Home inspecting is a solitary job, and many inspectors like it that way. But working independently creates one issue that can’t be resolved on your own. Without at least some input from other industry professionals, you’ll never really know how your knowledge and work as an inspector measure up to others in the industry. That’s why ASHI strongly encourages participation in peer reviews.
Being evaluated by peers sounds a bit scary, and sometimes it’s intimidating. But most inspectors agree that once a review is complete, the result is a positive experience to learn from.
Who Participates in Peer Reviews
According to the January 2016 issue of ASHI reporter, there’s rarely any challenge getting inspectors involved in a peer review event. Respected professionals in the industry form a committee. The committee inspects a pre-selected property, and confers on what they view as the 10 items that other inspectors must find.
Once the pre-inspection is complete, the inspectors participating in the review arrive to inspect the property. They prepare their reports to submit to the committee, who evaluates them for thoroughness.
Why Reviews are So Important
This isn’t a hard-nosed event; it’s an educational one that’s created to bring inspectors together to help each other. Because inspectors nearly always work alone, it’s easy to develop patterns that could be improved. But the opposite is also true.
If an inspector submitting to peer review has developed a good practice, the committee can also learn. It works both ways, even though the committee is there to help other inspectors grow and learn.
What Inspectors Can Gain
There’s some prestige involved with a successful peer review. Inspectors who have completed a minimum of 100 inspections can earn 5 ASHI CE credits for completing the review successfully, plus they earn the distinction of Inspector by Review® (IBR®). Requirements include:
- Describing the 10 must-find items
- Answering at least 70 percent of the general knowledge questions presented
- Presenting two recent inspection reports for review to show compliance with ASHI Standards of Practice
The higher distinction of Master Inspector by Review® (MIBR®) is possible for inspectors with a bit more time or participation in the industry. The process, minimum requirements and credits earned are the same. Additionally, participants need 5 years ASHI membership and major contributions to the industry, such as serving on boards or as a chapter officer.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of participating in a peer review is the camaraderie and sharing of knowledge. This is true for inspectors undergoing a review as well as those sitting on the committee. It’s all about learning, which is difficult to do when you’re out on your own performing inspections with no input for anyone else.
Another obvious plus is that the industry grows stronger with better educated and more highly skilled inspectors. You win, the industry as a whole wins, and all of your clients now and in the future win, too.
If you aren’t a member of ASHI, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the benefit of a peer review. There might not be any nationally recognized distinctions to award, but the knowledge gained from peers is invaluable, just the same. Perhaps you could organize your own among the inspectors that you know.
If you’ve ever inspected a house and wondered how someone else would approach it, you already know why a second opinion is rarely a bad thing.
Home inspecting education is always important, which is why ICA School has designed a program to help you succeed. Enroll now, and soon you could find yourself braving a peer review of your own.