Pa Hb 1805

The General Assembly of Pennsylvania House Bill No. 1805 is scheduled to be heard during the 2007 Session.

Past NACHI President Joe Hagarty and I are scheduled to address the Committee on Professional Licensure on September 18th.

Please review and either comment here or forward me an email with your comments. All comments are welcome. Email

See pdf file of bill at


John b.

In what capacity are you addressing that body, John?

I hope you’re going to recommend cutting out this requirement!

(6) The applicant is a member in good standing of a board-approved national home inspection association.

And this:

[FONT=Courier New]Section 506. Professional liability insurance.
(a) Requirement.–A licensed home inspector shall maintain insurance against errors and omissions in the performance of a home inspection…



Both are current requirements. Current law defines what is ‘recognized’ and E&O ins requirements. Just now they want a board ‘middle-man’ program. :frowning:


The problem is with “board aproved”. THis cannot stand, especially in light of years of fighting with NAHI and PHIC.

Also, the board should be advisory only, with no special authority. Just like in NY.


Since there are examples of currently working programs that don’t need a dictatorship empowered to protect the public. Like Pa’s current program to license pesticide applicators, UCC certified code inspectors, even registered nurses. Their models might be a better way to administrate home inspectors.


Half of this bill is used to describe the board and its duties and powers. If there is going to be a board, as Joe said it should be advisory only, and should be made up of one memeber of each qualifying national association. PHIC should have no part in the process, especially in light of the poison they have put in the water in PA.

Otherwise, it looks like the same old tired legislation we see in most other states.

I have some major issues with the requirements for licensure the way this bill is worded.

OK…Now for my rant!

I strongly disagree with the requirement that to obtain a license in Pennsylvania that someone MUST complete a board recognized training program and complete 40 hours of in field training. The way I see it, this is basically the same thing PHIC is trying to accomplish with their pocket gouging scam the refer to as their RAMP program. I can see it already creating a bigger monster than what we currently have in this state. Granted, it will take the wind out of the sails for PHIC trying to claim that they are a consumer watchdog group. However, I see it opening a door for them to try to capitalize on their RAMP program. The 40 hours of in-field training are basically forcing someone to do ride alongs, which we all know in this state means you pay another inspector to ride along on his inspections and don’t make a cent off of it.

I am a little leary about what is going to be considered a board approved training program. I can see if this isn’t clearly specified that there are going to be a lot of PHIC members opening up home inspection schools here in Pennsylvania. Since the Pennsylvania Home Inspector Coalition will pretty much be a useless name, they will probably just change it to Pennsylvania Home Inspector Colleges to still make money off of new inspectors. I’m sure when this bill was written that it’s intent was to completely remove the misconception that PHIC has any ounce of power in this state. However, If this passes as it is worded, it’s going to give PHIC a bigger oppertunity to make money off of new home inspectors.

The other thing that has me a little confused is the requirement for existing home inspectors to become licensed. Assuming this passes as worded, How can they possibly ask someone who has not yet been in business for 5 years to go back to school? So, if you have been in business for 4 years and have done 100’s of inspections, this is going to require that you enroll is some board approved training course that you could probably teach better than the instructor? That just doesn’t seem right to me. Here’s a real kick in the balls if this applies to anyone. Suppose you reach your CMI designation in 4 years. The requirements for an existing home inspector would require that you must have 120 hours of training. Whoever thought of these requirements obviously is not in the business.

On a lighter note:

I think Pennsylvania is taking their smoking ban just a little too far!!!

Scott start an online petition.


Thomas & Scott,

Your input is acknowledged and welcomed.

Posted for your enjoyment.

Here is the agenda for the**House Professional Licensure Committee hearing on the attached HB 1805 on **Tuesday, September 18, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in 60 East Wing, Harrisburg:

 10:00 a.m.      Welcome and Opening Remarks by Republican Chairman Bill Adolph
 10:10 a.m.      Lisa Ogden, Home Inspection Consumer
 10:25 a.m.      Ellen Renish, Chair of the Business Issues Subcommittee, Pennsylvania Association of Realtors
 10:40 a.m.      Panel from Pennsylvania Home Inspectors Coalition (PHIC): Curtis Niles, President; Joe Kelly, Secretary; and Jack Milne, Founder and Past 
 10:55 a.m.      J.R. Burke, Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)
 11:10 a.m.      Panel from National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI): Joseph Hagarty, Member, and John Bowman, Executive Director
 11:25 a.m.      Noel Zak, CAE, Executive Director, National Home Inspector Examination
 11:40 a.m.      Brendan Ryan, Member of Board of Directors, American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
 11:55 a.m.      Closing Remarks

Please bring 40 copies of your testimony to the hearing.

Why the hell are they even invited to this? They are not a real home inspection association and they do not allow NACHI members. Their membership is comprised mostly of ASHI and NAHI. This means that those asociations will have more representation than NACHI will. Hell, if that’s going to be the case, IAC2 and CMI should be invited to see what organization can stack the deck more. PHIC is not a recognized association and should have absolutely no say or even be invited!!!

PHIC and its members/leaders are all PA home inspectors, as far as I am aware, and that alone menas that they have a collective voice which will be impacted by the law. They have as much right to speak as anyone.

I guess that by “recognized assocaition” you mean that they do not qualify as a national association under PA law, and that is accurate - however, they do not purport to be such.

Also, I am not aware of InterNACHI members being denied membership, but I haven’t really followed it much to know.

FWIW, if the new law (assuming it is passed) would define in specific and unamiguous terms what a “nationally recognized” exam is, and would replace the word “supervised” with “direct physical supervision” in regards to a full member overseeing the inspection of an inspector who is not a full member (or specifically allow signing off without any direct physical supervision), that would go along way to ending many debates and conflict that seems to arise as a result.

I think a close examination of behind-the-scenes activities in PA would reveal that PHIC is the lobbying group behind this legislation which seems to have been written with them in mind. This is their means of legislating themselves into significance.

ASHI and NAHI have formed similar “coalitions” in other states for this exact same purpose. The key in defeating them in the other states has been to reveal…early and loud…that the “coalition” is an illusion. These fellas are no more of a “coalition” representing the interest of all home inspectors and all consumers than Bowman and Hagarty.

When you find a “coalition” tumor beginning to grow in your state, kill it before it takes hold.

In PA, some made the “business decision” to appease them and go along with their demands. All this did was legitimize them in the eyes of the PA real estate community. Now, with the aid of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors and their political lobbyists, PHIC has spread into the PA legislature.

It may be too late for a total cure, but this disease needs to get under control…and fast.

Actually, not all the PHIC members like the bill in its entirety. Curtis Niles (who by the way is a very good man and a friend of mine) spoke to me several months ago about the bill and he expressed his disapproval of some of the components of the bill. It looks like there will be a good representation of the different points of view regarding licensing at this hearing.
Remember that the sponsors of the bill are more interested in protecting the consumer then settling scores between HI associations. Infighting amongst HI’s at hearings like this only diminishes the HI profession in the eyes of our legislators.

Tumors, diseases, and cures:roll: :roll:
Last I heard the tumor and disease was instant certification by simply taking an on-line quiz and paying an individual 289.00.

It’s never to late for a total cure, last I heard a cure is coming to your state real soon.:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


Isn’t there a message, after passing the exam, that it’s completion does not mean you are certified?



This Bill accomplishes the exact opposite of what is reportedly designed to “Benefit the Consumer”. This Bill in its current form goes a long way to intentionally cause harm to the Consumer.

It is truly unfortunate that the misguided view of the few that rushed this piece of Legislation has little regard for the Consumer or the Home Inspectors that they claim to represent.

Ironic that Curt could have discussed this Bill with You when it was not even written up until 2 weeks ago.

Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 1:38 PM
Subject: PA Committee Hearing on Home Inspectors Bill

Dear Mr. Bowman and Ms. Endza,

*The Pennsylvania House Professional Licensure Committee will be having a public hearing on Tuesday, September 18 at 10:00 a.m. in 60 East Wing in Harrisburg, PA. The topic will be on State Rep. Sean Ramaley’s legislation to require licensure for home inspectors operating within PA. *The bill is currently being drafted, but it has a reserved bill number of HB 1805…

Yes you are correct… This is also the message to new home inspectors from your site.

**Note to New Inspectors: **
NACHI does not make a public distinction between these two levels of membership. No law requires you to publicly announce what your NACHI member level is so you are simply a “Member.” This is true for many other professions. For instance, a lawyer is not required to warn his first client about his lack of experience. Also, no law recognizes experience and knowledge gained outside the performance of inspections (many inspectors were once involved in construction). Since every inspector’s experience is different there is likely no correlation between real experience and level of membership. Furthermore, since no law requires a public disclosure of an inspector’s experience (or lack of it), NACHI does not require it either. If you are only a new working member you need not alarm your clients. If you are a full member there is nothing preventing you from touting it. You must be one or the other though. NACHI does not “brand” new inspectors with derogatory terms such as “Associate” or “Candidate” because NACHI has entrance requirements. Many agents blacklist associates and candidates. If you are a member you may call yourself a “Certified Member” or a "Certified Home Inspector."

First of all, I believe it’s prudent to pick one’s battles and not expend energy and resources on battles that one has little likelihood of winning.

With this in mind, at this stage of the game, I believe that it’s foolish to fight the concept of licensing for home inspectors, especially here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is now surrounded by states on three sides that either now have licensing in place or are in the process of implementing it (New York, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia). I believe that licensing of home inspectors in PA is inevitable, and quite frankly I would prefer it to the half baked regulation that is now in place, i.e. a regulation without an oversight body.

I suppose most of you realize that HB 1805 just didn’t come out of the blue recently. Senate Bill 1364 was introduced in 2006, and then became SB 359 in 2007. This house bill is just a slight variation and evolution of the senate bills. The senate bills, as well as this house bill, seem to have a sizable number of co-sponsors and the bills seem to have momentum.

Again, I think that it’s foolish to fight passage of the entire bill. We perhaps could make some slight adjustments, however, if we pick the items most important to us and present our case intelligently.

Last January, some us (Joe Hagarty, Nick G., Dan Keogh, Kim Gore, Joe Ferry, Ron Bruno and myself), met with Senator Greenleaf, sponsor of SB 1364 and SB 359, to express some of our concerns regarding SB 1364. Initially, on the surface it appeared that the Senator was listening and perhaps he was.

When SB 359 came out, however, in March 2007 with no substantial change, I began my own letter and e-mail campaign to all of the Senators on the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee. Following are most of the primary concerns that I expressed with SB 359 and which continue to be my primary concerns with the present bill, HB 1805.

  1. Originally, one of my major focuses was the make-up of the oversight board. Among other things, I felt that there were too few members on the board which could potentially make it easy for a small coalition to dominate. I recommended that the number of the members on the board be increased from 7 to 11 (6 inspectors and 4 consumer members). I was happy to see that the number was increased to 9 in HB 1805. At least they met me half way. I would still like to see, however, that a provision be put in so that there would be fairly equal representation on the board from all of the National Home Inspector Associations. I feel that this is especially important since there is a requirement for an inspector to be a member of a national home inspector association.

  2. Actually, I would like to see the requirement for membership in a national association be eliminated. I believe that membership in a trade/professional/educational association should be a professional choice, not government mandated. (Although I think it would be professionally foolish not to belong to one or more of the national associations).

  3. I think that the requirement for 120 hours of formal instruction is somewhat excessive. Maryland is only requiring 48 hours (I know, I’m taking the course). On the other hand, I believe New York requires 140, so maybe 120 hours isn’t so bad. Ideally, I would like to see some consideration given for past, relevant experience, but I know that is a difficult thing to quantify.

  4. Finally, I would like to see the requirements for existing inspectors (“grandfathering”) be tweaked (admittedly, this is somewhat self serving). Given that Pennsylvania already has a HI regulation in place, I believe that having to be in active, continuous practice for at least 5 years in order to be exempt from the schooling and testing requirements, is excessive. I think that some combination of some schooling and some years in practice should be accepted, for example, say 48 hours or so of schooling and 3 years of practice. I believe that when New York in instituted licensing they did something like that. See following from New York:

"II. Grandfathering Clause – Grandparenting Expires on 12/31/06*

[FONT=Arial]Method 1. • Competent proof** that you performed 100 or more home inspections for compensation within 2 years prior to the effective date of this law
• Have successfully completed high school or its equivalent
• Have passed the NYS written examination, or have taken and passed an existing nationally recognized examination, deemed equivalent, prior to December 31, 2005.
• Freedom from Disqualifying Criminal Convictions.
Application Fee: Each application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $250; the license will be effective for 2 years.[/FONT]
Method 2. • Competent proof
that you performed 250 or more home inspections
[FONT=Arial] for compensation within 3 years prior to the effective date of this law.**
• Have successfully completed high school or its equivalent
• Waived from the examination
• Freedom from Disqualifying Criminal Convictions
•** Application Fee:** Each application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $250; the license will be effective for 2 years.
** The guidelines with respect to the nature of the proof will be set forth at a later date[/FONT]
Method 3. Education and experience equivalent to either Method 1 or Method 2 of the above.
• Freedom from Disqualifying Criminal Convictions
[FONT=Arial]Application Fee: Each application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $250; the license will be effective for 2 years."[/FONT]
I believe that the way New York did it was fairly reasonable.

Anyway, that briefly sums up my main concerns with HB 1805. Granted, few of us like to be regulated and very few of us like to be shelling out more money for licensure fees, but quite frankly, I believe that it’s inevitable at this stage. Overall, HB 1805 is fairly palatable and with a little tweaking, I can live with it.