THE Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) says that it continues to maintain the highest standards in the industry while progress is being made on new government regulations to cover all home inspections in the province. On September 1, 2016, new rules were introduced that removed the requirement for home inspectors to belong to a professional home inspection association and at the same time established interim minimum standards of education and training at a level which is below HIABC standards.
HIABC President Vince Burnett says, “This resulted in confusion among consumers as to what training qualifications their home inspector might have. We look forward to the BC government issuing a unified Standard of Practice and strengthened training requirements for all home inspectors in the Province.”
HIABC has been working with BC Housing and Consumer Protection BC to improve home inspection standards and bring in a single scope of practice to cover all home inspectors so that consumers will have the confidence that their home inspector is well trained and competent. HIABC reports progress has been made over the last seven months on developing those unified standards and scope of practice.
Vice President Bob Hamm says, “We realize it takes time to do it right and we are encouraged by the progress. In the meantime, we are continuing to follow our HIABC standards which far exceed the minimum set out in the new regulations. We believe our standards already meet or exceed any new standard which will be developed. We feel home buyers should get the benefit of the highest standards of professionalism today and not have to wait.”
HIABC requires its members to receive 20 hours of continuing education training each year even though the current regulations do not require any. HIABC believes it is essential that home inspectors remain current with the latest building techniques and issues that affect home buyers and home owners.
In addition, HIABC requires that a new home inspector receive training from a minimum of three different approved trainers. HIABC believes this diversity results in a better trained home inspector as they benefit from a wider range of experience. The current BC regulation allows a new home inspector to receive all their training from a single approved instructor.
HIABC recognizes the importance of writing a professional home inspection report that meets the needs of the home buyer, therefore, they require new home inspectors to go through report verification consisting of five separate non fee paid home inspections which are reviewed by senior home inspectors to ensure they meet the HIABC Scope of Inspection and the equally important Duty of Care to the home buyer. The duty of care requires inspectors to not only report on findings but explain the ramifications and how that could affect the home in the future. For example noting the presence of Poly-b pipe would meet the minimum standard but HIABC requires it’s inspectors to explain the significance and make recommendations.
HIABC Executive Director Helene Barton notes, “We would like to see all home inspectors in BC meet our stringent requirements and we will continue to work closely with the BC Housing Ministry to ensure that will happen for the benefit of home buyers.“
For more information about HIABC go to: www.hiabc.ca