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Changes are coming, are you ready?

Written by: DougT | May 14, 2015

uprightwithglassOn September 19, 2014  BC Housing Minister Rich Coleman announced that home inspectors will be required to meet a standard set of professional criteria in order to be licensed in British Columbia.  The improved requirements, which are to be in place by the end of 2015, are intended to protect home buyers relying on these inspections for making what is quite likely the largest investment of their lives. So is it really necessary for the government to step in and further regulate the industry? Many of the inspectors that I spoke to at the recent CAHPI conference, held in Richmond this past week seemed to be in agreement with the minister’s announcement.  Let’s face it, a level playing field is good for business and this is not the first time the provincial government has been involved in decisions within the home inspection arena.  In 2009, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to require inspectors to be licensed and carry insurance. The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors — one of the four groups that currently license inspectors — said conditions greatly improved with the 2009 regulations.  As it stands now, inspectors (approximately 440 licensed in BC) must pass regular examinations to obtain and keep their licence but with four different associations that can issue a licence, and each with its own evaluation criteria, the licensing process seems rather heavy.  Yet despite the multiple choices for obtaining a license, a survey by the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards, revealed that 78 per cent of home inspectors felt the requirements for a licence are too lax. That’s a pretty hefty number on anyone’s scale, hence the government involvement.  Creating a standard set of rules and regulations ensures that every home owner has the opportunity to work with a true professional in the inspection field and that they can rest assured that the inspector they choose has met and/or exceeded the requirements as set out by the government of British Columbia.  Now the questions remain… what will those standards look like? Will the government adopt a set of standards from one of the current licensing groups, will it be a combination of all of their standards or will it be something completely new?  And more importantly to the inspectors, what is this going to cost them in terms of addressing these changes.  No doubt their will be many recycle bins throughout the province over flowing with preprinted inspection forms by the end of the year and printing companies will be inundated with orders for new forms.  Good news for the printing companies but not so much for the inspectors.

So here is where my shameless promotion comes into play.  If you’ve read this far, then at least allow me to plug our software solution, CORE Home Inspector (www.corehomeinspector.com), after all we are in the business of providing inspection software to the industry.  Once the new rules and regulations are in place, our programmers will enact the changes necessary to ensure that our customers will have the latest version at their fingertips.  All they will have to do is login as usual and the NEW template covering the changes will be uploaded instantly.  There… plug over.

Like many new government initiatives, there are occasional delays in the implementation.  I suspect that this could be the case again when it comes to these new standards. But rest assured that the changes will happen and I further believe that they will be strictly enforced.  This is something that appears to be generally well received within the inspection community.  Sometimes change is not good, and sometimes we change things just for the sake of change, but when changes made bring consumer confidence and industry wide acceptance, how could this be considered anything but good?