December 2003 (PALM SPRINGS, CA) — It is no secret that California does not license home inspectors. However, without such licensing, homebuyers may wonder how to best choose a qualified real estate inspector.
“Being regulated by the state, or having a contractor's license, does not necessarily ensure competency,” explains Carl Poehlmann, Board Chairman of the more than 1200-member California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). “What ensures competency is experience, training, and membership in an organization that reviews and sanctions ethical violations. It is smart business for a consumer to seek out those who have been qualified by a recognized professional association.”
“There has been tremendous growth in this profession over the last few years,” Poehlmann shares, “and CREIA works hard to test and educate these new inspectors in the many diverse systems and components of a home, as well as the ethics of being an unbiased professional.”
For many years, CREIA has produced the widely accepted standards under which California home inspectors operate. Legislation has acknowledged these standards, noting that courts may consider the standards of practice and code of ethics of CREIA in determining the degree of care a California inspector must demonstrate. Since California does not regulate the inspection profession though licensing, CREIA’s Standards, Code of Ethics and its qualifying process is the model for the profession in the state.
Poehlmann further explains, “CREIA is committed to maintaining ethical standards for its members. Before we authorize any inspector to identify himself or herself as a CREIA Inspector, they must pass a general inspection knowledge exam and an ethics course or test. All members agree to abide by CREIA’s Code of Ethics in their business conduct. Our Ethics Committee very seriously reviews an ethical complaint. After careful investigation, they will respond to both the complainant and the inspector involved.”
To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you, call CREIA at (800) 388-8443, or visit their website at www.CREIA.org. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for home inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a comprehensive written examination of property systems and complete 30 hours of continuing education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances affecting the profession of real estate inspection. CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education.