Professional or Trade Association.

To start this discussion I would define the difference between the two as

  1. A professional association has future members complete their theory training before attempting the practical training. They also accept students that wish to attend classes and work at the same time period.
    The student can not sign off on his work until fully competent as judged by those already having professional status.
  2. The trade association has future members combine the field and theory training at the same time.
    During the training period they perform work and take responsibility for it. The apprentice process.
    Other associations call for fee paid inspection as part of the requirement to obtain certification.


I hope you are referring to CAHPI Alberta only because CAHPI National does not do that nor do many of the CAHPI provincial associations. I also think CAHPI Alberta has inspectors take a number of courses before they give them the green light to practice.

Even the much-maligned OAHI makes inspectors take several courses and pass several exams before allowing them to perform Home Inspections. They are even instituting a mentorship program soon.

We all do things differently, and I think it’s time to quit thinking any one body has a monopoly on what is right. No association has all the answers, and no association is all bad.

It’s time for the industry to start working together so maybe one day we can actually call ourselves professionals. With some of the pitiful training available, we sometimes aren’t even qualified to be tradspersons. With all the disunity and strife now in the industry, outsiders consider us a bunch of unruly school kids, and we deserve it.

I can’t vote in your poll because I don’t see the answer I believe should be there…O Vote for Neither

Bill Mullen

I do not want this thread to become a debate about this or that association. What I’m looking for a sence of how we view ourselves. Are we tradesmen or professionals?
Have you voted?
In responce to your comment I have deleted reference to the other associations.

What am I missing?
If you are not a professional or a tradesman what do you consider you are?

Until we are all doing the job to a consistent level of verifiable expertise, we are neither. I’m not sure what we are, but as long as a person can start doing inspections by merely buying a flashlight and clipboard and printing some business cards, we are not tradespersons and we sure as heck are not professionals.

Bill Mullen

Thanks for the deletion, Vern.

I still don’t think I can vote, but I think we are closer to being tradspersons than professionals.

Bill Mullen

I am always amazed at people like you who insist upon identifying yourself with the least common denominator. Because a home inspector in some part of the country might not be minimally qualified…then none of us are. Because there could be a home inspector in some part of the country who cannot perform at the minimum basic standard…then none of us can.

Because there may be an unprofessional home inspector in your province, it keeps you from identifying yourself as a professional.

I am very sad for you.

In my lifetime, I have been led by good Presidents…and bad. Presidents are still considered pretty powerful people. I’ve had good doctors…and some I wouldn’t recommend to treat a cat…but doctors are still professional people.

I’ve gone to plays and have seen good actors and bad…I’ve read good literature and bad…and no one has ever considered licensing either.

You waste your life and time for people to invent a foolproof designation…one where only the most competent can attain…and then a Curly Howard falls through the cracks…and suddenly…you are unprofessional again.

I really feel sorry for you guys.

Your third choice, desperate. (8\) When you put it like that.

Are inspectors in Canada licensed?

Are these designations CAHPI or OAHI something that is required for a license in Canada to be in the inspection business?..or are they just like NACHI and ASHI, just associations you can belong to if you want, and if you don’t want to, well that’s fine too?

You can if you want, we are not required to be licensed or certified, I researched the different associations for almost 2 years with 2 things in mind–#1 which would benifit my future clients? #2 which would benifit me? It was not a matter of belonging to “some” association for me. There are r/e offices that won’t display an inspectors info if you don’t belong to OAHI here in eastern Ont. no reason given,just policy. As for Vern’s original post, I like to think of us as a professional association, but I am not above being involved in the trades, isn’t that where most inspectors come from? The word professional gets thrown around alot these days, I just got out of the trucking industry 2 months ago,supposed to be “professionals” but as you know from the carnage on US and Canadian highways the license mills are turning out unprofessionals. I was getting embarrased to be a driver.
How about professional with our ego in check?

Here’s my 2 cents as I see it. A trades person is a plumber, electrician a restoration specialists, etc. A professional is lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc.
I see Home Inspectors in the professional category. I think I understand Bill in that the professional image of HI’S has a long way to go but this is where I’d place them.


As a man thinks, so he is. Too many in this “profession” think of themselves as tradesmen. They look like it, talk like it, spell like it and act like it. As long as the HI business has individuals who are minimally trained and do not bother to pursue further education and pander to the Real Estate establishment in order to get just enough money to pay their expenses this perception will not change. One of the main reasons so many go out of business. They basically have an expensive hobby rather than a business. We have hundreds of threads discussing tips on how to attract new business. Many of them push ideas on giving away things and trinkets like the hawkers at the Midway trying to attract people to the penny toss booth. If someones sees themselves as a low grade, bargain basement business, so will everyone else. The steady supply of newbie, low ball inspectors keep this perception alive as well, and many Realtors are happy to refer these guys to their clients. How many Realtors have ever ask you to lower your fees because their client does not have a lot of money, and how many times has the inspector done it just to get the job? More than you know. I do not see any easy solution to the dilemma except to keep yourself on a higher path and BE the professional in every aspect of your job. You may not get all the little crappy jobs but eventually others will notice and respond accordingly.

Hear!! Hear!!!

After 5 years of having returned to fulltime HI in a new market 150 miles from my old home base, I am just starting to hit stride again. Last year was my best year ever and recently a bit of a trend is developing: I am being paid to drive to other provincial markets where there are from 3 to 6-7 certified/registered/other status HI’s . Friday I drove 55 miles (one way) and yesterday 85 miles (one way) in the other direction for inspections.

Bill, you are 100 percent on this statement. There are a good many who have no qualification and yet hand out cards that state they are an inspector.
One lady told me the inspector showed up the realtor called. She looked at him and asked…“Aren’t you the guy that ran the chip truck on the corner last week?” “YES, but toiday I am a home inspector!”

however you missed on the clipboard… one agent told me the inspector that the client hired, showed up with a sticky pad. He kept handing them notes. After an hour he said. " Do you want me to list them all on one sheet for convenience?" SHe told them in front of him, this was not how an inspection should go and go hire a real inspector.

Even in this association some postings scare me. When an “inspector” posts a picture of a direct vent gas fireplace and say they could not find a “chimney”? What else do they not know as they are evaluating a house?

Wow !! You can’t make up things like that ! Stories like that prove that we need to get serious about cleaning up our industry. This kind of problem is not unique to any one association or region of the country. It is very common, however, because we have allowed ourselves to become the lackies to Realtors and others in the real estate transaction who do not value our contribution. None of us has the exact solution, but surely if we try to cobble together the good points in every association we can come up with a good one.

I’ve heard lots of similar stories, although this one is a dandy. If we ever want to be perceived as professionals, we have to be willing to look and act like professionals and ensure that our colleagues do the same.

Bill Mullen

Pure, unadulterated bullcrap.


What is the bullcrap; the story told by David and commented on by Bill, or the fact that many inspectors including yourself fail to act like the professional you want to be seen as?

Curious professionals want to know? :wink:

“Professions are obligated to place the welfare of the public above their own financial self-interest and to maintain a high level of professional competence.” OACETT Professional Practice Study Manual

So I sit on the fence half way between what we need to achieve and where we are at.


If you feel you have a need to be and look unprofessional, that’s your right. If you feel it is professional for some of our colleagues to dupe the public by pretending they have more ability than they really have, that’s just sad.

Bill Mullen