Came across this...

What’s the difference between Certified, Licensed and RHI?
There are no such designations as Certified and Licensed in Ontario. They sound good, but the inspectors who use these titles are not members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) and, consequently, you cannot verify their credentials.
RHI stands for Registered Home Inspector. This is the highest level of accreditation in Ontario.


Here is the difference (in terms of marketing anyway).

We hired a temp to stand on the street for a full day and ask passerbys questions about this stuff and so we have a good grip on it.

  1. Consumers don’t even know what InterNACHI, ASHI, RHI, IAC2, etc. are, let alone which ones mean what. So letters mean zilch. Nothing.
  2. Consumers think being licensed is nothing to brag about (and they’re correct) and assume that everyone is operating legally. Bragging that you are licensed backfires as it looks like you must be just barely licensed if that is all you can say about yourself.
  3. Now “certified” means something to consumers. It is above and beyond simply operating legally. It is an actual English word that consumers understand the meaning of. The best professional designation in the inspection industry (not just technically best but marketing best) is Certified Master Inspector. Nothing tops it.

Nick, I agree with your above statement.

It’s the verification of credentials that’s got me stumped. We click on the NACHI certification seal to verfiy our membership status, do you verify any credentials if someone calls you up about an inspector other than status? Any OAHI guys or former OAHI guys, what credentials does OAHI verify? Is it status of membership as well?

We can see every course you’ve completed in your online continuing education log. You should list every course you’ve ever taken (within InterNACHI or outside of InterNACHI) on your website. The longer the list the better. Make your credential list long enough and no consumer will read it, they’ll just weigh it, and say… “Wow, he’s completed a lot of education!”

But is he a good home inspector???

Two weekends ago, I was working in my old home town, 200 miles from where I currently live and work (I still get called back there after 16 years of being away). While there, I got another call from a local realtor who had just had an overzealous inspector trash a house that should’ve sold!! I looked at the report and some of the items reported…He reported steel, insulated doors in very good condition as “fair” because they did not have deadbolt locks!!! …Newer vinyl vertical slider windows in good condition as “fair” because they are not as airtight as awning or casement windows…And it went on and on!!

This house was in good condition overall but the inspector made it sound like a money pit!! A good inspector…not!!! All the education in the world, online or class based, looks impressive but you have to know how to call things!!

Garry I believe if you call the OAHI office and get through (the phone is not always answered for some reason and e-mails do not always get answered) you would be told if the inspecter in question was an RHI, Associated or student member.

Firstly you must understand how OAHI was set up, therein lies the distinction of the title RHI. OAHI previous to 1994 was set up as a non profit corporation which required OAHI members to be tested and accredited through ASHI. Then in 1993 OAHI through the action of few members approached a member of the provincial legislature seeking passing of a private members bill which gave OAHI the exclusive right to use and administer the designation RHI (registered home inspector). In 1994 the private members bill was given Royal Assent. The Act which grants those powers is PR 158 or PR 64. OAHI to this day remains a self regulating power, a non profit corporation. The administration and election of the board of directors are members elected by the members. The only item which PR 158 grants is the exclusive right for OAHI to use and grant RHI. Anyone who is not a member and uses the acronym RHI alone or Registered Home Inspector is liable to a fine of upto $5,000.00. Of which if convicted in court the fine goes to the crown.

Anyone in the Registry of OAHI is permitted to use the designation RHI, however through poor legal advice, OAHI saw fit to only permit use of RHI to what they term fully qualified members, qualification set up soley by OAHI definition as seen through certain individuals who control OAHI as their own fiefdom.

You must also appreciate that verification of members of OAHI is a piecemeal effort. As Rob already pointed out trying to verify anyone in OAHI is a joke, given the attitude and indifference of the Registrar of OAHI who for many years has been negligent in her duties. As pointed out you are lucky if you get a warm person answering the phone, or even to get a reply via email!

Given the current state of affairs within OAHI and its financial issues, it remains to be seen if OAHI will survive. Right now it appears that many will not be renewing their membership because OAHI has raised membership fees 53%! There has never been any advertising that effectively promoted the association, and there has never been any prolonged attempts at consistent advertising.

RHI is not the highest designation in Ontario, as Professional Engineers, Architects or anyone else can be a home inspector, and anyone else who decides to hang out a shingle can be a home inspector. Given that OAHI cannot and will not manage its affairs properly nor open its books for an audit, it is in no position to be stating it is the voice of the profession in Ontario! The only voice it does have is its repetitive unfounded claims in the echoe it is the voice of the profession.

Its also nice to see Nick finally conclude through market research that the public is ignorant as to any home inspection association.

Hopefully this clears up the misunderstanding and confusion OAHI has sowed over the years in dubious quantities that it is the voice of the profession.

Lastly verification can easily be obtained contrary to OAHI claims by those who have a college diploma from one of the colleges which teach home inspection, an engineering degree, architectual degree, or a Certified Engineering Technologist certificate.

I have long called for licencing in Ontario as self regulation has been a disaster both for members of OAHI and the public and OAHI continues to protect itself in order to maintain the status quo.

So Basically they do it no differently than us (other than education), they just verify your status in the association. The gentleman makes it sound like OAHI goes above and beyond what other associations verify. Thanks Rob.

Hi Raymond.

Thanks for expanding on that.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Well, to further elaborate on the OAHI. Yes, you can verify online the status of a member. If you go on the OAHI’s website you can look up inspectors. It will determine what status if any has been given to them and outlines the requirements they must fulfill to gain such status.

OMG did I just say something positive about the OAHI? I certainly didn’t mean to. Actually their main problem is communication. Try it for yourself. Give them a call. I will post the registrars information at the bottom of this. It might also be interesting to know that they don’t even have a secure website to pay for your membership. Their communication problems go so far as you practically have to beg them even to take your money. It’s pathetic. I’m confident one day reform will sweep through the OAHI sweeping all the old farts who can’t make technology work for them and won’t work for the members out the door!

Wendy Gelman
OAHI Registrar

Established by the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994
Box 38108, Castlewood R.P.O., Toronto, Ontario M5N 3A8
Telephone: (416) 256-0960 or 1-888-RHI-OAHI (744-6244)
Email:](mhtml:{D67195CB-2751-4682-9C3D-F1F78BD6A288}mid://00000005/! Fax: (905) 771-1079
Web Site:](

On a side note… and not to start anything… Ray, I admire your persistence!

Actually the online listing of members is not the defacto Registry. One must go to the OAHI office where the real list of members resides! I was the only member ever to question the Registry.

Heck OAHI even counts Friends of OAHI as members! Friends only pay $50 per year to be listed!

Since 1994 when Pr 158 was granted Royal Assent the numbers of RHI is below 300!

OAHI should list on the website all paying members and state beside their name their membership category.

The fact that one is Registered is meant only to mean that an inspector has been Registered as a member, nothing more, nothing less.

Good luck trying to get an answer from OAHI! I recently went through an Appeal. On July 24/08 I requested via Registered letter information regarding my appeal, such as; who was on the appeal panel, who would be called as witnesses, and what documents would be submitted to substantiate OAHI position. My hearing was on Sept 8/08. I never received one iota of information that one would need in order to mount a proper defence!!! On Sept 8/08 I finally saw the evidence OAHI had against me and the hearing was to be heard by 5 RHI members. Well only 3 heard my appeal!

The OAHI office and the Registrar is a joke and an insult to the membership. This is a well known major issue and OAHI has repeatedly ignored the complaints about the service. The person running the OAHI office should have been terminated a long time ago considering the monies she is paid to do a lack lustre job!

No professional body operates in the manner OAHI does and thats a fact!

Well Ray, it may not be popular to do this here… But I have to say regarding the OAHI…I agree with you!

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Btw I did win my appeal. The BOE and DPPC where shown once again to be in breach of the bylaws they are suppose to administer!

I detest the good better best or some such discriptions because they do not define the condition. It takes me longer but the result is much better to list whats there and leave the subjective discription to the salesman.
Also by using objective discriptions you are simply stating the facts and this reduces the possibility of your report being misinterptered and the risk of law suits is reduced.

lol thats strange I think that was from another thread all together.