Certified Master Inspector myths.

Myth: The Master Inspector Certification Board (MICB) which owns http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&rno=2892104 and administers the Federal Certification Mark “Certified Master Inspector” (CMI) is a competing trade association to NACHI.

Fact: The MICB is not a trade association. It holds no events and has no members. It has but one benefit which is that FREA offers CMIs free zero deductible on E&O insurance.

Myth: There are no qualifications.

Fact: You can only be a CMI by:

  1. Completing 1,000 fee-paid inspections or hours of inspection-related continuing education (combined) in their lifetime.
  2. Abiding by the industry’s toughest Code of Ethics.
  3. Substantially following a Board approved Standards of Practice.
  4. Submitting to a criminal background check.
  5. Applying for Board certification by signing the affidavit in front of a Notary.
    Myth: The MICB is not non-profit.

Fact: The MICB is not only non-profit, it has acquired tax exempt status: http://www.certifiedmasterinspector.org/pdf/cmi_tax_exempt.pdf

Myth: One can be a CMI without ever having performed an inspection.

Fact: Although technically true, it would have required that the applicant take 1,000 hours of continuing education, yet never performed an inspection. This situation has not ever happened and there exists no inexperienced CMIs as of yet. A minimum amount of inspections performed and CE hours (in each category) has been suggested as an additional requirement, but because the problem is to date hypothetical, it has undergone no real consideration.

Myth: The CMI requirements are too low and too many can become a CMI.

Fact: In the inspection industry which has a 35% yearly turnover rate and where home inspectors have less than a 3 year life expectancy, CMI requirements unfortunately represent less than 5% of the inspection industry, and actual applicants represent less than 1% of the industry.

Myth: CMIs do not have a COE.

Fact: Here it is: http://www.certifiedmasterinspector.org/cmi/coe.html and it is tougher than any known in the inspection industry.

Myth: CMIs do not have an SOP.

Fact: Correct in the sense that the MICB doesn’t have its own. CMIs must substantially perform inspections in accordance with any one of 7 different board approved SOPs listed in the application from ASHI, CAHPI, CREIA, FABI, ISHI, NACHI, or TREC.

Myth: CMI is a marketing gimick.

Fact: CMI is a professional designation just like REALTORs have http://www.realtor.com/FindReal/DesigsPop.asp?poe=realtor It demonstrates (in the name of the designation itself) to the public and real estate community that one has achieved a certain amount of combined experience and education. It just happens to be a really well named professional designation “Certified Master Inspector.”

Myth: CMI is NACHI.

Fact: Anyone can be a CMI if they qualify, they need not join NACHI. Here is the application: http://www.certifiedmasterinspector.org/cmi/apply.htm

Myth: I can call myself a Certified Master Inspector.

Fact: “Certified Master Inspector” is not merely a Federal Trademark, it is a registered Federal Certification Mark. Only CMIs can call themselves “Certified Master Inspectors.”

Myth: The dues are expensive.

Fact: There are no dues. There is a one-time application fee that you get back if not approved. There are no other fees and no annual dues.

Myth: The Founder of this whole CMI stuff admits that he intended it to be used as a way for more experienced and educated veteran inspectors to raise their prices.

Fact: Yes, that is true.


Additional Facts:

The Master Inspector Certification Board, Inc. is a non-profit 501©(6), tax-exempt organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the inspection industry. The Board holds the registered Trademark [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Verdana, Sans Serif]Certified Master Inspector® FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Verdana, Sans Serif[/FONT][/FONT], the inspection industry’s top professional designation, and awards it qualifying inspectors who have demonstrated a high level of competency by:

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Verdana, Sans Serif]The Certified Master Inspector® Trademark was acquired by the Master Inspector Certification Board by way of private donation. Certified Master Inspector® is a U.S. registered Trademark # 78325155, trademarked in Canada and a professional designation attained only by the very best inspectors. CMI® is also a Trademarked professional designation.[/FONT]

Do you have a point?


Many of my clients have told me that the deciding factor of why they hired me,
above my competitors, was the fact that I was listed as a “Certified Master
Inspector”… despite the fact that I charge more than double the fee of
some of my competition. One of CMI intended benefits is to help the inspector
raise their prices and to distinguish them from their competitors.

I can report that CMI works.

Myth: You should worry about what other associations say about
NACHI or CMI and not do anything until they approve.

Fact: LOL… ridiculous.

What’s your point John B. ?

Myth; Nick keeps us in the dark. Fact: Thank you for the info Nick


CMI is a good concept, and could be a good mark to have.

It still needs (my opinion obviously) some requirement strengthening, and a big time marketing program so that it has name recognition with The Consumer, more than within the industry.

The consumer is the ultimate test. With licensing in the majority of states now, the CMI mark could be a great marketing advantage.

Since Nick has taken over he has already started setting up some advertising. I talked to him in a email the other day.

I personally hired Jay Keany of www.certifiednachistore.com to develop a new brochure for CMIs. We’ll see what he comes up with.

Smooth move need some thing done give it to a busy man works every time .
… Cookie

There will be the detractors. There always are.

There will even be some guys with CMI designations who will be foolish enough to suggest to clients that those without it are not qualified to inspect. They will ignorantly detract from it, like ASHI does with their membership, by marketing it as a “minumum” qualfication.

But…if we (and they) play this right, we will all gain.

CMI is a designation that denotes a particular milestone of experience and expertise which affords those entitled to use it the privilege to charge more for an inspection. Accordingly, as they increase their fees…we increase our fees.

We can all win.

First, we have to defeat the old “ASHI mentality” of 'someone with less credentials than me cannot inspect a house"…which begat licensing…which begat the need we have today for a designation to distinguish experienced inspectors.

As licensing continues, more and more REALTORs are pointing to the “licensed list of inspectors” (mostly a way to avoid negligent referral). All these acronyms like ASHI and NACHI are becoming meaningless as a marketing or sales tools in and of themselves. Consumers don’t have time to determine what requirements matter or if membership in a trade association means anything. So just join the association that gives you the most www.nachi.org/benefits.htm and marketing exposure for your dues.

Certified Master Inspector is something completely different though. It is the sales tool of the Century and its name alone says it all to consumers, quickly and succinctly. It really works.

Myth: CMI is separate and not in competition with NACHI Members and does not establish a tiered system for NACHI Members.

Fact: Although CMI is techinically a separate organization it is owned and controlled by the same person who owns and controls NACHI, CMI members need not be NACHI Members and therefore CMI designees are in direct competition with NACHI members.

Myth: All CMI’s have a minimum of 1000 Inspections or 1000 hours of “related” education

Fact: When CMI was originated the qualifications were pay $75 and have 150 hours or so of “education”, a newbie Inspector who had taken any of several correspondence courses and who had never conducted an inspection could be a CMI. How may signed up, and how many are still using the CMI designation even though they have no where near either the present qualifications of either training or number of Inspections.

Myth: CMI is a “credible” designation.

Fact: CMI has no credibility when compared to other “Masters” in the Real Estate and Construction trades. There is no verification of qualifications, there is no proctored exam. “Master” is being used by CMI just like “Certified”, a marketing gimmick to make the public believe that an Inspector is qualified because of the Logo he/she purchased.

Just in case anyone doesn’t know this, all NACHI members are in direct competition with all other NACHI members who are not employed by their inspection firm. :roll:

So what?

There will always be someone with a better, more credible…etc…designation. Just like there are better associations, better state laws, better home inspectors, bigger peckers, etc. etc. It is all meaningless. Similar arguments have been made about the designation printed on the big red seal that people see, first, when they visit your website.

Lewis, if you feel this way about everything, then why did you join nachi to begin with? Are you so miserable all you can do is sit around and find things wrong? You are to be pitied. It is a shame you cannot get out of the boat, instead of trying to drag everybody down with you. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

He’s going through Wendy-withdrawal.:smiley:

“There will always be someone with a better, more credible…etc…designation. Just like there are better associations, better state laws, better home inspectors, etc. etc. It is all meaningless. Similar arguments have been made about the designation printed on the big red seal that people see, first, when they visit your website.”

While this is all true, I would personally like to see an exam (no, it doesn’t have to be proctored, I doubt many if anyone applying for a certification would have another inspector or builder take the test for them) that is a good test of knowledge. I think that CMI simply needs to be more difficult to attain than any present state license. Then, it could truly be marketed by anyone as a cut above your basic licensed inspector, with some clout.

Proctored??? Why do home inspectors always think that every other home inspector is unqualified and/or needs to have a proctored anything to prove themselves. Aren’t we supposed to be the honest ones checking the crooked builders and tradesmen?? :wink: :roll:

Blaine…in all seriousness…what written exam presently exists that would (or is designed to) challenge an inspector with 1000 inspections under his belt?

None. One would need to be written. And it shouldn’t have simple questions like “14 gauge wire should be connected to a ____ amp circuit breaker”.

If a master is a master, the exam should be written to a higher standard than the vaunted NHIE, nahi CRI, or NACHI exam.

In marketing, when you say “I had to pass a rigorous exam”, it carries more clout than “I did 1000 inspections without supervision”.

Same argument, different place.