The lack of licensing of Home Inspectors in California creates a void for consumers when questioning the legitimacy of a Home Inspector’s level of expertise and education. This leaves the only recourse when qualifying a Home Inspector to be certification through a professional organization. The question is, is the certification from that organization legitimate?
So, what makes a certification legitimate? The answer is both simple and complicated. The simple part is that any legitimate certification must include a proctored exam and said exam must be accredited through a specific process.
“The National Home Inspector Examination® (NHIE) is the original exam for the home inspection profession. It is the only independent, psychometrically sound home inspector exam in the United States. Home inspectors who pass the NHIE are career-ready, with proven competence.
The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors is an independent not-for-profit organization that created and maintains the NHIE. It serves the public interest by establishing the standard of competence for the home inspection profession. EBPHI governs and administers the NHIE specifically to support the regulatory needs of states in identifying the required level of competence to conduct a quality home inspection.
The complicated component in maintaining the exam is to perform a Role Delineation Study (RDS) every five years. The study analyzes the profession to understand what changes have occurred and updates the exam template from which exam questions are derived. The cost to develop, implement and maintain a high-stakes, legally defensible examination like the NHIE is considerable.”*
Every state that has licensing regulation for Home Inspectors utilizes the NHIE.**
There are only 2 Home Inspector organizations in California that use the NHIE for membership certification. These organizations are ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association). Therefore, only Home Inspectors that are certified members of either of these organizations have the proper qualifications needed to perform home inspections. There are other organizations out there, but without the proper accreditation, their certification is questionable at best.
Bottomline…Be sure your Home Inspector is a certified member of ASHI or CREIA