State of California does not require any licensing to become a home inspector. So the nature of the certification, background experience, education, and association membership of a home inspector matters tremendously.
Only CREIA and ASHI require:
– In-Person Written Examinations. Proctored examinations (just like real estate licensing exams), CREIA / ASHI inspectors prove their competence by passing in-person National Home Inspectors Examination at a professional testing facility.
– Code of Ethics prohibiting practices that could create conflicts of interest, including paying agents and real estate brokerages for referrals or offering financial incentives. Reports must be unbiased and objective.
– Proof of Valid Insurance – Errors & Omissions (E&O) and Liability Insurance.
– Criminal Background Checks with annual verification.
– Continuing Education (60 or more CE credits annually)
– Reviewed Home Inspection Reports. CREIA and ASHI officials review reports to assess competence of knowledge and compliance with CREIA / ASHI Standards of Practice (SOP).
– Annual Conferences with more training and ongoing education
– Home Inspection Walk-Through Classes in person.
– Ride Along Home Inspections individually supervised by a certified CREIA Home Inspector to provide in-the-field education and hands-on experience.
– Monthly Chapter Meetings with ongoing education and certification.
– Supporting Community Benefit Non-Profits and giving back to our community by supporting worthy causes like housing disabled veterans.
Other “Associations” don’t require the above. They only exist on the internet.
These online certification mills sell easy “certifications”. Their online exams make it easy to cheat on the at-home test.
With the other organizations, a person could literally wake up one day with no experience, pay their online membership, Google the answers during the online exam, and in less than an hour call themselves a “certified home inspector”.