Home Inspector Qualifications - Update Bulletin

An email from Bruce McClure

Self explanatory.

Agreed Raymond!

Talking to many OAHI members at the C&D conference nothing has seems to have changed sine I left OAHI.
There are many very unhappy members who I expect to see join the many other happy OAHI members who have become a CMI.

My reply to the email. I sent this back to each person that was listed on the original email from Mr. McClure.

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Bruce

You might want to ask OAHI why it has failed to ensure those inspectors who are no longer members of OAHI are continuing to use and falsely promote they are still active members within OAHI. So yes perhaps OAHI should have Pr 158 revoked because it has not and cannot protect the public.

There are several ex members continuing to promote they are current members of OAHI and holding out they are RHI’s in contravention of Pr 158.
I personally went down to the OAHI office to check the Registry of Members. The following members where not in the Registry but their websites indicate they are still members of OAHI and RHI’s. These include such former members Bill Mullen, Kirk Iredale, Alrek Meipoom. Who is protecting the public from these unscrupulous ex members? I know personally having written complaints about two individuals to NHICC and CAHPI and PHPIC that about this concern have gone unanswered since all of the above are NHICC members, and CAHPI does not appear interested in misuse of RHI.

If OAHI (enacted under PR 158) and the other associations noted above cannot protect the public with provisions to prosecute those who are knowingly misusing RHI and the OAHI logo why are you concerned about an association which offers on-line examination and accreditation?

Seems the whole inspection industry from the top down (association administration and governance is broken). Its one big mess and since MCS was quick to point out that there is a lack of industry oversight by all associations, this is perhaps the reason all associations and their members will end up being grandfathered. The mess is just too large to rectify individually, coupled with incompetent leaders who by all appearances have squandered member’s funds over the years for ulterior motives.

Further OAHI has conducted itself in the past with very questionable actions ranging from abuse of process, intimidation/bullying, abuse of members funds, accounting irregularities, conflict of interests, untendered contracts, discriminatory practices, wrongful dismissal suit, and termination of the treasurer for financial mismanagement, et ceteras.

OAHI has for years been struggling to rectify the wrongs and has had well over two decades to do so, why should anyone including members, let alone the public take your word that OAHI is somehow superior?

The only saving grace should licencing occur is outside regulation of the home inspection profession by an outside neutral body in order to stop friends looking out after friends and board of directors and committee chairs who think they can get away with the crap that has gone on within OAHI and CAHPI.

So what makes you think OAHI is capable of anything that the other associations are not?

As to the MCS and their video production, the MCS needs to explain itself as to the numbers it is openly quoting vis-a-vie the number of court cases against inspectors stated to be 390. Queries sought as to clarification of this number have not resulted in any explanation. Strange they cannot clarify this number!

I would be more than happy to point out the concerns to anyone so interested particularly the Ministry of Consumer Services.

Raymond Wand
Home Inspector since 1991

I try not to get involved in such politics but Bruce is way out of line with his comments. I’m sure he is a great inspector but the tide has changed and the old ways are just that “OLD”

If OAHI is so great how come all the case law I read from Ontario has no cases against Nachi or CMI’s, but all to do with OAHI, why do you suppose thats is?

The argument about online accreditation seems meritless when you look at facts versus hype and unsubstantiated claims.

Bruce should ensure OAHI’s house is in order before being dismissive of other associations.

Mr .Bruce McClure RHI
You state in your missive “As usual I explained that a person can become a “Certified Home Inspector” in a few
hours on line, or even a “Certified Master Inspector” without ever having performed one single Pre-Purchase Home Inspection.”
The first statement to the best of my knowledge that is at best self serving and a lie. Please provide facts as to where a person could become a “Certified Home Inspector” in a few hours.

What you and all the other whiners about on line certification fail to realize and account for is the simple fact that no one could pass the on line exam at InterNACHI in a few hours. It may take only a short time to take the exam but it could not be done prior training and education which can take the form of courses just like the ones you took in class dedicated to teaching someones brand of home inspection, or perhaps in a school setting run buy a franchise group or maybe even on line courses and of course many years of experience hands on in the trades where most of us come from.

In fact I became a “Certified Home Inspector” in a few hours on line: However I had a Carson Dunlop Certificate from Carson Dunlop directly and dozens of on line courses from InterNachi as well as forty years of hands on renovation and building building experience. I still claim and advertise myself as a Certified Home Inspector.

You too sir became a RHI in only a few hours by taking a simple test.
I sat a seven hour proctored exam and I know damn well you did not.

I see no reason to be dismissive of on line certification provided the examination is properly set up to thoroughly test the knowledge of the applicant. I see even less reason to lie to the public just to make yourself look good.
As to the second statement that a person could be a “Certified Master Inspector” without ever having performed one single Pre-Purchase Home Inspection." that too is a self serving lie, You know Nick has stated and explained this would be theoretically possible only but not allowed to happen. The qualification is set up so the two requirements, practical and educational, can vary not exclude one another.

On the other hand it is possible for a know nothing, no experience, 17 year old to sit in a class room for several months and obtain some book learning, pass a few quizzes and then take some simple tests, sit and walk through a couple of set up “inspections” and pay OAHI their fee of course, then to be let loose on the public as an RHI
You do yourself and the public a disservice by claiming RHI is a measure of competence.
The RHI designation you are so proud of frankly is every bit as meaningless a designation as any other. Wise up, RHI and Certified are both about marketing not a set competence level.

Bruce I wish it was not true but it is. You can take the exam and only 2 courses then be listed as Certified. I do not agree with this part of InterNachi.
Part about CMI is not but that might be a lack of understanding.

Is anyone in the Registry of OAHI an automatic Registered Home Inspector?

Self explanatory.

That letter is a good read, though it is addressed to OAHI. I can only assume they asked their lawyers to draft a letter to back up their beliefs. The last page of the letter states that the lawyer “believes” the court would interpret it as such.

Yes it is written in Section 6 that “6. (1) The board of directors may pass by- laws regarding such matters as are necessary to conduct the business and carry out the objects of the Association and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, in addition to the matters specifically elsewhere provided in this Act, the board may pass by-laws,”

Bylaws CANNOT contradict or change the bill. If bylaws could changed the Bill, then the whole premiss of having a a Bill to begin with is pointless. Section 6 is in place to give the board of directors the ability to run the association, not change it.

Here is a link to the Bill 158 for everyone to read.

https://www.oahi.com/download.php?id=4

Lets be honest, would a bill really go through three readings in parliament with having one section contradict and the ability to change another? No it wouldn’t

Ray, The Canadian Information Processing Society went through this exact issue when their Bill was construed some 4 years later (Bill Pr21 1998), it was recognised that the wording in Prior enactments recognizing not-for-profits allowed too much leeway to the designations offered by membership. The wording was changed to ensure Membership and Designation was restricted in the act to a single membership type. Unfortunately for OAHI they got their Bill in early, and the legal system didn’t realise the issue until later.

I believe if this was argued in court, comparing the OAHI Bill and subsequent Bills that were tighter in their wording would indicate that there was an opportunity to argue the position in court, which would push the costs up.

Changing the Act (Pr158) would be cheaper.

Thanks TJ, I can’t say I disagree with you nor Len.

I was the catalyst which prompted the reply from the Oahi legal counsel.

But there is more to simply arguing what the Act states. Things which have to be considered:

  1. Legislative intention
  2. Specific Intention
  3. Presumed Intention
  4. Expressed Intention, and
  5. Legislative Purpose.

By exploring the nature of each of these forms of legislative intention, it may be possible to clarify the manner in which the courts interpret statutes, while at the same time dispelling some of the fear that surrounds the interpretation and application of statutory language.

Needless to say it would be interesting to have another legal review on this matter for comparative points of view.

I would also like to clarify that the current board is not to be faulted, its the old boys network who still control the admissions review board who actually call the shots within OAHI and who have been party to the discriminatory practices, and other mismanagement issues.

From the Hansard
Committee Transcripts: Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills - December 07, 1994 - Bill Pr158, Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994

Bill Pr158, Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994
http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/committee-proceedings/committee_transcripts_details.do?locale=en&Date=1994-12-07&ParlCommID=510&BillID=&Business=Bill+Pr158%2C+Ontario+Association+of+Home+Inspectors+Act%2C+1994&DocumentID=18163#P256_32987

ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF HOME INSPECTORS ACT, 1994

Consideration of Bill Pr158, An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

The Chair: Our next order of business is Bill Pr158, An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. I ask Mr Cooper to introduce the applicant.

Mr Cooper: It’s a pleasure to be here to sponsor Bill Pr158, An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, on behalf of my colleague Gord Mills. With me today is Ron Segal, the solicitor, and Terry Carson, who’s one of the members.

The Chair: Mr Segal, are you speaking on behalf of the association?

Mr Ron Segal: That’s correct.

The Chair: Please make your opening remarks, and if Mr Carson would like to make some remarks afterwards, that’s fair enough.

Mr Segal: Firstly, I’d like to state that the purpose of this bill is to incorporate the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and to enable it to grant to its members the right to the exclusive use of the designation “registered home inspector.”

I’d like to start with a general overview of the home inspection industry. Home inspectors are private practitioners who are responsible for providing impartial advice on property conditions to home owners, purchasers, occupants and other parties with an interest in property. They should not be confused with public sector building officials, who are responsible for enforcement of provincial building regulations or municipal bylaws. They should also not be confused with appraisers, who provide a monetary valuation of property.

Home inspectors are generalists responsible for identification and analysis of observable defects in property. They do not perform any repairs, nor do they do specialized analysis of any deficiencies.

The principal type of inspection is the pre-purchase inspection of a resale of an existing single-family dwelling or a small multi-dwelling building. It’s estimated that 15% to 20% of all agreements of purchase and sale for such properties in Ontario currently provide for a home inspection to be conducted prior to the closing of the transaction. The home inspection is now an accepted part of the real estate transaction. Indeed, the Ontario Real Estate Association and the Toronto Real Estate Board both provide standard home inspection clauses to be inserted in such agreements.

I’d like to now say a little bit about the applicant, the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, and how it fits into this. They were formed in 1986. They’re a division of the federally incorporated Canadian Association of Home Inspectors, and a chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors. The American Society of Home Inspectors was founded in 1976 and it represents over 2,500 home inspectors across North America. Its standards for home inspection are accepted by government agencies in many jurisdictions as the definitive performance guide for home inspectors. It’s the only organization of its kind with stringent membership requirements.

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, as I stated, was formed in 1986. That was following discussions with the Ontario registrar of real estate. The registrar was concerned that at that time, the industry, being a new industry, did not operate under a set of standards or a code of ethics and suggested that the forming of a professional association of home inspectors would be viewed favourably by the registrar and would be in the public interest.

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors is the only active association of home inspectors in Ontario right now and its current membership is approximately 150 home inspectors throughout the province of Ontario. It could be stated that the majority of home inspectors in Ontario are members of the association and that the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors’ members currently conduct the majority of home inspections in Ontario. Indeed, the association estimates that its members perform approximately 80% of the home inspections in real estate transactions in Ontario.

I just want to touch briefly on the qualifications currently for membership in the association.

Candidates are required to pass two separate written examinations covering standards, ethics, general construction knowledge, defect recognition and systems operation. Candidates must have performed a minimum of 250 paid inspections which are conducted in accordance with the standards of practice of the association.

Those standards provide that there must be a detailed listing of particular components of the property that the home inspectors must observe in doing their inspection. Secondly, they must identify major repairs. Thirdly, and most importantly, they must provide written reports of the results of their inspection.

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Candidates must agree to conduct their practice in accordance with a certain code of ethics. That code of ethics provides that they must conduct their practice in accordance with law, integrity and honesty. In particular, it provides that members shall not act for or accept payment from more than one party in connection with any inspection; this to avoid any conflicts of interest. Also, they shall not use inspection work as a vehicle to obtain work in any other field.

Perhaps most importantly, members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors are required to maintain errors and omissions insurance under the group policy of the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors. The policy provides for $1 million liability insurance coverage.

Just briefly, I want to touch upon the relations between other institutions and the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. In addition to establishing high standards for home inspectors in Ontario, they work with other institutions in the province to strengthen the home inspection industry. Some examples include the Ontario New Home Warranty Program. The association has had discussions regarding the reporting of deficiencies when an inspection is conducted for a purchaser of a new home with the Ontario New Home Warranty Program, and indeed the Ontario New Home Warranty Program has trained a group of the members to conduct construction progress inspections on its behalf.

Another example is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, which has taken an interest in the private home inspection industry as being capable of assisting CMHC’s mandate of improving the quality of the nation’s housing. The CMHC, according to a recent study, encourages the growth of the industry in accordance with the model set up by the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

The association has also developed relationships with educational institutions, including George Brown College, which has become the first community college to offer courses recognized by the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. It also participates on Seneca College’s building construction regulations advisory committee.

In addition, the association conducts an ongoing public relations campaign which includes the distribution of brochures to the media, real estate offices and the public, explaining the importance of having a home inspection prior to purchasing a property.

Finally, I’d like to touch upon the reasons or necessity of this particular bill.

The home inspection industry is growing rapidly and it’s expected to continue to grow as more and more consumers become aware of the importance of a pre-purchase home inspection. Unfortunately, the Ontario consumer currently has no way of ensuring that any given home inspector which they might want to hire is qualified, is subject to any disciplinary proceedings and, most importantly, carries liability insurance. This is particularly a problem given that the recent growth in the industry has led to an influx of new entrants, including some franchises, many of which lack the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors’ commitment to education qualifications and ethics.

A report done by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations in 1988 on the real estate industry reviewed several new services provided in the real estate area. It identified the home inspection services industry and pointed out that one particular problem with regard to home inspection services is that there were no prerequisites for individuals presenting themselves as home inspectors. This would also be addressed by this bill.

Consumers have also been interested in the home inspection industry. In March 1989, in the Canadian Consumer magazine, there was an articled entitled “Inspection of Home Inspectors.” The article reviewed the current lack of regulation in the home inspection service industry, although it did point out that the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors had tried to standardize the industry.

The article summarized the need for regulation. I think that’s best summarized in something in the materials, the compendium, but I’d like to just quote a short paragraph out of that article which reads as follows:

“As the home inspection field grows, governments and consumers would no doubt have to consider a number of thorny questions. Buying a house is the biggest financial decision most Canadians face, one that’s fraught with technical details that many home buyers can’t handle. A home inspector can help them sort through that complicated process – and avoid financial headaches. But should consumers have to embark on a lengthy self-education process to be able to choose a responsible home inspector?”

The article went on to suggest that governments may want to consider a regulation system which would help consumers feel confident that the inspector they had hired was qualified to do the job.

More recently, in 1992, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp did a survey of the private home inspection industry. It made favourable reference to the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors as requiring its members to maintain errors and omissions insurance and follow a standards of practice. However, the report made reference to the non-existence of any mechanisms currently to ensure that private home inspectors were well qualified, notwithstanding that a majority of private home inspectors were in favour of standardized training and a certification program.

The consultant preparing the CMHC report recommended that the options for private sector home inspectors would include the restricted use of association logos to those who have met certain standards as well as the establishment of a private sector certification program.

In summary, both consumer groups and interested government agencies have recognized the need to provide Ontario consumers with a method to identify qualified home inspectors who maintain insurance coverage. In particular, the CMHC report specifically concluded that a private sector certification program was a good option in this regard.

In our view, given that the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors has already been noted as the organization which has played an important role in regulating the qualifications, standards and ethics of home inspectors in Ontario in the initial years of the industry, it would be a logical choice to oversee such a certification program that has been recommended.

Finally, I’d like to discuss what will be the effect of passage of Bill 158.

The bill, if passed, will, first, establish an Ontario non-profit corporation, the members of which will include the current members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and which will therefore represent home inspectors throughout the province. This association would operate independently of both the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors and the American Society of Home Inspectors and would set entrance requirements, discipline its members and establish education requirements specific to Ontario.

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Finally, I’d like to say that the objective of the bill is one of consumer protection, to ensure that Ontario consumers of home inspection services will be able, when they select a home inspector, to be sure the person is well qualified, follows standards of practice, follows a code of ethics and maintains insurance coverage.

I’d like to thank the members for consideration of this bill. If you have any questions, we’d be glad to take them now, and Mr Carson perhaps could address any specific questions concerning the curriculum.

Mr Terry Carson: Just a few brief notes. First of all, I’m overjoyed to be here. I’m the founder of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors from 1986. I have to say that from the very beginning we realized that we don’t operate in isolation, that not only do we have our clients, but we interact with government officials, we interact with homeowners, with vendors, with an industry.

A second hat I wear in that is I’m in charge of the examination for the American Society of Home Inspectors, so I consider myself rather well acquainted with the qualification process for home inspectors.

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On November 15 of this year in the Globe and Mail there was an article called “Venting Systems Posing Problems.” Some of you may be aware that a consumer advisory was issued on November 14. This was from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations relating to some problems with furnace vent pipes. To me, one of the greatest benefits we would have from this act is that we would gain recognition as an organization so that we would have much better interaction with various government departments and other interested parties. So when problems like this arise, we would be on the calling list of organizations like this. It’s this type of problem that we are seeing every day and where we know that we make a positive impact in preventing loss of life and I would say really ensuring the good housing stock in Ontario. Ontario Hydro did issue a similar type of recall on Flex-Heat, on a certain type of radiant heat, some years ago, and we have been cooperating in those efforts.

So I think my bottom line is we are here to help the consumer. We are here not only to operate on our own, but we are interacting with everyone else, and that’s where we feel the act will help us the most.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Carson. At this point I must ask for interested parties to identify themselves. Members will realize we had in the package a Mr Kodeda who wished to make a presentation. Please introduce yourself and make your remarks.

Mr Peter Kodeda: My name is Peter Kodeda. Being 35 years in construction, I’m assuming that to pass and recognize this private bill, 158, it’s almost overdue, and with respect to knowing construction, I’m basically supporting all this stuff which is with respect to the activities with the association, to be a member and associated with a number of the associations and institutes, especially in the past time, as a national director of American institute of constructors. I do know all the problems, to a certain point, in respect of the construction industry.

What these two gentlemen just did, a small presentation in respect of the introduction of the bill, definitely I am completely supporting everything that is done with respect to the activities of the association.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Kodeda. Are there any further individuals who wish to come forward on this matter? Seeing none, I would ask Mr Hayes to give the ministerial perspective.

Mr Hayes: Thank you, Madam Chair, but I do have a question before I give the ministry’s response.

You did allude to the fact that others would still be able to practise even though they didn’t belong to the association. But I do have the one concern, and that’s my personal feeling that we’ve seen other groups or organizations, once they got that title and recognition, along the line come to government and say, “We can’t allow these other people to practise unless they belong to our association.” I’d really like to know your opinion on how it would affect other people who are qualified, meet all the conditions, but choose not to belong to your association.

Mr Carson: If I could answer that question –

The Chair: The technician has to introduce you to Hansard so that when they do the printed copy, they know who actually said these pearls of wisdom.

Mr Carson: I am Terry Carson. I would say that if we were to start looking at what a home inspection is and who performs a home inspection, we will have any number of different people who may be perceived as performing that function. I would say that the inspection role may be performed, under some circumstances, by an architect who would be going ahead and doing a design of a house, by perhaps a contractor who will be doing something very specialized as far as the future construction.

The word “inspection” and the actual process are so broadly based that it depends on the specific function that is being fulfilled. I don’t see any way, with the different types of inspections and the different people who are out there, that we could claim any type of exclusivity, and we’re not.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Carson. Mr Hayes, did you want to continue with your remarks?

Mr Hayes: I just wanted to make that point, and I hope those things don’t happen.

The ministries of Municipal Affairs and Housing actually met and discussed with the applicant and they are not opposed to this application. The only thing the Ministry of Housing did, just for the committee’s information, is that it has just pointed out that it is a very young organization. Outside of that, we do not object to the application.

The Chair: Do I have any questions from members?

Mrs MacKinnon: This really raises something inside me that says, “Beware.” First of all, as a property owner or a homeowner, maybe I should declare a conflict of interest. If somebody wants me to, say so.

Interjection: No, it’s okay.

Mrs MacKinnon: We have inspectors coming into our homes all the time. I have one who comes in to see if you’ve got working fire or smoke detectors, one for my furnace, one for my water and one for my hydro. How many more do we need? Further, I can see, if it’s indeed started, the next thing we’ll know, our offices will be jammed with these people lobbying us for something else. Where does it end?

I’m going to be pretty obnoxious and vote against it.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): That’s not obnoxious.

Mrs MacKinnon: Well, call it what you like. I’m going to vote against it.

The Chair: At this point, I would turn to Mr Jordan.

Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): Thank you, gentlemen, for bringing forward this bill. I apologize for being a little late coming in on it this morning.

My first question is, how does this bill and the responsibilities of these people relate to the building inspector that we have now?

Mrs MacKinnon: My point exactly.

Mr Carson: I have to point out that we operate in a totally different sphere from the public sector building officials. The public sector building officials exist to enforce the Ontario building code in the case of new construction or in the case of renovations or repairs. We also have other public sector officials who enforce municipal bylaws. We operate totally independently for either, let’s say, a prospective purchaser or for an owner. We are not there to enforce bylaws. We are not there to insist that smoke detectors be present. We are there to advise people and provide information.

More specifically, when someone is buying a house, we go in there and we give them a much better idea of the conditions, be they safety related, be they the expected age they may have out of a roof, whether their electrical system is going to perform as they intend, and then of course sometimes energy efficiency. So we take it from a totally different perspective. We’re providing information rather than enforcing existing standards.

Certainly, when we see safety issues, we feel that we perform a similar public service and we overlap in a sense by advising people that they have a problem.

Mr Jordan: Where do you receive remuneration? From the user?

Mr Carson: That is correct, sir. We receive remuneration from the user as opposed to other parties.

Mr Jordan: Do you have standard fees that you apply for general inspections?

Mr Carson: Yes, we do.

Mr Jordan: I just noticed this morning that there’s another group that has opened an office in Toronto and across Ontario under green industry. They’re doing home inspections, they’re checking furnaces, they’re checking insulation and they’re checking windows. It’s a consortium that’s been formed among a group of some utilities and the Ministry of Environment and Energy. They’re providing this service free of charge. They’re coming out to the homes. They have a number in the Globe and Mail this morning to provide this service free of charge.

Mr Hansen: They’re most likely selling insulation. You get a free inspection to put more insulation in.

Mr Jordan: No, no. They’re working for your Ministry of Environment. He’s brought it together as the minister. They’re paid some by the Ministry of Environment, some by the utilities, some by the different groups in the consortium.

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I thought the Ontario building code covered everything along with the Ontario electrical code, and the inspection you had to go through. Perhaps the contractor, after 35 years’ experience, would be well qualified to advise me on what I was going to gain from this inspection that I can’t get – I can get a general inspection on wiring and everything from Ontario Hydro for a fee. I can get a general inspection on my heating system for a fee. Is this a bringing together of all this?

Mr Carson: May I talk?

The Chair: Please.

Mr Carson: I want to answer the question by pointing out two things. First of all, in the past there have been any number of government programs, by both federal and provincial, where specific items would be inspected. We do bring everything together and we would not exist if it were not for public demand, the demand from the consumer. The reason we have grown to the extent we have is that the public does not have confidence in individual programs like this to provide information in dribs and drabs. We tend to be brought in to provide more of a comprehensive picture, especially from the point of view of people purchasing houses or properties or wanting far more detailed information.

The other very important point is that the codes you were referring to, the electrical code and the building code, deal very specifically with new installations and in some cases retrofit. I would say that if we look at the housing stock in Toronto alone, there would be comparatively few that would meet all the standards for the modern electrical code. The codes do not define existing standards for the most part, the exception being some of the new apartment and house regulations on the rental front. But from the point of view of a single detached dwelling that is owned and operated by a single family, it’s very rare that someone would be in a position that a house like this will be looked at by someone comprehensively unless we go in there, unless someone really wants it.

Mr Jordan: So basically, having this bill and having you registered as a professional in the field is a protection for the user?

Mr Carson: That’s correct, sir.

Mr Tony Ruprecht (Parkdale): I understand Mrs MacKinnon’s concern that there are so many inspections and so many different groups out there and I can understand why you would almost get sick and tired of all of this, and your question was, “Where does it all end?” But I’m going to have to support this, and I’ll tell you why.

Essentially, I’m a firm believer in regulating an unregulated industry in order to establish some set of guidelines and standards. As it stands right now, anyone can say they belong to some association or do it totally independently and come up with various quotes, because we don’t have standards set.

In order to belong to this association, if I understand this correctly, you have to have certain educational requirements; you have to have certain tests that you have to pass in order to get into the association. That’s why I think it would be a good idea to establish this association.

Mr Hayes, of course, has some concerns; I think they are well founded, but they were answered as well: that you’re not forcing anybody to belong to the association even though there will be some subtle pressure, I suppose, associated with it as you continue in your drive to try to formulate some guidelines for the association. I think that will happen in due time. In the meantime, of course, if you are a home inspector you don’t have to belong to the association.

Some of these questions have been settled in my mind, and I would certainly support the establishment of the association.

Mr Fletcher: I share some of Ellen’s concerns also. I have no problem with the organization advocating on behalf of the consumers. It seems that they start to advocate on behalf of themselves also, but that’s a headache for any government and that doesn’t matter.

Looking at, “At any meeting of the association, two fifths of the members of the association, whether present or represented by proxy, constitutes a quorum,” insurance companies love to do that too where they collect all the proxies. You could have two people at a meeting who have all the proxies, constituting a quorum, passing bylaws, making judgements, and the whole membership is not aware of what’s going on. If it became a political movement, which is very possible – that happens in some of the biggest organizations where the proxies are being used – people actually do not realize what is being passed until it’s passed. No safeguards?

Mr Segal: As you say, I think it’s not an unusual provision just to ensure that business is conducted. The membership is from across Ontario, and it would be expected, certainly, that more members than that would come to a meeting.

Indeed, an important reason members would come to an Ontario Association of Home Inspectors meetings generally is because one of the requirements to remain a member is to achieve 40 hours of continuing education in every two years, and these hours also happen to take place at the same time as meetings are held. So that’s a good reason to ensure there will be a large number of members showing up at any given meeting.

In terms of what the membership can do, of course they cannot amend the legislation itself, and I think there couldn’t be any fundamental changes made to what the association does, nor would there want to be any. I don’t know. Mr Carson might know specifically how they conduct themselves, but I don’t perceive any particular problem with the fact that there is that quorum which, as I say, seems to be a standard quorum number in the models of the legislation that we relied on as precedents for this legislation.

Mr Carson: The only thing I would say is that in the past we have worked more by consensus than anything, and I’m pleased that has happened and that’s allowed us to go forward.

I just want to reiterate what was said. We put that provision in simply because it reflected what other organizations had and we felt this would be the most accepted. That’s the only reason that was there.

Mr Fletcher: I know there are many organizations that do it, as I said, but there are more and more that do not do that. I’m not going to belabour or belittle the point or make it a big point or anything else, but the one thing I can see is, supposing that section 13 of this bill were to be debated by proxy with 10 people at a meeting – and I don’t know what your membership is. Suppose it’s 500 and there are 10 people at this meeting and they have all the other proxies and they vote to delete that section. Then all of a sudden we have a closed shop and it would make changes.

All I’m looking at are the safeguards in terms of changes to the bylaws or anything else that is in your constitution or any other part. There is a possibility of an abuse if there is not a safeguard in place to make sure that someone is not collecting proxies for certain functions or for certain pieces of your organization, to change certain aspects of your organization. That is a concern I have as far as the proxy is concerned. I probably shouldn’t have that concern, because I think you’ll probably look after it, but it’s something that maybe you should look at in the future.

Mr Hansen: I’m going to support this bill. As a homeowner, and I’m sort of a handyman too, but there are a lot of people out there –

Mrs MacKinnon: That’s the kind of people I like.

The Chair: It’s the blue thumb club.

Mr Hansen: There are a lot of handymen out there, I can tell you. But the thing is that purchasing an older home, say, built in the 1920s –

The Chair: How about the 1870s, like mine?

Mr Hansen: Well, whatever. The thing is that I would like to know, if I called the Better Business Bureau to find out about a person inspecting homes, even though the rate could be $100 for one and $200 for the other – you could be paying $200 for this inspection which is poorer than the one you’re getting for $100 if the man isn’t qualified to do the job. He might have a fancy sign and a big ad in the telephone directory, but he doesn’t know beans about hydro, he doesn’t know beans about house inspection, just a fancy card or a fancy sign.

This way you can regulate. You know what you’re getting for your money. I think that if you’re going to regulate yourselves and set the standards, then the standards most likely will keep going up as the organization grows.

We had the town planners in here I believe two weeks ago with a bill. There were objectors, people who just object to joining anything. You’re going to get that, but I don’t see anybody objecting today. They had the opportunity to come forward to this committee. So, therefore, I’m going to support this bill.

1020

Mr Jordan: Supposing you inspect my home and it meets all requirements, in your opinion. Do you have a stamp or certificate or something I can have or just a receipt that the inspection has been done?

Mr Carson: Normally, after we complete an inspection on the home, if you hired us we would provide you with a report, and the report would outline the conditions that we observed at the time. We are not out there to provide you with a guarantee or with a certificate as such, but yet we do have responsibilities for the accuracy of what we do state.

Mr Jordan: But there wouldn’t be a sticker on my furnace or on my electrical panel or on my septic system that said it’s been inspected and passed your requirements.

Mr Carson: No, there isn’t, sir, because we have viewed ourselves as not being code enforcers or working to the code, so we prefer to stay away from that. That doesn’t preclude us from getting into some sort of program like that in the future if some ministry or that asks us to get involved. But no, we currently don’t have such a program.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): I’m pleased to support the bill. Noting Mr Hansen’s speech, I would have preferred if he’d said he was a handy person around the house rather than the term he used, but we’ll let that go by. I think the self-regulation of professions and people who gear themselves for professional status is very important in our society today, and I agree with the application.

Mr Hansen: Would you like me to, on Hansard, change the word –

The Chair: Mr Hansen, thank you.

Mr Hansen: I’m sorry.

The Chair: We do have a list. We do try to keep some order.

Mr Hayes: You’ve got to address Mr Hansen the proper way, I think. He said a handyman; it should be a handy person. But I think it’s really the blue thumb club, like the Chair said earlier.

In regard to Mr Fletcher’s question, and I don’t think you responded to that, in terms of voting by proxy or any other way, they can’t just vote to take the section out of this bill, because it’s in the statutes.

Mr Fletcher: The bylaws can’t be changed.

Mr Hayes: Yes. They can’t be.

The Chair: At this juncture, I would ask if members are ready to vote. Agreed? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 15 carry? I declare the motion carried.

Shall the schedule carry? I declare the schedule carried.

Shall the preamble carry? I declare the preamble carried.

Shall the title carry? I declare the title carried.

Shall the bill carry? I declare the bill carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Gentlemen, my 1870 house appreciates your being out there. Thank you.

Mr Hansen: You should have had them check it before you bought it.

The Chair: I know, with the urea formaldehyde insulation.

Just a point of clarification. You can join InterNACHI by taking an exam, but you don’t become visible until you pass it. It is the highest fail-rate exam in our industry and the highest passing cut-off score (80) in our industry. On a side note, all of our course exams have a passing cut-off score of 80.

Click on this link for up-to-date exam stats: http://exams.nachi.org/oe/stats.php It takes about 3 minutes to compile, so be patient. 174,000+ people have taken the exam and we keep very good statistics on everything including every question and every answer so that we can demonstrate its psychometric validity.

Click on this link for information about our passing cut-off score: www.nachi.org/aboutexam.htm

What this means is yes, some can take a couple courses, pass our exam on the first try and become visible members nearly immediately. Most others struggle and have to take many of our courses and even repeat some of our courses before they can pass our exam and become visible members. And even more (59%) can never pass and never become members.

In essence, InterNACHI requires less work from veteran, competent inspectors, more work form newer, less competent inspectors (so that they can achieve competence), and outright rejects most inspectors who are trying to join.

From a consumer protection point of view… InterNACHI’s system is perfect already, But it is also on-top-of and in addition to whatever your state or province requires.

Your letter was much kinder than mine Ray :smiley:
Glad to see you on the NACHI team once again. Kudos to you and Nick for making amends. Your posts of late have been informing and interesting. Thank you.

I’m glad you brought that up. Across Canada, publicised lawsuits seem only to site the great RHI. Guess they could have used some free online education with some even better business perks from nachi.org/benefits. :slight_smile:

Thanks Stephan,

I also have a bone to pick with MCS. They have not been able to provide clarification where they pulled the 390 law suits out of the air. We all need to hold their feet to the fire.

As to Mr. McClure he is on a PR tour, anything to get a book sold, make it controversial… but his comments are hypocritical to say the least given what has transpired in OAHI. OAHI still owes me $300 for my appeal, which I won. Maybe Mr. McClure can find it in his heart to write me a cheque, eh? :wink:

Cheers,

Biggest issue you can’t do in live training is capture everything. In InterNachi training you can get everything even if you must go over it page by page to understand. So I support what Nick is saying but would like to see the bar raised for minimum needed to call yourself a Certified Nachi Inspector. Something like what is required for a license.
As for lawsuits I also would like to see the numbers and where the problem is.
Thanks Ray for all the work you do to push things down in your area.

I too wish to thank Raymond for returning to the NACHI forum. I am always amazed at his intelect, wisdom and clarity. Personally it is a pleasure to see his posts although I do enjoy our private conversations by phone.

Welcome home my friend.

Bryce Jeffrey

Yes Kevin but as I point out there is a great deal of experience and or training before one can pass an exam leading to certification. In simple fact without considering the background training and experience that goes into any effort leading to testing the statement is also true that a pilot can get a license to fly by taking one test and a short solo flight.

BS I have been able to pass many tests with ease.
I will also say that having trained the Home Inspectors here the courses provided by Carson Dunlop were very easy to pass. This is nothing new in industry.
It is almost impossible to fail in College these days. I do however have respect for InterNachi as they have the most comprehensive info on the training and the test scores are just a bonus.