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Ethics in the home inspection profession (or "industry" as it is less-professionally called): This is a public, consumer information document describing the code of ethical behavior required for professional home inspectors in the United States.
Because ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors was the first and is the oldest home inspection "professional society" we include reference to ASHI's ethical codes here. Since the 1990's many U.S. States have enacted home inspector licensing laws and some of those states include a code of ethics for home inspectors under the aegis of state licensing. Examples are included here.
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During an ethics committee report to the national board of directors of a professional association board meeting in the 1990's a board member objected to the findings and observed that "ethics does not apply in this case - it's just business". The remark may have sprung from a well-intended motive of generosity, but it illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding about the role and nature of ethics in society and business.
Similarly, a professional association can decide to enforce its code of ethics, or not, in a given situation. But it is incoherent and thus impossible for an association to state that "ethics does not apply." - Daniel Friedman, prior chairman, ASHI National Ethics and Standards Committees.
Examples of Codes of Ethics for Home Inspectors
Because ASHI's ethics committee continues to meet and review ethical guidelines for the profession, a revised version of this particular ethics document may be obtained from the American Society of Home Inspectors, at the ASHI HQ website www.ashi.com.
Other individual home inspection associations and individual states may write their own codes of ethics.
OPINION: Readers will note that in comparison with the legislated State Code of Ethics above, this example of a professional association's code of ethics from 1993 is far more concise and less legalistic. The association consulted with professionals who had expertise in language and ethics (philosophy) as well as professional texts where business ethics are discussed. [Disclosure: the website editor DF was involved in that procedure as member and chair of the ASHI Ethics Committee.]
Honesty, justice, and courtesy form a moral philosophy which, associated with mutual interest among people, constitutes the foundation of ethics. The members should recognize such a standard, not in passive observance, but in a set of dynamic principles guiding their conduct. It is their duty to practice the profession according to this code of ethics.
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