It all started back in the spring of 2008. Two years later, after a great deal of work, the ASHI Certified Inspector became a reality for ASHI membership. Good things do not happen overnight or without countless hours of help from volunteers. In January 2011, our new ACI logo was approved and released to members for use the following April 2011, completing the first step in the redesign of ASHI's membership levels. Now, we are moving to the next phase.
When the ACI was created, it had been more then ten years since membership levels had undergone a substantial change. Changes prior to ACI were based on our changing profession and, consequently, the increase in states licensing home inspectors. As we all know, the home inspection profession is ever-changing and is a young profession in the world of professions. Professional societies and associations that fail to recognize and adapt to current trends and changes will quickly become a casualty of those changes and trends. This is why in 2010 your ASHI leadership made the decision to start the process of updating lower membership categories.
Our highest level, ACI, now is in place. It is our Gold Standard and the level all members should be trying to attain. ACI member-level requirements will not change. With this in mind, the requirements for any new membership level redesign must include a pathway for our members to help them attain it. Creating a membership stair step to ACI will ensure that the entry level into ASHI will not be lowered, rather it will be increased by several steps. This has required all involved with the redesign to enter the process with an open mind and to put aside the "if I had to do it, they have to do it" mentality that can be prevalent in a society with a history such as ours.
How can the entry level be raised? One way is with an education requirement that parallels some of the current requirements used by several states for those who have no experience. Another way is to allow those who have experience to meet a set number of inspections (25) to replace the educational requirement. Add in our SOP/COE educational module and a form of report verification, and we have significantly increased our entry-level requirements for joining ASHI over what we now have. The entry level would be the "Member" level. This level would allow the use of a Member logo.
The next or middle level would build on the entry "Member" level. In addition to all the "Member" requirements, a person would have to pass the NHIE or a proctored state examination that is required for a home inspector's license (eventual passing of the NHIE will be needed to attain the ACI membership level) in his or her state. Also, he or she would need to have completed 50 or more fee-paid inspections and have had his or her reports verified. This middle level would be called the "Inspector" membership level. This level will allow the use of an "Inspector" logo.
Once a person reaches the "Inspector" level, it should be a simple process for most to complete, in a short period of time, the qualifications for ACI and the use of the ACI gold logo.
Over the next few months, we encourage all members to offer comments and suggestions on these proposed changes. If you plan on being at InspectionWorld, be sure to participate in the roundtable discussion on this important change that's on the horizon for ASHI. As with many changes, this will be difficult for some to accept, but it is the firm belief of your leadership that in order for ASHI to remain the voice of the profession, changes like this must take place. A change of this magnitude will require amending the ASHI Bylaws, which must be approved by voting members. This is a multi-year process because it is not to be undertaken lightly. You will be kept informed through the ASHI Reporter and online media as the new levels are refined over the next few months.
Please submit all comments and suggestions to Russell Daniels, email@example.com.