In order to uplift standards and stimulate the development of the home inspection industry in South Africa, HouseCheck, one of South Africa’s leading home inspection companies has decided to make its extensive technical training material available to anyone who wants to become a home inspector.
John Graham, CEO of HouseCheck, said that up to now HouseCheck had provided training only for people joining HouseCheck as inspectors or franchisees. The HouseCheck technical training is based on the extensive technical training material assembled and compiled by Graham into the HouseCheck Technical Training Manual.
Graham says that as far as he is aware that HouseCheck Technical Training Manual is a unique compilation covering, in some depth, all aspects of the South African building process. “South African building methods and rules are very different to those found overseas and therefore a unique South African training manual was required to train home inspectors on how to properly assess the condition of a house.”
Graham explains that home inspectors need to be all-rounders with a working knowledge of all aspects of the building process. “I like to use a medical analogy to describe a good home inspector”, says Graham. “The inspector should be a general practioner who like a good GP is able to assess the general health of a home, prescribe corrective action and where necessary raise a red flag and recommend the services of a specialist. In the building industry the specialist would be a structural engineer, a roofing or waterproofing expert, or a licensed electrician or plumber.”
Graham has now been the driving force behind the establishment of the South African Home Inspection Training Academy (SAHITA) which has been granted full access to the HouseCheck Technical Training Manual.
“SAHITA was launched to increase consumer protection for South African home buyers by both uplifting standards in the home inspection industry and by making home inspection available as a career for people who do not have the money to invest in a HouseCheck franchise.
“We recognized that not everyone is suitable to join the HouseCheck team but that there is a desperate need for more trained home inspectors who are able to increase awareness among home buyers on the importance of getting a home inspection before buying a second hand house.”
Graham said that many people in South Africa had never even heard about the home inspection industry. Yet in the United States nearly eight out of ten second hand houses are inspected pre-sale.
With increased awareness of consumer rights, Graham expects the same trend to soon emerge in South Africa and says that home inspection provides an excellent career opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Visit www.sahita.co.za for more details of the 32-module SAHITA home inspection course. This course has been endorsed by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
Application will also be made to register the SAHITA course with the local training authorities (in terms of the SAQA Act and with the Services Seta) as a necessary step towards establishing recognised and acceptable training standards for South African home inspectors. Graham said that this was important to enable the industry to move towards regulation and general acceptance by institutions such as the Consumer Protection Commission, mortgage lenders, insurance companies and large estate agencies.
Graham pointed out that the Estate Agency Affairs Board and several of the leading executives in the SA estate agency industry had already endorsed the concept of a pre-sale home inspection in order to protect the consumer interests of home buyers.