Starting a Home Inspection Career

Becoming a Licensed Home Inspector with HIABC

Candidate Members of the Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) are non-practicing home inspectors in training. Candidates are encouraged to begin attending Association educational events while working through the training program requirements. Not only will you receive valuable education and get a head start on your 20 annual mandatory educational credits, you will have the opportunity to meet and speak with other home inspectors in your area.

HIABC holds to higher standards and training requirements than is currently mandated by CPBC.  While CPBC only requires a trainer or examiner to have completed 250 fee paid inspections, HIABC trainers must have completed a minimum of 500 and examiners 1000 inspections.  CPBC requires only 50 hours of training while HIABC requires a minimum of 75 hours with 75% of those hours from group field training sessions.  We work to ensure that you have the necessary skills, knowledge and professionalism to move into your home inspection career.  Our trainers and office staff offer you full support throughout the training process and on throughout your home inspection career.

1.  EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS – Provide proof of a minimum of 150 hours of academic training from a post secondary institution or a registered or accredited private post secondary institution home inspection program as approved by Consumer Protection BC.  Amongst others,

  • The Carson Dunlop Home Inspection Online Training Program comes with 10 online courses available through a comprehensive online learning platform.  For details and Course Order Form: HIABC-How-to-Order-2024
  • Our Canadian Home Inspection Exams (CHIE) are closely based on the Carson Dunlop training program.

2.  INDUSTRY EXAMSCHIE.  After completing each module of your Home Inspection Program, you are able to write the industry exam for that module, rather than waiting to write all exams after you complete the entire course.  You are required to pass a series of industry online exams covering the following subjects: Structure, Electrical, Heating, A/C & Heat Pumps, Plumbing, Exterior/Roofing, Interior/Insulation/Ventilation, and Business Practices/Standards of Practice. The Canadian Home Inspection Exam (CHIE), developed by HIABC in partnership with the University of British Columbia, is approved by Consumer Protection BC under the Home Inspector Licensing Regulation. These exams can be written via Zoom and proctored by HIABC or in person at proctor sites in most areas of BC.  Exams are each one hour in length and consist of 50 multiple choice questions. The passing grade for each exam is 75%. Cost to write all of the exams is $400 plus GST.    Candidates who fail an exam must wait seven (7) days before re-writing the failed exam a second time. Candidates who fail an exam for a second time must wait thirty (30) days before re-writing the exam a third time. Candidates who fail the third attempt shall not be allowed to re-write the exam again, and their Candidacy for Membership application will be terminated.  Rewrite fees are $25 plus GST payable at the time the rewrite is scheduled.

You will be required to include a criminal record check when you apply to CPBC for your license to practice.   If this might be of concern to you, please contact our office prior to submitting your Candidate for Membership application to discuss.  We recommend that you contact Consumer Protection BC in advance of starting the program, to ensure your past record will not affect licensing.

*Candidates can choose to write the CHI Exams one at a time following proof of completion of any corresponding course module(s). 

This is the link to our membership application and exam registration: HIABC Candidate for Membership Application Jan24

3.  FIELD TRAINING – You will be required to obtain a minimum of 75 hours of field training with 3 qualified HIABC field trainers once you have successfully completed the CHI Exams.  After you have passed 5 of the 8 industry exams, you are able to begin up to 28 hours of your field training.  75% of your training hours should be achieved from group field training.  Any field training over the approved 28 hours done prior to the completion of all exams will not be credited towards mandatory hours. Training is available in most areas of the province, however, the trainee may have to travel to other areas if there are not sufficient numbers of trainers in their immediate area. Based on typical candidate failure rates in Peer Review Examinations, HIABC recommends up to 100 – 125 hours of field training for most trainees, particularly those who do not have a background in the industry

HIABC Report Writing Course:  You will be required to pass our Report Writing Course prior to starting your field training.  The course is online, is one hour in length and costs $25.

4.  REPORT VERIFICATION – After completing your field training hours, you will need to submit written inspection reports to the HIABC office to be evaluated and ensure they are in compliance with the HIABC Scope of Inspection.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your chosen reporting system meets the Scope of Inspection. Reports submitted for verification are practice reports and must be on single-family dwellings.  This is a very important part of your training as the majority of Peer Review Inspection failures and complaints and legal claims are due to poorly written inspection reports.

5. PEER REVIEW INSPECTION – Once your reports have been reviewed and are compliant to HIABC report writing standards you will be required to successfully complete a Peer Review Inspection (PRI).  You must receive notification from your group field trainer stating that you are ready for a PRI, which is an inspection set up by our examiner who will know the significant deficiencies and safety issues of a property prior to you performing the inspection. You will then present your report to the examiner. The examiner’s must-find list and your PRI inspection report will be sent to the HIABC office to ensure it meets the HIABC Scope of Inspection. In conjunction with your Examiner, your score will be determined and your PRI Scoresheet will be sent to you after the review is complete.

6.  INSURANCE – After successful completion of your PRI, you will be ready to purchase mandatory Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O) and Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) coverage.  You are required by legislation to carry a minimum of $1M in both E&O and CGL. Your E&O must include water ingress.

HIABC members are able to obtain insurance coverage through our Professional Insurance Plan (PIP).  Our Plan exceeds the mandatory limit, offering $1M/2M aggregate.  The annual cost  is pro-rated to our membership year (September 1st). Although participation in the Plan is not mandatory, most members choose the HIABC Plan which was ‘developed by home inspectors for home inspectors’ in 2004.  We strive to keep our premiums lower than the general market and offer complaint assistance as a member benefit.

Comprehensive General Liability Insurance (CGL) can also be purchased at a reduced rate as an HIABC member. The current cost of CGL coverage through HIABC is $400 per year.

Payment plans are available for our E&O Insurance.  Members of PIP must agree to follow current PIP Guidelines & Procedures.

7.  LICENSING – To proceed with your license application to CPBC you will be required to complete the licensing application documents and forward with payment along with your proof of education, proof of successfully completing your industry exams, signed field training hours, successful PRI letter from your examiner and proof of insurance coverage. Your license will be issued following a criminal record check.  As of January 1, 2024 the CPBC annual license fee is $1253 for new inspectors and $1153 for early (2 weeks in advance) of renewal April 1st or $1253.  New inspectors applying between October and April will pay $630.

8.  COSTSApproximate costs of becoming a home inspector include:

  • Home Inspection Course $5,000 -/+
  • HIABC Candidate Membership Application $100
  • 8 Canadian Home Inspection Exams (CHIE) $400
  • Exam Proctoring fee virtually $160
  • Field Training $3,000+.   Group & individual training is available thru HIABC/CPBC approved trainers; fees for group training with 7 hours is $250 plus a portion of the house rental for the day.  Fees are paid directly to the trainer who will provide you with a tax receipt.
  • HIABC Report Writing Course $25
  • Peer Review Inspection (PRI) $500
  • Insurance:
  •    Errors & Omissions – $3400+
  •    Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) – $400 +
  • Association Membership $500 annually prorated to September 1st
  • Inspection Reporting System $1,200 +
  • New license through Consumer Protection BC $1253 annually, April 1st
  • + Business start up costs; Tools; Vehicle expense; Advertising/Marketing; Ongoing Education
  • On average, your start-up cost to become a home inspector, including education, may be in the range of $20,000. It is recommended that you have a 5 year business plan in place while building your business.