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Construction Sector Council aims for more home inspectors, building officials

December 16, 2003

OTTAWA – A national initiative to address an anticipated need for more home inspectors and building officials was launched today by the Construction Sector Council.

“The initiative addresses the challenge of an aging workforce and the inadequate supply of skilled labour,” says CSC Executive Director George Gritziotis. “It will provide greater worker mobility, a wider variety of job opportunities and a bigger pool of qualified personnel available to the construction industry.”

The CSC is working with the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI), the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials (ACBOA), and the First Nations National Building Officers Association (FNNBOA) to get the project off the ground over the next 18 months. Other key funders include Human Resources Development Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

An important feature of the program is the development of national certification and accreditation models, so that the occupational standards developed by the Canadian Home Inspectors and Building Officials (CHIBO) in 2001 can be applied across Canada.

“We can now bring a consistent level of professionalism to the sector,” says Bill Mullen, President of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. “Consumers can feel confident about choosing a home inspector who has achieved the level of competence demanded by nation–wide certification.”

The program is also expected to meet the anticipated demand for more building officials as changes are made to the National Building Code and the sector deals with the effects of reductions in related municipal services.

One of its key objectives is to identify current gaps in the training curriculum, the occupational standards, and the “core competencies” –– the generic skills and knowledge needed to do the work of a building, home or property inspector.

“We will also be identifying educational institutions, both public and private, that can carry out appropriate training programs, the kinds of programs that will help our workforce meet the new standards,” says Mannie Withrow, President of ACBOA.

“First Nations Building Officers play a vital role in developing new housing on First Nations land, and in improving existing housing,” notes FNBNOA Co–Chair Bud Jobin. “By providing meaningful training and expanding their mobility through certification, we ensure that this important work continues at the highest level possible.”

Home and property inspectors mainly inspect existing homes. They include individuals who work independently, firms, and franchised businesses, as well as consulting engineers, architectural firms and testing companies who carry out specialized technical inspections. Municipal building officials assess how well new and existing buildings meet the health, fire and safety requirements of the building code. This includes inspections of renovations, alterations, and additions, as well as demolition sites. First Nations Building Officers assess the design and construction of all types of buildings and structures, primarily on First Nations land. The sector employs about 7,000 people in Canada.

The certification and accreditation initiative is one of many human resource initiatives being developed by the Construction Sector Council to address the current and future human resource needs of the construction industry in Canada. The CSC is a not–for–profit, independent partnership organization established in 2001, made up of representatives from labour, business and government.

For more information on this and other CSC programs:
Michelle Walsh
Manager, Communications
Construction Sector Council
Tel: (613) 569-5552
mwalsh@csc-ca.org

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