In order to join the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, candidates must pass the Online Inspector Examination and Ethics Obstacle Course. The Online Inspector Examination is free and can be taken at anytime. It contains 120 questions which are different each time the exam is taken. Subject areas include, but are not limited to: roof; exterior; basement, foundation, crawlspace and structure; heating; cooling; plumbing; electrical; fireplace; attic and insulation; and doors, windows, and interiors.
The candidate only has an hour to complete the exam, which contains both true/false and multiple-choice questions. In order to pass, the candidate must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. The Ethics Obstacle Course is based on information found in the NACHI Code of Ethics. It consists of hypothetical questions which the candidate must answer in order to advance a computer figure toward the finish line. There is no time limit or specific scoring system for this exam; either candidates reach the finish line or they do not.
In order to become a member of the American Society of House Inspectors, individuals will need to pass the ASHI Standards and Ethics Examination and the National Home Inspector Examination.
The ASHI Standards and Ethics Examination covers the content of the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Both of these documents are available at the ASHI website.
The Standards of Practice covers the following topics:
- structural systems
- roof systems
- plumbing systems
- heating systems
- air conditioning systems
- insulation and ventilation
- fireplaces and solid fuel-burning appliances
- general limitations and exclusions
The test is in a multiple-choice format and should take about an hour to complete. The following states require the National Home Inspector Examination for licensure: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
There are four main content areas covered by the National Home Inspector Examination:
- inspection methods (27%)
- building systems (42%)
- reporting (26%)
- professional practice (5%)
Subtopics include: structural systems; roofing systems; electrical systems; heating and cooling systems; insulating and ventilating systems; plumbing systems; interior systems; and fireplace and chimney systems.
The NHIE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, and takes four hours to complete. Both the ASHI Standards and Ethics Examination and the NHIE are completed on a computer; after the candidate is finished, he or she will receive a score between 200 and 800 and a pass or fail verdict.
Candidates must receive at least a 500 to pass.
The ASHI Standards and Ethics Examination and the NHIE are offered at private testing facilities across the country.