Starting a Home Inspection Career

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 annual mandatory educational credits, you will have the opportunity to meet and speak with other home inspectors in your area.

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.  The following programs are approved:

Home Inspection programs are offered online or through the following educational providers in BC:

2.  INDUSTRY EXAMS – After completing your Home Inspection Program*, you will be required to pass a series of seven exams covering the following subjects: Structure, Electrical, Heating/Cooling, 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 proctored in most areas of BC. Exams are each one hour in length and consist of 50 multiple questions. The passing grade for each exam is 75%. Cost for all 7 exams is $400 plus GST. The examinee is responsible for proctor costs, payable at the time of the exam writing. There is no cost for proctoring if the examinee attends the HIABC office in Kelowna to write the exams.

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

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

Candidate for Membership Application & Exam Registration

3.  FIELD TRAINING – You will be required to obtain a minimum of 50 hours of field training with 3 qualified HIABC field trainers once you have successfully completed the 7 CHI exams.   Any field training 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 hours of field training for most trainees, particularly those who do not have a background in the industry

4.  REPORT VERIFICATION – After completing your field training hours, you will need to submit a minimum of three 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 must be on single-family dwellings, are not fee paid, and are not to be done on homes that are part of your field training.  This is a very important part of your training as the majority of PRI 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 standards you will be required to successfully complete a Peer Review Inspection (PRI). A PRI is an inspection set up by our examiners 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 examiners. 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 then sent to you by the HIABC Executive Director 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 to join the Plan is currently $2550 annually and 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.  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 $300 per year. Payment plans are available for our E&O Insurance.

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 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 April 1, 2019 the CPBC license fee is $891 for new inspectors and $820 for renewal.

8.  COSTS – Approximate costs of becoming a home inspector include:

  • Home Inspection Course $5,000 -/+
  • HIABC Candidate Membership Application $100
  • 7 Canadian Home Inspection Exam (CHIE) $400
  • Field Training $1,500 – $2,000 and up.  Group & individual training is available thru HIABC/CPBC approved trainers; fees will vary and are paid directly to the trainer
  • PRI $500
  • Insurance through HIABC Member Plans – E&O $2,550 + tax & CGL $300 annually
  • Association Membership $500 annually prorated to Sept 1st
  • Inspection Reporting System $1,200
  • New license through Consumer Protection BC $891 annually prorated to April 1st; $820 on renewal
  • + 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 $16,000. It is recommended that you have a 5 year business plan in place and financial support for the first couple of years while building your business.