The Inspector Advisory Committee met virtually on January 15th. This was a lengthy meeting, as there was a lot to cover on this go around. First off, I would like to welcome the two newest members of the IAC. Bruce Carpenter is an inspector member from Pittsburg, and Brian Carroll is a public member from Temple. Both of them dove right into the meeting providing feedback and giving input, so it was clear that they came prepared to be involved with the IAC.
The Committee elected the flowing officers: Lee Warren as the Chair, Shawn Emerick as the Vice-Chair, and Steve Rinehart as the Secretary. The two subcommittees were selected as well. The Education Subcommittee Chair will be Steve Rinehart, with Barbara Evans, Bruce Carpenter, and Brian Carroll serving. The Standards of Practice Subcommittee Chair will be Shawn Emerick, with Scott Regan, Mike Morgan, and Dave Motley serving.
The Education Subcommittee is continuing to work on the update for the Legal/SOP course which should be released later this year. The Standards of Practice Subcommittee has been working on revisions to the Standards of Practice for some time now. The first draft of those revisions was presented to the full IAC at this latest meeting. There were over 30 attendees to the meeting, and there was a substantial amount of input provided from multiple sources. The revisions, along with the suggested changes, will be sent back to the SOP Subcommittee for consideration at their next meeting which will be on February 8th. That meeting, as with all IAC-related meetings, will be posted on TREC’s website and will be open for anyone to attend and submit feedback on the proposed changes.
There was a discussion about an inspector’s ability to receive compensation from service providers for referrals. A minor rule change will be proposed at the next IAC meeting that will clarify that obtaining a client’s permission for said compensation will need to be in writing. Many inspectors include this in their own service agreements with their clients, but the proposed rule will simply be to clarify that the consumer must consent in writing. This is simply to ensure that consumers are fully aware about any compensation that the inspector is receiving as it directly relates to that consumer.
There was a discussion about the report form and the software providers that many inspectors utilize for that form. It is likely that the REI 7-5 form will be updated as a result of the SOP revisions once they are finalized. Staff will be looking into a rule change to clarify that the standard report form be the first format that the client sees when opening the inspection report. The report can come as a PDF, Word Document, HTML format, or many others. Software providers may provide their own type of format for the report, so long as the standard form is the first format that the client sees.
The topic about addresses listed on the TREC website was also discussed in detail. Currently, the inspector must have their business address listed on the TREC website. Since the vast majority of inspectors are sole proprietors, this often means that the address listed is their personal residence, which can pose a safety concern. TREC staff will be looking into possible resolutions to allowing a mailing address or another means of preventing the personal residence location of license holders from being publicly displayed.
The next meeting of the IAC will be on April 12th at 10.