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



The Value of Certification to the ASHI Member

BRENDAN RYAN

Late breaking news: ASHI receives accreditation. Details in e-newsletters. More to come.

In recent articles, you read about the processes to achieve accreditation status for ASHI. And, you read about the importance of accreditation to ASHI and the opportunities it presents to the society. But, what about you, the ASHI member? Why should you want certification? Let’s look at the value of certification for you, the individual ASHI member. 

ASHI inspectors take pride in the service they provide to their clients. The reputation of our association and its members is anchored in the satisfaction of those who entrust ASHI inspectors to safeguard their families and investment dollars. Certification will help the public to identify quality inspectors, and it will increase their confidence in them. The reliability of ASHI’s reputation depends on the recruitment and retention of members who exemplify inspection excellence. 

A measure of inspection excellence

One measure of inspection excellence is achieving certification. The term certification is defined as a voluntary process, the purpose of which is to provide professional recognition of knowledge, skills and practice. ASHI’s association goal is to promote a standard of care that is recognized not only in the real estate industry, but also outside our field of practice with the intent of protecting the homebuying public. Our goal for members is more personal. In an environment where regulation and licensing increasingly are granted for meeting minimal professional requirements, certification will denote a more advanced level of knowledge and practice skill that has been achieved by the ASHI Certified Inspector. 

Benefits and rewards derived from personal achievements

Completing and maintaining certification has benefits and rewards that are derived from one’s personal achievements, as well as those defined by others.  It validates your qualifications and professional competence.   

It demonstrates your aspiration and desire to improve the quality of client care and delivery of inspection service.   

Certification rewards your continuing efforts to improve knowledge and skills, and it reflects your commitment in time and effort to the home inspection
profession.   

Who values certification?

Certification studies on personal development demonstrate a value level in excess of 90 percent when certificate holders were asked about:
  • Accomplishment
  • Satisfaction
  • Professional knowledge
  • Professional growth
  • Standard attainment
  • Professional commitment
  • Professional challenge
  • Professional credibility
High value levels were also demonstrated for indicators defined by persons other than the certificate holder. These include:
  • Consumer confidence
  • Marketability
  • Peer recognition
  • Professional reputation
  • Accountability
  • Recognition from those in related fields
Certification will provide value to ASHI members in various ways, such as:
  • Personal growth and achievement,  
  • Professional competence and credibility, and
  • Opportunities for business enhancement.     
Also, ASHI will work hard to ensure your certification is recognized in the marketplace. 

Something more for all members

For those of us who have been “full members” for many years, the prospect of true certification may seem slightly less alluring. Studies confirm that practitioners with many years of experience feel that way while also placing high value on all the other same indicators.   

Maybe it is because we “old school” members have forgotten all the preparation involved, the butterflies in our stomachs when taking the A & B tests, the nervousness of a peer review, and sweating it out as you personally created reports that were reviewed in front of you. We do not remember how great it felt to complete that last inspection or the smile on our face while handing out that first business card with the ASHI Member logo on it.   

Yes, the process of becoming a “full” ASHI member is an accomplishment of which to be proud, and one worthy of certification.

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Certification Recap

During the October 2007 Strategic Work Session, a portion of the Operations Study performed by Plexus Corporation indicated that a trend in responsible associations was to provide a true certification program for their membership, if possible. The Board of Directors determined that the pursuit of accreditation to raise the association status of ASHI and true credentialing to give credence to our certification term was a goal worth researching. 

The board chose the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as the organization from which ASHI will pursue accreditation. The NCCA is the professional services accreditation arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). This organization was chosen because, like ASHI in home inspection, it is the recognized leader in setting quality standards for credentialing organizations. 

FAQs

What will I have to do to get certified?


If you are a full member of ASHI, you have already completed the process. Otherwise, you must complete the current membership requirements. The continuing education requirement also will remain the same. ASHI has been able to pursue accreditation within our fiscal budget, so there will be no dues increase as a result of this initiative.  

Why is ASHI getting accredited?


ASHI is recognized as the leader in home inspection by those in and out of the profession and by government entities. However, this is by reputation and recognition only. The accreditation and certification of ASHI’s processes by a recognized third party is an affirmation of the status we hold in the home inspection profession. True accreditation and certification are readily recognized and the organizations that have achieved this status are sought out by media outlets and entities looking for quality stakeholder input. 

Once NCCA has approved ASHI as an accrediting body, ASHI’s voting members will participate in the process of accepting the required addition to the ASHI Bylaws.   
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