VICTORIA – Home inspectors must be licensed as of today to begin or continue operating in B.C.

As announced Jan. 30, the Province is becoming the first Canadian jurisdiction to regulate home inspectors to better protect buyers and ensure qualified inspections. A home is the single biggest investment many people make, and an incorrect or misleading report from an unqualified home inspector can lead to considerable financial risk.

The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (BPCPA) is responsible for licensing and will help protect buyers? interests by:

* Assessing home inspectors? qualifications.

* Receiving and responding to consumers? complaints.

* Monitoring compliance through inspections and enforcement, and imposing penalties of up to $5,000 where appropriate.

To become licensed, home inspectors must meet the qualifications of the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors – BC branch, the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia, or the National Certification Program for Home and Property Inspectors.

Home inspectors will also need liability insurance and a criminal record check. Licensed home inspectors will carry a wallet-sized licence issued by the BPCPA.

B.C. has approximately 300 to 400 home inspectors. Before today, home-inspector training was voluntary.