CMI poll

I agree, the NHIE is way too easy.

Face it… there is only about a 2,500 pool of questions one could draw from if you want it to be True/False or Multiple Choice. Here they are:

We are developing an Essay exam of IAC2 which asks hypothetical situation questions. Answers require much more analysis than just remembering facts lke the kindergarden NHIE.

Now this sound like fun.

No more cheesee memorizing simple kindergarten tests like CMI, NHIE, Master Electrician, Master Plumber, ICC etc.

Heck, I can’t wait!

Insert emoticon of choice>>>>>>>>>>here<<<<<<<<


CMI cannot work at the national level for the very same reason that the NHIE is now and will forever be a minimum standards test. Inspectors are not interested in becoming a “Master” of useless knowledge in building standards they never interact with. The value, worth and power of CMI can only be achieved at the local level, through local experience and peer review.

Again, it is easy to attain professional status by obtaining education through books, seminars & classroom studies, but to become a “Master” home inspector requires local knowledge and experience.

Just think about construction standards and how they vary throughout the country, heating & cooling requirements, the effects of snow, wind and seismic conditions and how they relate and not only across the country but across the state.

For instance, here in Florida home inspection requirements differ vastly between Miami and Tampa. In Miami and up through Palm counties you had better know how to perform a cost estimate on your defects and be aware minimum roof construction requirements for your wind zone, the good news is you will never encounter a steam boiler, swamp cooler or a slate roof.

On a social/political level I would use CMI to build a strong local chapter of leaders. In my world CMI could only be achieved and awarded at the chapter level and it would always be a work-in-progress, as opposed to a certificate hung on a wall. Participants would need to qualify every year, earning points in at least four distinct categories.

1). Participation: You could not just join a chapter and reap the benefits, you would be required to actively participate.

2). Personal Goals: You would be required each year to state in writing your goals for that year and how they would be measured.

3). Continuing Education: At least twice the current membership requirement and a minimum must be earned locally, subject to peer review.

4). Beneficence: What you have given back to your local community and profession for the privilege of being allowed to earn your living locally.

This would all take place through peer review with the goal of making us better inspectors, throughout the year we might find ourselves a teacher on one subject and a student on another.

Sadly though there is no quick-fix or shortcut to this process and it may take some inspectors a decade or more to earn enough points to become a master. I’ll guarantee on that day the inspector who has completed a course as outlined above will have no need for marketing gimmicks and he will be turning down work because he is just too busy.

I would like to thank the author for creating this thread and provoking this open discussion, I now have a much clearer picture of CMI and how it can really benefit our profession on a local level.

I agree Joe, however the 4 points you outlined to acheive CMI tend to make it a specific type of membership level. Most NACHI members seem to be opposed to member segregation.

TAREI has different levels of membership that seem to work and help to provide attainable goals and credibility to members while also providing a vehicle to drive revenue into the organization (

Looks like a program that makes sense.

I think you will find a simple reason for the lower failure rate on the NHIE than on our exam.

The NHIE is proctored, costs $195 to simply sit down and take, and is usually taken by people who have performed home inspections. For example, it became our county requirement to pass the NHIE as a condition for a license. Those who wanted a license also had to have three years experience as a home inspector. None of our inspectors in this county had to take the test twice. I would think that the majority of the persons who take the NHIE are probably more committed to passing it both financially and practically.

Our test can and is taken by anyone, including those looking to see if they have the aptitude to enter the business. Look no further than the reporter who took it who had to take it several times to pass.

Bashing the NHIE is both senseless and childish. It is the test taken to become a full member of a competing organization, and for licensing in many areas. It is a solid test of the basic knowledge necessary to perform home inspections. That is all it is meant for, and all it is.

We all know that passing a test does not make one qualified to do inspections. Not passing their test, or passing ours. We need look no further than our own message board to see some of the questions our members post in the specific inspection forums. It is downright scary at times to think that these people are out performing home inspections, and are carrying the “certified” label.

I would be willing to wager that a new inspector here who has passed our requirements, and a candidate member over there are not wholly different.

As far as a CMI, I’ll register judgement after I see and speak to a few of them.

““It is downright scary at times to think that these people are out performing home inspections, and are carrying the “certified” label.””

Looks like the word “certified” is the problem. While the real word is MEMBER. I have to keep telling myself that I am NOT certified to turn on a flashlight - I am a member of NACHI - I am not a certified anything and there NO question that is SCARY to me if ask – The scary ones are the people who don’t post questions.

I very much agree that filling ones head about INSPECTION knowledge that is local is the way to go. But some general knowledge is good in all areas of the country.

CMI should not be a test of years in the profession or $$ spent on schools that are just qualified to teach the basics. It should be only advanced knowledge of inspecting - use of field test equipment - communicating with the client - and perhaps serving as an expert investigator in court (knowledge expert) – I also agree that part of the CMI must be tested in the field by a qualified PROCTOR to see if this person can inspect to the standards of a master.

If the existing MASTERS of our profession want the rope high, it is time to start some hands on training. Don’t leave it up to a school where the instructors are old inspectors that can’t inspect to today’s standards.

Remember first of all we are the messenger of the structure to the client who is blind. We are charged with trying to keep that person from walking in to something that is an unknown. The CMI should make sure that we are the best at what we do.

I vote for it but change some of the requirements

Just my thoughts


Blaine and Richard are right on the money. There is no doubt there are inspectors in every association that should not be inspecting homes. There is no safety valve for the public when licensing creates schools that teach you how to pass a test.

There is no doubt in my mind that the CMI should be a learning designation. I would like to see the participation in the program to go far beyond just reading a book or ordering a CD for $200.

There will come a time when the CMI will be launched and have a true commitment from the membership. Until I see a majority if the membership 4,000+ inspectors favor the CMI as an education designation, then I would be in support of it.

I am somewhat amazed that the leading option is AGAINST it, as I had not seen such support for my positions on many of these threads.

Of course, 45 members are FOR some form of CMI as opposed to 25 AGAINST, but the fact that more people would like to see it as strictly an education designation than the current form is also heartening.

I also note that (at this point - 70 responses) only 25% of the respondants are in favor of CMI in its current form.

Granted, this is a small sample, but the fact that people are divided so evenly (about 1/3 for some form of CMI, 1/3 for it as an educational designation only, and 1/3 against it) indicates that more discussion is needed.

Was I correct in hearing that CMI and the term Certified Master Inspector is now a registered trademark owned by NACHI? If so, what to do about all those ASHI inspectors advertising themselves as “Certified master Inspectors”?

Where do I sign up? Where & When can I take the CMIE? Where do I send the money?
I have been waiting for this for over 2 years now.
**LETS DO IT.:smiley: **

Thanks Nick.

Kevin Leonard
The Home Inspection Company


The CMI was registered by Nick in, I believe 1999. Check with the USPTO. Look it up on line.

For those using the logo illegally, they will probably need to cease and desist. I believe the State of Nevada (could be wrong here) who uses the designation for licensing, was served papers by NACHI, and must pick a different name.

There’s a post somewhere from Nick saying something about restricting usage (with a very broad definition that he believes includes ASHI members who display the ASHI logo on their site). I personally will withhold judgement to see hwat happens when that is challenged in court as I think it would be pretty hard to make anyone belive that ASHI is an “anti-consumer” site on the level of porn, etc.

Anyway, each inspector whould have to be a) caught, b) prosecuted, and c) found guilty of infringement. That is a lot of police work to do for an organization that can’t produce a strategic organizational plan.

That is not completely accurate. Many times the registered owner has standing to persue the matter legally and it does not always have to get as far as a court room. Often the infringing parties are advised by their own lawyers that a protracted legal battle will be too costly and recommend that they comply with “cease and desist” demands made via a letter from the lawyers of the registrant.

Yeah, but if ASHI decides to make a federal case out of it, I have to think it will get to court sometime. Not that I am that interested…I still think it is a bad idea at its core.

I am not suggesting to go after ASHI itself. I am suggesting that the individual inspectors that advertise themselves as Certified Master Inspectors may be vulnerable to legal “cease and desist” letters.

Unless ASHI decided to spend big bucks to defend hundreds (or more) inspectors in all the local courts, it is not likely that they would have any real power to do anything about it.

I wouldn’t think that ASHI would protect them all…they may protect one and let it set a precedent.

I think it would just be a whole lot easier to make the CMI seem laughable since it is almost exactly the equivilent of ASHI full membership.

Besides, I find it hard to believe that this org has the ability or manpower to devote to the policing necessary to go after all such inspectors. There are still so many unfinished or unsuccesful projects in the works…

The work of finding the ads in the yellow pages can be done by local chapters and a database created of as many individual inspectors claim the designation can be created and a single “cease and desist” letter can be merged with the database and sent out. If ASHI wants to set a precident with just one member it would be trumped by a much larger number of inspectors who may agree not to continue to use the designation. That is just as powerful.

I am not sure about trademarks but I know about patents. If you don’t try to stop people from infringing you can lose any standing to sue. If someone goes after me for infringing on a particular patent and I can establish that a great many others are doing the same and no attempt has been made to stop them, the patent could be thrown out.

I am guessing that some similar rules apply to trademarks. If you don’t protect it, it may end up worthless and a waste of money. Of course others would be hard pressed to try to stop YOU from using it or trying to register it.

Anyway, I guess this has gotten a bit off topic.

I can tell you from personal knowledge there is a team devoted to this pursuit at the national level within ASHI and they only get a fraction of violators each year. As a matter of fact there is no one actually looking, because all of their time is taken up responding to complaints eschewed by ASHI members who uncover inspectors within their market who are violating ASHI logo usage.

Peer pressure is the best method of policing within a society and a strong local presence is the best way to deliver peer pressure, that is why policing is so costly and difficult within a national organization. Bottom line is I wouldn’t be too worried over Joe Farsetta’s sword rattling in regards to CMI.