What is Certification vs. Licensing?

A Certification verifies that a professional has met a certain set of criteria for a skill or job as measured by a third-party assessment, usually a non-government body like a Trade Association. For Home Inspectors, there are 2 national trade associations offering Certifications:  ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors).  They provide Standards of Practice for conducting Home Inspections and a Code of Ethics.

A License is verification by a government agency that a professional can perform a particular occupation in a particular location, such as a certain State.


Why worry?

Excerpts from the Hawaii State Auditor’s Report No. 19-09 dated March 2019:

“Although certification programs are offered to home inspectors in Hawai‘i through the three organizations, we found indications that there are an undetermined number of non-certified individuals who are conducting home inspections in the State.”


Which states do not require a home inspection license to perform home inspections?

14 states do not require a license to perform home inspections.

They are California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming.


Conclusion of State Auditor on the regulation of Home Inspectors:

For many people, buying a home arguably represents the single largest purchase they will make in their lives and contracting the services of a qualified home inspector may be a first line of defense. State law currently requires sellers to provide prospective buyers a disclosure statement of any defects about which the homeowner is aware that may affect the value of a residential property. A home inspection may supplement the seller’s disclosure statement by identifying other potential issues about which the homeowner is not aware.

Based on the limited scope of work that home inspectors perform, coupled with an absence of reported complaints against home inspectors or home inspection businesses that might indicate the profession presents a risk to home buyers’ health, safety, and welfare, we are unable to conclude that regulation of home inspectors is “reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of consumers,” nor can we conclude that the health, safety, or welfare of consumers may be “jeopardized” by the nature of home inspection services.

Based on our assessment, we find there is insufficient evidence to meet the criteria under Section 26H-2, HRS, to require the regulation of home inspectors to protect the health, safety, or welfare of consumers.

For any questions on this topic, please call Oscar Libed of Inspect Hawaii at 808-728-5707 or send an email to oscar@inspecthawaii.com


Screenshot 2023 03 06 At 35746 Pm568 Portlock Rd. Honolulu, HI 96825





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