August, 2003
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Input wanted on proposed "Code of Ethics for the Home Inspection Profession"

CHRISTOPHER UELAND

After several years of discussing the ASHI Code of Ethics, a proposed new “Code of Ethics for the Home Inspection Profession” is ready for presentation to the ASHI Membership. The ASHI Code of Ethics Committee, which was formed last fall, has had the benefit of thoughtful and dedicated research and proposals done by the ASHI Ethics Task Force in 2000 and by the ASHI Standards Committee in 2001-2002.

Over the past months, the Code of Ethics Committee spent hours discussing each item, indeed each word, to craft the proposed Code to ensure that each item conveys the intended meaning. The committee’s work is now at a stage where the results of its deliberations are ready to present to the Membership and others for feedback.

The current ASHI Code of Ethics has been adopted by many states as part of their home inspector regulations. In addition to the ASHI Membership, the ASHI Code of Ethics affects numerous groups involved in real estate and the home inspection profession, and we anticipate a revised Code would also be adopted by states.

Recognizing the importance of the Code of Ethics and its broad impact, we have invited the following groups to provide feedback regarding the Proposed Code of Ethics: ASHI Members and Candidates; the ASHI CEO Advisory Group; related home inspection organizations including CREIA; FABI; State regulators and legislators; NAR; HUD/FHA; the Appraisal Institute; the ICC code organization; and several others.

The input we receive from these groups may result in revisions to the “Proposed Code of Ethics” before it is presented to ASHI Members for a vote later this year.
Opportunities for input include: public hearings, ASHI Chapter meetings and comments mailed or e-mailed to ASHI. The Proposed Code of Ethics is also posted on the Members Only section of the ASHI Web site.

COR representatives and ASHI Chapter Presidents have been requested to lead discussions about the Proposed Code of Ethics at July or August ASHI Chapter monthly meetings. If your ASHI Chapter has scheduled a Code of Ethics discussion, please take the opportunity to attend the meeting and give your input. If your Chapter does not meet during some summer months, we urge you to contact your Chapter Leaders and request a special meeting. That’s how important this is.

As mentioned above, we anticipate that ASHI Members (not Candidates) will have an opportunity to vote for the Proposed Code of Ethics in November. Please consider the importance of your individual vote. To change the Code of Ethics, the ASHI Bylaws require that at least 30 percent of the Members in good standing cast a vote. If less than 30 percent of the members vote, then the votes are not counted and the proposal cannot go forward. Those who fail to vote undermine the process, and render a disservice to the profession. We need your participation.

The “Proposed Code of Ethics” (see page 22) is the product of years of research and development by numerous ASHI Members and Committees. It’s here for you to review. Make your comments by e-mailing ethics@ashi.org by August 28, 2003. If you suggest a change to the document, please include the rationale behind your suggestion.

Thank you for participating. Your comments are important to us.

ASHI Code of Ethics Committee Members:

John L. Cahill
Cahill Inspection Services, Inc., Plano, TX

Bill Coull
William Coull Associates, Ltd., Staten Island, NY
Keith Oberg
Professional Home Inspection Service, Binghampton, NY

Roger Robinson
The Star Inspection Group, Oakland, CA

Bill Sutton
Bay Colony Home Inspection Consultants, Milton, MA

Chris Ueland
HouseMaster, Minnetonka, MN

Stuart Zwang
Home Raters, Inc., Highwood, IL