Founded in 1989, GAHI is a professional association of residential inspectors formed with 3 primary goals:
- to enhance the public's awareness of the benefits of a home inspection.
- to improve the inspection skills and professional knowledge of professional inspectors.
- to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.
Since the State of Georgia does not require inspectors to be licensed, GAHI adopted membership requirements that fill this void. In fact, GAHI's membership requirements are the most stringent in the country, and require an inspector to be certified in all four of the residential one and two family residential code areas (building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical). Certification is obtained by passing a comprehensive examination by the International Code Council (ICC) in each area. In addition, each member must carry an appropriate level of liability insurance, and maintain a current business license. Each inspector must provide proof they have completed at least 250 paid inspections, and agree to ongoing continuing education each year. This makes them better inspectors, especially on new construction.
GAHI promotes educational opportunities to its members and to the industry. These include bi-monthly continuing education meetings, with speakers from manufacturers of construction products, service experts, government officials and professional engineers (some of who are GAHI members). In addition, GAHI member inspectors receive focused training to stay up-to-date with building code changes and topics of specific concern to residential construction and homebuyers. GAHI members also form study groups that regularly meet in various locations to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and problem solving in various areas that confront the home inspector. Many of the study group members have also used the sessions to become skilled in some of the other mandatory codes (such as Mechanical, Plumbing, & Electrical) with the intent of acquiring additional code certification. A GAHI inspector is always learning!
GAHI provides methods and code training under the name Birch Academy. Birch Academy operates Inspections Methods, Code Certification and other classes as may be offered from time to time. They are offered at convenient facilities, including at the North Metro Tech campus in Kennesaw.