by Cam Allen L.I.W., R.H.I.®


Iam going to dispense with my usual question and answer this week in order to answer a comment that I get
constantly from Home Buyers. “Why are Home Inspectors not licensed?” The answer is complex so I will start with a brief history of the National Certification Program, how it works, who can apply and how it affects
today’s homebuyer.
In the mid 1990’s, Central Mortgage and Housing Canada (CMHC) did a survey to find out why the Home Inspection industry was so fractured and why the numbers of problems with the actual inspectors themselves were surfacing in such large numbers.
They arrived at a shocking conclusion, the majority of home inspectors were
poorly trained, lacked education and many were in the industry for a quick dollar.
About this time Provincial Associations like the Ontario Association of
Home Inspectors (OAHI) and the Provincial Association of Certified Home Inspectors (PACHI) organized and they set minimum standards for membership.
These standards included education and training and a number of members entering the industry were licensed trades, engineers and experienced
Unfortunately the provincial associations lacked either the “clout” or the
desire to gather everyone doing home inspections and over the past ten years many have “Hung out the Shingle” and called themselves Home Inspectors.
Fast forward to the late 90’s and the Construction Sector Council working with CMHC decided to form a group call the Canadian Home Inspectors and Building Officials (CHIBO) The mandate they were charged with was developing a national standard for all Private and Public Building Officials, including the First Nations Building Officials.
This process began in earnest and by 2001 the CHIBO program was announced. It went thru additional years of development and fine-tuning
and each sector then took their document and began to organize
a National Program.
The former Canadian Association of Home Inspectors became the
Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI).
In Ontario OAHI & PACHI joined and then became CAHPI Ontario.
CAHPI then began to set up the private Home Inspectors
program and the National Certification Authority (NCA) was formed.
This board which operates at arms length from CAHPI was mandated to begin
the process of introducing the National Certification Program that would become standard right across Canada.
This Program received over 2 million dollars of support from CMHC

to ensure the program succeeded.
About 2 years ago the program Coordinator and National Examiner positions were finally set and then the call went out to established reputable inspectors across Canada to form up the Regional Examiners Group.
A Pilot Program to “work the bugs out” was completed in 2006,
over a 100 inspectors from coast to coast were processed and
starting this past week the national program was opened up
to every home inspector in Canada.
Now that the program is open to all home inspectors in Canada, the NCA expects an initial rush of applications and over the next 12-18 months the
ranks of National Certificate Holders should swell into the thousands from Coast to Coast.

CMHC is now recommending National Certificate Holders on their web site and if you call them for information about Homes Inspectors.
The Mortgage Companies, Home Insurance Companies and the Real Estate Profession across Canada will likely begin to recommend National Certificate Holders.
CAHPI & and the Canadian Real Estate Association have already had numerous discussions on how this process will happen.
A number of Canadian Banks have already expressed interest in this program. CAHPI realizes we need to have a representative pool of inspectors in
every area across the country that are available for the homebuyer
to choose from.
Any present home inspector or someone who is interested in becoming a
home inspector can apply, no matter if he belongs to CAHPI or not.
All they have to do is go to and click on the Application for Background Review.
There are multiple benefits to the Consumer who is considering a new home purchase.
It will mean the National Certificate Holder Home Inspector that arrives
at your prospective home will have completed a full background

review on his or her education, experience and training.
They will have to complete any upgrades or additional training that the NCA requires before they go forward to their test inspection and board review.
They will have been tested at an on-site inspection and then reviewed by a panel of NCA examiners ho are trained to review their inspection knowledge.
They will have to comply with a Canadian Code of Ethics and will be held to a standard of practise.
If the homebuyer has a complaint, there is now a formal method of review that the National Certification Inspector will be held accountable to.
This process is long overdue.
The days of the “Flashlight and Business Card” or the fancy lettered
truck and flashy tools home inspector that “looks past” the obvious because they don’t know or don’t care and are only interested in the real estate
referrals and the money is coming to the end.
I have had the pleasure of being involved with this for some time, now as a National Certificate Holder and a Regional Examiner.
If anyone has further questions or would like more in-depth information
on this tremendous advancement in the Home Inspection Industry,
send me an e-mail at ** **[FONT=Verdana]and I will gladly help any homebuyer or someone who wants to pursue[/FONT]

the home inspection business.

From the CAHPI web site

**(All fees include 6% GST)

CAHPI-affiliated member
Initial application, including background review and one Test Inspection $ 530.00

Initial application, including background review and one Test Inspection $1,166.00

Roy Cooke… NACHI helps all Why Not Join[/FONT]

So by ‘Certified’ he is taling about Certified Master Inspector here right?:mrgreen:

Interesting read. Are Home Inspectors “Building Officials” under this program?

Hello Roy,

If this is at arms length from CAHPI, why do you see such a diference in the cost of testing???


I don’t and there are a lot more things that do not add up .
But if I ask questions Bill gets upset and says not nice things about me so I am trying to just sit and watch it fail by itself.
If you want send me private email and I will show you some more .

Roy Cooke Be Happy Join NACHI many more do every day.

Hi Daryl:

It’s not just the cost of ‘testing’. There are many costs involved including administration, many hours of reviewing individual Applications for Background Reviews, office space, meeting rooms, travel and the actual costs with the Test Inspections with Peer Review.

It is at arm’s length from CAHPI. The reason that CAHPI members get the lower rate is that they have already paid heavily into the plan, helping to pay the costs of development and creating the processes now in use. The difference between the two rates doesn’t even come close to covering the cost per person that has been paid by CAHPI members.

Another reason for the difference is that it is much easier for the Certification Council to assess applications from CAHPI members because most of their information is already on file with provincial associations. This could have also been done with NACHI but CAHPI’s requests for cooperation were refused by the NACHI leadership. The Certification Council therefore has no official yardstick by which it can measure how NACHI’s requirements match up against the requirements of the NCP.

The National Certification program is a very in depth assessment of an inspector’s knowledge, training and expertise. There is no grandfathering or ‘rubber-stamping’. Everyone must prove they have done what they say they have done. This kind of rigor takes time and money, but the end result is a group of people who can validly state that they have been closely screened and tested. This differs from the CMI in which several people were instantly certified merely by writing a cheque and even now that even though the CMI requirements have strengthened, there are no checks and balances to verify what an applicant states or claims.

Bill Mullen

What is MCI have never heard of this Who puts it out .
Roy Cooke

Really! That doesn’t appear to be the case in Ontario from what I am hearing. There appears to be apathy by many in OAHI to participate. Is that true?

Is this something new? I haven’t heard anything about this.

The ‘formal method of review’ is the TIPR and background review. If an incpector messes up, he is held accountable because he has gone through this process and must live up to his credentials.

Bill Mullen

You talk about measuring up to the education standards acceptable to the NAC.:roll:
I get the impression there is an established “skill set” but no one has stated what that is. Care to share?:neutral:

The ‘skill set’ that is used as a standard is the National Occupational Standards’ (NOS) that were developed in 2001. (Attached) The educational requirements are the courses we take need to cover all of the tasks, etc. in the NOS. If the courses and seminars you took cover those things, and if those courses and seminars are on the official accredited list of approved courses, your education will qualify.

Bill Mullen

Bill, it still seems like a lot of thrashing around, churning of paper mills and endless meetings just to address what appears to be a 3% failure rate of home inspectors. There are many industries that would love to ‘endure’ that failure rate!

How can you justify to an average home inspector that he plunk down $1,500 to participate in an entirely voluntary programme that is designed to correct a problem that apparently does not exist? Surely there must be more cost effective ways of dealing with this minute 3% or less failure rate without setting up such a vast bureaucracy?

( I know, “Stop calling me Shirley!”)

I don’t have to justify it. To me a 3% problem is too high. Heck, a 1% problem rate is too high when it exptrapolates to over 1000 unsatisfied people. It’s voluntary and you can pay it or not. ( 1166. not 1500.)

I may be alone over here, and it sure seems like I’m the only one who wants it, but I would sure like to see our industry become a profession, start looking and acting like a profession and start being treated like a profession. That is never going to happen as long as everyone sets their own standards.

That can only happen when we follow a well researched and documented set of Occupational Standards and take courses that have been proven to cover the things we need to know.

But hey, that’s just me…plus an awful lot of outsiders in government, real estate associations, banking groups, the legal community, insurers, etc.

Bill Mullen

It sure is going to be interesting to see what is scheduled for the AGM. I think that might be more defining of whats in the cards. Then again maybe not. :slight_smile: :wink:

The AGM is going to be very interesting, well worth the price of admission as they say. I expect things in Ontario will look much different after the AGM.

That’s all I can say because I don’t want to tip my hand.

Bill Mullen

Bill it certainly seems that certain individuals who are non elected are running the show and dictating actions that don’t jive with the by-laws or what the by-laws permit or don’t permit. Why would the BOE feel it can excert its authority when those directions contravene the by-laws? These same people are putting together by-law revisions to be discussed at the AGM. I am afraid that this clique is going to pull a fast one like they tried a few years ago with by-law admendments that were draconian, contrary to law and the Charter, and were meant to deny anyone the opportunity to speak out let alone seek redress within OAHI. Now these same people are going to try it again and hoodwink the membership.

Bill you and I both know there are two camps in OAHI. One camp doesn’t want anything to do with the National, and will use what ever means to thwart it, and the other camp who support the National because they as members of OAHI are fed up with internal fighting, games, and actions that are not supported by the by-laws.

I sure hope everyone is aware of the short comings and the lack of performance of the current board, already OAHI has breached its own word. The 45 day notice of documents prior to AGM has just come and gone. Where are the minutes and the financial info that has been witheld all year? If this is OAHI is going to conduct its affairs then the National in OAHI is going to have a problem, because like Nachi members there are a good number in OAHI who see it as a duplication.

Just my views Bill, not to be antagonistic. The whole industry in Ontario is a joke thanks to a few who have hijacked and put their personal stamps on the way things run, and I am not talking the National here.


There are problems in any and all associations, and while I agree that improvements could be made in OAHI/CAHPI Ontario, I don’t feel the NACHI forum is the place for members of OAHI/CAHPI Ontario to discuss this.

I’m also not trying to be antagonistic, but this is the NACHI forum where NACHI matters should be discussed.

Bill Mullen

"But hey, that’s just me…plus an awful lot of outsiders in government, real estate associations, banking groups, the legal community, insurers, etc."

It is unfortunate that these people have been convinced that a 3% failure rate is a problem in the first place. This kind of failure rate would be the envy of many industries and many professionals and yet it is assumed that it is too high for home inspctions and warrants a multi million dollar cure.

It seems to many that the real problem is that this failure rate was not put into perspective, but was used as leverage to promote an imagined need for an unnecessary programme. The result has been that an important segment of the whole real estate / home inspection transaction has been convinced that our industry is full of unscrupulous, illeducated, fly by night untrustworthy louts bent on doing as little as possible for as much as they can extract from their clients.

And that just isn’t so.

I feel the same as you I to know of no other industry that would not be very pleased to only have a 3% rate .
I also wonder how many of this 3% are just those who are never satisfied .
I also wonder is it some who have friend who is a lawyer who says Hey lets see what we can get out of this .
I see those lawyers every night on the TV add for more work do you have a slow learner it could be from lead paint ,it could be mould, .
Just look at the Fox Network and they seem to get many.
Like every thing else more information is needed to make a decision .

Roy Cooke

Point well taken Roy. We don’t have a break down of that 3% so we don’t know how many of the “problems” are major and how many are minor. The real failure rate, that is problems that are not frivolous and ended up with some form of remediation may be and probably is somewhat less than 3%.
This makes Darrell’s admonition “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it!” all the more apropos.