ASHI’s final Board meeting of the year was held on Sunday, January 17, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nev., in conjunction with
InspectionWorld. The report to the membership of the official actions taken during the meeting is available here and online, www.homeinspectors.org, Members Only, Publications.
“Report Out” is not the official meeting minutes as discussion items, withdrawn and failed motions are not included. The official minutes of this meeting will be presented for Board approval at its next meeting, April 24, 2010, in Rosemont, Ill.
Members are encouraged to review the report in order to be fully informed of actions taken on their behalf by the ASHI Board. They are also encouraged to contact ASHI officers and directors with their questions. See the online member directory for contact information.
I. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the October 17, 2009, and December 21, 2009, Board meetings were reviewed and approved by the Board.
II. Motions Approved
Three motions related to governance were presented and passed.
1. The first motion reduces the size of the Board from its current size of 21 members to 15 members. Rather than five officers, there will be three. The positions of Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed to sitting directors, and the board of directors will select the position of president-elect. The position of vice president will be eliminated. The size of the Board will be reduced over three years. This change will improve the bottom line, allowing ASHI to allocate more resources to member benefits.
2. The second motion changes the structure of the Nominating Committee and eligibility to run for the position of director. Currently directors can come only from the Council and are elected by the Council. Under the proposed changes, any ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) in good standing may be elected to the ASHI Board of Directors. They will be elected from the membership at large rather than from the Council. The nominating committee will consist of a total of eight members, four board directors, the Speaker of the CoR and three additional Council representatives. The emphasis will be on finding the best leadership for the organization.
3. The third motion created a task force to gain input and study how ASHI can do a better job of supporting and working in conjunction with our chapters. For most members, the chapter experience is where education and networking takes place. Many chapters are in need of support, and ASHI needs to better understand how to serve their needs. The hope is that the Council will play a meaningful role in chapter support.
The Bylaw changes will go to ASHI Certified Inspectors and Retired Members for a vote in March.
III. Finance Committee/Treasurer Report
Financial statements as of September 30, 2009, year-end and October 31, 2009, were distributed. The September 30, 2009,
audited year-end financials were approved by the board.
IV. InspectionWorld Update
Thanks to everyone who participated in InspectionWorld-Las Vegas, which took place January 17-20, 2010, at Bally’s Las Vegas. Total attendance was more than 950. Nearly 70 vendors were on hand for the trade show, which represented over 100 booth spaces, and 45 educational sessions offered a wide variety of home inspection topics.
V. Federal Legislative Activities
ASHI Lobbyist, Randy Pence, presented a verbal report, accompanied by PowerPoint slides, updating the Board on federal legislative activities of importance to ASHI and its members.
VI. Certification Committee Report
Brendan Ryan, the Certification Committee chairman, reported on the Certification Committee’s recent activities. He provided a number of documents that were shared with the Board of Directors. Key points included the following:
The ASHI Bylaw proviso passed and will allow the current committee members to fulfill their initial terms.
• Creation of the internal Certification Operation Manual detailing the policies and procedures the ASHI Certification Committee will follow.
• Creation of ASHI Certified Home Inspector frequently asked questions sheet.
Some of the questions in the FAQ packet are:
• Why did ASHI pursue a status of “third party” accreditation?
ASHI considers home inspection a professional service, and those who attain the level of ASHI Certified Inspector are dedicated professionals serious about their livelihood. Involvement with the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and their accrediting board the National Commission for Certifying Agencies is representative of ASHI’s commitment to raise the level of recognition and professionalism in home inspection. As a responsible association, ASHI has had its certification program evaluated by an internationally recognized board specializing in personnel certification. Acquiring this form of true accreditation affords ASHI and its qualifying members the ability to put solid backing, meaning and reliability into the term Certified.
• What is certification and why do I want it?
First and foremost, certification offered by ASHI is not a self-bestowed name. It is a validation by an unaffiliated third party of the process one goes through to become a Certified Inspector. The use of a third party provides reliability to the certification process. ASHI chose to attain the most stringent of third party standards, those of the NCCA. Having attained ASHI Certified status allows you to put verifiable backing and credibility into your business as a professional service provider.
• Who is the Institute for Credentialing Excellence?
The Institute for Credentialing Excellence represented as ICE (http://www.ice.org), is a membership association dedicated to providing educational, networking and advocacy resources for credentialing organizations. It is recognized internationally as the premier organization for professional certification groups. The ICE is the parent group of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). ASHI is a member of the ICE.
• Who is the NCCA?
The NCCA is the accreditation board of the ICE. The NCCA evaluates certifying organizations and their programs for compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA’s Standards exceed the requirements set forth by the American Psychological Association, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and are the recognized benchmark for the certification of professional personnel. Other professional associations that have acquired certified status through the NCCA include the medical, nursing, engineering, pharmaceutical, financial advising, accounting, and legal professions. ASHI feels that the service provided by its members is equivalent to if not greater than those others when you take into consideration the magnitude of our client’s investment and the safety of their families.
• Can I claim to be ICE or NCCA certified?
No. ICE is an association membership group and does not have individual members. ASHI is a member of ICE. The NCCA accredits ASHI’s certification program, not the individual member.
• Can I use the ICE or NCCA logos?
No, for the reasons stated above. An ASHI member is not a member of ICE and the NCCA did not certify you. You can use the acronym ACI ®, which stands for ASHI Certified Inspector and the new ASHI Certified Inspector logo (http://www.homeinspector.org/membersonly/downloads/logos.aspx) to signify that you have met the certification requirements. In promotional material, it is totally legitimate to state that ASHI is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. You may also state that you have completed the NCCA accredited ASHI Certified Inspector program. You may not in any way indicate that you or your business is a member of the ICE or are certified by the NCCA.
• What requirements are needed for ASHI certification?
The same as are currently required to become an ACI. Associate members must complete 250 inspections, have their reports verified to be in compliance with the Standards of Practice, and must pass the National Home Inspector Exam. To sustain certification also means meeting the requirements for continuing education.
• This is just like Branding. It is costly and will result in dues increases and special assessments … right?
Wrong. The ASHI Certified Inspector program is a benefit to the membership that has been done within the fiscal budget and without the need for a dues increase or assessment. ASHI is a very well maintained association with high standards and a long history of excellence. We were in a great position to take advantage of this opportunity with minimal financial cost and organizational change.
• How will certification help my business?
ASHI cannot market your business for you. How you integrate the value of certification into your marketing plan is up to you. A good self-promoter will use this true certification to differentiate their business from those who have not completed an NCCA accredited certification program or who are just state licensed. ASHI will be doing their part by integrating certification into its marketing plan and using media outlets for exposure. Information found in this document or some of the following sample phrases can be used in your marketing program:
“Home Inspector performance that has been tested and ASHI Certified”
“ASHI Certified for your protection”
“Quality you can count on because we are ASHI Certified”
“True Certification comes from ASHI”
“Only ASHI offers tested and qualified Certification”
“The ASHI Certified Inspector logo is Professional Certification”
“ASHI Certified, Professionalism you can rely on”
“Only the best Home Inspectors are ASHI Certified”
“ASHI Certified means proven experience that has been verified, tested and committed to continuing education”
VII. New Business
A. ASHI’s Board of Directors voted in favor of sending $500 to CUREInternational Children’s United Recovery Effort to help the disaster-stricken in Haiti.
B. ASHI’s Board of Directors charged the Bylaws Committee to clear up the ambiguities of the percentages of voting members required for a valid mail (or electronic) vote for:
1. Bylaw and Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics amendments
2. Election of Directors
This will be consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order. The result will include that only 30 percent of the ASHI voting members for Bylaws and Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics is required to have in effect a quorum for a mail or electronic vote. For elections of directors, there should be no minimum requirement for the number of votes required and elections shall be determined by plurality.
Nomination Committee Matrices Distributed
Although the passage of the new governance Bylaws would change the process for nominating officers and directors, until that vote takes place, ASHI will operate under the current governance model.
Therefore, council representatives who volunteered at the January council meeting to serve on the Officers and Directors Nomination Committees received a matrix by e-mail, which had to be completed and returned by February 22, 2010.
For more information on the current election process, see section 10 of the Council Policy and Procedure Manual, which is available online in the Members Only section under Publications.