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Michael Brown

Home Inspector Licensing

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Hi All,

Mike- I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the organization(s) and with the ways that they could increase their relevance to the profession.

The higher bar needs to come from a third party that is not associated with any of the home inspector organizations and does not count on Membership dues for it's livelihood.

I understand what you mean regarding the economics, Scott, but, the simple fact is, it has been the professional associations that have performed this function with most other professions, and it simply has to be that way with HI's. I know that seems to go counter to intuition, but it's simply a matter of a profession having the self-respect to begin policing itself. When you look at most other professions that require state licensing/certification of some sort, they generally use a national organization's guidelines when setting the minimum standards to practice that profession. If you hand that control over to an "unbiased" third party, I can guarantee you that there will be biases formed, usually based on political agendas. That is not a situation we want, is it?

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Originally posted by Scottpat

Sorry if I did not cover everything in your post, but I got lost in it! [:-bigeyes

Oh,

Well then, that explains it. If reading completely through arguments is just too much trouble and is problematic for you, guess you can just ignore me. [}:)]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Mike, I just might cry. For the last six months, I have felt so alone. Only recently have I found company. And it's respectable company - that's cool.

Scott, you are with the good guys. You are the one The Reporter said to write to six months ago with membership questions/suggestions. And your response?

"I don't know how long you have been involved in ASHI, but changes to the bylaws are akin to making amendments to the US Constitution." (I save my emails)

You say a third party will have to raise the bar, but I fail to see how that would change anything within ASHI, although it would obviate ASHI as standard-bearer. Is that the goal? Building Science degrees don't account for a single inspection? How many people are feeding the CON (Coffers Of Nick) because their path to becoming a qualified HI is different than the 'do it' 250 times method? I don't need to 'do it' 250 times (although, I did need 50). And I assure you that I will still be learning things after I 'do it' 25,000 times.

Why am I on a rant? At the end of this month - I might cry again - I'm going to be a ... oooh, a bastard! I will not be a member of Nick's club, and I cannot claim to be a member of ASHI. The reason isn't because I'm not as qualified as many of its members. It's because I took another path.

Originally posted by hausdok

The higher bar needs to come from a third party that is not associated with any of the home inspector organizations and does not count on Membership dues for it's livelihood. This would be about the only way it will happen.
So, Scott, do you refer to legislation by states? If so, so far, their track record shows that they're only willing to pass weak legislation and give most folks who're in the profession a 'by'. That hasn't made anything better.
All of the membership organizations need to keep entry fairly easy, if they don't their numbers will fall and their doors will close. It's simple economics.
Well, I don't want to open a huge organization bashing debate here, but pardon an independent from jumping in here and saying that I think that's a pretty flimsy rationalization for doing nothing.

Why would raising the bar kill an organization? One can name dozens of fields where raising the bar hasn't done that. Let's take higher education providers for example. Yale, Harvard, MIT or Princeton haven't made entry any easier, yet they still garner enough folks who want to be able to say that they are an alumni of one of them to stay in business. Do they provide the absolute best education in the business? Well, if you ask them, they say that they do, although you can probably find guys who become just as educated in plenty of 4-year state run universities. Still, if you ask the average person on the street to name the top ten colleges or universities in the country, these will be named, nes pas?

So, why do they survive? The answer is that if you set a bar that everyone acknowledges is the highest, you can charge more for it. Not everyone will want to pay for it - there'll be plenty who're happy to go to the 4-year state-run school - but there will always be those that want to be considered the best of the best and those folks are willing to pay to get there.

So, if loss of dues is the issue with raising the bar, raise it anyway and raise the rates. If the org is truly the cream of the crop, those who care that it is will pay the additional rates, those that don't want to,...well, they'd be dead weight anyway, would constantly strive lower the bar and you'd be better off without them. Mr. Chalfen once told me that the original intent of the 'founders' was to set the bar extremely high and, for a few years, it was. Then, folks got elected into office who found motivations for lowing the bar and they gradually began eliminating some of those requirements - one of them being peer review.

If they had stuck to their original principles and had kept peer review, it would be the standard today and I bet internet-based organizations, or other organizations with weak entry requirements and also with no peer review testing, would never have been able to gain any traction in their present models. In fact, I think if they'd stuck to their guns that anyone arguing against a high bar and peer review wouldn't even be listened to today. Doing away with peer review, way back then, was a self-inflicted wound. It's only recently began to have it's affect.

But that's my opinion and I've only been around about 10-1/2 years, so what do I know? So far, I've spent 4 years in each of the two oldest national organizations and found them to be very similar in their approaches to everything. Since going independent again, I can't say that there's been a lot of difference in my life.

By similar in approach, I mean that I think that the only two words to describe their approaches to everything are slow and ponderous. Bigger isn't necessarily better, unless you've designed a system that's designed to think, plan, act and react very quickly, in order to stay up with, or ahead of, the rest of the pack. That's why Nick's privately-owned "association" is beating the membership number pants off of the others. I certainly wouldn't consider his model to be top shelf, but I think a word that can describe it is nimble.

ASHI was conceived in a time when there were no other models and no competition. NAHI was an offshoot of ASHI - actually a sort of rogue ASHI committee that decided to go off and do their own thing. Still, both were conceived before the internet and the information age found their way into everyone's living room. Those kinds of models worked back then - they don't work well now.

Now, despite the fact that other organizations have been sprouting up like dandelions on a nice lawn, these old style associations still don't seem to have adapted well to the 'modern' world and are stuck on that old saw, "We were the first, so we are the best." To some, it's beginning to sound hollow.

ASHI has always claimed to hold the high road and talks about quality of their inspectors. OK, why not walk the walk? Bar entry to anyone that hasn't completed 250 inspections. That's been the standard for "membership" privileges for so long anyway, so why not eliminate that demeaning 'candidate' title and only accept those with experience?

If members feel a need to gratify themselves with some sort of ranking within the organization, in order to feel like their status is somehow more exalted than the newer members, why not establish a Certified ASHI Master Inspector level that's got requirements similar to, but more rigid, than those found at http://www.certifiedmasterinspector.org, and then allow all members all benefits, logo uses, etc? Why not re-establish a rigid peer review process and put every member through it, without grandfathering? If ASHI did that, it could reclaim the high ground.

You'd cull a lot of dead weight. Plus, with a smaller organization, you'd need less 'civilian' staff and would be able reduce payroll costs, which I'm sure have to be a substantial chunk of the annual budget.

After that, revamp the entire decision making process, so that ASHI stops moving like a lethargic sloth, can make decisions more quickly, take action quicker and can keep a 21st century pace with the other players out there, instead of lolling around wringing its hands and wondering why others are gaining ground.

Just wondering out loud here. Sorry for the thread drift. [:I]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Hi Gary,

No worries. Your a TIJ member.

If you want, don't join any of them and have the letters ACI printed after your name on your card with an asterisk.

Then put *ACI - Anal Compulsive Inspector, a TIJ forums member in ultra-fine print at the bottom on the backside.

How much better could it get? [:D]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Mike,

I appreciate that, but I'm not giving up on ASHI. One of its ex-presidents told me to join and speak up. I respect him and so many others in ASHI that I believe its worth a fight. Besides, it's the only legit game in town (save, TIJ of course). I do love the ACI title, but I'd hate to see its logo.[:-censore

Originally posted by hausdok

Hi Gary,

No worries. Your a TIJ member.

If you want, don't join any of them and have the letters ACI printed after your name on your card with an asterisk.

Then put *ACI - Anal Compulsive Inspector, a TIJ forums member in ultra-fine print at the bottom on the backside.

How much better could it get? [:D]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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[:-thumbu]

Quote:Originally posted by Roy Angevine

I wish people would read the arguments before they voted. But why should this be different. In Washington State we are required to be licensed as pest inspectors. This is a mixed blessing but it does nothing to keep the real estste agents form calling you dumb and choosing a less critical inspector. Linceing is bunk, and I hope those who want it realize that the real estate lobby is one of the largest in the country. If we are licensed it will be on real estate frendly rules. Unless the few inspcetors can fund a loby that will conteract 25 years of R-Pack monies. If I had millions of dollers I would retire and not waist my time fighting the big R.

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Roy, I respectfully disagree with you on your opinion of licensing, home inspector licensing is working in several states. Many states have fairly good license laws on the books that are protecting the inspector and the consumer. As for the real estate agents, being licensed takes a lot of the argument out of any conversation about the qualifications of a person inspecting homes; however this only holds true for those states that require an examination, insurance and the law is enforced by a regulatory board that has the powers to do so.

As for the quality of inspectors; Meaningful license laws do cull out the weekend warriors and the bucket heads. If a person can pass the NHIE and meet the insurance requirements chances are they are going to be fairly competent. As for giving soft reports, this will never stop until the inspectors who do this go out of business due the number of claims or complaints against them. In my state we have already revoked several home inspector licenses and we are entering into our third year of licensing.

The home inspectors in Washington need to get together and introduce a “Real Home Inspector licenses law billâ€

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