Licensing - Pros & Cons

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Licensing - Pros & Cons

Do you support licensing of home inspectors?
Yes75%43
No17%10
Undecided7%4
Total voters: 57. This poll is closed.
AuthorMessage
Roy Cooke

Roys Home Inspection
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 1987
User: rcooke
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:38 PM       Post Subject:
tallen wrote:
Overall the consensus is that licensing is a good thing.

The uninsured and the undertrained will not survive ( undertrained being folks that by passed the rules), but at least you know when you hire someone that they have past the State requirements. IE:

NHIE, 80 + hours of education in Home inspection, 30+ parallel inspections certified by a Qualified Inspector and this is a big one.
Can you get 30 ride alongs in MO.?


If you where to pay the inspector to take you along and gave him $50:00 for each trip ( it is worth that much ) $1,500:00 this would give you more experience then all the schooling you have had . It would put you a long way to becoming a good inspector. Any that I have seen who do the mentoring seem to last , Many who do not seldom make three years.
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tallen
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
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Posts: 4894
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:43 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
rcooke wrote:
tallen wrote:
Overall the consensus is that licensing is a good thing.

The uninsured and the undertrained will not survive ( undertrained being folks that by passed the rules), but at least you know when you hire someone that they have past the State requirements. IE:

NHIE, 80 + hours of education in Home inspection, 30+ parallel inspections certified by a Qualified Inspector and this is a big one.
Can you get 30 ride alongs in MO.?


If you where to pay the inspector to take you along and gave him $50:00 for each trip ( it is worth that much ) $1,500:00 this would give you more experience then all the schooling you have had . It would put you a long way to becoming a good inspector. Any that I have seen who do the mentoring seem to last , Many who do not seldom make three years.

--
I have put the past behind me,
where , however, it now sits, making rude remarks.

www.whiteglovehomeinspections.net

30 Oct 2003-- 29 Nov2005

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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:44 PM       Post Subject:
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Home Inspection Gaining National Attention from State Legislators


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RISMEDIA, Aug. 18, 2005?In 1985 state regulation of home inspectors and home inspections wasn?t on the radar of many state legislators ? 20 years later, home inspection regulation has captured the attention of legislators in 30 states. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is confident that this number will continue to grow.

?Today, 30 states have some sort of inspector regulation in place,? said Don Norman, 2005 ASHI president. ?Given that 26 of the 30 states have enacted these laws within the past eight years ? an average of three states per year ? the trend is clear that it?s only a matter of time before every state has home inspection legislation protecting the interests of its home buyers.?

The 2005 Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors, ASHI?s fourth edition, identified New Jersey as the clear leader, a state that enacted its legislation just two years ago and has remained at the top of the study ever since. Louisiana, Texas and Arizona rounded out the top four rankings in this year?s report. What these states have in common is superior experience and education requirements, a valid high stakes examination, and Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics comparable to ASHI?s very own.

Tennessee moved up on the list from 30 to 23 by adopting a new licensing law, while North Dakota?s new registration law ranked second to last, with little to no emphasis on education, continuing education, experience requirements, standards of practice or code of ethics, all key factors in determining a state?s rank.

Points were awarded to states according to the quality of the regulation program and the weight or importance ASHI placed on each regulation standard. States were evaluated against 13 criteria, including education, experience, examination requirements and use of established standards of practice and a tough code of ethics.

In addition to providing rankings for each state, the ASHI Position Statement includes a model licensing bill that states can use as a guideline to develop strong home inspector legislation. The model also provides information about appointing a governing body to administer the laws, and it proposes that members of the governing body be free of conflicts of interest in the regulation of home inspectors.

?Our review shows that many states are already doing an excellent job of creating meaningful regulation,? added Norman. ?We also see a need for improvements, but some of the wide disparities from state to state are likely a result of the rapid development of home inspection legislation. Legislators in each state must determine whether or not regulation is necessary to protect their constituents. Nevertheless, should they decide to take that route, ASHI is dedicated to providing guidelines for laws that are meaningful and foster excellence within the home inspection profession.?

States with the highest scores should be considered as the models for state governments considering home inspection legislation, while states with low scores are encouraged to consider how current legislation can be improved, according to Norman. Complete details of the findings, state scores and grading criteria can be found in ASHI?s official Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors at www.ashi.org.

States without Home Inspection Regulation are: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Legislation is pending in Michigan.

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: editorial@rismedia.com.

NACHI ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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tallen
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
Very Active Poster
Posts: 4894
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:46 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
rcooke wrote:
tallen wrote:
Overall the consensus is that licensing is a good thing.

The uninsured and the undertrained will not survive ( undertrained being folks that by passed the rules), but at least you know when you hire someone that they have past the State requirements. IE:

NHIE, 80 + hours of education in Home inspection, 30+ parallel inspections certified by a Qualified Inspector and this is a big one.
Can you get 30 ride alongs in MO.?


If you where to pay the inspector to take you along and gave him $50:00 for each trip ( it is worth that much ) $1,500:00 this would give you more experience then all the schooling you have had . It would put you a long way to becoming a good inspector. Any that I have seen who do the mentoring seem to last , Many who do not seldom make three years.



I paid 2500.00 for the ride alongs icon_eek.gif and you are correct I learned more from those then I did the mass amount of schooling I did.

I had an excellent teacher icon_biggrin.gif

--
I have put the past behind me,
where , however, it now sits, making rude remarks.

www.whiteglovehomeinspections.net

30 Oct 2003-- 29 Nov2005

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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:48 PM       Post Subject:
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James Bushart

Home Inspection Services of Missouri
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3690
User: jbushart
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:48 PM       Post Subject:
That news release was written and published by ASHI. It was sent out two days ago. More trash.

--
Home Inspection Services of Missouri
www.missourihomeinspection.com

"We're NACHI. Get over it."

www.monachi.org

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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:51 PM       Post Subject:
It was recieved by many realtors in this area today. I would dare say it went to more realtors than the NACHI email.
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James Bushart

Home Inspection Services of Missouri
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3690
User: jbushart
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:53 PM       Post Subject:
bkelly1 wrote:
It was recieved by many realtors in this area today. I would dare say it went to more realtors than the NACHI email.


Good things Realtors don't vote on legislation. icon_wink.gif

--
Home Inspection Services of Missouri
www.missourihomeinspection.com

"We're NACHI. Get over it."

www.monachi.org

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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:55 PM       Post Subject:
RISmedia-----Residential Real Estate'sLargest Independant News and Information Source....Independant is the key word here. ASHI got the article in there. This was not to trash NACHI. Don't shoot the messenger.
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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:56 PM       Post Subject:
jbushart wrote:
bkelly1 wrote:
It was recieved by many realtors in this area today. I would dare say it went to more realtors than the NACHI email.


Good things Realtors don't vote on legislation. icon_wink.gif



No but they can steer clients to ASHI only companys.
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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 796
User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:58 PM       Post Subject:
This was also dated at the begining Aug 18, 2005
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rfarruggia
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
Active Poster
Posts: 216
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:59 PM       Post Subject:

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Yeah kind of reminds me of when Fox news started to use " Fair and Balanced" as their tag line. They keep repeating it often enough and they actually start to believe it themselves (or at least the hope that you believe it).

How many times did ASHI say that they were opposed to legislation and licensing?

By Peter Engle, President GS ASHI The ASHI reporter 12/03

Quote:
There has been much discussion in the Reporter and online about home inspector licensing. ASHI has provided some useful tools for local chapters facing new licenses, including the Position Statement and Legislative Guidebook that are available online. Many states now have some form of licensing in place, most have some form of law under consideration, and there are still some that have no serious threats on the horizon. But with licensing in place in so many states, we need to start looking at how to protect our interests as home inspectors and ASHI members, because as soon as there is a licensing law, there will be special interests that try to carve out pieces of it for their own cause. These interests can be as diverse as already licensed architects, engineers, appraisers, REALTORS", code officials and others, as well as semi-related tradespeople who want to perform home inspections in some manner. Another interested group comprises home inspectors who are left out because they don't or can't qualify for licensing. Home inspectors need to respond to this threat by maintaining an active legislative presence. STOP AND START - NEW JERSEY LICENSING HISTORY Like many states, New Jersey legislators occasionally made attempts to license inspectors, but the members of the Garden State chapter managed to fend off those attempts through gentle education and persuasion. That all changed in 1997 with a single event that made licensing a priority for someone who had the power to implement it. The secretary for the chair of the regulated professions committee had a bad home inspection. To be precise, it was a bad termite inspection that was performed by her home inspector. The house turned out to have substantial damage, and the unlicensed and uninsured home inspector took no responsibility. The secretary's boss decided that it was about time to license home inspectors. Before any one in the Garden State chapter knew the bill was in play, it had sailed through his committee and was headed to the floor. The chapter mounted a hasty, but surprisingly effective, campaign to improve the bill instead of defeating it, because it quickly became clear to us that licensing was inevitable this time around. The law was signed in 1998, and is not yet fully in effect because the licensing committee has been working since then to write and implement the rules. Here are the proposed requirements to become licensed as a home inspector in N.J.: ? Grandfather applicants must have been in business for at least three years and have performed at least 300 home inspections. ? Each applicant must also have passed the ASHI exam. (Later, the NHIE also was accepted by the committee.) ? If an applicant doesn't qualify for grandfathering, he must take a 300-hour classroom-based course, perform 50 training inspections, and pass the NHIE. After that, he must work for a licensed inspector as an Associate Home Inspector for at least a year and perform at least 250 inspections. At that point, he can become a fully licensed Home Inspector. Of course, the law also regulates the practice of home inspection by creating standards of practice, business practices, ethical conduct, etc. Without debating the merits of our particular law, it is safe to say that it is one of the most restrictive in the nation. The details of the final law were negotiated with the legislative sponsors, local ASHI chapters, and some other interest groups. Together, we arrived at these requirements as the most appropriate for our state's situation. Our position was that if there was going to be licensing, it should be meaningful, and it should guarantee that licensed inspectors were qualified to perform their duties. CHRONOLOGY OF ATTEMPTED CHANGES Fast-forward to spring 2002. The law has been in place since 1998, but the committee has just released the regulations that spell out the chapter and verse of what we all will have to do to become licensed, and what we'll have to do to stay that way. We hear from our lobbyist that the sponsor of the original bill is proposing an amendment. The amendment potentially reduces the training requirement to a short course and 10 inspections, with no requirement for one year of experience and 250 fee-paid inspections. It waters down the licensing committee by adding non-inspector members; it changes grandfathering to admit many more inspectors; it creates the possibility for the committee to use an exam other than the NHIE; and it allows certain code inspectors automatic grandfathering into the indefinite future. The Garden State chapter was joined by other ASHI chapters whose members work in New Jersey to oppose the amendment in the belief that public interest would not be served by these changes. We arranged a meeting with the sponsor and thought it was a productive meeting. We expressed our concerns, we listened to his reasons for the changes, and we reached agreements on what features could be kept or modified slightly to make them acceptable. In all, it seemed things were working as they should. Hearing nothing for the rest of the summer, we followed the advice of our lobbyist to sit and wait. His theory was that if the bill isn't moving, don't push it. In parallel with that bill, another bill was floated in the Senate. This one only addressed grandfathering, and we worked with its sponsor to arrive at a bill that we could support. That bill passed out of the Senate in December. Also in December, we heard from the Assembly bill's sponsor that he was moving on his original amendment, and that he couldn't care less about our objections. It was time to gear up for battle. Again on the advice of our lobbyist, we played nice, contacting the Assembly committee members and quietly contacting some of the more powerful members of the Assembly. We learned the bill was going to a committee vote one week before it happened. It passed the committee unanimously, then went to a House vote the following week where it passed easily. We never had a chance. Even more disturbing, in this process it was quietly combined with the Senate bill we had previously supported, and went back to the Senate under that title. So now we were trying to educate people on why we supported it before and were fighting it now. We fired our lobbyist. Our new lobbyist recommended mounting a multi-pronged campaign to defeat the combined bill in the Senate. The chapter provided its members and other interested parties with tools for contacting their senators. They received the names of their senators, faxes to forward, messages encouraging them to arrange face to face meetings, and they were kept updated about the issues via e-mail. In short, we made a lot of noise in the senators' home districts. We went public by contacting all of the major newspapers in New Jersey, meeting with their editorial boards, and writing op-ed pieces that received good placement. There was some good press, and some bad press. The opposition was running a PR campaign as well. ASHI national supported our position by writing a letter that was forwarded to every senator, staffer, and news outlet we could find. At the same time, our lobbyist was working the Senate. He arranged meetings between our leadership and powerful senators. More importantly, we had some long meetings with their staffers, and with the senate researchers - the guys who write the bills and the background behind them. These young staffers hold a surprising amount of power. The state licensing committee took our side. It passed a resolution to oppose the bill, and this allowed the governor's office to weigh in directly and through the office of the attorney general. While we knew that the governor would never veto such an insignificant bill, the senators generally do try to keep the governor happy. The fight lasted until the day of the Senate vote in March, and the outcome was far from determined. Minutes before the vote was scheduled, we reached an agreement. The Senate made its own amendments and passed a bill that looked much like the one they passed back in December. But we hadn't won yet. The Assembly sponsor of the original bill was upset about the Senate changes, and he still held considerable power in the Assembly. But now many of the groups supporting his changes were forced to support us, because of a lucky alignment of the state's budget schedule, the deadline for the licensing to go into effect, and the end of the legislative session. The bill passed the Assembly and was signed into law in May. We won. All it cost us was about $20,000 and hundreds of hours of volunteer time. Plus, we made some lifelong enemies in the Legislature, and that's never good public relations. RELATED DEVELOPMENTS While we were distracted by that struggle, the Well Water Quality Testing Act was signed into law. It requires all private well systems to be tested each time that a house is sold. For our members who do this testing, it looked like a godsend. Unfortunately, nobody read the fine print. The law was worded in a way that prevents home inspectors from doing the testing - only the labs can do it. Also, since this is now a mandated test, sellers are paying for it. The testing is done before the home inspector gets the phone call for an inspection. Some of our chapter members lost 20 percent of their business with the stroke of a pen. Right now, there are bills pending to make radon testing mandatory for all home sales, to change home inspector license grandfathering yet again, and there's a really fascinating mold bill pending. That bill creates a "mold victim's compensation fund." The idea is to compensate all of the people being put out or permanently "injured" by mold. The bill will prohibit home inspectors from testing for mold, and it will provide money for the victim's compensation fund via a tax on home inspectors, and only home inspectors. That's nice, huh? Home inspectors are certainly happy to step up and underwrite the millions of dollars in claims that will start flowing in. LESSONS LEARNED So what have we learned from the past year? Never rest. Once licensing is in place, you need to maintain vigilance, and to actively engage your representatives. The name recognition you build will help enormously when a new bill comes out of left field. Get good representation. We paid our first lobbyist for five years before we realized that he was giving us bad advice. Our new lobbyist is double the price, but well worth it. We could not have organized a campaign like the one we did without professional help, and we would have lost the fight if our campaign had been even slightly less effective. Lobbying is expensive. The members of our chapter currently are reworking our entire chapter funding and activities around the cost of this representation, but we are convinced that it is necessary. Don't wait for the fight to come to you. If we had been out there rubbing elbows with our representatives for the five years that the license was stalled in committee, we would have had some stable relationships to use when the going got tough. As it was, we had to open lines of communication from scratch. That's the hard way. It's expensive and very bruising. Take part in local politics, both on the chapter level and on each member's personal level. Again, that name recognition carries surprising weight. Get to know your representatives personally. Go to fundraisers, receptions, whatever. It takes time, but it pays back in the long run. Watch peripheral developments as closely as the ones that come straight at you. Professional help is important here. Few of us make all of our money doing home inspections, and those related fields are also subject to legislation that affects us. One benefit of our loud battle is that we now have their attention and they know who we are. We bought ourselves a seat at the table, and we are now capitalizing on that seat to weigh in on related bills. This gives us significant influence to help our members. Home inspector licensing is here to stay. It certainly is in New Jersey, and it will happen everywhere eventually. It makes sense to organize and to delay licensing as long as possible, and to be prepared to positively affect it when it does happen. It is then even more important to maintain your energy once the licensing is in place.
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James Bushart

Home Inspection Services of Missouri
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3690
User: jbushart
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 9:59 PM       Post Subject:
bkelly1 wrote:
No but they can steer clients to ASHI only companys.


Okay. Maybe I am missing your point.

How do you feel that the ASHI branding campaign relates to licensing?

BTW, RISMedia printed it on 8/18 but ASHI sent it out on 8/16. I picked it up on Google, Tuesday.

--
Home Inspection Services of Missouri
www.missourihomeinspection.com

"We're NACHI. Get over it."

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ekartal
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Posted: Aug 18, 2005 10:03 PM       Post Subject:

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bkelly1 wrote:
To insectors who are in a state that started licensing....Did your business improve, or stay the same? I wondered if the real estate community pushed it more.

Good point Ben. Licensing in Illinois had already started when I got my wings. But as Todd mentioned the number of people getting into this business is amazing. It's the promise of easy riches more than anything. I started my business less than 3 years ago with license 821. Now it's probably 6821.

Licensing may have helped my business only in the sense that school and Jim B's favorite test provided for more education and knowledge. I will admit now for the first time that membership in any given HI association will not determine an inspectors success. Education, education, education. I picture a guy like Jeff Pope with a library of inspection related books. That's what makes a difference IMHO.

Erol Kartal icon_cool.gif
ProInspect
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James Bushart

Home Inspection Services of Missouri
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3690
User: jbushart
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 10:06 PM       Post Subject:
ekartal wrote:
I will admit now for the first time that membership in any given HI association will not determine an inspectors success. Education, education, education.


Atta boy, Erol.

--
Home Inspection Services of Missouri
www.missourihomeinspection.com

"We're NACHI. Get over it."

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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
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User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 10:07 PM       Post Subject:
RISmedia sends mail out to many sources, with lots of influence in all areas of real estate. If it were NACHI that sent it out we would be doing cart wheels b/c we were mentioned and got the publicity.
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Ben Kelly

Kelly Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
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User: bkelly1
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 10:09 PM       Post Subject:
yes?
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James Bushart

Home Inspection Services of Missouri
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3690
User: jbushart
Posted: Aug 18, 2005 10:17 PM       Post Subject:
You are off topic, Mr. Harris. We are discussing licensing.

Care to add to the topic?

--
Home Inspection Services of Missouri
www.missourihomeinspection.com

"We're NACHI. Get over it."

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Nick Gromicko
Founder
NACHI Member: Staff
(as of 3/25/07)
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Posts: 7876
Posted: Aug 19, 2005 12:02 AM       Post Subject:
Licensing hurts the profession by roughly tripling the number of inspectors in the state where licensing is adopted. Yes, you heard right... every time a state adopts licensing the number of inspectors multiplies by 3. Licensing sets such a bare minimum standard (for example, the dumb NHIE which everyone has the answers to) that everyone can get a license... and everyone does. The new licensed list wipes out the market share of the existing inspectors who have established themselves and their reputations over the years. For example: Recently ASHI Tampa figured this out for themselves and fought licensing in FL.

Licensing helps NACHI of course for the same reason, that being that it triples the number of inspectors. Licensing also helps NACHI because it damn near destroys the do-nothing associations in competition with NACHI. ASHI for instance hangs on tooth and nail to the only benefit it offers its members... a credential. ( icon_redface.gif I might be wrong, I think ASHI offers a discount on a magazine too icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif ) Anyway, once government takes that purpose away from the do-nothing associations and creates their own credential (a license)... only associations (like NACHI) that offer their members a gazillion other benefits that the government doesn't offer, and will never offer, (marketing and support for instance) survive. Texas, which has had licensing for years is a perfect example. In Texas every inspector's report is legislated to be nearly identical. The only thing that distinguishes one licensed inspector from another is support and marketing power... which is why all the NACHI members in Texas kick a$%.

Any of the do-nothing but offer a credential associations that argue FOR licensing and succeed... soon find themselves with 3 lone members sitting at a bar wondering what the hell went wrong.

--
Nick Gromicko
Founder
dues=79cents/day.

I much prefer email to private messages.

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rwand
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Posted: Aug 19, 2005 7:05 AM       Post Subject:

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We don't have licensing here in Ontario and self regulation has been a disaster, it has allowed 2 week inspection schools to flourish and has actually had a hand in endorsing those schools and flooding the market with rookie inspectors. SCARY! Only Colleges should be mandated to teach home inspection studies. Licensing can change that.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON
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