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The Inspector Committee met on February 4. Among the business items taken up by the Committee was the election of the Committee officers for the upcoming Calendar year.  Lee Warren was elected as the chair of the Committee, Shawn Emerick was elected as vice-chair and Steven Rinehart was elected as secretary.  I would like to thank the outgoing officers for their leadership over the last year. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank a longtime member of the Committee, Brad Phillips who has completed his second, and final term on the Committee. Brad has served in every capacity possible on the committee over his twelve years on the Committee, including twice as the chair. Brad’s service was always informed by a commitment to protecting the consumers of Texas and ensuring that members of the inspection industry were held to the highest ethical standards. 

In addition to the election of officers, several other items were on the agenda. The Committee reviewed comments submitted on the rules proposed at the November Commission meeting to determine if any changes were warranted prior to adoption, and determined to recommend that the rules should be adopted as proposed. The Committee also discussed the rule requiring an inspector to provide a report to a client within three days and asked staff to draft language to address those instances where the client has not yet paid the inspector for the Committee to consider at its next meeting.  In addition, the Committee asked staff to investigate the logistics of allowing an inspector to earn CE credit for attending any of the quarterly meetings of the full Committee. Staff provided the Committee an update regarding a potential solution to the conflict that occurs with the prohibition contained in 22 TAC 535.220 whenever a broker requires payment for inclusion on preferred service provider lists. Finally, the Committee recommended moving forward on the Education Subcommittee’s recommendation for streamlining inspector pre-licensing education requirements to reduce redundancies and ensure the content aligns with the inspector licensing exam subject matter, as directed by the Sunset Commission.

This recommendation from the Education Subcommittee would split the qualifying education into a portion focused on the national exam, a portion focused on Texas-specific topics, and would include 40 hours of hands-on experience in the form of a practicum.  A detailed outline of the proposal is available under the materials for the February 4th Inspector Committee meeting. It would provide a single path to inspector licensure and reduce the hours of qualifying education to 170 hours, from the current requirement of over 300 hours, the most required by any state. This plan is the first step to focus on the quality of education over the quantity of education. More specific details will be developed through the rulemaking process in the future.

The Education Subcommittee will meet again on February 26th to discuss possible updates to the 4-hour Inspector Legal Update Course. The SOP Subcommittee will meet on March 18th and the full Committee will meet again on April 15th. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to be engaged in the process and we encourage you to do so.