Greetings Texas inspectors. continues to submit about 1 to 2 RFI a week to TREC. The Commissioners gave the Inspector Committee 90 days to answer questions. Time will tell if they will support the directive.

In the mean time SopRFI is getting some questions from inspectors and needs a forum to discuss them. The NACHI forum is a great place for all inspectors in Texas to visit and share SoPRFI comments.

Is there any objection to using the forum for SopRFI work?

If not a variety of topics will be introduced for discussion.


no objection here

Thanks for setting it up.

The June 7th, 9:00 am IAC Sub-committee meeting agenda addresses the various SOP RFI’s that have yet to be answered. There is one hour devoted to this task and there are 26 RFI’s on the agenda. This will be a very telling sub-committee meeting, i.e. can they answer the RFI’s in a reasonable amount of time or will they get bogged down like the last time? Backing out administrative time at the meeting this leaves approximately 2 minutes per RFI to arrive at an answer to each one. Anyone want to take bets on how many actually get answered? I predict 4.

  The 10:00 am IAC full committee meeting agenda includes discussion of “Pre-licensure education, Examination requirements and Continuing education” but I suspect this time is really to allow educators to weigh in on the proposed inspector test pass score reduction from 80% to 75% to allow for improved 1st time pass rates which, in turn, allows the education providers to maintain their accreditation. I predict the lowered pass score of 75% for professional inspectors will be approved at that meeting and that recommendation then sent to TREC commissioners for adoption, maybe even by emergency action. 

The credit for this reversal goes to Texas trade associations ASHI, NACHI and TAREI who supported the change to the Commissioners and caused the IAC to reverse their opinion

Of interest will be to see who resists the Commissioners dictate to answer the questions. The Commissioners should pay close attention to this meeting.

If they answer the questions quickly then it serves to indicate the IAC knows the intent of their SoP product and is willing to help others.

If they stall it proves they do not understand the SoP they wrote and /or are resisting cooperation.

Typical stall tactics

The question is unclear.
The photo does not match the question
A good inspector should know.
The SoP are clear on the subject.
Demeaning talk about incompetant or silly inspectors.
Talk that one man wrote all the questions

They have 90 days from the Commisioners dictate. They are testing Chairman Eckstrum with their behaviour . . . not us.

I will withhold my prediction.

So what is your opinion of the lower pass point?

For me personally, I hate lowering a standard or at least the appearance of it. It’s not about being in a clique or keeping my competition down.

The citizens of Texas, when/if they read about this, will naturally think that that we’ve dumbed down the quality of the inspectors.

I believe there are 120 questions on the test. An 80 requires 96 questions to be answered correctly. A 75 requires 90 questions to be answered correctly. A large number of persons fail by this slim 6 question margin. It has been calculated by TREC that lowering the test to 75 will raise the first time pass rate to about 58% (55 is required). This will allow the private schools to stay open until a solution can be found. In my opinion lowering the score to 75 will not have impact on the quality of inspectors. I do not believe it will flood the market either.

A long time ago I wrote about 300 to 400 the original test questions. I used Code Check. I have heard the current test continues to test heavily on code. When I took my IRC test I was allowed to use an open book and Code Check. The question this brings up “Should an inspector be required to memorize the code book to pass a test?”. I think not. I believe the test could be easily passed if the score stayed at 80 and the students were allowed to bring in a code book or Code Check. Would this affect inspector quality? I do not believe so. I routinely refer to Code Check even after 25 years of inspecting. The most important thing is to know that the inspector knows where to find the information. Open book is a permanent solution however it is resisted by the IAC to my knowledge.

Why do I favor open book over rote memory? I know people who have poor memory skills and outstanding observation and defect recognition skills. They are excellent inspectors. I also know people who passed the test with a 90 and would not recognize a major defect if it were put in front of them. I do not believe the public is served by requiring such high level memory skills after only 2 to 4 weeks of school.

The failure of home inspection training is in experience and report writing. A test pass rate of 90 would not cure that.

The private schools put out of business would benefit the university schools. They are not subject to the 55% pass rate. I believe that is very unfair.

In conclusion, I believe the test should be lowered to 75 to get past the 55% problem. Then do an open book beta test. If the scores push up past 80 with a 55% pass rate then dump the 75% pass rate and allow open book testing.

I do not have a solution for the experience problem. We could increase requirements but TAR and TREC want lots of surplus inspectors and low fees. Raising the bar would create a shortage of inspectors and cause fees to raise. I do not believe inspection is a right of the consumer but some at TREC and TAR may. The bottom line is inspectors assume a lot of property condition liability from sellers and real estate agents. TAR and TREC want lots of inspectors in the trough to assume that liability. All of the schools want to crank out inspectors for $$ logic.

Just my opinion

Hmmm…I was not aware of much of that information. I had assumed :wink: that it merely about schools making money and, of course, TAR wanting the market filled with inspectors as you said.

I was also not aware of the 6 question margin. That is very interesting; I wonder why there is a wall at six questions??

I have also taken the IRC exams and though it was open book, I found it to be very challenging and in some cases, downright difficult. I have not considered it a possibility in the TREC test presumably because that’s not how I did it (didn’t cross my mind).

Lastly, please explain the inequality in the university vs. private school pass point.

Thanks, Bruce


Check .That page explains the pass rate required of proprietary schools in paragraph one and then shows the actual rates below.

Perhaps the schools should screen for more than a pulse and a means of paying the tuition. It was clear when I went to school years ago that a large percentage of the people in the class were never going to be competent inspectors, yet they continued to attend and got through the classes OK. No one was surprised when these people couldn’t pass the exam after completion. Some level of entrance exam / criteria would go a long way toward upping the school’s success rates.

I’m all for open book exams BTW, as they are much more representative of how people will perform in the real world (i.e., using available resources to obtain information on topics that have not been learned simply by rote).

Applying different accreditation standards to different types of schools is inherently unfair to both the schools and the students that pay to attend them.

ALL of InterNACHI’s exams ( have an 80% passing cut-off score.

Tough to do in an equal right / affirmative action world. It’s a lot easier to say “you got the money, come on in”. When I had my school I though about doing a pre qual exam but my lawyer told me not to. It is after all, just a 2 to 3 week trade school. Dog groomers have to go to school for 10 weeks. I think the only prequal they have to pass is that they do not smell like a cat.

I’m OK with the 80. The law that enforces it is baised for universities. That is what needs change.

Then they could easily have people flunk out or be sent back if they are not showing progress. As I said, there is typically a percentage who obviously are not going to make it. They should be objectively and fairly weeded out prior to repeatedly flunking the licensing exam. I know I’m a relic from the old days, when you had to actually perform to move ahead…

Boyetts prior post takes you to a link where the pass rate can be seen.

16% for inspectors
29% for professional inspectors

The rates have been this low for a long time. Sure there are people who were not made to be inspectors but the pass rate suggests something else is broken. More than 30% make it through Navy Seal school and that’s tuff.

All data is gone from that page this evening. Hopefully, that is just a glitch or the TREC system is updating this evening or something and it will be operational again soon.


IMO there is actually a much simpler solution to the issue. The 55% pass rate requirement, and any requirement similar to it, should be removed. The test passing grade should also be raised to 90%. Schools should be required to pre-test the prospective Inspector before they are allowed to take the State licensing test. The licensing test pass rates then should be publicly reported according to which school the prospective Inspector attended. At that point any school providing poor training will do so at their own detriment. Why would a person waste money on a school that has a very low pass rate as compared to other schools?

Obviously this will not solve all of the issues but is a start. A low number of potentially good Inspectors will not pass as they have test taking issues. A low number of potentially poor Inspectors will still pass as they are good at taking tests. For those that fall in the “All other” category then they will, by necessity of a 90% pass requirement, learn at least the theories required to test, obtain the license, and hopefully not terrorize the consumers to much.

No system can be perfect and a balance needs to be obtained. The current licensing system has failed to do that!


Good points. Send them to Mr. Oldmixon at TREC.

A problem is the schools do not know exactly what to teach because they did not create the sylabus or test. A variation of your idea is:

Create a data bank of 2,000 to 5,000 thousand questions (if you can). Give the data bank to the student. Yep, hand out the test questions. Tell them to memorize it. Then randomly pick 120 to 150 questions from the 3,000 or so and make them score a 90. Heck you can even do it open book.

Anyone who can memorize 3,000 questions deserves to pass.


That is so funny, but so true! Anyone I have known who tried to memorize anything of that magnitude finally realizes it is easier just to learn the material being tested on. I’ve only known one person who could memorize 3000 questions and answers. But then that person also memorized the material as well!

Not that I have a dog in this hunt, but I hold a home inspector license in a few states and have taken many test over the years. Most professional exams are based on what is called a roll delineation study. This is a study of the profession and just what is done in the profession on a day to day basis. Has this ever been done in TX?

The low pass rate does not mean the exam is good. On the other hand it could mean that the exam has many flaws in it. Most likely the schools are teaching what inspectors should know, but the exam is not testing that knowledge.