The latest meeting with the Ministry of Government and Consumer services (MGCS)was held on Tuesday 9th June in Toronto. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recommendations made in 2013 to the government and review the next steps as the MGCS move forward with regulation of the Home Inspection Profession in Ontario as a government priority.
The panel were told that the report had been circulated within the government circles prior to the last election and had received widespread approval. The public consultation process, received responses from only 54 Home Inspectors of the 1900 + identified by the Consultant in the original panel meetings back in 2013.

Of the other 83 responses that were returned to the MGCS (then MCS) 32 were from Real estate practitioners, 18 were from consumers, 7 from home inspector associations. 1 college, 1 franchise and 24 others (engineers, municipal building departments and inspectors, and tradespeople) responded.

Over 96% of the respondents supported licensing/regulation.

With a couple of exceptions, the report as presented to the government in 2013 was re-affirmed, with the two areas that came under question being driven by questionable wording of one recommendation and the responses requiring minimum education (e.g. Grade 12 GED) in another. The MGCS team are looking to reword these areas to ensure they are more tightly defined.

The issue of minimum standards once again raised the concerns in the panel of the CSA A770 Home Inspection standard, and Paul Gulletson from the CSA presented the original CSA presentation with some added slides, to discuss how the process has been continuing. More importantly he circulated the latest version of the CSA-A770 standard, and I am happy to provide information that the latest standard actually bear a striking resemblance to the existing SoP's used by the various Associations and Franchises across Canada.

Much of the prescriptive, engineering terms have been removed from the mandatory section of the report, and are now allegedly in the options addenda (we didn't get to see any of the addenda hence the allegedly)

A question was put forward asking if the Government would accept existing SoP's if they could be shown to be equal to and better than the CSA A770 standard, if indeed this is adopted for regulation. The answer was that , if adopted, the CSA A770 standard would be what is required for Licensing, but if someone wanted to operate to a higher standard, then that would be OK after obtaining the license. Caution was put out by the legal representatives on the panel though, that any professional using an SoP that differed in wording from the adopted SoP for regulation, would have to prove in court that it met or exceeded the adopted SoP, and the liability for that proof would fall on the author, along with the liability should it be found to be deficient in any way.

Timelines for the introduction of the CSA A770 standard and regulation were tentatively given as around September 2015 for the CSA A770 standard, and spring 2016 for the introduction to parliament of the Ontario regulation.

Transitioning of existing inspectors was discussed and it is likely that any certification that can be shown to meet or exceed the impending regulation requirements AND that can be shown to have an audit-able process to prove the certification would be adopted form transitioning in of inspectors into licensing. All other home inspectors holding Certifications that did not meet those standards or who were not certified in any way are likely to have to perform part if not all of the entrance requirements to Licensing.

It was again affirmed that the responsibility to show the government the process and audit functions of the Certification process would fall on the Associations and Franchises, but the final word would lie in the hands of the regulator.

It is expected that there will be more meetings as the announcement of regulation gets closer, and the MGCS will continue to work with the profession as the process and details of regulation are being ironed out.

 We will try to answer any other questions we can, that are posted on the OntarioACHI message board here with regard to the process so far and the possible impacts and implications.