Recently I’ve received questions from Members about the relevance of ASHI in states with licensing or legislation. My first inclination is to compare us with other professionals. Engineers are licensed in every state, and the American Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE) is a large and active organization. Real estate agents are licensed in almost every state. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is not only a large organization; some believe it’s as powerful a lobby in the nation as the AARP, NAHB and the trial lawyers (who now call themselves consumer attorneys.)
But the best answer to that question can be found by looking at us. ASHI’s mission is “To meet the needs of the membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.” Is this mission still relevant with regulation? I think it is. We all want to get smarter. ASHI also represents our profession, which becomes even more important with regulation. Home inspectors need to be unified and highly coordinated to ensure new regulation is meaningful and fair to the inspector and the consumer. We also must continuously watch existing legislation for proposed changes.
The voice of the profession
ASHI has always been the premier home inspection profession society. Due to its size and the efforts of staff and volunteers, ASHI has become the voice of the profession in state and federal regulatory issues. Our legislative committee works long and hard with Members on state issues. ASHI recently published a position paper on regulation along with model legislation.
A national presence
The legislation committee also provides input on federal issues, and your officers visit Washington D.C. in the company of our capable lobbyist. It is important for the leaders of ASHI to be visible in Washington to promote the profession and to keep an eye out for issues that may affect us.
ASHI has promulgated the Standards of Practice named in many states’ legislation, as well as recognized by numerous courts of law. ASHI must continuously monitor the Standards and update them as necessary. ASHI promulgates the Code of Ethics. This code is mentioned in several states’ laws. ASHI funded the creation of the only home inspector examination that meets federal high stakes exam guidelines.
A cut above the rest
So, is ASHI relevant in a regulated environment? In my opinion, even more so. ASHI represents the profession. Of course, there are additional benefits of Membership. The inspector search at ashi.org has hundreds of thousands of hits a year. ASHI Membership sets the Member above the typical licensed inspector due to reputation and increased educational and experiential requirements over most state licensing laws. ASHI has a significant public relations budget and a professional PR firm on retainer to promote the ASHI Member. ASHI provides other resources for the inspector that are too many to list here.
I am proud to be an ASHI Member and I am confident I made the right choice when I joined many years ago.
Talk next month.