is BC Home Inspection a failure

March 27, 2013 18:20 ET
After Four Years Is B.C. Home Inspection Licensing a Failure? By Craig Hostland, RHI and CAHPI(BC) President

**KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire - March 27, 2013) -**The end of January marked the four-year anniversary of the province’s announcement of a licensing program for B.C. home inspectors.
On January 30, 2009 a news release issued by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, John van Dongen, announced the regulation of the home inspection under Consumer Protection BC, declaring, “… consumers need to have confidence that the person who is doing the inspection has the qualifications to make a professional assessment”.
Unfortunately, this has become less of an assurance and more of a hollow statement due to the methods used for legislating home inspectors and the failed way decisions are being made to address the many serious problems in the home inspection industry.
If not corrected, licensing will continue to only benefit those who want to make a fast buck off recession-weary B.C. consumers.
What has happened?
It took ten years of aggressive pushing by the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors of British Columbia - CAHPI(BC) - media focus, and unified support from more than 50 B.C. municipalities, before the provincial government finally found the resolve to listen and regulate the industry - and to exclude from licensing a U.S. based fly-by-night group whose anti-consumer practices were reported on by [FONT=Verdana]The Sun and Global TV in 2006.[/FONT]
As recently as the one-year anniversary of licensing, we wrote in [FONT=Verdana]The Sun that Consumer Protection in BC was off to a strong start.[/FONT]
A great deal has happened since, but much of it as disturbing to the legitimate B.C. home inspection industry as it is dangerous for B.C. consumers.
In February of 2010, an Ontario-based home inspection association was accredited for licensing in BC.
This organization was formed out of that U.S.-based group whose online quizzes - in which a person could sit down, take the quiz, and for $200 be pronounced a ‘qualified home inspector’ - attracted [FONT=Verdana]Vancouver Sun and other media attention and perhaps was key to the BC government’s announcement of a licensing program.[/FONT]
Yet this organization now “met all the necessary criteria” and that its associate members qualified for licenses to inspect BC homes.
As a result, this new group began accepting for membership home inspector candidates who did not meet the high qualification standards of the two organizations initially recognized by Consumer Protection BC - CAHPI(BC) and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC). Reputable home inspection training providers, including B.C. community colleges, were reporting that students were bypassing rigorous training in order to join this new group, where they could immediately be granted licenses to perform home inspections in British Columbia.
Therefore, under-trained and under-qualified individuals were being supplied with B.C. licenses, and able to enter people’s homes and provide assessments on a condo, a house, or a property, so long as they promised to get training and education at some future date.
The shame is that the very people that B.C. government licensing was supposed to protect consumers from were being licensed through a loophole in the licensing regulation that has now allowed yet another out of province licensing body.
We saw this as a broken promise to BC consumers and brought this to the attention of Consumer Protection BC.
On our recommendations and diligent prodding, they implemented basic criteria that needed to be met by all new inspector applicants: 150 hours of formal home inspection education; academic examinations with a passing grade of 70%; a minimum of 50 hours of supervised field training; Peer Reviewed Test Inspection, an inspection by a qualified examiner who is aware of the deficiencies and safety issues of the property; and minimum continuing education hours of 20 per year.
CAHPI(BC) knew that, although a good first step, these qualification requirements were still woefully inadequate.
But then, Consumer Protection BC advised that in the future they would not change inspector entry criteria unless all 4 approved associations agreed in unison.
At the urging of Consumer Protection BC, in December, 2011 the four associations came together and spent a day ironing out critical changes that we all agreed were essential for the protection of the public.
Those changes included: a minimum of 300 hours of formal home inspection education; academic examinations with a passing grade of 80%; and a minimum of 100 hours of supervised field training prior to licensing. When the letter addressing these issues was prepared, one of the 4 associations declined to sign the document.
Since the Government requires unanimity amongst the 4 associations, the one association (comprising of less than 20% of the BC home inspectors) was allowed to stop progress.
After much delay and no sign of moving forward, in July of 2012 CAHPI(BC) took it upon ourselves to address these issues and a letter was sent to Consumer Protection BC explaining the crisis level need for these stiffer requirements in the industry, outlining our positions, and calling for early adoption and leadership in this drama.
To date, our initiative and efforts have been stymied by a rule that makes no sense. CAHPI(BC) comprises the majority of inspectors in BC but only has one vote - which is worthless when the only means of adoption is by unanimity and one player refusing to participate.
The fact is, the crisis in the home inspection industry is not about having only one association, although we wrote legislation for it more than 10 years ago, and it’s not about only having one standard, it’s all about not being able to implement logical important critical changes in licensing to ensure more demanding and powerful standards are adopted promptly and without stonewalling by a very small portion of the industry.
Consumer Protection BC is all about protecting consumers; but is severely limited by the Government of BC setting unattainable decision making criteria.
The home inspection licencing system should be continually enhancing consumer protection, not undermining it by allowing the continuation of accepting unqualified people into B.C. homes where they can influence the biggest spending decision British Columbians are ever likely to make.
One thing is certain.
Licensing has set a bare minimum standard that is woefully inadequate and has painted every home inspector in BC with the same brush.
Consumers beware - it’s just like before licensing - the wild wild west - except now inspectors are licensed to pull the wool over your eyes.
We call on the BC Government to convene a meeting of the 4 associations and hammer out the necessary higher standards, or let those who want to work with Consumer Protection BC implement these important and critical changes.
Why do CAHPI(BC) home inspectors care?
Because for over 20 years, CAHPI(BC) has led the charge for higher standards in the industry - now 275 Province-wide Professionals linked arm in arm - and I for one am proud to be a part of this grass roots effort and will never, never, never give up.

Craig Hostland is an Okanagan home inspector and president of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors of British Columbia

Just goes to prove
Licencing solves nothing!


Oh no here we go again!!!
CAHPI(BC)** highly recommends** the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection course. This course consists of 10 text books and CD’s and includes technical support. It is available through home study. The technical support is provided by Carson Dunlop and is available for one year after date of purchase. Cost for the complete course, including technical support, is $3995 plus $78.40 shipping (this includes the applicable HST) and is tax deductible. Click HERE]( for more information and HERE]( for an order form.

cha ching!!!


Some things never change .

Remember Whistler
Bill has a big anouncement comming soon

Thats awesome! Only because to 2 largest lawsuits filed against a Home Inspector in Canada are from BC, and award winning CAHPI members! What a joke!!!

…and licensing doesn’t protect anyone but only pads the governments pockets. Security guards are licensed, yet I’ve met many who can’t write English. Says a lot I think.

A recent W5 program has brought to light how flawed the BC Government regulated *Vehicle Safety Inspection Program *actually is. Under the governmental regulation all rebuilt or repaired cars involved in accidents have to pass a safety inspection before they can be offered for sale again.

The inspections are being carried out by private inspectors** “*authorized” ***by the Ministry of *Transportation. *Several of these cars declared safe by the “licenced” inspectors were in fact not roadworthy. The TV program documented that the entire governmental involvement is worthless, and does simply not provide any reliable consumer protection whatsoever.

It also became obvious that there is a similarity between used car dealers and real estate salespeople. Most of them engaged the services of their** *“preferred inspectors” ***to obtain a favourable inspection report to secure a sale.

**As long as real estate agents are permitted to recommend the services of home inspectors to any of their potential purchasers, no governmental licensing process will ever provide the consumer protection as claimed. **

The critical statement issued by the CAHPI (BC) President certainly confirms the failure of the licencing process in British Columbia.

RUDOLF REUSSE - Home Inspector since 1976 - Retired

Published Saturday, March 23, 2013 4:00PM EDT
We all know the stereotype of the shady used car dealer, and the Automobile Protection Association’s annual survey of used car dealers usually shows that there might be some truth to that notion.
In this year’s survey there were the usual suspects - dealers who misrepresent the condition of cars for sale, salesmen who don’t reveal a car’s full accident history, and even a few dealers who pass their test with flying colours.
But this year, the APA visited 20 Vancouver-area dealers and when W5 tagged along with our hidden cameras, we uncovered something more serious than ever before: dangerous, rebuilt cars that should have never passed a government-regulated safety inspection.

The dealer reported that the frame of this Honda was not damaged. APA investigators found the right side subframe rail was indeed damaged. It was straightened, very crudely re-welded and damage concealed with body filler.

W5’s hidden cameras visited used car lots in Vancouver, uncovering rebuilt cars that should have never passed a government-regulated safety inspection.

An APA-approved mechanic inspects a car from a used car lot, revealing damage that was not accounted for.

George Iny is the president of the Automobile Protection Association.
Even if a car has been written off after an accident in British Columbia, it can sometimes be rebuilt and re-sold, but only after passing two different government-regulated safety inspections – one to make sure the car is structurally sound, and the other to make sure it’s mechanically sound.
In our investigation, we saw dealers using these inspection records as part of their sales pitch; proof that the car they were trying to sell was safe.
During its visits to used car lots the APA saw approximately 50 rebuilt vehicles offered for sale. Eight were fully inspected by the APA ]( four of these were so poorly repaired they were not roadworthy.
So how did those cars pass a safety inspection? That’s what we wanted to know – and our reporting discovered a gap in the oversight of the safety inspection system.
One car in particular stood out as being the worst in this year’s survey – a 2009 Subaru Legacy.
The salesman at Lucky 8 Auto Sales admitted the car had been in an accident, but claimed that only the back of the vehicle had been damaged. When APA’s expert mechanics checked it out, they found the damage was much more severe than he had let on.
The car had actually been hit in the front quite severely and some of the repairs weren’t even complete – there was even an open weld.
APA President George Iny found “a very long gap where two pieces of metal had bent after a collision and nobody had repaired them.”
When we tracked down the car’s inspection records, they offered few clues on how the car had passed inspection; the paperwork was incomplete, yet somehow the car had been certified both structurally ](!/httpFile/file.pdf)and mechanically safe.
Iny compared the form to a blank cheque: “They haven’t put in who it’s payable to or the amount that’s the equivalent. It’s not clear to APA how that car would pass. You would either need a form of willful blindness by the two inspection authorities or some kind of collusion maybe between the repair shop and the sellers,” Iny said.
The salesman at Lucky 8 Auto Sales, Stephen Lu, claimed that the car had passed all the required safety inspections.
"This car has no safety issue on the car. The government does the inspection,” he said.
But during an interview with W5 he admitted that the car had been very badly repaired, and when they discovered this the vehicle was returned to the wholesaler.
W5 asked British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation about the APA’s survey and the inspection records we uncovered.
Perry Dennis, the Deputy Director of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement defended his department’s oversight, insisting that his division does hold the authorized inspectors at the inspection facilities responsible.
“We audit them every two years. If we suspect that there are facilities out there that are not following the rules, we have numerous ways of watching and ensuring that they’re inspecting to standard,” Dennis said.
However, Iny said that the inspection paperwork is no guarantee. “You have the illusion that a vigorous authority is looking over the rebuild process and what we are telling you at APA is no such thing, not in the Vancouver market.
It’s a problem Dennis Pieschel has seen first-hand. He used to work for the provincial insurance company, ICBC, as an estimator. Now he’s an independent consultant.
He calls the vehicle inspection system in the province a farce and told W5 he finds “vehicles that are being repaired improperly and being sold to people that are totally dangerous, totally dangerous