March, 2010
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Experiment with Pre-Conference Classes is a Smashing Success!

ARTHUR LAZEROW

Home inspectors are, by nature, curious folks. Also, ASHI members have always been highly focused on education. These are givens for the home inspection industry since a home inspector is first and foremost a house detective and we educate our clients.

So, it is no surprise that this year’s ASHI InspectionWorld 2010 experiment offering optional pre-conference courses was a huge success. The New Inspector Career Day was ASHI’s offering to new inspectors, both to encourage attendance at InspectionWorld and turbo-charge their career development. Mike Casey and Kevin O’Malley, characters extraordinaire, lead the charge. Everything from meeting ASHI’s Board of Directors to understanding our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to business management was included and appreciated by attendees.

The importance of credentials is paramount to ASHI members. Training in preparation for the Healthy Homes Specialist Credential Exam was offered, with excellent interest and attendance. This specialty credential is a national certification granted by the National Environmental Health Association. Throughout the day, the seven principles of healthy home science were reviewed, since this was intended to be a refresher course. At the end of the day, the credential exam was administered.

Finally, Dallas Jones, our old friend from his days as one of the nation’s foremost radon instructors and a long-time friend of ASHI inspectors, taught the RESNET certification course for ASHI members to become RESNET Home Energy Survey Professionals (HESPs). Dallas discovered home energy efficiency at last year’s InspectionWorld and immediately fell in love with the subject. He jumped wholeheartedly into Home Energy Team and created its institute to provide education and certifications for HESPs and Diagnostic HESPs. Not only did Dallas get the first-in-the-nation approval from RESNET to be a provider of these certifications, but he also conducted the first full HESP training for MAC-ASHI and NOVA-ASHI.

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Photo: Dallas Jones led the RESNET certification course as part of the pre-conference program.

In fact, home energy efficiency was the overriding subject of InspectionWorld 2010. The keynote speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy, Joseph Hagerman and Colin McCormick, discussed developments in residential energy efficiency and the role of home inspectors nationally, as DOE envisions, to help improve energy efficiency in the homes they inspect. Many participants in the exhibition hall were energy efficiency players, from equipment suppliers to computer reports for energy audits to certification and education providers.

So, it was most appropriate that Home Energy Team Institute presented its certification course, which consisted of 16 hours of online training, classroom review and then proctoring of the RESNET online exam. The pass rate was an astounding 90 percent of the 40 inspectors who took the exam. All 40 people then boarded buses to spend half a day with five certified energy auditors as instructors, learning how to use depressurization equipment, thermographic cameras and combustion safety testing equipment to perform a full home energy audit. As a result of this pre-conference course, attendees will be certified as RESNET Diagnostic HESPs once each completes three provisional energy surveys and has their reports reviewed for quality control.

During the past 12 months, over 70 ASHI members have taken this course and put themselves in position to participate in and profit by this blossoming industry. From the President of the United States to states to local municipalities and public utilities, everywhere we turn we hear that energy efficiency creates jobs that cannot be outsourced, will help people reduce their utility use and costs, and will help save the environment.
The ASHI experiment offering pre-conference courses was a smashing success and will be repeated next year. Do not be surprised next year to find pre-conference courses even more robust.