One thing I see all our members need is quality education. Superior education is always available at InspectionWorld. This is probably the premier event to attend for education and networking.
Also, many of our chapters have an education module during their meetings. Some have multiple-day education conferences. The ones I’ve attended were well-organized and the education was top rate. The last one I attended was in Arizona, and it was a joint venture with the Arizona Chapter and CREIA (California Real Estate Inspector Association). There were approximately 300 attendees! This month, I will be one of the presenters at the Southeast Georgia Chapter Conference.
Several education vendors have seminars and some have expo-type events spanning several days. Many education providers have five- to 11-day classes for new inspectors and specialty classes for those who want to learn something different. I was an instructor for a school in Albuquerque and know firsthand that these classes offer quality education.
In July, your Board of Directors voted to start a new entity — ASHI Education, Inc. It will redefine home inspector education. ASHI will be working in partnership with many of the top-rated education providers to develop high-quality education at an affordable price. These classes and seminars will be available to anyone who needs education. There will be classroom sessions, online education, Webinars and interactive Web seminars. The possibilities for ASHI’s chapters, members and others could be endless. Classes will be approved for state continuing education credits, as applicable, since some states do not accept online education. There will be class offerings from manufacturers and construction industry groups.
The plan includes making seminars and speakers available to the chapters for their use in meetings and mini-conferences. Some members are unable to travel for their education; therefore, they depend on their ASHI chapter or a chapter close to them for education. ASHI Education, Inc., should be able to assist smaller chapters in providing quality education, while contributing to their non-dues revenue. I am looking forward to seeing the variety of educational offerings that will be available to all of us.
More good news: ASHI’s certification process has been approved by the NCCA. We now have third-party verification that ASHI Certified Inspectors have met verified, rigorous steps to be certified. Continuing education is a requirement for all ASHI Certified Inspectors, which ASHI Education, Inc. can help provide. There may be additional education opportunities if new standards and additional certifications are developed. ASHI Education, Inc. will be there to develop classes and testing for any potential certifications and standards.
Jeff Arnold, ASHI executive director/CEO, has been working with Carson Dunlop, our ASHI@Home provider. ASHI is the exclusive distributor for this training program and has the opportunity to work with community colleges. You may see a two- or four-year degree course in home inspection offered at some of the community colleges through this program. I am excited about this because it would raise the bar of home inspection to a new level. I know us old timers may not want to spend the time getting a degree, but think of the possibilities for younger inspectors. Our profession is an aging one, and this may be the shot in the arm for new blood.
Going back to school, adding certifications, participating in continuing education, meeting state requirements and seeking new information — we’ll all be on a quest for education in one form or another. The home inspection profession is not as busy as it was, and we all need to find new niches or better marketing tools to boost our bottom line. Your leaders know this and are working to develop ways for all of us to benefit and have the opportunity for diversification. The best way to benefit is through quality education, training programs, and possibly new certifications. There is a new world of inspection opportunities out there and ASHI wants its members to be able to take advantage of them.
It has occurred to me that this might be the time to look for an apprentice who could take over when I decide to scale back my time in the field. With all the potential training and education offerings, an apprentice would be better equipped than I was when I started. I would be willing to spend time to become a degreed home inspector, but I would much rather have a degreed apprentice.
Let me know what you all think about these exciting new opportunities for us.