July 2016: How to Become a BC Licensed Home Inspector After September 1, 2016

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How to become a home inspector  

If you are thinking about becoming a licensed home inspector in BC, this information is for you. 

In March of 2016, the provincial government announced changes to BC’s licensing and regulatory model for home inspectors that will come into effect on September 1, 2016. , Consumer Protection enforces BC’s consumer protection laws and has been regulating and licensing the home inspection sector since 2009.  Please keep reading to find out about the new requirements that apply to you. You can also read this important information bulletin that speaks to the new requirements for all home inspectors.

Consumer Protection BC is providing this information to help you prepare for changes to the law that come into effect on September 1, 2016.  Please visit our web portal at  www.homeinspectionrightsbc.ca for updates.

If you are in the process of completing or have enrolled in an education program prior to September 1, 2016, information specific to you will be available shortly.

Consumer Protection BC’s role

Consumer Protection BC regulates and licenses seven different business sectors and a number of consumer transactions including gift cards, credit reporting and consumer contracts.  One of the licensed business sectors that Consumer Protection regulates is home inspectors, and as part of that oversight Consumer Protection BC approves educational programs, handles consumer complaints, conducts inspections, enforces laws and provides consumer education.  

One of the changes coming into effect on September 1, 2016  is that membership in a home inspector association will no longer be required to qualify for a licence from Consumer Protection BC.  Therefore, practical training and peer review requirements currently required by and facilitated by the associations have been revised and will be the responsibility of the applicant on their path to licensing. This means that as of September 1, 2016, you will have more flexibility in obtaining the qualifications for licensing.

Qualifications for Licensing      

(Graphical Representation of Steps to Become a Home Inspector) Here 


Effective September 1, 2016, in order to qualify for a home inspector licence, you must do all of the following:

  1.  Complete an approved educational program and submit proof of completion as part of your application package.  More information on approved educational programs can be found here 
  2. Pass a designated exam from one of the four examination bodies (formally designated associations). More information on designated home inspector exams can be found here.
  3. Complete 50 hours of practical training by accompanying an approved home inspector (trainer) on home inspections More information on this requirement is available here.  A list of approved trainers will be available prior to September 1, 2016.  
  4. Submit a peer recommendation letter signed by an approved home inspector (evaluator) that attests to your knowledge and ability to conduct home inspections and prepare home inspection reports. More information on this requirement is available here.  A list of approved trainers will be available prior to September 1, 2016.
  5. Complete and submit a full home inspector licence application package. The application package applicable for use after September 1, 2016 will be posted soon.
  6. Note for applications submitted prior to September 1, 2016 the application package applicable can be found here

Approved Educational Programs

Educational programs approved by Consumer Protection BC are assessed using a set of requirements outlined in law and policy. Any approved program must include at least 150 hours of direct instruction and be in preparation for a designated exam.  The curriculum must, at minimum, cover the following subject areas; roofing, flashing, chimneys, the exterior systems, the structural system, the electrical system, the heating and cooling systems, the insulation and venting systems, the plumbing system, and the interior systems.

We are currently in the process of reviewing and approving educational programs. Once programs have been approved they will be posted here.

Designated Examinations

Effective September 1, 2016, the designated examinations under the Home Inspector Licensing Regulation are:

  1. Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia’s (ASTT) House Inspection Competency Examination.   Examination page 
  2. Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors CAHPI(BC) Canadian Home Inspector Examination.  Examination page
  3. Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ Associate Level Examination. Examination page
  4. Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors’ National Home Inspector Examination (United States). Examination page

Practical Training

As of September 1, 2016, the Home Inspector Licensing Regulation requires that you complete 50 hours of practical training by accompanying an approved home inspector (trainer) on home inspections.

The list of approved home inspectors (trainers) will be made available prior to September 1, 2016. Consumer Protection BC has prepared a sample pre-formatted applicant report form that may be used to track and record the practical training. The form is linked here. If you would like more information about the qualifications a trainer/evaluator must meet to be approved by Consumer Protection BC, see our approval policies.

Peer Recommendation Letter

In addition to the practical training, you must also provide, as part of your application, a peer recommendation letter that attests to the fact that you possess the knowledge and ability necessary to conduct home inspections and prepare home inspection reports. You must contact an approved evaluator and make arrangements to have them accompany you on a trial home inspection where they will evaluate your skills and abilities. If the assessment is successful, they will sign off the Peer Recommendation Letter which you must submit as part of your application package. Consumer Protection BC will provide a pre-formatted peer recommendation letter that an evaluator may choose to use. To find out more about the peer recommendation requirements Coming Soon.

A list of approved evaluators will be available prior to September 1, 2016.  

Insurance

All home inspectors must demonstrate that they have obtained and maintain both errors and omissions and comprehensive general liability insurance. Specifically, licensed home inspectors must have a minimum of $1 million limit/aggregate coverage for both errors & omissions and comprehensive general liability.  The policy cannot exclude water ingress.

The insurance must be issued by an insurance company authorized under the BC Financial Institutions Act, or Office of the Superintendent of Financial Intuitions and the insurance policy must be in the name of the home inspector.

A list of authorized insurance companies can be found at: http://www.fic.gov.bc.ca/web_listings/AuthorizedInsuranceCompanies.aspx
http://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/Eng/osfi-bsif/Pages/default.aspx

Residential Declarations (current requirement)

Home Inspector Licensing Regulation requires that all licensed home inspectors maintain and declare a business location where they keep records. 
Home inspectors not operating from a retail or commercial location will be required to complete a statutory declaration for working from a non-commercial location i.e. home based business.  Here

Criminal Record Check (current requirement)

Applicants are required to complete and submit a Consent for Disclosure of Criminal Record Information form found here. Anyone who has been convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada or any other statute must also complete and submit a Consent for Disclosure of Criminal Record Information form and a Statutory Declaration of Criminal Record form found here.  

For more information

We understand that it can be difficult to understand all the implications of a change to the law. If you have questions about the new rules or about our processes, we are happy to help you.  Please contact us at 1-888-564-9963 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Our online information is consistently being updated and we encourage you to visit www.homeinspectionrightsbc.ca often.