Master Inspector - THE DEFINITION


Blaine Wiley brought up a great suggestion, or question that truly needs to be answered.


I think if we can answer this we can then develop what ever systems and policies that are necessary for the entire program.

James, if you could please stick to the question and let’s keep this thread to the point!

Also all the inspectors that are looking on, we need your input here too. Please join in or email me personally and confidentially at



I’ll bite.

I would think a loose definition would be "an inspector who possesses the knowledge, experience and time proven ability above what is considered required or basic to perform home inspections on any type of building, anytime, anywhere and to communicate their findings in a concise written report.

education, experience, communication.

Before ridicule, this was prior to cup of coffee #2. :smiley:

Master Inspector- An individual who has exceeded the standard education levels for the inspection industry, An individual who constantly strived for additional knowledge , works and follows a higher standard of acceptance and has met or exceeded the established requirements required.

Ok…sorry my first shot at it…by no means is this a great one but what the hey…it’s a start…and I also have not had any coffee…so be gentle…


I would agree that this is the basic definition for a home inspector.

What is it that would make a “Master”?

An individual who has exceeded the standard education levels for the inspection industry.

And therein lies one of the problems, for there are no such “standards” which exist. Many HIs have no formal education in the science and art. I say “art” intentionally, for what we do is a mix of both art and science. There are no absolutes to performing a competent home inspection, for each inspection is different, as is each client, and for that matter, the scope of the inspection may change from time to time.

Nailing down a definition wont be easy. I’m not sure that this is a necessary task. One pointed out that a new surgeon and a more experienced surgeon are different. Not in the eyes of the law. They are both licensed to perform surgery. So, experience and education are used as a marketing tool. Therefore, I’d say that CMI is primarily for marketing, otherwise no one would be interested in it. When something is used as a marketing tool, the rules change.

Magic books are not the answer, nor is a single magic test, in my opinion. A curriculative outline may be helpful for those, who through a reasonable formula, look to offset one requirement or another with some educational benchmark.

Finally, CMI should not be used as an exclusionary benchmark/designation, reserved only for those who have been in the industry for “X” number of years. These may be the same individuals who join NACHI only for to take advantage of its Internet presence and domination.

I also question the notion of a “peer review committee” This opens the door to the creation of a mechanism on exclusion, which may become quite arbitrary. This is especially true if members of this committee have shown any malice in the past toward the org or any of its members.

If the argument is that inclusion is determined by benchmark, then a person either qualifies or does not. Peer review is not needed. When one applies for a license, based on a pre-set criteria, one either gets a license or not. There is no peer review.

Peer review should be reserved for those specific instances where, for one reason or another, deviation from the formula is sought.

I would guess the word " ABOVE" in his statement probably defines the master portion.

If the standards were SET by the CMI program for acceptance and someone came up with a standard that is above the norm…standards I mean in education, continued verification of education, years of experience and so on…the CMI can create standards…right now…the standards to get into the CMI program exceed the normal standards for the industry…because they basically dont have any…except on a local governmental level if they apply.

I dont see it as the CMI has to prove anything to anyone…many organizations set standards and so on…means alot of work for the CMI program…

I will take a shot at this:

“An individual who has demostrated and proven to a group of thier peers that they process the knowledge and experience above and beyond the required abilities of a home inspector.”

Oh…I have to run…but I reject the idea that the CMI should be an open door MENS club…you should have to JUMP a high hurdle in my mind to be apart of it…otherwise it is useless…why on earth would someone want to join it…otherwise.

Gotta run…got 4" Conduit to Run…:slight_smile:

any type of building

We have some who subscribe to ASTM standards for commercial inspections. We have some who do not. Indeed, most HI associations have SOPs which are specific to homes, not commercial buildings. So, to include “any type of building”, cannot be accurate. The Empire State Building is a skyscraper. I am not qualified to inspect it, as good as I think I am, nor would I attempt to.

So, and not to break balls, but where do we start in the type and size of structure is included in a home inspection?

Blaine, when did you inspect your last adobe?

I believe that the definitions will all spill around the “above and beyond” what the average bear can do…which in turn, I suppose, can be defined by the ability to inspect in accordance with an SOP.

The question then becomes how to quantify “above and beyond”. What is it that an average home inspector is NOT expected to do or be able to do that a CMI can do?

I have been in this industry since 1972. I am a Certified Home Inspector, [FONT=Arial]Technical Consultant and a recognized Expert Witness in the Judicial systems of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. [/FONT]

I have attended many, many schools and have my “credentials” listed below.
Yet, I do not consider myself a “Master” at anything. I am still learning.
I was going to join the CMI program but with reading and watching the posts for the past few days I have changed my mind.

The “Changing of the rules” and most especially the inclusion of Jeff H. was the deciding factor.

At this point I would find it difficult to accept free membership.

I was thinking of those individual inspectors that have mentored other inspectors (not in a classroom environment), educated consumers via written articles, etc., have enhanced and promoted the HI industry without bias. Actually have shown leadership skills that a typical HI may not have during thier first years of business, I know that I have been in business for 3 years going on four and have really only dedicated my time to marketing and getting my credentials out to the public. In my fourth year I am now starting to volunteer my time to promote the HI industry to consumers by serving or working with local and state associations and well as working with some individuals on a national level (projects) on promoting HI’s.

Jim Bushart fits all of the above.

Master must teach the inspectors that will some day replace the master when he dies

One does not just become a master and sit there

Gerry is a Master because he inspects and teaches

Others that inspect and teach on this BB are masters

As a side – A master is always learning

--------------- So it is not all what you have done but is is also what you are doing


Joe F;
You know as I do that in New York a home inspector cannot inspect commercial only homes, P/E and Architects can do all as long as they have there HI license. :roll:

One other thing I just thought of for above and beyond, is the inspectors ability to question an issue but also has the ability to provide a valid solution that resolves the issue that reflects and promotes professionalism of HI’s.

Joe Farsetta, and Jim Bushart

Here is what I submit for your consideration for the CMI program.

“CMI”, just like BA, BS, or phD, can be an educational level.

A certain number of credits in a variety of areas (electrical, structural, communications, etc) are established as a standard.

Educational providers meet to agree to and provide a standardized educational requirement for this designation…CMI.

Applicants for the program who feel that their life experiences should waive them from training provide a written application detailing their experiences. These applications are reviewed - not by politically appointed people - but by the providers of the training who are best suited to compare apples to apples (experience in resumes to what is being taught in the course).

Those acquiring this level of education are called "CMI"s.

Those already possessing this designation…keep it. Period.

Get rid of Hoopy and the baloney of “peer review” or testing. All CMIs will have comparable transcripts reflecting credits earned (by classwork or experience that is reflected on their transcript). No one loses. Everyone gains.

I believe that notion was previously proposed well over a year ago by either John B. or Blaine and called the “GCMI”. (See recently granted copyright, and previous thread on such).