"What is the value of becoming a National Certificate Holder?" As you can imagine, there are as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.
As it is with most things in life, the more each person participates in their professional association the more benefits they will realize and the more they will appreciate the importance of attaining that designation. Typically, the benefits of membership are intangibles such as - networking opportunities, camaraderie, and most important credibility. These intangibles are our way of reconnecting with our profession and our colleagues. When we come together for meetings, programs, the Annual Conference - National Certificate Holders represent a special group of home inspectors that have an opportunity to be re-energized about our profession and our sense of purpose.
In today's constantly changing business environment, your success depends upon many interconnected factors, not just one element alone. You need to be on top and need to be up to date of legislation, regulations, new technology, consumer trends, competition, potential markets, sales techniques, business management, and networking opportunities. Research shows that professional growth happens through "association and membership". True professionals constantly refine their skills and seek ways to make existing practices better. It cannot be fulfilled in isolation.
Also as a National Certificate Holder you have the right and responsibility to be informed about association business as well as an opportunity to participate in the decision making process through discussion and voting. The minutes of the NCA (National Certification Authority) are released to those associations that hold an "agreement" for recognition. The National Certification Authority is continually looking at new opportunities to provide additional services that are of benefit to our members and enhance the value of membership.
Benefit #1: Attests that your skills have been tested and shown to meet the national home inspection standards of the National Certificate Holder.
Benefit #2: Provides validation of your professional skills, knowledge level and competence by an independent National Certification Council and recognized by the National Certification Authority.
Benefit #3: Promotes best practices in the field as well as it keeps your skills relevant, applicable, and competitive. It provides a competitive edge as consumer awareness.
Benefit #4: Individuals who are certified are models for others to follow, proving your complete commitment to professional development.
Benefit #5: Offers official "accredited" training that meets and in some cases exceeds the National Occupational Standards. Accredited training is readily available through a number of educational training providers across Canada, in a variety of delivery formats.
Benefit #6: Gain recognition and have access to upcoming inspection related government initiatives and other strategic relationships. A few new initiatives are in the discussion stages, and should be announced in the near future.
Benefit #7: Receive recognition with a personal Certificate as a National Certificate Holder. Display your professional affiliation to co-workers or clients and get to use this recognition to enhance your current designations.
Benefit #8: The National Certificate Holder certification offers a pre-established national certification standard offering portability from one province to another. Additionally, the designation is recognized internationally.
Benefit #9: The National Certificate Holders holds recognition by national mortgage lenders and CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) as well as national based real estate companies.
Benefit #10: The political argument to become a National Certificate Holder centers on offering "standardization and harmony". Earning recognition as a National Certificate Holder offers assurance that home and property inspections in one province are consistent with the services and skills available in other parts of Canada. Some indicate that the National Certification Program offers the established baseline guide to self-regulation or right to practice legislation.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, the National Certification Program is voluntary; nobody is forcing you to become a National Certificate Holder. Likewise, not every home inspector meets the level of rigor required to become a National Certificate Holder.
The National Certificate Holder status is a symbol of achievement and commitment to excellence. No one is looking at discarding what we already have. The National Certification Program complements current provincial association requirements. Its not a replacement - it's about identifying and bridging differences, raising the occupational standards, partnering and looking towards the future of this occupation with a focus on professionalism to a recognized professional CAN-P-9 standard. Some even claim it to be the "gold standard" such as in the Toronto Star article - Home inspectors' qualifications vary: http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/256044
Provincial associations and others in the home inspection sector have already invoked changes to align with some of the professional attributes and best practices offered by the National Certification Program. So once again, the National Certification Program has brought about some of the much needed movement for change in this vital sector to respond to concerns by consumers and other stakeholders.
Attaining the National Certificate Holder designation provides direction, purpose, and opportunities that can assist you in your journey to excellence in your home inspection practice. The National Certification Program is closing in on the 500 home inspectors having earned the National Certificate Holder title. That in itself indicates significant support in the National Certification Program. As more and more home inspectors become nationally certified, our lobby and marketing efforts will become more meaningful and effective. Adding value and maintaining quality is a priority to your continued support of the National Certification Program. Only the future will hold the answer to the complete significance of becoming a National Certificate Holder. Hopefully this helps offer you a glimpse at a few of the significant benefits!