This following is a January 26, 2010 letter to Ingrid Trillo of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Real Estate Division by veteran inspector Brenda Hungerford. Published with permission from author:
Hi Ingrid, I have been inspecting homes for 10 years in both California & Nevada and belong to InterNACHI, ASHI & CREIA. Besides being licensed in Nevada, consequently I have taken a lot of continuing education courses. To complete my CEC’s this year I took online courses from both InterNACHI and McKissock. I have also taken classes from Kaplan and attended many live seminars. As a Nevada inspector I have taken the required safety course now from 3 different companies now, so here’s my 2 cents.
The safety course from InterNACHI was far superior to the safety courses I’ve taken from either of the other two companies. The course content was well put together, and easy to follow. There were little mini reviews throughout the course, that helped reinforce the learning process. I also have nothing but good things to say about InterNACHI’s Egress course. The courses handouts come as a download and when saved on the computer they have made valuable reference tools. I have used both the safety and egress handouts many times since taking the course as a point of reference when inspecting and writing reports.
I found the electronic exam process both easy and secure. When ordering their pay courses they have a secure online shopping cart. When taking the course one must first register on their site and enter a user name and password, the final exam secured with a user name and password. Upon completion of the course you cannot receive a course completion certificate without a passing score on the exam and then entering the course completion code into the system. I found this system to be secure and easy to use. The electronic delivery method is excellent, as an inspector with a busy schedule I much prefer electronic delivery of education courses, to make continuing education easier to fit in. The thing I like the most about InterNACHI courses is that all course handouts are in electronic format as opposed to the paper variety. When inspecting I always have my computer with me and the course handouts are a quick reference when questions come up. I don’t always have a library of printed material with me.
In contrast to the InterNACHI courses, I found the McKissock system to be very difficult to use. Their system will not allow you to review course material for wrong answers on practice quizzes. Example; when taking their mini quiz (practice) a couple of times I had the wrong answer. I wanted to review the material again to be sure I understood the information. Their system would not allow me to go back and review without starting from the beginning and going through each segment again or accepting the wrong answer and moving on without ever knowing what the correct answer was. The point of a quiz is to reinforce learning, their course did not do that for me. Consequently I will not take another one of the McKissock courses.
My Disappointment is that Nevada has only approved two of the continuing education courses that InterNACHI has to offer. InterNACHI has numerous first class training courses. Many of them are free to inspectors and others are for a fee. I have taken several of their courses and find them all well done, in both the online & video format. I believe the knowledge gained from online courses is superior to live seminars. When an inspector goes to a seminar and sits in a class for the day they gain some knowledge of the course topic, however as with any learning experience, in time some of the information is not retained if not used on a daily basis. With the InterNACHI courses the inspector can take the course over again to regain that knowledge. In most cases if you have paid for a course, that course is open to you to take as many time as you like. It would be great to see more of the InterNACHI courses approved for Nevada CEC’s.
In closing, I realize that this is probably more information than you were seeking, but hopefully I have answered all of your questions, if not feel free to contact me again either by phone or by email.
All Phase Inspection Services