History of ASHI the American Society of Home Inspectors - 1990's.
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Below is historical and background information about the first national home inspection professional association. Currently there are many national and state home inspection professional and trade associations, as well as home inspector licensing and education requirements in many U.S. states and Canadian provinces throughout North America. For current information about ASHI, see ASHI's Website
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI(R)) was formed in 1976 as a not-for-profit organization to build public awareness of home inspection and to enhance the technical and professional performance of home inspectors. ASHI is the oldest and most respected professional association of home inspectors in North America, representing its membership and the profession as a whole in areas of education, marketing, and communications.
ASHI's Standards of practice are the most widely accepted home inspection guidelines in use today. They include all of the home's major systems and components, and describe what the home inspector is required, and not required, to inspect.
The ASHI Standards are recognized by many authorities as the definitive standard for professional performance in the home inspection profession.
Home inspectors, or those aspiring to become home inspectors, must enter the Society as Candidates first. Candidates receive a subscription to The ASHI Reporter and are able to participate in various educational opportunities. Candidates, however, have no promotional or voting benefits and are therefore strongly encouraged to become Certified ASHI Members. During their Candidacy period (a minimum of 6 months, maximum of 3 years), they must pass ASHI's two written technical exams and provide valid proof of performance of at least 250 fee paid home inspections that meet or exceed the ASHI Standards of practice. Once these requirements are met, and their applications approved, inspectors may become Certified Members of ASHI. Only individuals may become Members, not companies or groups. Membership is not transferable.
ASHI's two written examinations test a Candidate's knowledge of residential construction, defect recognition, and understanding of the ASIE Standards of Practice and Code of ethics. They are administered at electronic testing centers throughout North America, except Canada where they must be handwritten.
The exams are rigorous and cover the broad scope of technical, practical, and professional information necessary to perform an inspection that meets ASHI Standards. Detailed information on the exams including specific qualifications needed and how, when, and where to take them is provided in the Candidate confirmation packet after the Candidate's application is approved.
ASHI's verification program provides a thorough check of a random number of fee-paid inspection reports to determine strict compliance with ASHI's Standards of practice. Candidates are encouraged to submit their reports for verification early in the application process to ensure that all of the required inspections meet or exceed the ASHI Standards.
Candidates and Certified Members of ASHI are required to abide by the Society's Code of Ethics. This code, among other things, forbids them from being active in the brokerage or sale of real estate, doing any repairs, or recommending any contractors on homes they inspect. ASHI Members who choose to use the ASIE logo on their material, must also meet or exceed the ASHI Standards of practice in their inspection and report writing procedures, and comply with all requirements of ASHI's Name, Acronym, and Logo Use Policy.
Additional obligations include obtaining continuing education credits and upholding the Society's bylaws and policies.
*Annual Conference *Regional educational seminars *Technical publications, conference proceedings, survey materials *Exclusive E&O Insurance Policy *ASHI On-line computer Bulletin Board service *Public relations/marketing support, including a national Yellow Pages advertising program *State inspector referral listing service *Annual subscription to The ASHI Reporter monthly Society magazine *Chapter affiliation *Consumer brochures for distribution to clients *ASHI Membership Directory *Discounts on overnight shipping *... and much more
Affiliate* - Groups or individuals who provide products or services to home inspectors and the profession. Affiliates do not vote or hold office.
Retired - Certified Members of ASHI who are no longer actively engaged in the home inspection profession.
Friend of the Society* - Individuals who are not home inspectors but perform distinguished service or assistance to the home inspection profession. Friends do not vote or hold office. Applications are available upon request from ASIR Headquarters
Home inspection is a distinct discipline requiring technical training and experience that goes beyond the fields of home construction, individual building trades, engineering, or architecture. However, since there is minimal state or provincial regulation, and no government-required academic or vocational curriculum, individuals are responsible for obtaining their own professional training. ASHI's Training Manual is an excellent source of information on the home's components and systems and the methods for inspecting them according to the ASHI Standards of practice. There are also several private institutions that offer varying degrees of classroom and/or hands-on training.
ASHI and many of its regional Chapters offer educational seminars and workshops throughout the year. These range from single topic sessions to weekend-long or four-day conferences. The largest of these is ASHI's Annual Conference, held each January, featuring dozens of technical and business sessions with expert speakers and an extensive exhibit hall showcasing products and services for the professional home inspector.
The home inspection profession is growing rapidly. The housing market continues to grow as does the percentage of home inspections, yet experts estimate that only 40% - 45% of all single- family homes are inspected prior to purchase, so there is plenty of room for continued market growth. The exact amount actually varies depending upon local conditions, such as buyer awareness, or inspector saturation. An inspector's success will depend largely on his or her individual marketing efforts and local market conditions.
ASHI provides several sources for this type of marketing support: educational sessions at the annual conference, articles in its monthly magazine, The -4SHI Reporter, exhibitors and advertisers who market software, tools, and training to the home inspection profession, and an exclusive on-line computer Bulletin Board where Members and Candidates can exchange information and obtain expert advice from authorities in their fields. Many consumer-oriented brochures are also available to members from ASHI for marketing and customer service.
OCR scan 2/9/97 DJ Friedman, subject to OCR error
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