A Home Inspector doesn’t usually cross many people’s minds until they need one. At this point it becomes a matter of ” Do I know anyone? “, followed by asking around or heading to google to find one. While it’s easy to find one, there are many out there, most people have no idea what a Home Inspector’s qualifications are or how they became one in the first place.
In Alberta, all Home Inspectors must go to school, complete, and pass all exams, and then produce practice reports and do a mock inspection that is proctored by an independent Inspector. You don’t get a free pass here; you need to know your stuff. Some Inspectors have a background in trades, but not all. People can and will debate this, but sometimes an inspector without a trade background is more thorough, as they don’t get carried away focusing on the portion of the home they specialize in, for example plumbing.
There are a few options for schooling but generally it is the better part of 1-2 years to get through it all and become certified. All Inspectors in Alberta must apply for both a business license and an individual home inspector license. This includes proof of education from an accepted institution, passing the mock inspections, obtaining both a $10,000 surety bond, and carrying Errors and Omissions insurance.
They Also need to be a member in good standing with their professional organization. In my case it’s InterNACHI. (International association of Certified Home Inspectors). To continue to be a member there are numerous courses, updates, and continuing education training to ensure that the member is keeping up to date on new information in the field. Once you complete all this you are designated as a CPI (Certified Professional Inspector).
If you are looking for a home inspection, feel free to ask him or her where they went to school, their background, and also ask to see their license. All inspectors in good standing with Service Alberta have one and can produce it if needed.
There’s nothing stopping you from using your “Uncle Bob” who’s very handy, but when it comes to one of the most expensive and important purchases in your lifetime, it pays to go with a Certified Professional Inspector!