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Hi,

Yeah, I get Contractor Magazine. One of the letters to the editor responding to the Yates' article from last month about inspectors was pretty critical of home inspectors in general - scathing would be a more apt description. I can just imagine what responses this second is going to get.

You know, I've been saying this for years, but few will listen - we could end 99% of the controversy over our profession by implementing a credible nationwide on-site skills review program, in lieu of the various tests given by the various dueling associations.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

I agree completely but then you have all of the controversy of the states. What they require in Texas is not the same for PA or FLA or you in Washington. The logistics of such a thing is frightening.

I chose to join ASHI because it has the toughest standards (politics and management aside). I think it would help all of us and the consumer if there were national standards but where do you start.

Bruce

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I agree with Mike that a national accepted standardized test would help to raise the bar for the home inspection profession. Regardless of where you are there are things that EVERY home inspector should know about and pass a test to prove their ability.

Additionally, if there are specific regional issues that are important there should be supplemental testing required to perform inspections.

I am getting very tired of explaining to people that being a "Certified" home inspector is meaningless without certification standards.

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I think that to truly test performance or anticipated performance of a home inspector, theory should be tested. Include problem diagnosis and solutions. Have real life photos and let the test taker suggest what the problem may be, why they think that and what the solution would be. Test during actual inspections.

It's one thing to know that a vapor barrier should exist and another to understand why. If you know the "why" and understand that each component is a part of system then you can come closer to forming and accurate opinion about the building system adequacy.

The NHIE wasn't too demanding and I think I could teach my 17 year old kid enough to pass it in a week of evenings.

It's rocket science compared to the NACHI exam.

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Originally posted by kurt

So, I guess this is a lead into the question "What about the NHIE?"

Has anyone here taken it? (I have.) What do you think? Is it a decent indicator of anything?

It's a indicator of the knowledge needed for an entry level inspector. It would probably be easy for you and me, but it's not that easy for someone with no experience as a home inspector or without training. Many fail it on the first attempt.

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Hi,

I'm not simply talking about a national test. The associations already have those and they're still in-fighting with one another. The ones in place don't provide a consumer any true reassurance that the guy inspecting the home really knows what he's doing.

I'm talking about on-site peer review during an actual inspection. Inspectors shouldn't be learning on their customers' homes. If you're brave enough to step up to the plate and call yourself a full-fledged inspector, and demand to be paid to inspect a home, than you should be willing to undergo a peer review during an actual inspection to verify that you actually can do what people pay you for.

Such a system would eliminate 90% of the B.S. being thrown back and forth and all discussions of "grandfathering" and "indentured servitude" and all of the other hogswoggle that never seems to cease.

The way I see it, if a new fellow just entering the profession insists that he's competent, because he has X number of years as a contractor, or another inspector who's been in the business 10 years insists that his inspections are the best thing since sliced bread, than both should undergo peer review.

Nobody gets grandfathered - nobody. Such a system would be much more likely to identify those in the business who have been screwing people over for years, while at the same time making sure that new folks entering the business, who claim they know what they're doing, really do.

Screw the sham written entry exams, the minimal skills written tests, the 100, 200, 300 inspections supervised requirements. Require them to pass a test on the level of the NHIE just to enter the profession and then make 'em put up or shut up with a well thought out system of evaluating on-site performance.

It's done with every single other "profession" that I can think of. Why the hell should we be any different?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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When I joined ASHI, we had to take 2 exams and submit to a peer review. I thought the exams were basic common sense stuff. I don't know how much the NHIE has evolved since then.

The peer review was an excellent experience. In addition to the review of the inspection and report, the reviewers had me stand in front of them at the kitchen table and fired random questions to evaluate my ability to answer correctly on my feet. Later, several reviewers wrote me letters to offer constructive suggestions to improve my reporting.

I was very disappointed when that part of the process for membership was dropped.

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NHIE was a cake walk. Very basic stuff. I think a lot of people that flunk it do so because they fail to understand that it is a "basic" entry level test, study complex issues and don't remember the basics. You know, like the ampacity charts or the different drain sizes.

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Hi Kurt,

You know, I bet there are a lot of retired HI's out there who have won the respect and admiration of the entire profession - guys who were around when this profession began. Like Mel Chalfen and Douglas Hansen for instance. I'm can't imagine that some of these retired folks whould not be happy to help such an effort get off the ground and be able to finally see the trade that they helped form finally become a full-fledged profession{/b]. And, since they are not competing with anyone for business, nobody should object to their participation in setting up the first groups of evaluators.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I agree, but you know there will be vast #'s of HI's that don't. The profession will continue to lurch along, because the HUGE vested interests can't go for this stuff.

Kaplan doesn't want standards; they want to keep flogging their educational thing and trying to get people to use the Matrix. USInspect can't get on board without blowing up their business model. Run down the list of highly successful national shops, & you have some good reasons why we small fry are tiny voices in a big forest.

I'm gonna just keep doing what I do & make my little corner a decent deal. I'd take a peer review from pretty much anyone on this forum, but that's about it.

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  • 8 years later...

WHile I must admit that I haven't read every post in this thread, and more or less bounced around. It seems that the latest posts pertain to national standards... or some standard that ensures that Home Inspectors are qualified.

That seems like a great idea, but I believe there is a more dangerous issue. Now every time I have brought this up (in other forums) I have either experienced "the silence of the lambs" or been bombarded by denial that the problem even exists.

Although I am sure that there are many folks that sell homes and truly have the best interest of their client at heart, my experience has shown that the primary interest of many (notice I did not say most) professional home sellers is the sale of the property, which of course provides a paycheck.

Now I don't consider this a problem, and it is only natural that everyone wants to get paid. My problem lies with the influence that any person that shall profit from the sale of a property has on the selection of the inspector.

It seems to me that the new "formula" for success being taught to Home Inspectors is to love thy agent, and to consider the agent as the "client" and the person that actually hired the inspector as the "customer".

I believe that Home Inspectors that are not qualified (knowledge wise) will soon find themselves doing something else for a living. While those inspectors that have perfected the art of "assisting" with the sale shall flourish.

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It seems to me that the new "formula" for success being taught to Home Inspectors is to love thy agent, and to consider the agent as the "client" and the person that actually hired the inspector as the "customer".

I believe that Home Inspectors that are not qualified (knowledge wise) will soon find themselves doing something else for a living. While those inspectors that have perfected the art of "assisting" with the sale shall flourish.

Steven,

Excellent observation. Albeit I think your noted "formula" is just a routine that seems to get recycled every so often.

When I transitioned from 'commercial' to 'residential' inspections 12-years ago the push via the HI schools (some, not all) in Texas was to make the agents/brokers your best friend. Some schools had classes (or portions thereof) on how to market and befriend the agents. Advice was given to "not upset" the agents as they can be your best friend or worst enemy and if you want to get work you need more friends than enemies.

Goes without saying (so, I'll say it anyway) some HI organizations are the same way.

I heard yesterday, via an inspector friend, that he saw a posting on another HI forum about an inspector bragging about doing 4 inspections every day recently as biz is so good.

I can only imagine (NOT) what kind of report and inspection was provided to any of his clients.

It is so very sad to continue to see such b.s..

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