Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CRI Program?
The NAHI Certified Real Estate Inspector (CRI) program is a certification that is earned. The designation is given only to home inspectors who demonstrate their advanced knowledge of, and proficiency at, all aspects of a home inspection. In order to become a NAHI Certified Real Estate Inspector (CRI), one must pass the NAHI CRI Exam and complete 250 full, fee-paid inspections. In addition, NAHI CRI participants must maintain annual continuing education credits and undergo an annual review of completed home inspection reports to remain in the program.

Why Should Home Inspectors be Certified?
Certification helps home inspectors and consumers. Certified Real Estate Inspectors set a higher standard for professional home inspections. Consumers are looking for home inspectors who have taken the time and given the energy to better themselves and their profession. Potential clients are asking for certified home inspectors. Certified Real Estate Inspectors demonstrate this excellence.

The program is two-fold; there is an Exam as well as an experience component. In order to be a Certified Real Estate Inspector, an inspector must pass the NAHI CRI Exam as well as complete 250 full, fee-paid home inspections.

Schools often offer “certification” through their training programs. NAHI is taking that one step further. The CRI Program is designed to bring structure to the learning process and identify training weaknesses through a comprehensive testing process. This program tests lifelong home inspector/home inspection competencies and skills. NAHI will not directly produce training materials for this program. We will, however, give participants a listing of study materials for review prior to taking the Exam.

Areas Covered By the CRI Exam

  • Site, Exterior, Roof, Garage, Attic
  • Structural and Foundation
  • Exterior
  • Interior
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Environmental Hazards and Mitigation
  • Indoor Air and Water Quality
  • Plumbing
  • NAHI Standards of Practice/Code of Ethics

What are the suggested review materials for the CRI Exam?
The CRI Exam is based on the following materials:

  • Real Estate Home Inspection (Russell W. Burgess, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Editions)
  • The Complete Book of Home Inspection (Norman Becker, P.E., 2nd Edition)
  • Modern Carpentry (Willis H. Wagner, Howard Bud Smith)
  • Trouble Shooting Guide to Residential Construction, from the Editors of Journal of Light Construction
  • NAHI Standards of Practice/Code of Ethics (current edition)

Other Recommended Reading:

  • Code Check (Redwood Kardon, Taunton Press)
  • Subterranean Termite Control Manual (Prepared by Phillip G. Koehler)
  • Basic Plumbing (Sunset Books)
  • Basic Wiring (Sunset Books)
  • Dampness in Buildings (Oxley & Gobert, 2nd Edition)
  • Basic Home Repairs (Sunset Books)
  • Craftsman Book Series

Where is the Exam offered?
The CRI Exam is a computer-based test that is administered through PSI testing facilities throughout the United States. Please visit to see which location is closest to you.

How Long Is the Exam?
The CRI is a comprehensive two-hour and twenty-minute, 140-question Exam. Most candidates are able to complete the Exam well within the two-hour and twenty-minute time limit.

Can I bring books or notes to the Exam?
NO. You are not allowed to bring any materials into the testing room. Paper, books, notes, or other written materials are expressly forbidden.

What is the passing grade?
As of July 31, 2007, an applicant must pass the Exam with a 70% overall score.

Who sees the Exam results? Applicants receive their scores immediately after taking the Exam. PSI will also forward your score to NAHI Headquarters for record keeping purposes. An official letter regarding your exam results will be mailed to you from NAHI Headquarters.

If I do not pass, can I take the Exam again?
YES, but you must wait 60 days from the date you last took the exam before you can take it again. Before we can authorize you to retake the exam, you must submit the exam retake application, pay the retake fee, and include a copy of your previous exam results with the retake application. The waiting period may only be waived for inspectors in states that require the exam as a component of licensing.

What are the requirements for taking the Exam?
An individual wishing to register for the NAHI CRI Exam may do so as follows:

  • Upon completion of a comprehensive course of study in home inspection with a NAHI affiliate training school; or
  • If the individual is a current NAHI member in good standing; or
  • As may be required under applicable state statute or other regulation.

An applicant must complete the official application form and pay the appropriate exam fee of $175.

What are the requirements for earning the CRI designation?
An individual who successfully passes the CRI exam may not use the CRI designation or qualify for the NAHI CRI Membership level until such time as that individual has completed 250 verifiable, fee-paid, full home inspections conducted according to NAHI Standards of Practice. If you successfully complete the Exam prior to conducting 250 full, fee-paid inspections, upon reaching the 250th inspection, you must call the NAHI office for a CRI Affidavit of Inspections Performed. Upon completing and returning this form, your upgrade to CRI status will be processed.

How do I sign up for the Exam?
Attached is an application form for the Exam. Complete the form and attach the required documentation. Once the application is received, NAHI staff will send you an Exam confirmation via email. Be sure to list an email address you check regularly. This confirmation will include a phone number you will need to call to schedule your Exam.

What do I need to bring with on the Exam day?
You must bring a photo ID to the PSI testing center as a means of identification.

Is there a cancellation policy?
Yes, if you need to reschedule your Exam and fail to do so prior to 24 hours before your Exam is scheduled, you will be required to pay the full Exam fee again in order to take the Exam.

If I have further questions, whom do I contact?
Please call the NAHI office at 800-448-3942 with any questions you might have.

What are the Annual Recertification Requirements?
All NAHI CRI’s will be required to obtain 16 Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) per year.

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