How's that continuing education (CE) going?

Home Inspector with Trace Inspections, LLC TN #17

For a moment I thought I heard crickets chirping!

As with all professions, home inspectors must keep up with all of the changes and refresh themselves on the basics.  Did you know that not all home inspectors have CE requirements?  Most of the licensed states (34 states license home inspectors right now,) do have annual/biannual CE requirements for inspectors who hold a license.

The major home inspector professional associations place annual CE requirements on their members. CE hours are not all that difficult to obtain if the person wants to learn.  The hard part is obtaining what I would call quality CE.  It has become easy to obtain CE from several online sources, but many of those sessions are designed just to meet the hour requirement with little effort given to the quality of the material that is being presented.  I have found that if you get your CE hours throughout the year a little at a time that you will end up many times with twice of what you really need.

Lately we have seen a major influx of online CE sessions by a home inspector association. Some are good and some are bad and some have little to do with home inspections!  Yet, they are being approved by several states (including Tennessee, my home state) for the required CE hours.   Today I discovered that the majority of the online CE sessions are not even viewed by the folks at the state after they approve the first one.  They just rubber stamp the rest  of the submitted courses after the first one is approved.  Now, if the state gets a complaint on an online session, then they will investigate that course and pull it if needed.  Who is going to complain when they are being given free CE hours! Pretty sad way of approving CE is you ask me.  I wonder how common of a practice this is in other states.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against online education.  I would just like to see the online courses go through a little more rigours approval process.

Comments (6)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Scott, good to see you back----and drag yourself from the bottom of my subscribers lists:)  I think what you have brought up is a pervasive problem that is going to get worse before it gets better.  Like you say----once a provider gets their foot in the door, a lot of bad courses can follow.  For me I see CE as such a small part of what I must do to keep myself "informed" that I don't see it as too big a deal.  We must constantly educate ourselves and if any inspector is relying on "legislated" requirements to make sure they are staying in touch with what is necessary to do this job, they are likely to end up not being a very good inspector.

Jan 29, 2009 03:22 AM
Paul Duffau
Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington - Asotin, WA
Caring for People, Educating about Homes

Great post, Scott.

I think Charles hits on a great point - if you're going for the minimum requirement, you're not going to be a very good inspector. 

I like what I do so I'm constantly trying to learn more.  I actually read code books, construction books and my running friends are engineers and materials testing types.  We have been known to argue the relative merits of concrete pilasters versus wood while in the middle of a 15 mile run.



Jan 29, 2009 02:20 PM
Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection - Framingham, MA

Some interesting issues on the CE topic.  Why isn't self education acceptable?

Think about it, I had to write more book reports than I can remember. Should I just throw away all those public education tax dollars.  Why not submit a book report to my licensing board?   My Summer Vacation and The NEC.  :)

Jan 30, 2009 01:19 PM
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Scott - I like the post and your right.  About half of the on-line courses need work (to say the least).  I have taken courses (recently) that I consider great with meaningful info that have no CE credits at all.  Thanks for bringing this up.

Jan 30, 2009 04:44 PM
Mike Manns
B4 U Close Home Inspections - Jackson, TN
Jackson Madison Co. Home Inspector

I have taken both the real estate CE credits and CE credits for home inspectors same quality.

Jan 31, 2009 05:35 AM
Jack Feldmann
Clayton Inspection Service, Inc. - Knoxville, TN

The East Tennessee Chapter of ASHI is having a 7 hour State and ASHI approved education seminar on Saturday February 21 in Knoxville. Anyone interested, let me know and I will send you the info.

Feb 01, 2009 12:33 AM