The Importance of a Certified Professional Inspector CPI®  

When buying a new house it is essential to have a home inspection, but do you know the qualifications of your home inspector? Using a Certified Professional Inspector CPI® guarantees results you can trust.

In this post, we will cover

  • What is a Home Inspector?
  • The differences between an Uncertified vs. Certified Professional Inspector CPI®
  • How do I know if my Home Inspector is Certified?

 What is a Home Inspector?

A home inspector evaluates the condition of the home, including plumbing, electrical, water, and sewer systems, as well as any fire or safety hazards. The home inspector also looks for signs of vermin, water, fire, or other damage that could reduce the home's value.

According to data from a study done by Abdalslam 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said, their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed.

To become a home inspector in Wisconsin you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete 40 hours of education – an approved home inspection course
  2. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
  3. Pass the Wisconsin Home Inspection statutes and rules exam
  4. Show proof to the state that you have done 1-3 above.
  5. Pay a registration fee

Beyond that, you only need to complete 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A home inspector is not licensed but REGISTERED in Wisconsin

Uncertified vs. Certified Professional Inspector CPI®

Uncertified Home Inspector

You might be wondering, is there such a thing as an uncertified home inspector? The answer is, absolutely yes!

Through cookie-cutter certifications and “associate” certifications even unqualified people can get certified. This makes it all too easy for an unqualified inspector to perform your inspection.  Pick a home inspector who has been in business for at least 10 years and is a member of interNACHI.  That way you will have someone who has seen the ups and downs in the industry.

A “certification mill”

  • Offers certification based on the applicant's work history, such as previous experience performing home inspections, and provides little or no evidence of prior study.
  • Issues a certificate indicating that the person has completed a certified certificate program, even if the program is not accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • To earn such a certificate, the individual must complete little to no recognized training or study.
  • Has not received accreditation from a national organization recognized by the federal or state Department of Education.

A certification body operates without oversight by a state or federal government or a national accrediting organization and issues certificates that are either meaningless or false in the absence of institutional standards.

An individual's certification may be considered invalid if it was issued by a training organization, association, or institution that does not adhere to national criteria established by a federal accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

Certified Professional Inspector CPI®

On the other hand, an officially certified home inspector must achieve many more requirements. Certified Professional Inspector CPI® is a United States federally registered certification mark for the building inspector professional credential. interNACHI is the only home inspection organization that offers training recognized by the US Department of Education.

For an official home inspector to receive their registration they must complete the following:

To maintain your certification you must within the first 12 months:

In addition, you must also:

Substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Standards of Practice or the standard required by law in your jurisdiction.
Abide by the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics.
Complete 24 hours of Continuing Education, according to InterNACHI's Continuing Education Policy.
Maintain an Online Continuing Education Log.

And, every three years, pass the InterNACHI® Online Inspector Examination with a score of 80% or better.

It’s one thing to be able to see that a furnace is more than a few years old. It’s another to be able to tell someone if it’s malfunctioning and whether it needs to be replaced.

How do I know if my Home Inspector is Certified?

With unqualified inspectors, how do I know if my home inspector is legit?

Here is a list of  seven ways to verify your Home Inspector

    1. Always verify the inspector’s registration
    2. Find out where they were educated

Just as with institutions, not all education is the same, and the quality of education can vary significantly. The Certified Professional Inspector CPI® designation has the industry’s most rigorous Continuing Education and training courses, which have been awarded hundreds of approvals and accreditations by state and governmental agencies, including the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Ask the inspector where he/she received his/her training, especially if he/she is new to the field.  As mentioned above pick a home inspector who has been inspecting for at least 10 years.

3. Ask a realtor about the inspector's reputation

It is a good idea to inquire about a real estate agent's or almost any other real estate professional's personal experience with a home inspector. Ask them detailed questions about their experience, whether it was good or bad. This question will help in determining if the inspector is just doing the inspection for money or working for the client.

4. Request a sample report

An inspector is probably on top of their game if they can quickly provide a sample report upon request. You should be able to get a link to an online home inspection report upon request because home inspector technology is quite advanced these days.

Remember that inspection reports can differ in style, formatting, reporting, etc., even if inspectors use the same software to create the report.

5. Check out their website

Small businesses today often create their own websites. If you want to get an idea of how sophisticated the home inspection will be, consider the services the inspector offers.  Many inspectors do not offer anything more than the basic home inspection.  Choose one that does more than one thing as they have educated themselves in other aspects of the inspection process. Reviewing the website may give you a good idea of their organizational skills and communication skills, both written and spoken, which are two very important qualities to look for in a home inspection company.

Flexibility in scheduling, ability to offer additional services, and communicating issues following the inspection are also essential parts of a wonderful home inspection experience.

6. Check Google reviews

One of the best ways to predict your experience is to read customer reviews. To determine if a home inspector meets your requirements. You should read not only the reviews but also the recent evaluations. If they do not meet your standards, you should not hire him/her, even if the company is recommended by your real estate agent.

Check if and how the company responds to the reviews. This will tell you how responsive the company is to its customers. The inspection company's response to unfavorable reviews is another good indicator of how it handles disagreements.

7. Interview the inspector yourself

A brief telephone conversation with the inspector personally and not a staff person will reveal the level of customer service and communication skills. As we mentioned earlier, inspections are not only about finding defects but also about communicating them.

At 1st Choice Inspection, we are InterNACHI certified. Our InterNACHI certification number is NACHI06082899. It is important to us that you know you are working with people who are well-trained, certified, and who always follow best practices. To learn more about us and the services we offer read more on our website at:

About 1st Choice Home Inspection | The Best Inspection Company in Waukesha, WI & Surrounding Communities

1st Choice Inspection: The Best Inspection Company in Waukesha, WI

When you're buying or selling a home, condo or commercial building it's important to have a thorough inspection done by a qualified professional. That's where 1st Choice Inspection comes in. We're the best home inspection company in Waukesha, WI and I am here to help you make the best decision on purchase or sale.

Here are just a few reasons why 1st Choice Inspection is the best:

The owner, Michael Schwitzer, is certified and experienced. Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (interNACHI), and a Certified Master Inspector®  with 28+ years of experience inspecting homes, condo’s and commercial buildings in Waukesha and the surrounding area.

1st Choice Inspection is thorough. Our inspections are comprehensive, and I look at every aspect of your home, condo or commercial building from the roof to the foundation in Waukesha & surrounding communities.

As the owner, Michael’s approach to business is based on customer satisfaction, “I am friendly and professional. I will educate you on your new purchase and make sure you understand the inspection process. I am happy to answer any questions you have.

We're affordable. Our rates are competitive, and on point.  If you are looking for a cheap inspector, you will need to go elsewhere.  The cheapest is never the best!

If you're looking for the best inspection company in Waukesha, WI, look no further than 1st Choice Inspection. I will help you make the best decision for your home, condo or commercial building purchase or sale.

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Contact us today at (414) 803-9678 or email us at to schedule your inspection!