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The full Inspector Committee met on February 3rd to discuss various education-related items. Part of the agenda for that meeting was the election of officers for the upcoming year. I was elected as Chair, Lee Warren was elected Vice-chair, and Brad Phillips was elected as Secretary. I believe I speak for all of the newly elected officers in expressing our appreciation to the Committee for their trust.

Much has been written in the last several Inspector Insights about the work that was being done to replace the current 8-hour Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update Course with two 4-hour courses as of September 1, 2017.  At the February 3rd meeting of the Inspector Committee, we voted to recommend approval of the content for the first 4-hour course. This course, titled “Inspector Legal and Ethics Update,” will provide statuary and rule updates, and provide of the duties and responsibilities of an inspector as required by law and provides much-needed consistency in those areas.  The Commission approved the course content at its February meeting.

The second 4-hour course will provide a review of the Standards of Practice, with a focus on how they interact with the mandatory report form. As was discussed in the last Insight, the Committee had originally planned to develop the content for this second 4-hour course itself. However, due to resource and time issues as a result of the planned September 1, 2017 effective date for the course, we voted instead to prepare a detailed outline on which continuing education providers could base their own course. At its February meeting, the Commission proposed this outline, along with several other rule amendments related to inspector mandatory continuing education for publication and comment in the Texas Register. The Commission will consider them for adoption at the May Commission meeting.  Courses approved based on this course outline will expire as August 31, 2019. This will provide the Committee the time to work on their own content for the SOP Review course with a goal of having it ready for use as of September 2019.

The February 3rd meeting also provided an opportunity for inspectors to earn up to 2 hours of Inspector Continuing Education (ICE) credit for attending the meeting. I was happy to see many new faces take advantage of this opportunity to see the Committee in action first hand.  The Committee’s next meeting is April 3rd at 10 am at the TREC offices in Austin. Please check the TREC website for additional information about what we will be discussing. I encourage you to attend if you can. It helps us all make better policy decisions when the stakeholders are an active part of the process.