Here is a summary of the article in the NFPA NECDigest that should be reviewed for those who may want to accept this new challange when it becomes available.
"Certifying Electrical Inspectors A new program by the NFPA and IAEI attempts to separate those who are qualified from those who are not.
By Richard Owen
A question often asked by the public is: "Does the electrical inspector really know enough about electricity to make sure my house is safe?"
Inspection authorities frequently ask: "How do I know if a prospective employee has enough electrical knowledge to be a good electrical inspector for me?" or "How do I know that my electrical inspector is keeping up to date on the changes in the National Electrical Code?"
Questions like this are repeated daily throughout the country.
Well, two of the nation's leading groups concerned with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and its enforcement, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), heard the questions and concerns and came up with an answer.
The two organizations are now in the final stages of developing a Certified Electrical Inspector Program ....."
No, this is a brand new electrical inspector certification program for residential and "Master" Electrical Inspectors that will be a joint effort between NFPA and IAEI.
It's my understanding tha the test will include some discussion of images showing violations and the person who is taking the test must identify them. I think they are planning on using the 1999 NEC to start out, but the 2002 NEC may be used as well. If I showed an image of some old Knob and Tube would you be able to look back into your old codes, or use the most recent?
See Article 394 in the 2002 NEC and Article 324 in the 1999 NEC for Concealed Knob-and-Tube Wiring
Don't most jurisdictions already require an electrical inspector be certified? I work in Calif. and every jurisdiction that I am aware of has required every inspector (plumbing, mechanical, electrical, building) to be fully certified within 2 yrs. of getting their job. (If a city is hiring an elect. inspector he already has to have the elect. cert; but most cities are hiring 'combination' inspectors so they give the inspector 2 yrs. to acquire all 4 certs) It is up to the jurisdiction to qualify the 'certification' but most require the ICBO certs. A local college offers an A.S. degree in Bldg. Inspection Technology that many inspectors in these parts attend, although it is up to the AHJ to accept the degree rather than the ICBO. I get the impression every AHJ in Calif. will accept the ICBO certs but not necessarily the college degree.
Are there any requirements needed to sit for certification exams? Generally speaking, what are the steps involved and what type of time frame are we talking about? (I remember that my Masters exam took many months to setup)
This is all well and good but with the new words of the day being deregulation and less government I'm afraid that inspectors are already burdened with huge areas and no way to cover them.I do wish we had more qualified inspectors but I think the general public thinks anybody can do this stuff with a Time/Life how to book and inspectors just get in the way.