November, 2009
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Certified Home Inspector: Say it with confidence, say it with pride

BRENDAN RYAN

October 2, 2009, is a date that will hold a special place in the history of ASHI and indeed the home inspection profession. It is the approval date of the first truly recognized certified home inspector program. It is appropriate that the last step in the process was a vote of the membership. This latest accomplishment is much more than the culmination of a two-year project. It is the result of a 34-year tradition of excellence.

Education, professionalism, stability, integrity synonymous with ASHI


In 1975, a small group of forward-thinking home inspectors founded ASHI. They built the foundation of the society based on standards and ethics that are to this day the pillar of ASHI and the recognized core of the profession. Since then, decades of dedication by ASHI leaders and members alike have built upon that foundation. Attributes now synonymous with ASHI include education, professionalism, stability and integrity.

ASHI did what no other could


ASHI’s voting members, with their nearly unanimous approval of the addition to the ASHI Bylaws, had the final say about certification. This vote is a confirmation that ASHI members are proud of their association and for what it stands. Proud to know that their association has done what no other could. Proud of their own individual accomplishment and the process of becoming a professional home inspector and full member of ASHI. Proud to finally be able to use the term ASHI Certified Home Inspector and have the solid backing of the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) to support it.

Committee creates structure and process


The Bylaw approval formalized the Certification Committee. The committee’s main function is to represent the certified members in regard to the process of becoming and maintaining the status of ASHI Certified Home Inspector. Our Policy & Procedures Manual outlined the formation of the first official committee. These dedicated members were chosen due to their familiarity with the project and backgrounds that filled specific needs of the committee. Successful implementation of this program relies on the ability of the first committee to create a structure and process that can be followed for years to come.

Through attrition over the next two years, the committee will be populated by members elected by the process outlined in the bylaws. Combining, over time, new committee members with experienced ones, who have been involved in the program’s conception and implementation, builds the strongest possible foundation for success.

Today’s committee


Your first Certification Committee members are, in alphabetical order: JD Grewell, Jim Hemsell, Joe Kelly, Howard Pegelow and Paul Staron. Jeff Arnold, as ASHI Executive Director, is an ex-officio member and Aldis Stripnik is the staff liaison. I serve as the committee chair. This first committee does include ASHI Board members. The initial exception was approved by the Board of Directors and  
acknowledged by the NCCA.

It is agreed by all that those currently working on the project are the ones most suited to implement and build the program to the intent of the bylaws.

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SPECIAL VOTE

In November, Certified Inspectors will receive a ballot to approve the members of the initial Certification Committee.
Known as a proviso, this measure is a required bylaw action allowing the current committee members, some of whom are on the ASHI Board of Directors, to complete their initial term.
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Succession plan first order of business


The first official meeting of the Certification Committee was held October 15 during ASHI’s Leadership Training Conference. The first order of business was to finalize a
succession plan for the committee. A draft nomination matrix for persons interested in serving on the Certification Committee was created. A final version will be made available on the Web site for next year’s ASHI election process.

Business plan includes goals


A great deal of time was spent on further development of the Certification Business Plan. The initial goal was to have this program be self-sustaining within three years. It is the opinion of the committee that this goal will be reached well ahead of schedule. A collaborative effort with the Membership and Public Relations Committees allows us to use ASHI’s industry-leading certification program as a tool for membership recruitment and retention.

The future goal of the Certification Business Plan is to become a source of non-home inspector dues revenue for ASHI. In the certification survey conducted in the fall of 2008, the membership expressed great interest in the development of specialty certification and certificate programs. Opportunities for ASHI present themselves in the form of initial and continuing education, assessment and associated memberships. While these programs take time to develop and be approved, the committee projects it will have programs under way in the near future.

Promote and publicize

The immediate focus of the Certification Committee, however, is promotion and publicity. ASHI’s approval as an accrediting body and of our certified home inspector program is a unique honor and asset in the profession. The committee is looking forward to working with Gibbs & Soell, along with our PR Committee. As certification is a new, one-of-a-kind feature, we anticipate media attention from the press releases. Promotion in conventional media, as well as social media, will position ASHI and its members in the forefront of the profession.

ASHI’s independent approval as an accrediting body through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies will highlight ASHI as a credible source for legislative purposes. Often stakeholder status is awarded to entities that have proven themselves in the realms of stability and integrity. ASHI has done great things in Washington, D.C., for its members and the profession. Our Standards and Ethics are used in whole or as the basis of many state licensing programs. Certification will help open more doors in the future.

Testament to past: Validation of present


Certification is much more than a one-time award for ASHI and its members. It is a testament to our past. It is a validation of the most recognized association in the home inspection profession. It is a tool to help move ASHI into the future. The dynamics of our profession and the role of associations are rapidly changing. Certification is helping to put ASHI on the crest of the wave.

The NCCA is the most-recognized organization in the field of personnel certification. Gaining accreditation through the NCCA is not an easy task. ASHI is now in an elite group of just over 100 professional associations. Our status as an NCCA-recognized accrediting body with an approved certification program sets ASHI apart from the others generically using the term certified.

“ASHI Certified Inspector” – Say it with pride


On October 2, 2009, I said, “I am an ASHI Certified Home Inspector.” It felt different from the thousands of times I had said it before. Because it is a true certification, I say it with confidence. Because I am a member of ASHI, the bearer of home inspection history, stability and integrity, I say it with pride. I am sure you do also.

Thank you


Recognition for this accomplishment goes to many people:
  • First, to Presidents Brion Grant and Bill Richardson for their confidence and guidance;

  • Also to Jeff Arnold and the entire staff, but in particular to Mike Rostescu for IT work, Sandy Bourseau for communications, Russell Daniels and Sarah Walsh for membership issues, and Aldis Stripnik for joining and organizing the effort;

  • To ASHI Members Scott Patterson and Jim Funkhouser; and

  • To all the members of the Certification Committee.
My thanks go to all of them for their time, dedication and professionalism.


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Certification Committee Members Celebrate the Achievement, Look to the Future


“The reason many of us probably joined ASHI was because of the well-recognized measure of performance called our Standards of Practice as well as our Code of Ethics. I would hope everyone recognizes we now have gained a significant accreditation by being able to say we are fully certified. Thank you for your support of ASHI.”
JD Grewell
J.D. Grewell & Associates
Silver Springs, Md.

“The favorable vote of the membership is the end of the first phase, but the very beginning of the program itself. We’ll now begin the strategic planning, business planning and marketing planning processes with a keen eye on goals and value to membership. This program could provide value to ASHI in several ways, including accrediting and enhancing an inspector’s personal performance, designating those with special or advanced areas of knowledge and continuous professional development. ASHI is taking the lead and elevating the entire profession.”
Paul Staron
Valley Building Inspections, Inc.
Scottsdale, Ariz.


“With the passage of the 2009 ASHI Bylaw changes, ASHI has laid the groundwork for a nationally recognized certification program that truly sets ASHI members apart from other home inspectors in their market. The creation of the Certification Committee also opens a door to other possible revenue streams as it uses ASHI’s reputation for excellence to explore certifications above and beyond general home inspections. ASHI members should be proud of the two years of hard work necessary to push the boundaries of ASHI’s influence within the home inspection industry.”
Jim Hemsell
A Closer Look Inspection Services
Denton, Texas

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