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



Focus on Standards: Standards for Ancillary Services

BRUCE BARKER

This year, 2009, is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. For the first time since our home inspection standards were created many years ago, ASHI will be developing new Standards of Practice for ancillary services. These new Standards of Practice will extend ASHI’s leadership in standards and ethics for the home inspection industry.

New Standards of Practice for ancillary services will establish standards for providing services other than traditional home inspections. Many of us already provide some of these services without the guidance and protection of consensus standards. Having these standards will help inspectors provide more consistent service, and will help reduce potential liability by providing objective criteria against which a client can evaluate a service.

What are some of these new standards? We anticipate that by the time you read this, your Standards Committee will be evaluating proposed standards for inspecting swimming pools. Members of AZASHI, the Arizona chapter, were instrumental in developing these standards. Rumor has it that ASHI members who provide energy audit services are developing standards for that service. We look forward to receiving those standards. As someone who is involved in new construction inspections, I am interested in developing standards for pre-drywall inspections. Anyone interested in working on these standards should contact me. Also, anyone with ideas for other standards should contact me or one of the officers.

After the Standards Committee finishes evaluating a proposed new standard, we will publish it in the ASHI Reporter and on the ASHI Web site, and we will invite public comment. We encourage comments about the proposed standards from any interested party. In order to facilitate evaluation of all comments, we ask that comments come in the following format:
  • The name(s) of those submitting the comment.
  • The name of the group or organization, if any, on whose behalf the comments are being submitted.
  • The proposed change to the standard, with words to be removed struck out and words to be added underlined.
  • The reason(s) why the change will improve the standard.
Your Standards Committee is always open to suggestions about improving the current home inspection Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. We encourage anyone wishing to suggest improvements to these standards to do so. Please use the same format when proposing any such improvements.

When this year is over, I hope it will be remembered with pride as the year of standards. With everyone’s help, we can extend ASHI’s leadership position in our industry.