What Is The Difference Between Home Inspection Organizations?

There are now 2 Major Home Inspection Organizations

Up until 2016 there were three major home inspection organizations; ASHI, NAHI, and InterNACHI. As of 2016 the NAHI organization has dissolved and their members in good standing were absorbed by ASHI. They’re not the only organizations for home inspectors, but they’re the largest.

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)           One of the Major Home Inspection Organizations

To quote from ASHI‘s website: “In 1976, a group of visionary home inspectors with the common goal of building consumer awareness and enhancing the professionalism of their field established the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This not-for-profit professional association for home inspectors made its first order of business to establish and advocate high standards of practice and a strict code of ethics for the member community.

The Mission of ASHI is to set and promote standards for property inspections and to provide the educational programs needed to achieve excellence in the profession and to meet the needs of our members.”

ASHI’s highest level of certification is the ASHI Certified Inspector, or ACI designation.  To get this designation, a home inspector must*:

  • Pass the National Home Inspector Exam, which is a 200 question / 4 hour proctored exam.  This exam is also used for licensing in approximately half of the United States.
  • Complete the ASHI SOP and Code of Ethics online training.
  • Complete a minimum of 250 fee-paid home inspections, with the reports in substantial compliance with ASHI’s Standards of Practice.  To verify this, the list of inspections must be submitted to ASHI, and then five reports are selected for submission.  The reports are sent to an ASHI report verifier, who then grades the reports for compliance.

ASHI Certified Inspectors are the only true 3rd party certified Inspectors in the industry that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

*This is my summary of the requirements.  For the full list, click here.

 National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)

NAHI was founded in 1987.  To quote from their website: “The National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) was established in 1987 as a nonprofit association to promote and develop certified and licensed home inspectors in the professional home inspection industry.”

NAHI’s highest level of certification is the Certified Residential Inspector, or CRI designation.  To get this designation, a home inspector must*:

  • Pass the NAHI CRI exam, which is a 140 question exam administered through PSI Testing Centers, or pass the National Home Inspector Exam.
  • Complete a minimum of 250 fee-paid home inspections, which must be submitted for verification.

*This is my summary of the requirements.  As stated above this organization no longer exists.

InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

InterNACHI was founded in 1990.  To quote from InterNACHI’s website: “InterNACHI’s mission is to provide its membership:

  • free, online training, continuing education, and academic degree and certificate programs all over the world;
  • business training, software products, marketing services, student services, and membership benefits; and
  • knowledge, skills, and abilities to maintain competency and achieve inspection excellence.”

InterNACHI’s highest level of certification is the Certified Professional Inspector, or CPI designation.  To get this designation, a home inspector must*:

  • Pass the InterNACHI online exam, which is free and open to the public.  This exam is designed to be taken at home.
  • Complete the InterNACHI Code of Ethics and Residential SOP online courses.
  • If the applicant has never completed a fee-paid home inspection, they must submit four mock inspection reports.

*This is my summary of the requirements.  For the full list, click here.

The way I See It with these Home Inspection Organizations

ASHI’s main goal is to improve the home inspection industry.  NAHI is ASHI’s little brother.  InterNACHI’s goal is to cater to individual needs of members.  Here in Kansas City, most home inspectors belong to at least one of the two organizations.  A few belong to more, and some don’t belong to any of them.

While there are some major differences in certification requirements between the organizations, being certified by any or all of the organizations listed above does not make one a better home inspector.  I’d like to say it does, but it doesn’t.  If a home inspector decided to quit paying their annual dues to one (or all) of these organizations, they would lose their certification.  Would that suddenly make them a worse inspector?  No.  I think that should end the discussion right there. I’ve found that debating pros and cons of home inspection organizations gets home inspectors WAY more excited than politics or religion.

As for myself, I’ve been a member of ASHI since I started inspecting houses back in 2006, I have been the president of the Great Plains ASHI Chapter, every home inspector in my company is a member of ASHI, and all are ASHI Certified Inspectors.

One of the Major Home Inspection Organizations    

Author: Mark Pence – Premier Inspection Services


(Some of this information was provided by a fantastic home inspector – Rueben Saltzman)

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