Attention INTERNACHI Members and Approved Education Providers:
Within the past week or so, many discussions have cropped up regarding a competing organization, and policies regarding “approved” courses. INTERNACHI has always been the HI association of INCLUSION, as opposed to elitism or anti-consumerism. To that end, our long-standing policy or Continuing Education and course approvals have been deliberately kept fairly liberal. Within the past few days, we have seen a shift in the attitude of one competing organization.
I, myself, was surprised at the written response I received as it pertained to submitting my own course for approval by this association. I have NEVER sought approval on ANY of my courses through them, and only did so in this instance to satisfy any possible questions my students may have. The first response was that this org would not approve any course from a competing organization. That’s okay, but I wasn’t submitting it under the INTERNACHI banner.
I asked for clarification. At the same time, it was brought to light that a INTERNACHI chapter president was also rebuffed a while back over similar requirements and policies. I received confirmation from this org that my course would be approved, with submittal and application fee. Be advised that these courses have also been granted state approvals elsewhere. I am confident that they would pass this competing org’s muster. I followed up with another few questions, which I am still awaiting an answer on.
In the mean time, I learned today that a course which was previously approved by this org is apparently no longer approved. I was surprised to also learn that the approval process is an annual event with them. Joe Ferry’s class was denied because of his affiliation with this org (INTERNACHI). He submitted the course for renewal with fee attached, and it was denied. For what legitimate reason? At a cost to whom? The insector? The public at large?
It is not about the quality of education. Apparently it is about dollars, revenue streams, and turf. It is a petty argument, which in my opinion is clearly anti-consumer. Why? I’ll tell you.
In the case of this specific individual, his course is already approved in some states for HI Continuing Education. It had, therefore, passed the muster of a state licensing board, committee, department, or bureau. That approval process included their own HI organization. Enough said. The other org has no legitimate reason, IMO, to deny their members CE credit and access to this course. None whatsoever.
In an era where education is everything, the policy should be to get His to take CE courses. These courses should be affordable, decent, available anywhere, and be of interest to the HI. This follows the INTERNACHI philosophy. INTERNACHI’s policy is pro-inspector and more importantly PRO-CONSUMER. We do more that talk about education; we deliver it. For our efforts, we are often criticized, and for what?
So, the time has come to examine our relationships with regard to competing organizations and our own education policies.
For our members, or members with dual status in other orgs, there will be no changes. We will punish no one in either org.
What we WILL do is the following:
If an education provider believes it is important enough to seek course approval from any competing organization where fees are required in an application or renewal process, said provider shall also submit to INTERNACHI for similar course approvals, based on any similar renewal schedule which may exist. No fee for this will be collected by INTERNACHI. However, education providers shall submit to INTERNACHI, along with their course information, a bonafide receipt of donation to the charity of their choice, in an amount the same as the application process fee from the competing org.
INTERNACHI will not deny any quality educational course application from any provider, providing that these conditions are met. If a course provider is willing to spend dollars to a competing org for course approvals, they should be willing to donate the same amount to charity as a condition of INTERNACHI’s approval process. So, if a competing org charges $25 per credit hour equaling, say $200, a donation will be required for $200. INTERNACHI will not dictate which org to donate to.
No donations will be required where no approvals are sought from competing orgs, or where reciprocal agreements exist between orgs, and no fees are involved.
INTERNACHI’s policy remains pro-consumer, as course content and provider approval process remain essentially intact. Those seeking course approvals will still get them. The additional condition only applies in situations where fees are demanded by another HI org for approvals of educational courses. Prior NACHI-approved courses will be subject to this new rule immediately.
Educational providers seeking approval across associations will be exempt from this rule where a reciprocal agreement on educational materials and policies exist between associations, and where no fees are involved.
In the best case, reciprocal agreements will pop up. In the worst case, charities will be receiving more donations then they did before…
It is unfortunate that it had to come to this, but we believe this new policy creates a climate of change and reflection. INTERNACHI is here for inspectors and the public at large.
We believe that a well educated inspector is the front line of consumer protection when purchasing a home. Our educational policies have steadfastly recognized nearly all industry related courses, at no cost to those who wanted to provide it. Educating the inspector community is paramount.
It is unfortunate that other orgs refuse to adopt similar policies of inclusion, as opposed to inclusion at an annual cost. Their policy has little to do with quality and putting courses in front of their members, and everything to do with money. The fact that a course which was denied for industry affilliation, where the course was previously approved by said org, and where prior state approvals were granted and still in effect, proves our pont.
With this new policy, INTERNACHI reaps no monetary compensation for its educational efforts. We believe this is the best posture to take.