How to become a building inspector in Quebec in 6 steps
Contrary to what one might think, the profession of building inspector is not regulated by any specific laws in Quebec. This means that theoretically, anyone could claim to be qualified for this task.
Before choosing a home inspector, it is important to exercise caution and make sure that the professional you want to hire is indeed qualified for the job. To do this, you can check whether the inspector is a member of a professional order overseeing their practice and whether they have liability insurance. These are two good indicators to ensure that the expert is competent.
Did you know that XpertSource.com can put you in touch with qualified home inspectors? These inspectors have been verified and approved by our team so you don't have to check things yourself. Therefore, you don't have to worry about vetting the experts.
While there is not one single training process to become a qualified home inspector in the province of Quebec, here is what the real estate expert's journey might look like.
1. Follow specialized training in building inspection
The first thing to do when you want to become a home inspector is to register and take a specialized technical training course. This leads to obtaining an AEC (certificate of collegial studies) in building inspection and allows the candidate to take their first steps in the industry.
Here are some of the programs offered and recognized in Quebec:
- Building inspection training at the Collège d’enseignement en immobilier (CEI);
- The Building Inspection Program (EEC.2J) of Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu;
- The building inspection technique of the Grasset Institute;
- The AEC in building inspection at Cégep de Drummondville;
- The Building Inspection Program (EEC.1G) of the Cégep du Vieux Montréal.
During training, the aspiring inspector will learn to master the concepts and resources specific to the visual inspection of buildings. They will develop their knowledge of the building envelope, structure and mechanics, pre-purchase inspection, drafting of inspection reports, real estate law, etc.
2. Join a recognized association
To remedy the lack of legislation and provide a framework for the practice of building inspection, several associations and organizations, including InterNachi Quebec AIIICQ and AIBQ, have been created in Quebec. They ensure the protection of the public through rigorous criteria that their members must meet. Among them, the Association of Building Inspectors of Quebec (AIBQ) is the association with the most members in Quebec.
While it is not mandatory for home inspectors to join any of the existing organizations, this is additional recognition that is beneficial to them. This allows them, among other things, to reassure their potential customers about the quality of their services.
The building inspector is free to choose whichever association they wish to join.
3. Start the accreditation process
Depending on the organization they want to join, the process for acquiring a home inspector's certification will not be exactly the same. This is the case for the two institutions mentioned in the previous point.
To learn more about the procedure to follow in order to become a member of the International Association of Certified Real Estate Inspectors of Quebec (InterNachi Quebec AIIICQ), you can consult the procedure on the organization's website.
As for the AIBQ accreditation process, it is longer and more complex. The rest of the article will be focusing on this subject.
The candidate must go through several steps and be subject to strict time constraints if they wish to obtain accreditation. If the prescribed deadlines are exceeded, the process ends.
To begin the process, the individual must first apply for membership by filling out the membership form. Note, however, that a student, although they can apply to become a member of the association, will not be allowed to inspect buildings until they have completed their training.
4. Take the exam prescribed by the AIBQ
When their application is accepted into the membership process, the candidate will receive a summons within 30 days to take the AIBQ exam. Once the date is confirmed, the review will take place in a maximum of 90 days.
Apart from this time constraint, no information regarding the content of the exam is revealed by the AIBQ.
In the event that the candidate fails this step, they are entitled to a retry within 30 days after the date of the failed exam.
5. Pass the verification of on-site inspection reports
Less than 90 days after passing the exam, the AIBQ performs the first verification of the candidate's inspection reports. If this process is unsuccessful, the inspector has 30 days to try again, otherwise, the accreditation process will end.
Once both verifications are successful, the inspector can take the steps to obtain the title of accredited inspector.
6. Obtain the title of certified building inspector
To obtain this title, the building expert must have carried out 250 inspections. They must also practice as an inspector for at least 6 months and go through one more audit on behalf of the AIBQ, to confirm that the work follows the standards of the organization.
Only after all these steps have been successfully completed can the expert perform as a certified inspector. Afterwards, they will have to continue their training on an ongoing basis and ensure that they have liability insurance coverage (errors and omissions) to be able to maintain their status as a member of the AIBQ.
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