More on the claim - I am certified

Home Inspector with Inspection Support Services Inc.

A fellow inspector wrote me the other day on this issue.

"Could you give me some information regarding certification into CAPHI, a few people that I have met over the last few months have taken various on line inspection courses with no real credentials such as ASHI or CAPHI, can they take the CAPHI associations on line test and become a member should they pass this.

Also can your association approve home inspection courses that are developed,  if so what teaching material criteria would you be looking for in the residential inspection area and who can I talk to about this.
Awaiting your reply."

I sent off the following response.

For clarification CAHPI is a national association that recognizes certain provincial associations. As an example OAHI (Ontario Association of Home Inspectors) in Ontario. I am a member of OAHI and also PHPIO - Professional Home & Property Inspectors of Ontario. Link -

It is misleading for a any one to claim they are a member of CAHPI, unless they serve on CAHPI National as a director/committee person. So perhaps a bit of misinformation being offered on their part.

CAHPI does have exams - but the exam does not certify home inspectors. It is primarily used for access to E&O insurance for recognition, sometimes for entry level as a candidate into CAHPI associations. Furthermore, CAHPI does not have "online" tests or exams, they are scheduled and proctored in a proper test environment.

Currently the National Certification Program for Home & Property Inspectors - an arms-length "national" certification body (National Certification Authority) that certifies home inspectors that qualify and meet certain specified home inspection standards. Review this link - review certification requirements (become a national certificate holder).

Additionally, this website indicates "accredited" training providers for home inspectors - under accredited course providers. I notice you noted - Carson Dunlop. They are one of the approved and accredited training providers, along with a growing list of others. The courses/programs that are accredited met the rigor and scrutiny by independent review. The hours of credit indicated reflect level of knowledge that meets the National Occupational Standards for Home and Property Inspectors in Canada.

As you noted there are online exams offered, that are not-proctored as well as online courses that have quizzes that are also not proctored. Ultimately, many of these have the some value , but not the same as those that have been independently accredited when reviewed by other outside certification bodies, other than the association that is promoting it. Simply they may have some value, but under scrutiny - questionable value when evaluated for rigor.

Unfortunately, new inspectors entering the field sometimes look for a shortcut to fast track their business, or perhaps to save money. Often these are the same ones that will fall to the wayside, or possibly end up in trouble within the first year or two of business. With the valuable for proper education and training and coupled with the risk involved in the home inspection business, a shortcut is not worth taking.   

Just my opinion - I hope this helps.

Regards, Claude - NCA Certification/Accreditation Program


Comments (8)

Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

The problem with many professions which lack any sort of national or international standardization is that virtually anyone can hang up their shingle and call themselves 'certified' or some other made up fictional designation.  In many juristictions there is absolutley no educational or experience requirements at all to call yourself a 'property inspector', not even a 3 week course from the back of a matchbook.  Definitely an industry that needs regional, provincial, national, and educational organizations to cooperatively decide upon some standards.

Oct 04, 2009 02:20 PM
Mike (Inspector Mike) Parks
Inspector Mike - Circleville, OH
Inspector Mike


All we can do is to continue to try.

Oct 09, 2009 09:51 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker



As time goes by, I think that home inspectors will truly become accredited.


Oct 12, 2009 05:06 AM
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


In British Columbia, they now have to licensed and certified.

Oct 15, 2009 05:25 PM
Claude Lawrenson

I believe the other provinces will eventually follow. Others are starting to pay attention.

Thanks, Claude

Oct 15, 2009 08:35 PM
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Hi Claude, when I ask a buyer's agent who they are using for a home inspection and they either say " Oh, I don't know, I'll look in the phone book" or, they say " we have a friend who used to be an electrician and he does inspections on the side" it scares me to no end.

Very seldom have I had an issue with qualified and registered home inspectors but when I do have a challenge with an inspection, guess where it comes from?


Oct 24, 2009 07:15 AM
Claude Lawrenson
Inspection Support Services Inc. - Windsor, ON

Hiring an unknown, perhaps less than qualified home inspector is a risk for everyone all the way around. Why would one want to place their best instinct or blind trust by looking in the phone book, rather than assuring through due diligence that home inspector is qualified, certified and has a solid background?

Even offering a name as a referral can come with a certain amount of risk. There are many extremely competent home inspectors; the real trick is based on dealing with theose know reputable ones. I feel it would be naive to believe that every home inspector is qualified, regardless of their former technical background - just because they say so or advertise they are certified.

The real proof is in the value of the certification as well as the high level of performance carried out in each and every inspection.



Oct 24, 2009 08:32 AM
Peter Lee

Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.

Sep 05, 2018 11:10 PM