Join the 300-Member Home Inspectors Association

Being a Home Inspector is a profession, not just a job. There was a time when to be a home inspector all you needed was a business card and some general construction knowledge but over the last 25 years this career has become a skilled profession.

In the last 5 years, the BC Provincial Government has progressively set out to licence and regulate home inspectors in BC. This has fundamentally changed the source of professional standards in BC.

Scattered Professionalism in BC

The Home Inspection industry is really quite young and to date, the Province of BC has recognized 4 different professional associations and there various standards of practice (i.e. what must be done in a professional home inspection). Here is a brief outline of the currently recognized associations and the number of licensed members reported by Consumer Protection BC:

  • Home Inspectors Association (HIA) - 283 licensed members (not including trainee members). Originally founded as a BC organization, HIA has been a major part of the Canadian home inspection landscape absorbing other groups and eventually becoming a founding part of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI). With changes to BC licensing creating differences of needs for BC members, a re-branding to HIA as a BC only organization was undertaken in 2015/16.
  • ASTTBC - 96 licensed members. A BC-only association tied to the Applied Sciences Technologists which is the group that looks after things like fire safety equipment in BC.
  • CanNACHI - 67 licensed members. Canadian offshoot of InterNACHI which is a large USA home inspection association.
  • National Home Inspector Certification Council (NHICC) - 5 licensed members. Formed from a  CAHPI schism in 2010 with the original intention to serve as a national standard for inspector testing

Each of the above associations have been recognized in BC for the standards of practice which create a professional industry. However, the Province of BC has announced it will be deciding on a common standard of practice in the near future. One potential Canadian standard of practice was created by CSA in 2016 and appears to have been adopted in Alberta, however early indications from Consumer Protection BC is this standard won’t be applied here.

The Future for Home Inspectors in BC

With provincial licensing requirements, the job of setting the standards of professionalism has shifted from the professional associations to the provincial government. With this change, the role of home inspection associations in BC has to change.

While some associations may push back on this to try and wrestle control from the government, the Home Inspector Association (HIA) is embracing the change to offer value to its members in the new environment. 

Some of the major roles that now need to be done by HIA include:

  • Providing field training and testing for potential new home inspectors
  • Providing ongoing training for existing members
  • Providing services to inspectors such as insurance coverage, access to group benefits, and safety bulletins 
  • Providing a strong common voice for inspectors to the government about issues impacting inspectors

A Call for All Home Inspectors to Join the HIA

One of the new Home Inspector Association Logos

With 4 different associations in BC the last few years, there have been some differences of opinion on professional standards. With the government setting their own standards, the ‘old’ role of the home inspection associations has been diminished and now is the time to come together with a single voice.

For professional home inspectors starting in September 2016, there is no longer a ‘need’ to be a member of a professional association. However, there is still a need to have a strong voice with the government about the future of our industry and un-affiliated inspectors will lose a strong voice.

The newly re-formed Home Inspectors Association is quickly adapting to the new normal in BC and is ready to represent its members and to provide value for membership. If you are thinking of becoming a home inspector or are not a member of HIA, call the HIA offices and discuss the value of membership (in particular our outstanding insurance coverage) and become part of a common voice of professionalism in the province.

 By James Bell - Author | Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc