Home Inspections

Consultation:  Home Inspector Qualifications

The home inspector consultation explored ways to:

  • Increase the transparency of the profession
  • Ensure a minimum standard of training
  • Improve consistency in home inspections.

A panel of experts submitted an independent report with 35 recommendations which included: 

  • Regulating the home inspector profession
  • Introducing consistent qualifications and technical standards
  • Introducing a code of ethics and other consumer protection measures. 

The report was available for public review and comment until January 27, 2014.

Read the report and submit comments.

Expert Panel

The panel of experts includes home inspectors, consumer advocates, educators and professionals in related sectors like real estate, law and insurance.

Panelists were interviewed and selected based on their professional experience, knowledge, availability/commitment, and understanding that the public interest is the key priority. They were also chosen to ensure balanced representation of industry, consumers, and related sectors.

Panel members are:

  • Graham Clarke, engineer/home inspector
  • Doug Downey, real estate lawyer
  • Tony Grewal, home inspector/business owner
  • David Hellyer, engineer/home inspector
  • Len Inkster, home inspector/business owner
  • Patricia Jensen, consumer advocate
  • William Juranic, educator
  • Doug Kendal, home inspector/business owner
  • Claude Lawrenson, educator
  • Peter Marcucci, consumer advocate
  • Johnmark Roberts, real estate broker of record
  • Kim Smith, insurer
  • TJ Smith, home inspector/business owner
  • Blaine Swan, home inspector/business owner
  • Trevor Welby-Solomon, inspection and construction technology, educator
  • Brian Horsman, consumer advocate

Meeting Summary, October 31 and November 14, 2013

The final two home inspector qualifications expert panel meetings were held on Thursday, October 31, 2013 and Thursday, November 14, 2013. Both meetings were facilitated by SEG Management Consultants.

The panel reviewed drafts of their findings and recommendations and confirmed direction for the final report. SEG Management Consultants will finalize the report and share with the panel over the next few weeks. Following the panel’s final approval, the report will be delivered to the Ministry of Consumer Services.

Once the ministry receives the final report, it will be posted on the Government of Ontario’s Regulatory Registry for public review and comment. Dates of the posting will be announced soon.

Meeting Summary, October 17, 2013

The home inspector qualifications expert panel met on Thursday, October 17, 2013. This was the panel’s fifth meeting, and it was facilitated by SEG Management Consultants.

The panel reviewed consensus points and proposed recommendations previously agreed upon for the qualification pillars: technical and professional standards, consumer protection and governance structure.  The panel confirmed their findings and provided SEG Management Consultants with direction to prepare an initial draft report for the panel’s next meeting on Thursday, October 31.

The panel’s findings and recommendations report will be made available for public and industry comment in late fall and be posted on the Government of Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. The report and feedback will guide the government as it considers qualifications for home inspectors.

The panel also agreed to move forward to develop and conduct a survey that would collect data on the sector.  Currently, there is a gap of information on the home inspection industry. For example, there is no accurate number of home inspectors in Ontario.  SEG Management Consultants will reach out to home inspectors and associations to survey and gather data.  This information will be used to develop a profile of Ontario’s home inspector sector. 

Meeting Summary, October 3, 2013

The home inspector qualifications expert panel met on Thursday October 3, 2013. This was the panel’s fourth meeting, and it was facilitated by SEG Management Consultants.

The focus of the meeting was on consumer protection. The panel reviewed and discussed:

  • Meeting consumer (pre-sale) information needs, to help purchasing decisions
  • A code of ethics for home inspectors
  • Financial protection from errors and omissions for home inspectors
  • Standardization of service disclosures, contracts and home inspection reports

The panel has now reviewed and discussed four qualification pillars: technical, professional, consumer protection and governance.  
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 17. The focus of this meeting will be to review all the panel’s findings and consensus points to date, create an outline of the findings report and focus discussions on finalizing recommendations on qualifications for home inspectors.

The panel’s findings and recommendations report will be made available for public and industry comment in late fall, on the Government of Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. The report and feedback will guide the government as it considers qualifications for home inspectors.

Meeting Summary, September 19, 2013

The home inspector qualifications expert panel met on Thursday September 19, 2013. This was the panel’s third meeting, and it was facilitated by SEG Management Consultants.

The focus of the meeting was on potential home inspector governance and regulatory structures. The panel reviewed and discussed:

  • regulation/licensing of home inspectors
  • regulatory functions that are often performed in a regulatory context
  • approach to regulation/licensing in Ontario

The panel had an in depth discussion to assess the need for regulation/licensing of home inspectors in Ontario. The panel will continue to discuss governance matters at future meetings.

At a previous meeting, the panel requested the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group attend a meeting to present an overview of the association’s development of a new Standard; CSA A770 Home Inspection. This is a standard related to requirements for the physical inspection of residential homes. CSA is developing this standard using an accredited process that utilizes a committee of volunteer members that includes consumers, home inspectors, regulatory authorities and other general interests groups such as insurance and real estate. The project manager presented an overview of the project at the September 19th meeting, and the panel was very receptive and interested that Ontario engages and monitors the development of this standard. For information on the CSA Group development project, please contact Dwayne Torrey, Project Manager, CSA Group (416) 747 2746 or dwayne.torrey@csagroup.org.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 3. This meeting will explore consumer protection issues for those that purchase home inspection services and associated regulatory issues.

The panel’s findings and recommendations report will be made available for public and industry comment in late fall. The report and feedback will guide the government as it considers qualifications for home inspectors.

Meeting Summary, September 5, 2013

The home inspector expert panel met for its second meeting on Thursday September 5, 2013. The meeting was facilitated by SEG Management Consultants.

The panel reviewed and discussed:

  • competencies and educational/professional requirements for home inspectors
  • assessment approach and process for home inspector education/professional requirements
  • common designation for home inspectors
  • professional development and continuing education for home inspectors.

There was agreement about the importance of having a common level of professionalism in the industry.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, September 19. This meeting will consider another important topic: governance of the home inspector sector and associated regulatory issues.

Meeting Summary, August 22, 2013

The home inspector expert panel met for the first time on Thursday August 22, 2013. All panelists were in attendance.

Discussions included:

  • setting the ground rules, roles and processes the panel will follow
  • background on home inspectors in Ontario and similar jurisdictions
  • potential definition of home inspection and standards of practice 

The panel focused on four themes: technical, professional, consumer protection and governance. It will work collaboratively to reach consensus on the findings and recommendations.

The panel also agreed that its findings and recommendations report will be made available for the public and industry comment in late fall. The report and feedback will guide the government as it considers legislation for home inspectors.