The CAHPI Difference
The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors is a not-for-profit corporation that is owned and operated by the members of its various provincial and/or regional chapters. We have been present in the Canadian marketplace since 1982.
With the exception of British Columbia and Alberta where CAHPI has been front and centre in encouraging licensing, we operate in an unregulated environment; in most of the country, CAHPI members are self-regulated and have agreed to operate within our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of our Association. In Atlantic Canada, we have begun a campaign to institute regulation, but have thus far been largely met with indifference by politicians. We will intensify our effort to regulate our profession as time and resources permit; our resources are limited as we are volunteers and self-funded via membership dues. The voice of the consumer can add a lot a weight to our argument and we encourage you to approach your local provincial legislature member to press this cause.
CAHPI exists to provide consumers with qualified inspectors in spite of the lack of regulation. More information is available at CAHPI.ca.
CAHPI`s most senior designation is Registered Home Inspector (RHI), while Associate Members are those inspectors who have met some, but not all of the requirements for RHI. In the Atlantic chapter these members have passed a rigorous exam set by the third party testing organization that oversees the National Home Inspectors Exam (NHIE). This exam is used throughout much of the United States as the licensing standard for home inspectors. We have worked closely with this organization to develop an exam that takes into account the Canadian housing environment. In addition, each member must submit sample reports for scrutiny to confirm that they meet our Standards of Practice, and undergo mentoring from an experienced RHI member. We also subject each member to a Test Inspection-Peer Review (TIPR). This test sees inspectors inspect a home where examiners have previously determined the deficiencies that are present. The candidates must present a written report to the examiners and sit through an oral exam based on the subject property (they must submit to this test every five years). Because of the presence of wood-burning appliances in many homes, each RHI member must also successfully complete the code compliance course offered by WETT Inc. (Wood Energy Technology Transfer). As a final requirement for RHI, each member must verify that he/she has completed a minimum of 250 fee-paid inspections.
CAHPI does not offer to provide initial training for home inspectors; this particular need is fulfilled through community colleges and private market programs. While we do provide opportunities for continuing education for our members after they enter the profession, our principal function is to determine and monitor our members’ competence through the aforementioned testing and scrutiny.
All of our members are required to carry professional liability insurance to cover any settlements that may arise out of proven errors or omissions on their part. We take our role in the market place very seriously.
As a final note, here are some interesting facts about home inspections in Canada:
- Roughly 500,000 residences, new and existing, are sold in Canada each year
- Approximately 2/3 of all residences are inspected by a home inspector
- Home inspection in Canada is a $150 million a year business
- After the initial compliance inspections on new construction by municipal or territorial building officials, private home inspectors are the only group/profession to evaluate and recommend remediation of residential properties on a large scale
- Home inspectors scrutinize property valued at $115 trillion per year
- At a conservative level, inspections identify deficiencies valued at $1.7 billion in improvements per year, protecting the value and durability of the built housing stock in Canada
- Qualified inspectors are knowledgeable risk managers trained in issues which focus on occupant health and safety relating to a variety of hazards
- Many top inspectors supply additional services which offer even greater assurances of health, safety and comfort – indoor air quality, mould, wood burning appliances, energy efficiency, etc.