Not yet. However,
Over the past few months the Ontario Government has setup a panel of Advisers that is putting together information and recommendations for the Home Inspection industry.
They feel this panel should address issues that face this industry. Items such as proper Qualifications, the responsibilities of the Inspectors and the Industry in general were to be tabled, discussed and recommendations are to be provided.
The Members of this Advisory Panel were taken from what the Government felt was a wide group of parties that have already had important roles toward developing this industry over the years. Currently the only “Association” that has Government recognition in Ontario, is the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI), and was invited to make up part of this panel. This panel has been in operation for several months now and has already been providing their recommendations to the Government and is expected to wrap up the complete process toward any Legislation in less than two years.
On Sept 3 2013, several of the Board of Directors (myself included) from the OAHI, along with our Adviser, Mr Aubrey LeBlanc, met with the Minister of Consumer Affairs, The Honorable Tracey MacCharles.
The Minister advised us that the Premier of Ontario has taken a personal interest in the current situation of this industry and is looking for direction in making changes that would give the industry some better accreditation, a more transparent presence, as well as more protection for all parties involved.
From the discussion we had with the Minister, it became very obvious the Government did not have a complete understanding of the role this Profession performs, but has looked at the way that other Provinces have provided Legislation to direct his industry and found it does not perform the way it should be.
Some current Legislation and Qualifications for Home Inspectors in other Provinces, that have been put into place have been knee jerk reactions from situations that some party felt they needed to change. Two of three Provinces keep changing their Legislation to try to rectify a situation that has gone from bad to worse in their opinion. Minister MacCharles advised us that this was something Ontario wishes to avoid and when they feel the right information and direction can be decided upon, we will see much better Legislation put in place that will be of value to all concerned.
Minister MacCharles indicated to us that this was just a first meeting with ones the current Government felt has actual direction and proper direction for this Industry.
As previously mentioned, the only current designation in the Home Inspection Industry that do have any Government recognition is held by the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. The designation that all inspectors are expected to obtain is the RHI (Registered Home Inspector).
Some people do think that this industry is a regulated, licensed industry and sad to say there are “Inspectors” that do try to play on this. Several cities have created by-laws for their city dictating that several types of businesses have a license to operate. In my position as the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee for the OAHI, I field a lot of complaints where this license has been put forward as a credential for the industry. Another item that does not help this industry is the “online exam” type of inspector and at this time anyone who passes something like this can legally call themselves a certified inspector. My wife took one of these online exams. IT took her 24 minutes to pass with a 96% mark. There are a lot of so called inspectors who have this type of education/credential only. This makes a lot of confusion for a prospective purchaser who is relying on a Professional that knows what they are doing.
If you feel this information can be of use in your Real Estate office, I can make arrangements to make a presentation and discuss this with the Realtors in your office. Let me know.