario.
As many of you know, Licensing of Home Inspectors has already been introduced into Alberta and British Columbia, and the likelihood is that, given time, this will become a reality here in Ontario as well.
Each Association has struggled over the years to build a portfolio of Certification and Accreditation criteria, and unlike Alberta and B.C. there are a greater number of Inspection Association operating here in Ontario.
If Licensing is thrust upon us, what affects one Association will most likely affect us all. We feel that the efforts made by the different Associations have all gone some way to raising the standards of professionalism for the Property Inspection services in this province, and to have a situation where Licensing is controlled by an organisation that is not closely related to the industry as counterproductive, not only to the mandates of each of the Associations and Societies supporting the profession, but to the general public also.
OntarioACHI was formed out of a need to try to professionally represent over 650 Ontario based and operating Home Inspectors who belong to InterNACHI in the U.S. As part of our mandate e took the bold steps to go even further than this, and set aside any past differences that may have been formed, and work with all the other Associations and Societies here in Ontario to try to tackle the issues surrounding the industry. These issues range from the poor professional perception of the Home Inspection industry as a whole, the false perception that any one Association, that demands continuous training, professional ethics and standards of practice and the demand that the Inspectors focus on the service to the public that employ them rather than their own financial gain at the expense of such clientele, is any better than another.
What we have realized is there are a number of excellent skills development programs run by or for each of the Associations, with each culminating in Certifications. These multiple certifications are confusing for the public, and serve as divisive tools for the industry.
What we would like to do is to work collaboratively with each of the Associations here in Ontario to try to formulate a matrix that will show how each of the Certifications in the Industry actually aligns. This would be a benefit for the public will go a long way to show the Government of Ontario that we as a set of bodies can self-regulate the industry here in Ontario, and together provide a win-win-win situation for the Government, our Industry and the Public.
We want to assure you that our intent is not to detract from the membership of any other Association. In fact we encourage all Home Inspectors to join whatever Association, or Associations they feel most happy with. We recognize we all operate differently but with the same aim in mind, to improve and promote the Home Inspection Industry in this province.
We see that unless we offer the Government a solution to the Licensing issue, which is accepted by all, we may have a solution thrust upon us which is palatable to none. Again we would like to work with all of you to develop such a solution, based perhaps on a similar system as the Accounting Industry where we all operate to a similar high-standard, have an agreed comparable skills development level, consolidated Standard of Practices, and Codes of Ethics and the same needs for Liability Protection and where necessary police background certification, but we continue to manage our own members.
This would require a higher level of collaboration as we would need to exchange disciplinary decisions between us to ensure that Inspectors cannot “Association hop” to continue working should they be found guilty by one association of serious professional misconduct or the like.
At OntarioACHI we have the advantage of being the Ontario Chapter of InterNACHI, which is the largest Association of Home & Property Inspectors Worldwide, which means we have inherited a large volume of information and education, and industry leading processes.
We also have a disadvantage by the same associative nature, because of the perceived lack of professionalism in the way in which the education is examined, and from the sometimes unprofessional approach seen in the InterNACHI message board.
What we have mandated to do differently as the Ontario Chapter is take all of the positives from InterNACHI, add that to many of the positives your associations have developed over the years and instill a higher standard of Professionalism than is often seen from our U.S. counterpart. We have mandated that we will be inclusive of all other Associations in Ontario, and be open and transparent to all, including what some would perceive to be “competition”.
In addition we are following many of your lessons with respect to continued education. We like many of you, feel that this is one of the keys to a higher professional standard, and again we would like to work with you to try to provide an Education Exchange between us, where each Association could recognize the education offered by the other Associations and Accredit them accordingly for Continued Professional Development. Many of the courses offered overlap each other, and again, it is the Inspectors who are financially penalized by having to make a choice as to what course/certificates to opt for, and the public that are penalized by not have a relative scale on how their selected Inspector has been trained. This all needs to be put right, and we do not believe any one Association can do it alone. Indeed if this were the case, it would have been done by now. This is why, at OntarioACHI we do not see your Associations as “competition” but as potential collaborators to finally show the government that as an industry, we are capable of self-regulation and capable of assisting them with the way in which the profession should be licensed here in Ontario.
We believe that the Profession has reached a maturity that the fractures between the Associations need to be fixed for the sake of the Inspectors, the sake of the profession and above all the sake of the Public who employ us. We believe that by working together we all may achieve not only a level of trust with each other, but also generate a level of trust with the general public that they can see any inspector, certified by any of our bodies can be trusted to provide the skills and professional services they deserve.
We invite all of you to join with us in this quest, and welcome your comments. If you are interested in joining us on this road to success please email us at email@example.com.
Signed for and on behalf of the Board,