InterNACHI vs. Carson Dunlop: Choosing the Best Home Inspector Training Program

Comparing InterNACHI and Carson Dunlop Home Inspector Training Programs

When considering a career as a home inspector, selecting the right home inspector training program is crucial. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and Carson Dunlop offer two of the most renowned programs in North America. Both have distinct histories, philosophies, and approaches to training. This post will comprehensively compare these two programs, highlighting their histories, offerings, and pros and cons.

InterNACHI: A Comprehensive Overview

History and Background

InterNACHI logoInterNACHI, founded in 1994 by Nick Gromicko, is the world’s largest residential and commercial property inspectors organization. With over 28,000 members in more than 65 countries, InterNACHI is a prominent force in the home inspection industry. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the home inspection industry through education, training, and certification.

Nick Gromicko’s vision for InterNACHI was to create an association that provided top-notch training and fostered a community of inspectors who could support and learn from one another. Over the years, InterNACHI has developed a robust infrastructure to support this vision, including a comprehensive online training platform, regional chapters, and annual conferences that bring inspectors together to share best practices and innovations in the field.

Training and Certification

InterNACHI offers extensive home inspector training courses through its online platform. These courses cover various aspects of home inspection, from basic principles to specialized topics like infrared thermography and mould inspection. The organization provides resources such as the “Standards of Practice” and “Code of Ethics” to ensure inspectors adhere to high standards.

The home inspector training program is divided into multiple modules, each focusing on different aspects of home inspection. These include detailed courses on electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and structural components. InterNACHI also offers specialized courses in areas such as thermal imaging, septic system inspections, and commercial property inspections. This wide range of courses allows inspectors to tailor their education to their career goals and areas of interest.


  • Extensive Online Resources: InterNACHI’s training is primarily online, making it accessible to students worldwide. The platform includes hundreds of hours of free training videos and courses. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for individuals who must balance their training with other commitments, such as work or family.
  • Certification and Continuing Education: InterNACHI offers a robust certification program and continuing education courses to help inspectors stay current with industry standards. The certification process includes passing a comprehensive exam, completing mock inspections, and adhering to InterNACHI’s standards of practice. Continuing education ensures inspectors keep their skills up-to-date and know the latest industry developments.
  • Networking Opportunities: The association hosts events, forums, and chapters that allow inspectors to network and share knowledge. These networking opportunities can lead to mentorship, job opportunities, and sharing practical insights and tips that can be invaluable.
  • Comprehensive Support: InterNACHI provides extensive support to its members, including marketing tools, business development advice, and legal documentation. This support helps inspectors improve their technical skills and successfully market and grow their businesses.


  • Online Focus: While convenient, InInterNACHI’sraining is primarily online, which may not suit everyone, particularly those who prefer hands-on learning. Some students might find it challenging to fully grasp the practical aspects of home inspection without in-person training.
  • Membership Fees: Access to the full range of InterNACHI resources requires a membership, which entails ongoing fees. While the benefits can outweigh the costs, the membership fee might be a barrier for some individuals, especially those just starting their careers.

Carson Dunlop: A Comprehensive Overview

History and Background

Carson Dunlop logoCarson Dunlop was established in 1978 by Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop. With decades of experience, the company has built a solid reputation for providing high-quality home inspection services and education. Carson Dunlop is well-known for its comprehensive training programs and detailed inspection reports, which are widely respected in the industry.

The founders, Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, were pioneers in the field of home inspections. Their approach to training emphasizes a strong foundation in building science and practical experience. Over the years, Carson Dunlop has expanded its offerings to include home inspector training, report writing software, technical support, and continuing education for professionals.

Home Inspector Training and Certification

Carson Dunlop offers a home inspector training program that combines theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The curriculum is available both online and in a classroom setting. The training program is divided into ten courses, covering all aspects of home inspection, including roofing, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, exterior, insulation, interiors, and communication/professional practice.

Each course is designed to provide a deep understanding of the subject matter, with comprehensive textbooks and practical assignments. The program emphasizes hands-on learning, with field exercises and interactive components that help students apply what they have learned in real-world scenarios. This approach ensures that graduates are well-prepared to handle the complexities of home inspections.


  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Carson Dunlop’s program is known for its depth and rigour. It provides a thorough grounding in all aspects of home inspection. The detailed courses cover common and uncommon issues inspectors might encounter, making graduates highly knowledgeable and competent.
  • Experienced Instructors: The program is taught by experienced professionals who bring real-world insights into the classroom. This direct connection to industry experts allows students to learn best practices and practical tips that are not always in textbooks.
  • Flexibility: Carson Dunlop offers online and classroom training, catering to different learning preferences. The flexibility of online and in-person courses allows students to select the format that best suits their learning style and schedule.
  • Industry Recognition: The program’s rigorous standards make Carson Dunlop graduates highly regarded in the home inspection industry. The company’s long-standing reputation for excellence means that a certification from Carson Dunlop can enhance a graduate’s credibility and career prospects.


  • Cost: Carson Dunlop’s training programs are generally more expensive than InterNACHI’s. The higher price might be a barrier for some individuals, especially those who are just starting or are on a tight budget.
  • Geographical Limitations: Classroom training is location-dependent and may not be accessible to all potential students. For those who don’t live near a training center, the need to travel or relocate can add to the overall cost and inconvenience.
  • Less Emphasis on Networking: Compared to InterNACHI, Carson Dunlop offers fewer networking opportunities through forums and events. This might limit the chances for students to connect with peers and industry professionals outside the classroom setting.


InterNACHI and Carson Dunlop offer high-quality home inspector training programs for aspiring home inspectors, each with unique strengths and weaknesses.

  • InterNACHI is ideal for those who prefer flexible, online learning and want extensive support and resources to build their inspection business. Its broad network and ongoing educational opportunities make it a strong choice for those who value continuous professional development. The extensive library of online courses and resources ensures that members can continually update their skills and knowledge to stay ahead in the industry.
  • Carson Dunlop excels in providing a rigorous, comprehensive education with experienced instructors and a strong industry reputation. It’s an excellent fit for those who can invest more in their education and prefer a mix of online and hands-on learning experiences. The curriculum’s depth and instruction quality prepare students to handle a wide range of inspection scenarios confidently.

Ultimately, the choice between InterNACHI and Carson Dunlop depends on individual learning preferences, career goals, and budget considerations. Both programs are respected and will provide the foundation for a successful home inspection career. Aspiring inspectors should carefully evaluate their needs and priorities to select the program that best aligns with their professional aspirations.

David Bates - Inspection Works

Hi, I’m David!

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