CREIA - California Real Estate Inspection Association

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California Real Estate Inspection Association

Path to Success Program

Welcome to CREIA!

handshakeThe California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) is a voluntary, nonprofit public-benefit organization of real estate inspectors with chapters located throughout the state.  

The Path to Success Program has been implemented to help new CREIA inspectors become not only more knowledgeable home inspectors through a variety of educational venues, but equally important, successful entrepreneurs in a highly competitive profession. 

CREIA has long been recognized for maintaining the highest level of professionalism by providing high quality education for its membership through its 21 state chapters and producing a variety of “tool-box” seminars, basic and advanced on-line discussions on inspection technology on its web site, and annual state educational conferences. CREIA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice are recognized by the California Business and Professions Code and are considered the standard of care by the real estate industry and legal profession in the state.

CREIA also provides many opportunities for its members to be involved in the governing of the association. From its inception in 1976, CREIA has maintained the philosophy that mentoring of new inspectors by experienced fellow members is its primary purpose for being, which is reflected by its mission:

  • To represent the Real Estate Inspection Industry
  • To recognize and promote Real Estate Inspection as a unique; professional discipline
  • To provide leadership through education and by maintaining ethical and technical standards
  • To enhance consumer protection and promote public awareness of the Association

The success of the inspector rests solely on the responsibility of the individual. Ambition, drive and patience are necessary traits. Success should not be expected overnight, but as goals are achieved.


      Points of Interest

  • Welcome to CREIA




The CREIA Inspector

Current requirements to become a Certified CREIA Inspector (CCI):

  • Obtain 60 hrs of education related to home inspection.
  • Perform two ride along inspections with a CREIA Certified Trainer.
  • Attendance and participation in a CREIA Standards of Practice group inspection.
  • Attendance at two CREIA Chapter meetings.
  • Pass the National Home Inspector Exam.
  • Report review of two fee-paid inspections by a CREIA Certified Trainer. List of CREIA Certified Trainers


Additional suggestions to the Path to Success:

  • Attend and complete an accredited home inspection school or community college course.
  • Become an International Code Council Member (ICC).
  • Become ICC Certified in each of the building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical disciplines.
  • Create a building code library. 
  • Obtain and understand Real Estate purchase contracts and disclosure documents.
  • Attain CCI designation within 2 years.
  • Develop a Truthful resume.


The Inspector Commitment  

girlYour success as an inspector lies with you. The tools and resources can be provided but the responsibility rests solely on your shoulders.

Education, commitment, drive, ambition and the ability to communicate clearly to the client both verbally and in a written report are important features in your Path to Success.

You should attend as many chapter meetings and state conferences as possible. It’s amazing the educational benefits they provide. Chapter pre-meetings are a great educational resource for the new inspector as they are geared especially for those in your shoes. New friendships forge, peer support becomes common and  knowledge of the profession is obtained. Who knows, perhaps eventual leadership positions at the chapter and state levels will be in your future as a new leader, or perhaps you aspire to mentor to others? CREIA provides a platform to achieve those goals. 

Education is what sets a CREIA inspector apart from the rest of the pack. Becoming an ICC member and obtaining ICC certification in building, mechanical, plumbing and electrical not only provides respected credentials, it’s also helpful in attaining CREIA’s highest designation -- MCI (Master CREIA Inspector). You will be required to attend two ride alongs and one chapter, or conference, group inspection but that is just a minimal requirement. We advise you to attend as many ride alongs as mentor participation will allow. 

Having a well defined business and marketing plan is essential to your success as a respected and sought after professional.


Setting up and maintaining a well constructed website is one of the most important, efficient and cost effective advertising methods. A quality website is the best method to tell your clients about you and your services.  

Knowledge of purchase contracts and disclosure documents will help you understand how an inspector is utilized in a real estate transaction.

Computer skills are essential to deliver comprehensive narrative reports. Checklist style reports are outdated and may not help tell the full story of the property without narrative descriptions and photo insertions.

These are just a few of the necessary ingredients one needs to be successful. Commitment, commitment and commitment to the profession, your education and yourself will manifest into success.

Your services are very valuable. Your fees should be determined by your expenses and cost of doing business (refer to Brian Hannigan’s “Cost of Doing Business”). It is much easier to lower prices than to raise them once established. Never sell yourself or your product short. 

                       Good luck, be safe and
                           BE A SUCCESS!



What is Included in the Path to Success Program?


  • Camp CREIA DVD set providing the new inspector information about home inspections, the various systems and components.
  • Educational PowerPoint presentations on the various systems and components, common defects and other helpful information,  downloadable from
  • Inspections Basics II, Authored by Jerry McCarthy,  a longtime educator, presenter and mentor to many CREIA members.
  • Brian Hannigan’s “Cost of Doing Business”,information on your business outlining the costs of doing business.
  • A sample business plan template to help get you started
  • A California Association of Realtors (CAR) purchase contract.
  • A sample transfer disclosure statement.
  • Chapter participation in the mentoring and guidance of the new inspector.
  • A copy of CREIA\'s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

How CREIA Helps


  • LOGO USE!…the ability and privilege to align with the oldest, largest and most reputable state inspection organization in the country.
  • Monthly press releases.
  • Online Technical Information Exchange (T.I.E.) Forum.
  • Consumer and home seller/listing brochures.
  • Standard contracts for residential buyers/sellers, commercial clients, pools, spas, and new construction inspection services.
  • Standards of Practice – residential and commercial.
  • Chapter banners.
  • Presence at local and state consumer and REALTOR® expos.
  • Ride along programs.
  • Annual conferences/symposiums with a trade show.



  • CREIA Inspector Finder feature of
  • Online membership directory.
  • Chapter educational programs.
  • Monthly chapter meetings.
  • Camera-ready CREIA logo artwork.
  • Inspector Laminate Badges (including photo option badge).
  • Marketing tips and how-to articles.
  • CREIA logo products.
  • Inspection Basics 2.0 and glossary books.
  • Discounted code and reference publications.
  • Legislative watch with meaningful action and support.
  • Favorable alliances with allied organizations (CCHI, ASHI, ICC, League of CA Homeowners, and CAR Consumer Protection Committee).



  • Positive press and media interviews.
  • California Department of Real Estate (DRE) approved inspection seminar program for REALTOR® presentations.
  • Professional level qualifying exam for Certified CREIA Inspector and Master CREIA Inspector membership status.
  • Over 2500 published technical question and answer segments in the “Off the Net” column of The Inspector Magazine.
  • Local chapter financial assistance, upon request.
  • Published and monitored Code of Ethics.
  • Volunteer Board of Directors and Committees backed by professional staff support.

(Note: Not all benefits listed above are available to Candidate members; there may be an additional fee for certain listed products & services above.)


We Are On The Web!


CREIA has two on-line educational forums. The TIE Technical Information Exchange for CREIA members is an excellence resource for inspectors to ask other inspectors questions about the profession, system component defects and business operations from experienced inspectors.

The site can be provided to your clients as another valuable resource link. 

The CREIA website has information of locations and times of chapter meetings throughout the state.



2questions Common Questionsquestion   

Q:  If I attend a home inspection school, or college course, can the hours attained be used for the 60 hours needed to become a CCI?  

A: Maybe. The hours obtained may be credited for Continuing Educational Credits (CECs). It depends on whether or not the school is accredited with CREIA. To find out if your education counts, call us at 800-848-7342.

Q: Must I obtain 30 CEC hours every year to maintain my memberhip, even if I’m not a CCI?
A. Yes. Your membership in CREIA will terminate if you do not meet the educational requirements. 

Q: Do I have to become a CCI within one year in order to keep my membership in CREIA?  
A: No.  The candidate should try to accomplish the necessary requirements within two years. 

Q: What does it cost to become a CCI?
A: In addition to the $500 annual Candidate Member dues, the CCI exams costs $225 and the required RideAlongs range from $50-$250 each. Plus any additional expenses incurred towards obtaining your required annual CECs.  

Q: How long does it take to become a CCI?
A: It’s all up to you on how quickly you meet the necessary requirements.

Q: If I don’t pass the test, can I take it again?
A: Of course. However, you will not become a CCI until you pass. It is not in your best interest to stay a candidate for an extended period of time. So study and pass it next time!     

Q: Does CREIA market my business and create jobs for me?
A: No. Once you become a CCI, you get a listing on the Inspector Finder feature within and this will generate a number of calls. We also give you guidance and some of the tools, but ultimately, it is the individual inspector’s responsibility to market their own business. 

Q: How long will it take before I will become successful if I follow this program? 
A: It depends on the economy, your commitment and time spent in achieving your goals.

Q: When can I use the CREIA logo and obtain a CREIA Inspector badge?
A: Once you become a CCI, you will have access to the CREIA logo and receive a badge in the mail.

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”~ Vince Lombardi







“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.”~ Abraham Lincoln


The content of this manual is for general information purposes only and does not constitute advice. CREIA tries to provide content that is true and accurate as of the date of writing; however, we give no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness, or applicability of any of the contents.  The information in this manual might include opinions or views which, unless expressly stated otherwise, are not necessarily those of CREIA or any associated association, company or any person in relation to whom they would have any liability or responsibility.  Likewise, the appearance of advertisers, or their identification as members, does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services featured. Readers should not act upon CREIA’s content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice.


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