Is licensing worth the effort?

The Alberta Government in its wisdom has now become the second provincial authority that has decided to waste taxpayers money on licensing a few home inspectors in an effort to protect the interest of Albertans who may or may not purchase a home sometimes.

It would certainly have been more effective to go for once after the real culprits of the mess in the resale housing market. But no one seems to have the courage to scrutinize the shady tricks and methods employed by the mighty and untouchable real estate profession to sell residential real estate to the unwary public.

It is simply ridiculous to assume that the licensing of about 1000 eligible home inspectors throughout Canada will ever have an impact to protect home buyers against the schemes laid daily by about 96,000 brokers and salespeople.

It is completely ignored that consumer complaints about the self-serving and biassed services provided by the real estate profession have actually triggered the public demand for **“Third-Party Home Inspections.” Three decades after its introduction however - no one care’s to remember. Only the powerful and influential Canadian Real Estate Industry has managed again to protect its turf. Home inspectors have simply become their whipping boys, and are now being blamed for all of their wrongdoings.
- Home Inspector since 1976 - Retired

I’m personally opposed to licensing, but in comparing all the licensing regulations in N. America, I’d have to say that Alberta’s is one of the best… Arizona and BC’s are two of the worst.

It was only a couple of years ago when in Ontario a few disgruntled Oahi members set up shop calling themselves Phpio which is an affiliate of the past and present reincarnate of National Certification.

This body called a meeting in London Ontario under the title of a symposium wherein it was announced through Laura Lyser of CREA that she could and would muster members of CREA to lobby the Ontario government to licence home inspectors on behalf of Phpio. The intent of the organisers was to have licencing fashioned under National Certification as the licencing benchmark.

The moral of the story with regard to licencing?

We don’t need any stinking real-estate body interfering with any form of licencing in Ontario. We also don’t need bodies representing inspectors whose own scruples lack when it comes to overseeing it’s own members.

You miss the point…but many do.

Licensing is not about “the consumer”. The only role that the consumer has in the licensing issue is the constant exploitation of him by reference to him made by those who stand to gain, financially, when the law is passed.

The only consumer group to ever weigh in on the licensing of home inspectors, represented by the national president of Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (HADD), opposed it.

So…arguing as to how licensing helps or hurts consumers is simply not germaine to the issue. Consumers simply don’t care, either way. Licensing proponents know this and use the illusion of “protecting the consumer” as a disguise for their own greed.

Jim you are especially correct in Canada where the seller of outrageously over-priced, outdated course material just happens to be the founder of the Canadian association that requires… you guessed it… courses taught using his outrageously over-priced, outdated course material.

But the real unwitting participants in the scam are the government officials. Inspectors may get sold expensive, lousy courses, but the government officials often get sold a bill of goods when they issue but one approval for one course provider that requires inspectors to purchase… you guessed it: the outrageously over-priced, outdated course material.

So HI’s with all their insular infighting and oppostion to regulation have nothing to do with the state of the industry today…give the head a shake!!! Look at ourselves first before blaming realtors…the people the majority of HI’s suck up to!!

Become truly independent of these people!!

Where else in North America is “CMI” (or INACHI “certification” for that matter) a designation that, by itself, meets licensing requirements in a regulated jurisdiction? I rememember seeing Topeka once on the boards…any place else?? Someone was asleep at the wheel in Alberta…

BC allowed 4 associations’ designations to be recognized as meeting the licensing requirements in BC…why weren’t INACHI/MICB designations included there. Someone in Arizona must be watching closely!!!

Let’s lobby for unregulated doctors,dentists lawyers, mechanics, electricians…oh right! I guess you already have that where you live!!!

The real problem with restricted or out dated training programs is that it leads to the degradation of the industry saddled with these restrictions. It’s a form of censorship and has no place in a modern democratic society.
Education is the foundation of our civilization and makes it possible for the advancement of our standard of living.

Florida also accepted CMI certification as proof that the inspector had the experience required for grandfathering. Those are the last (most recent) two states/provinces that adopted licensing. Ontario is next to use CMI for grandfathering. See a trend developing?

I have to admit I am against licensing if it is on the models I have seen so far. They all seem to penalize the HI and require liability coverage that looks to be unjustly proportionate to the fees consumers expect to pay. The choices of accreditating institutions also seem questionable. And the fight goes on.
With regard to lousy courses?

Contrary to some of the comments I have read in this forum I had nothing but a positive experience with the Carson Dunlop course. I decided when looking at becoming an Inspector professionally the college courses seemed to be being taught by people often younger than myself and with far less experience in building and renovation than I had. They also seemed to take too long as many have mentioned and they were too expensive. I did realize that despite 40 years doing renovations and building I required education in specific areas like hvac etc and I looked for a course supplier with experience in the field. Carson Dunlop fit the bill.

Carson Dunlop have been in the inspection business exclusively since 79. Yes they helped set up the college courses, but they offered the course directly. When I contacted them the one thing over and above the course material I insisted on was a proctored final exam and at no additional cost and they agreed. It took me six months to do the full course, cost me precisely $ 3160.00, and I sat a 7 hour proctored exam which they arranged and paid for at a learning institute nearby.

The bulk of the course came in binders, some of which I still use for reference, and on CD’s. I did all the section tests on line at my speed and support was excellent with most calls answered within 24 hours and e mail answered by next day. Yes the voice on the cd’s made me go to sleep on occasion but the wealth of information from fifty years of home and commercial inspections is there in the cd’s and binders. Since I began my business, Done Right Home Inspections, I have on many occasions drawn from that material to make my determination regarding issues I have found. I consider that thousands of dollars well spent.

I have also completed many of the courses on line at InterNACHI and I am a proud member displaying the logo on my site, on my truck, the wife’s car, and my Jacket. I have found the InterNACHI courses much quicker to take as they seem to be not as detailed. In that I mean they stick to the basic information and are, as mentioned in other posts, short and to the point. There is just meat and potatoes while the Carson Dunlop course supplied the veggies as well. Ok not everyone likes veggies, and they may not be absolutely necessary but sometimes they are nice to have. I take the InterNACHI courses as a learning tool which they most certainly are. I find they are perhaps a little more up to date in some respects but in no way were the Carson Dunlop coursed outdated. In fact you must remember that we are not code officials or just looking at newer homes. Information on older ways of building and systems in the home are important when inspecting older homes. I can not attest to the material being up to date in the college courses as it did not all come from Carson Dunlop, some came from ASHI and other sources.

I will continue to take InterNACHI courses, they do indeed represent an excellent learning tool, and I will continue to be a proud member as I feel membership is an excellent value in an outstanding organization I will also be applying for the CMI designation as I can see the value in that too , as soon as the application to clear up a little teen age indiscretion comes through :roll:. But note with the CMI designation and just one year’s membership I will still have spent close to half the Carson Dunlop fee. That too I consider well worth the money spent.

Bruce Grant
Done Right Home Inspections

Good post Bruce. And another a strong argument for why there should be choices available.

Well said Bruce. I too took the CD courses but elected to go through the college route. The conversations and off topic discussions were, for me, worth the extra time and money. I took 2 to 3 courses per semester part time while working my day job. It took me nearly 2 years to complete but it was a great learning process. Your meat and potatoes analogy is bang on. While I wish NACHI would grow into more than just a trade association, I am very happy and proud to be a member also.

From what I read about the Florida licensing process, it was a fiasco!! There are comments in the florida threads!! I wouldn’t be bragging about being associated with that!! It sounded as though just about anyone that could sign an “X” could get a license without having done a single inspection.

BTW…2 jurisdictions out of 60+ in Canada and the US is not a trend…in your mind only!!


Well said!

Well, Nick…a couple of members speak well of the CD course and even the classroom format…as opposed to your response to a question from Vern M:

*“How many hours does it take to complete the CD course?” *


15 minutes to realize it’s garbage and throw it away.
149 hours to complete]( instead."

Member’s comment:
"I have also completed many of the courses on line at InterNACHI and I am a proud member displaying the logo on my site, on my truck, the wife’s car, and my Jacket. I have found the InterNACHI courses much quicker to take as they seem to be not as detailed. In that I mean they stick to the basic information and are, as mentioned in other posts, short and to the point. There is* just meat and potatoes while the Carson Dunlop course supplied the veggies as well**."*

IMHO, the “veggies” are the variety of experiences that really round out a background and produce a good inspector!! Can’t get that online!!

I guess that is why you can take the CD course on line. Makes the whole arguement moot re classroom vs. internet.

Back in 1991 I took the Carson Dunlop course at their offices in Toronto. It was a two week intensive course.

At the time it was the only game in town.

I must say that the Carson Dunlop system is proven, thorough and well their programs and other offers are well researched given their status and length in business.

I know for a fact that Carson Dunlop also has quite a history of being quoted in the media, as well as in the law courts. Plus the fact that CD only employs (I stand to be corrected) P. Eng. as inspectors.

Is the material strong on Canadian content and accurate, from what I have seen it is no more inaccurate then some of the ASHI training material with regard to geographic differences.

As to value of the CD materials, again, you cannot hold a candle to their marketing savvy, success and the number of students eager to sign on to a course because the value it there.

Lets face it when it comes to educating some find better ways to market their material. Inspectors who do their homework before taking any courses regardless how delivered will meet their expectations, wants and needs. The market will also dictate the success or failure of courses, word of mouth is a great marketing tool given the internet.

Brian McNeish writes:

Brian, that is ridiculous. Pointing out that we weren’t used for grandfathering in jurisdictions that either didn’t grandfather inspectors or that don’t even have licensing is like pointing out all the cities that don’t have NFL teams that never won a Super Bowl.

“A trend in my mind only?” Well, lets look at percentages:

Q: Of the provinces or states that used trade association membership or professional designation for grandfathering (such as Alberta, New York, North Dakota, and Florida) , what percentage used either CMI, InterNACHI, Florida InterNACHI, or CanNACHI?

A: 100%

Q: Of the provinces or states that require membership in a professional trade association (such as Pennsylvania, British Columbia and Alabama), what percentage accept membership in either InterNACHI or CanNACHI?

A: 100%.

Uh oh… I’m starting to see a trend. Let’s keep going.

Q: Of the provinces or states that accept online inspection education for pre-licensing (such as Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee), what percentage accept InterNACHI’s online courses?

A: 100%

Oh, this is definitely looking like a trend. Let’s keep going.

Q: Of the provinces or states that accept online inspection education for continuing education (such as Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin), what percentage accept InterNACHI’s online courses?

A: 100%

Shall I keep going?

There is an on line university here where you can earn degrees.
That university is the University of Athabasca located in Alberta.
You can earn your degree in architecture among other degrees from them.
No dough there are other on line schools, collages and universities that are accredited for many other professions.
The future is on line Baby!
If you think the last 100 years had big changes
You ain’t seem nothin’ yet.