Inspector Licenses and Certifications Explained

The state of Ohio passed the home inspector licensing law in 2019.

Here is the basic licensing requirement in the state of Ohio as of this writing:

1.) Pass the National Home Inspectors Examination (NHIE)
2.) Attend 80 hours of pre-licensing home inspector technical training classes conducted by a state approved education provider.
3.) Pass a state and federal criminal background check (no felony records allowed)
4.) Have general liability insurance of at least $100,000 per occurrence. 
5.) Complete either 10 parallel inspections under a currently licensed inspector or complete a hands on interactive curriculum of experience along with a peer review session

The Ohio state standard of practice for performing a home inspection is based on the American Society of Home Inspectors starndard of practice and is identical to it except the Ohio standard does not require the inspector to test GFCI outlets where the ASHI standard does. A person advertising themselves as a residential home inspector in the state of Ohio must be licensed by the state to perform the inspection for a fee during a real estate transaction. The Ohio state licensing law for home inspectors is a minimum requirement – most professional inspectors go beyond this and get certified by one or both of the home inspection industry’s trade groups – ASHI or InterNACHI.

In North East Ohio, some real estate brokers used to require their Realtors to only refer American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certified inspectors. The current licensing law has probably relaxed this guideline but most experienced Realtors still generally abide by it. ASHI has 2 levels of certification. The first requires the inspector to pass the National Home Inspectors Examination and get 50 fee paid inspections verified to their standards. The second or “certified” level requires 250 fee paid inspections to be verified.

ASHI has the toughest requirements for certification but the Realtors who require ASHI certification usually will refer inspectors based on the first level of certification which is the 50 verified inspection certification level (ASHI Inspector designation). The full certified level is 250 (ASHI Certified Inspector designation or ACI).

InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) has a multitude of certification programs that can be acquired on line. This is brilliant by them since the programs offer a path for new to the industry inspectors to quickly and inexpensively educate themselves. The certification logos earned can then be posted on the new inspector’s website adding to their professional credential list for potential clients to see. They have a Certified Home Inspector designation and a Certified Master Inspector designation as well.

ASHI’s certification process is more difficult to achieve and requires hands on inspection experience as well as passing the NHIE to achieve their two certification levels. The first level of ASHI certification is the ASHI Inspector designation – achieved once one becomes a member, passes the NHIE, submits an affidavit that they completed 50 fee paid inspections, and sends 5 inspection reports – 1 from each of the last 5 months, to ASHI for auditing to their standards of practice. If the reports pass auditing, ASHI grants the ASHI inspector designation. The process is then repeated once the ASHI Inspector achieves 250 fee paid inspections in order to get the ASHI Certified Inspector or ACI designation.

5 of our inspectors have achieved the ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) designation which in addition to the initial requirements also requires 20 annual continuing education credit hours to maintain the certification vs the state’s 14 CE hours per year maintenance requirement.