Exams with too many difficult-to-answer questions are harmful to consumers.


By the terms of your premise, very true.

I will speak only for me. When I speak of having a more difficult exam, I don’t speak solely in terms of having more difficult questions. My thought of a more difficult test of knowledge would go to the depth and breadth of the exam questions in totality.

For example, If you ask the question "An air conditioner should blow A. cold, B. Hot air, you would be asking for basic knowledge that everyone should know.

If you ask: A 5kw electric heat strip in an electric furnace or air handler should draw approximately A. 5, B. 10, C. 20 D. 50 amps under normal circumstances, you would be checking for more advanced knowledge.

Neither is a difficult question, however it separates the depth of knowledge.

Nick, if you wanted to use a Pass/Fail rate as a comparison of the difficulty of your exam, you would compare it to other on-line unproctored exams that have no fee involved with taking them, in other words exams that are available to those who are only curious about what they know, not ones serious about becoming Home Inspectors

You’ve claimed your NACHI Exam pass/fail rate shows that it is more difficult that the NHIE, which would be an orange to your apple. More people would pass a test that they have to pay for, they would probably actually study and seek training before shelling out the money, if you want to compare your pass/fail rates to the NHIE and other proctored exams that are taken by those who are serious, then charge $200 non-refundable to those who take the test, if they pass you can give them credit toward your membership fee. You’ve supposedly reached your 10,000 member limit, with memberships being so limited why not charge upfront instead of continuing to test the “The This Old House” crowd?

You can make up what ever numbers you like, but you can’t compare the results of a free on-line exam to a proctored, fee paid, exam conducted by a third party, but then from what I’ve seen over the past 3 years, I guess you could, and do, it’s all smoke and mirrors right Nick?

C. 20


The math gets even worse if you put all people that study because they pay for the exams

They study for the test not for the needed knowledge of the subject. It is a form of cheating. They are test smart not subject smart.

Then add in the “guess it” factor and everyone comes out looking good on your test.

– The best tests are ones that hit you hard if you guess, have enough questions to get good data, are taken by many people to get good data, have questions that are there for testing only to see if they are good questions, and that take the pressure of testing away so that it does not influence the results.

Take some time to learn about the science of testing and you will change your mind about your opinion about the NACHI testing system.


One thing is true of NACHI, Lewis. Everyone who is a member has passed the exam.

Not everyone who is a member of another asssociation has even taken an exam prior to conducting 250 inspections. Pay money, be a member.

It is a well known fact among the state law makers across the country that the NACHI exam is not a reliable test for state license laws. If you were to attended any of the national conferences that are for law makers and regulators, you would see that the NACHI exam is not looked upon as a reliable tool to determine ones ability to be a home inspector.

What process does NACHI use to develop test questions?
Who are the subject mater experts (SME) that write the questions?
When did NACHI do a roll delineation study (RDS) of the home inspector profession. The RDS defines what a home inspector does during an inspection. It is a job description
Who validated the NACHI exam as a psychometric exam?
How often are the test questions changed?

I’m sorry but saying you passed the InterNachi exam is not very much to brag about. You are equal to the person who joins ASHI and has not taken their test. At least ASHI does not promote its new members as experienced inspectors, but according to InterNachi all of its inspectors are equal. The guy who was cutting grass last week and is now the home inspectors is the same as Jim Bushart. No, wait a minute, that is giving Jim too much credit. How about Joe Hagerty.

Fwiw up here the Ontario Building Code Qualification exams are open book. I think that shoots down some of the theories being presented.

It not so much as to how much you know but the ability to be able to find the info needed to ensure familiarity with the knowledge.

Need to know the voltage t0 be sure ?

" It is a well known fact among the state law makers across the country that the NACHI exam is not a reliable test for state license laws. "
You say it is well know how can I know that .
Looks like hear say information to me.
It is in print send in money and be a associate member of ASHI .

… Cooke


I will give you some points on your post but you lost some by how you cut into people

As far as what states think is a good test is not true. The have accepted a standard that is not a “gold” standard

IMO they take the easy way out.

I am sure that if we (NACHI) wanted to get our test accepted by some of the states we could do it but why??

I think that they are happy with what they have

I think that sometimes we get hung up on this testing and license thing

If one wants a “test” that is close to profection get religion and die and see where you go

Perhaps the ability to climb a ladder, walk a roof, inspect a craw space or attic should be demonstrated before someone can inspect. Maybe even show that they can drive a car to the inspection and operate a camera, flash light, and other test equipment of the profession.

Perhaps it should be “Law” that a person with a camera (IR) be required to be licensed by buying a test and certain number of hrs of approved education

Remember that were are not trying to teach how to pass tests but produce skilled professional inspectors that can service their clients

Remember all tests can ask the same questions and that there are only a limited number of questions that can be ask



NACHI developed a licensing exam www.nachi.org/cmi.htm but for several reasons we don’t mind that state use exisiting minimum standard exams.

And so are most of the ICC exams, which municipal inspectors are usually required to have passed. :mrgreen:

Furthemore, NACHI’s COE 1.10 www.nachi.org/code_of_ethics requires that members pass a proctored, approved, minimum standard exam, if the elected officials of that jurisdiction deem it necessary. This on top of our existing www.nachi.org/rigorous2006.htm

Tracy, Tracy, Tracy, you need to study your history a bit more.

Some Facts about EBPHI & NHIE

  1. EBPHI (Educational Board of Professional Home Inspectors) was formed by ASHI’s Officers and BOD years ago to answer to the States of Wisconsin and/or Alabama that were consideing licensure and NEEDED a Test but OBJECTED to using ASHI’s Test, due to issues like Nahi, other orgs and regional concerns. They needed a vehicle that could be a “3rd Party Group” not associated with ASHI in any way.

Every good ASHI members knows that ASHI’s doesn’t test anymore.

  1. ASHI set up EBPHI and took 7 members (2 ex National Presidents) and made them the BOD. That BOD then chose 2 public members (a writer and an attorney from Wash. DC)

  2. Then they took their Assistant Admin Officer (Noel Zak) and she became the XO of the Group.

  3. The EBPHI rented the second floor office at ASHI HQ (Des Plaines, ILL) for a super discounted rate of $500.00 per month.

  4. EBPHI was using Ashi staff for services and supposedly reimbursed them on a yearly basis

  5. Ashi spent nearly 200K to develop the new and improved test. Money which would have been coming out of member Dues. Once the test was done, it was turned over (given away) to EBPHI. It was a test that was around for nearly 20 years and given the Brand new name NHIE

  6. EBPHI debt is heavy, and have been supported by ASHI to keep it afloat.
    Why does Ashi support the use of the NHIE as the Test of Record? Easy, EBPHI has only one source of income. Testing? How many tests does it take to pay the following?
    A. Noel Zak’s salary
    B. Expenses to Ashi functions and conventions
    C. Daily expenses such as rent, utilities, phones, Email and office staff
    D. Who is paying for website, handouts, political trips to states considering
    licensing and positon papers, or visits to Realtors and Legislators
    extolling the need of this particular test?

  7. If only 600 people a year are taking the Test to be an Ashi member, where is the rest of the money coming from to support this Dragon with a huge need for green (not grass, staw or hay) dollars? Break even rumors for the EBPHI is somewhere in the area of 140,000 to 175,000 per year(old figures add for several year of inflation). So how many tests do you think that is? Hmmmmm, could this be the REAL motivation to this need to have the NHIE? Was the real intent of the NHIE a test of knowledge, or more as golden egg in the Ashi nest as one more reson for licensing?


If the facts are well known as you suggest, please cite the specific examples and individuals that you are referencing.

Again, please cite the specific examples and individuals that you are referencing.


You had to bring up the subject of $$

I will say that their plan is or was good until someone writes their own test

Too bad that states do not care since they do not pay the tap – the person paying the tab is the person taking the test

Maybe we should get into the testing busness and give it away – This would make them mad

Oh and it could be done - Questions are not a big $$ item



Yep, its a dollar thing again. I dont know exactly how many inspectors will be required to take the “TEST” but I imagine it will be several thousand over the next few years. Multiply that by the testing fee, take out about 60-75 bucks for the proctoring of the test, could be somewhere in the half million dollar range. Sweet deal.

Money is power, power brings in more money. One org in the State of Florida is going to have a banner year or more, maybe!:roll:


Hey guys, I guess I struck a nerve. Sorry…

I understand that NACHI does not have a true exam, but only a membership exam. Most of you that have commented have taken the NHIE, and you know that their is a huge difference. As someone said earlier today, maybe if NACHI charged for their exam and then applied that payment to membership individuals would test differently.

Paul, if you are going to spout facts you need to get them correct.
You said

EBPHI stands for Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors and not Education Board of Professional Home Inspectors. EBPHI was conceived in 1998 and launched in 1999 according to the information that I have seen. At that time the profession only had two states that were licensed, TX and NC.

Actually ASHI invested over $400,000 into the development and implementation of the NHIE. ASHI stopped funding EBPHI in 2002. And according to my source at ASHI, EBPHI has finished paying ASHI off the entire loan amount. I won’t get into the rest of your post as it has several more errors. But it is really a moot point.

I have also learned that EBPHI is looking into the possibility of a true certification program that would use advanced testing, tenure in the profession and education as the requirements. This would be in direct compatition with ASHI. So I would say that EBPHI is not affiliated with ASHI any longer. With EBPHI being a third party with no organizational affiliation this just might work and it could also be the magic pill that could unite all of the organizations to a degree.

Not at all…

Just answer the questions with regard to the allegations that you have previously made.