When I was first starting into my long, successful career as a home inspector I became aware of the many benefits of belonging to a professional association. My mentors were Ontario Association of Home Inspector (OAHI) members, but PACHI was strong in the Durham Region and at Durham College where I received my education. I was invited to attend the PACHI meetings where I knew former classmates, where I was welcomed as an equal, and where I was encouraged to speak out. Speaking out is a two-edged sword, eventually I was encouraged to step up and help the association by serving as a board member. I’ve never looked back.
Helping PACHI grow and eventually merge with OAHI, and then helping OAHI become the premier home inspection association in Canada has been nothing but rewarding. I have served many roles within the association from voting member (never missed one), through committee member to board member. That service has allowed me to meet some very interesting people, stakeholders in the industry and home inspectors from all over. I have learned more about home inspections from meeting and talking with fellow inspectors than you would imagine. There are some pretty smart inspectors out there and they have helped me become a better inspector.
OAHI is run by volunteers, people who have the time and inclination to contribute to the betterment of the home inspection profession. I know that my volunteerism has helped me, other inspectors and the association, and I have made some good friends along the way. Being involved allows you to improve the profession, right wrongs and make a difference.
There are many ways to be involved. Attending local meetings is a great first step, volunteering to organize those meetings is another step. Serving on a committee is both rewarding and educational; committee work makes a difference, a big difference. Plus the people skills you learn really come in handy, as do the continuing education units (CEUs) at renewal time.
You can continue by voting on all association matters proposed; that simple action really helps as it moves the association forward and supports the efforts of the other volunteers. Oh, and you can always thank a volunteer, we all like and appreciate being recognized for our efforts.
Everyone’s situation is different, but I encourage each of you to help the association when and if you can. Don’t sacrifice your family or business, but help out as you are able. Humans are social animals; we need to interact with others. Volunteering is a positive interaction, it strengthens your character, teaches patience and it helps us all. Step up and promote the home inspection profession.
Andrew Dixon RHI, chairs the OAHI Education Conference Committee which organizes the OAHI Education Conference and is the current vice president of the OAHI.