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  1. #1
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    Hi All,

    ESSB 6606 was signed by Governor Gregoire in Seattle about 2-1/2 hours ago. Washington is now a licensed state.
    Inspectors who've got more than 100 inspections under their belts and have been in the business for more than 2 years, will be required to pass a state-mandated inspector's competency test with a Washington State Component by September of 2009 to be licensed.

    Inspectors who will not have been in the business more than 2 years and won't have completed at least 100 inspections by September 2009 will have until July of 2010 to garner 120 hours of home inspection education, complete 40 hours of supervised training with a licensed inspector, and pass the state-mandated inspector's competency test with a Washington State Component.
    Bottom line, experienced inspectors need to be prepared to take the test prior to September 2009 and those who right now have been in the business less than about 8 months need to start garnering their 120 hours of training and begin looking for a supervised training partner, as well as begin studying for the test.

    The Washington State Department of Licensing will be announcing prerequisites and posting applications for board positions on their website soon. Nobody has been pre-ordained for service on the board and until a board is convened and they work out their procedures and begin their work there's no way to know what courses and texts will be accepted to fulfill the training requirements. I'll be following up with an article on my own site in the next day or two.

    Kudos to WHILAG for killing this bill in two previoius sessions and finally convincing the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. Spanel, to amend provisions in the bill for board makeup, ensuring the board was 100% home inspectors; eliminating full grandfathering and adding a mandatory test component for all home inspectors regardless of experience; adding a supervised training element on top of mandatory education and testing for inexperienced inspectors; and getting mandatory pest inspections removed from home inspections in Washington state.

    Special Kudos and honorable mention to the members of ASHI WW for trusting WHILAG to do what was right for all inspectors and voting to allow their own lobbyists to guide WHILAG through the system in Olympia and paying for that effort.

    Kudos to those independents, ASHI, NAHI, AII, NACHI, WSPCA, WHIA, AHIA, and NABIE inspectors who make up the WHILAG coalition and came together for hundreds of hours over the past two years and worked together to develop a licensing law that was at least palatable to all HI entities in Washington State.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
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    1,741

    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    Michael
    I can't help be be not impressed with the required 100 inspections requirement. I know they needed to start somewhere, but 100?
    Jez, I didn't fell really comfortable until I had a thousand under my belt, but mayne that's just me?
    If they kept the Realtors out of the mix kudos are definately in order.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    100 may not be a lot of inspections but everybody's got to get a start somewhere. If the baseline is set too high, you'd never get any new inspectors to carry on the profession. Trying to make a living as an HI is tough enough the first few years.

    Nobody comes out of the womb with this knowledge so we all had to get our start somewhere.


  4. #4
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    Hi Jerry,

    Those numbers were all over the map over the past two years. Lets just be thankful we got some kind of experience requirement. As for the board, this is what the original bill (SB6229) which the senator proposed two years ago (The first one that WHILAG got killed) contained:

    The nine members of the board are as follows: Prior to January 1, 2008, two members of the board must have been actively engaged in the practice of home inspecting for at least ten years subsequent to appointment to the board. After January 1, 2008, at least two members must be registered home inspectors as provided in this chapter; four members must be teachers and administrators from the community and technical colleges of Washington state; one member must be a real estate appraiser licensed under chapter 18.140 RCW; one member must be a real estate broker licensed under chapter 18.85 RCW; and one member must be a civil/structural engineer licensed under chapter 18.43 RCW, who has at least five years of experience working with residential properties.

    In January of 2007 when she tried again this is what her second attempt contained:

    The board consists of eight members appointed by the director, who shall advise the director concerning the administration of this chapter. Of the appointments to this board, four shall be actively engaged as home inspectors immediately prior to their appointment to the board, two shall be persons licensed as real estate agents, one shall be currently teaching
    in a home inspector certificate program, and one shall be a member of the general public with no family or business connection with the home inspector business or practice. Insofar as possible, the composition of the appointed home inspector members of the board shall be generally representative of the occupational distribution of home inspectors licensed under this chapter.


    During hearings, WHILAG showed up in force to testify against this version and others showed up to testify in support of WHILAG. That's when she substituted another:

    eight members appointed by the director, who shall advise the director concerning the administration of this chapter. Of the appointments to this board, five shall be actively engaged as home inspectors immediately prior to their appointment to the board, one shall be a licensed real estate broker, one shall be currently teaching in a home inspector certificate program, and one shall be a member of the general public with no family or business connection with the home inspector business or practice.


    This version passed the senate and went to the house where WHILAG showed up at the hearing and testified in opposition to it. The house killed it by sending it to sunrise review. WHILAG then showed up in force to testify at all sunrise review hearings and many other people who attended those hearings testified in support of WHILAG. The sunrise review report that was published in November strongly supported many of WHILAG's positions.

    In January, she tried for a third time by introducing SB 6606:

    The board consists of six members appointed by the governor, who shall advise the director concerning the administration of this chapter. Of the appointments to this board, five must be actively engaged as home inspectors immediately prior to their appointment to the board, and one must be currently teaching in a home inspector certificate program. Insofar as possible, the composition of the appointed home inspector members of the board must be generally representative of the geographic distribution of home inspectors licensed under this chapter. No more than one board member may be a member of a particular national home inspector association or organization.


    By then, WHILAG had been meeting with legislators in Olympia and had approached her with proposed changes. WHILAG didn't see the need to have an inspector that was teaching in a home inspection program, but they were in favor of the one per association limit.

    At the same time, Rep. Springer, introduced a companion bill in the house that WHILAG helped him write. I think you'll like this better; it required:

    The board consists of seven members appointed by the director, who shall advise the director concerning the administration of this chapter. Of the appointments to this board, six shall be actively engaged as home inspectors immediately prior to their appointment to the board, and one shall be a member of the general public with no family or business connection with the home inspector business or practice.


    A home inspector must have the following qualifications to be appointed to the board:
    (a) Engaged as a home inspector in the state of Washington for five years;
    (b) Licensed as a home inspector under this chapter; and
    (c) Performed one thousand home inspections in the state of Washington.

    Before the senate hearings, she met with WHILAG members, who were by then in Olympia every day meeting with anyone who'd take the time to listen to them, and then shortly before the meeting WHILAG met to assess where they were and what concessions they thought they could get and they submitted a memorandum to her office suggesting further changes. This is what she then filed as a proposed substitute bill:

    The board consists of seven members appointed by the governor, who shall advise the director concerning the administration of this chapter. Of the appointments to this board, six must be actively engaged as home inspectors immediately prior to their appointment to the board, and one must be currently teaching in a home inspector education program. Insofar as possible, the composition of the appointed home inspector members of the board must be generally representative of the geographic distribution of home inspectors licensed under this chapter. No more than two board members may be members of a particular national home inspector association or organization.
    (2) A home inspector must have the following qualifications to be appointed to the board:
    (a) Actively engaged as a home inspector in the state of Washington for five years;
    (b) Licensed as a home inspector under this chapter, except for initial appointments; and
    (c) Performed a minimum of five hundred home inspections in the state of Washington.

    WHILAG received an advanced copy of this before the hearing, discussed whether to try and continue to fight her or endorse it as is, since it had come a long way toward WHILAG's original intent. They voted to endorse it at the hearings, but if efforts to make major changes were made in the house to kill it. At that point they had a 50-50 chance of being successful at killing it if it started to go south in the house. They showed up in force at the hearings and endorsed it. By then they had concurrence, and WAR (Washington Realtors - the state NAR chapter), which had promised WHILAG they'd stay out of it until concurrence was gained, testified in support. It went back to committee and then was voted out of committee to the floor where it passed overwhelmingly and went to the house.

    The house labor and commerce committee scheduled hearings and WHILAG again showed up in strength with supporters and testified in support. From there it was in committee until the 10th of March at which time it was pulled to the floor of the house the same day and passed 93 - 0 and went on to the governor. Today she signed it.

    Now the Department of Licensing has to come up with board application forms, post them to their website, and begin vetting candidates for the board. The Governor will pick the initial board from that group and under the Director DOL they'll need to get cracking to develop SOPs, a state specific test, admin procedures, etc.. Don't envy whoever gets the job - they're going to end up spending hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hours trying to get that all done by September 2009.

    Now that this mess is behind us, I hope the various HI factions in this state can stop their endless carping and sniping at each other and provide whatever unfortunate souls get appointed to that board as much support and help and suggestions as possible.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike


    Last edited by Michael P. O'Handley; 03-21-2008 at 07:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Paul Luczyk's Avatar
    Paul Luczyk Guest

    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    What I like about our Washington State law it will have some teeth behind it unlike many of other state laws that have no enforcement. The director & board will be able go after inspectors not following the law with suspension and/or civil fines. Myself and other members of Western Washington ASHI chapter have worked on this for 3 years and proud of what we accomplished.


  6. #6
    Harvey Hempelstern's Avatar
    Harvey Hempelstern Guest

    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    Your intent of reducing the number of your competitors will not be realized. Instead, they will now increase exponentially.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    4,517

    Default Re: Washington Is Now A Licensed State

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Hempelstern View Post
    Your intent of reducing the number of your competitors will not be realized. Instead, they will now increase exponentially.
    Harvey, I will agree with you on that.

    Look at the number of licensee's a year from now and I'd bet it doubles there in number.

    rick


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