Building Inspection Policy

NSPE Position Statement No. 08-149
Latest Revision: 
January 2023
Sunset Date: 
September 2024
NSPE Contact: 
Committee on Policy and Advocacy
Professional Policy Supported: 
Printable Version: 

It is the policy of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) that those aspects of building inspections that require the application of engineering principles constitute the practice of engineering and should only be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer. Such aspects include, but are not limited to, the evaluation of commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings and residential dwellings, regarding the structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems.

Further, it is the position of the National Society of Professional Engineers to encourage legislative or administrative regulations that require real estate professionals to provide a home inspector qualification disclosure notice to prospective purchasers of residential real property. This notice shall explain the scope of practice and authority of persons licensed as professional engineers versus persons not licensed as professional engineers offering to provide home inspections.

This policy is not intended to prevent or affect:

  1. The practice of architecture;
  2. The normal or routine inspection of buildings by designated municipal building inspectors or other authorized governmental officials for code compliance; or
  3. The identification and reporting of evidence of apparent system failure, defects, or improper performance through observation or normal operation of user controls, provided that, as needed, engineering evaluations are referred to an appropriate licensed professional engineer.