April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
13 Sep 2017

Benefits of and Marketing Your Appraisal Examiner Certification

Red Ribbon-CertifiedWe recently recognized our members who have achieved their Appraisal Examiner Certification. That prompted a few to call the National Inventory Certification Association office asking what this certification is, and the benefit of achieving the designation of CAE. Others have asked if there are other opportunities in addition to assisting Associate Member Nugent Appraisal by documenting the items they’ve been hired to appraise.

Benefits of the CAE designation

Since your inventory services are most likely the single revenue stream, you will be adding a skill set that enables you to serve the appraisal industry quickly and with knowledge.

These two industries go hand-in-hand. There are three main types of jobs:

  1. An inventory of the contents in a home or business.
  2. Only designated items to be appraised.
  3. The entire household or business needing inventoried with specific items needing appraised.

Being able to serve all three needs enables you to reap the revenue benefits, and call in the appraisal services as needed. Instead of providing only an inventory service, achieving your CAE enables you to gain revenue by being the point person and outsourcing the appraisal.

Additionally, when Nugent Appraisal secures an appraisal job, they will find who has achieved the CAE designation in that geographic area.

Marketing Your Examiner Service

There are a variety of ways to market this add-on service.

Include appraisal services on your website.

  • Add the CAE designation to your name on business cards, website, brochures, email signature line, etc.
  • Educate about the need for this service when posting about your business on Social Media.
  • Send a notice to your current client base informing them of your new appraisal service.
  • Notify the referral sources you currently work with, stressing that they now only have to work with one vendor rather than two.
  • When providing your inventory service to a new client, mention that you also offer appraisal services and can save them money (because you’ll have already collected the information the appraiser will need).
  • Notify appraisers in your area and offer to be a subcontractor/independent contractor for them.

When you are in a home or business as an Appraisal Examiner, it is completely appropriate for you to discuss your home inventory company. Take the time to share the many benefits of having a thorough record of all their contents, in addition to the items being appraised.

The majority of people don’t know that they will be required to provide a detailed item-by-item list of everything they will need to have replaced after a loss. Offering a brief education can turn an appraisal examiner client into an inventory client as well.

14 Jun 2017

Easy Online Applications – CIS, CAE and Designation Renewal

Woman taking online courseWe’ve had some questions about the streamlined application processes when achieving the Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) and the Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE) designations. Keeping your busy lifestyles in mind, we developed an online process that doesn’t include asking for the forms to be sent to you from our office.

The requirements to achieve each of the certifications are listed on the Certification page of the NICA website. It is a sub-page under Professional Development. Once you have completed the requirements:

  • Click on the “Submit CIS Application” or “Submit CAE Application” button.
  • Complete the online form.
  • You will receive an automated confirmation confirming your application was received.
  • The NICA office will notify you of acceptance once the Education Committee reviews and approves your application. If there are any questions, we will contact you.

To retain your designation each calendar year, return to the Certification page and click on the “Submit Certification Renewal” button. After you enter how you earned your 5 CEUs, submit the form and you will receive an automated confirmation. The Education Committee will review your application and will notify you of approval or request more information regarding your CEUs.

If you need further information about the certification or the application process, please feel free to contact the NICA office.

14 Dec 2016

Deadline to Retain CIS Designation Nears

ceuNational Inventory Certification Association’s standard for retaining the CIS designation calls for an annual renewal.  Certification CEUs are accumulated on a calendar year basis. Therefore, if you achieved your certification in 2015 or earlier, and haven’t yet accumulated the required 5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) this year, you still have time. The deadline is December 31.

Have you taken seminars, webinars, or courses offered by other organizations? If so, please email that information to the NICA office. The Education Committee will review and confirm your CEU earnings.

If some do not meet our criteria, we will notify you of how many more CEUs are needed to meet your requirement. Just two NICA courses will provide the total of 5 CEUs. All courses are online and self-directed so you can achieve the continuing education at your convenience, on your time schedule. Earning these credits will enable you to remain in good standing as a CIS through 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact the NICA office immediately.

09 Dec 2015

We’re Makin’ A List

santalistThis is not your typical Santa’s list. It’s not about who is naughty or who is nice.

We did, however, check it twice!

Many people ask why someone should be – or would invest in becoming – certified by the National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) when it’s not required to do so. After all, it takes an investment of time and money to achieve the designation of a Certified Inventory Specialist. Many professions, such as insurance agents, CPAs, nurses, etc., require certification and/or licensing to remain active in their chosen profession. In the asset inventory industry, however, it is one’s choice. Since it isn’t mandated, does it makes sense to pursue the privilege to use the initials CIS?

As the Managing Director of NICA, I thought it would be appropriate to compile the benefits of certification for inventory professionals; many of these items were provided by some of our certified members.

List of reasons inventory professionals are certified

  1. Adds credibility.
  2. Gives us a sense of pride.
  3. Gives us a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Proof that we care enough about our industry to choose to take a leadership role.
  5. Places us among other professionals who value excellence.
  6. Shows that we pursue continuing education.
  7. Indicates to prospective clients that we are always seeking ways to gain knowledge and skills.
  8. Shows our current client base that we are not just sitting on our laurels, but are always seeking ways to improve.
  9. Helps provide confidence for our clients even before they meet us.
  10. Benefit of referrals from other certified professionals.
  11. Discounts on courses provided by NICA.
  12. Clients ask for it, so obviously they value it!

I am also the owner of a home inventory service, and have often been asked if we are certified. We are glad that we can say “yes.” Due to that answer, we have secured jobs when otherwise the client might have chosen to go elsewhere. Being certified is a list we are proud to be on.

17 Dec 2014

Two Terms Frequently Confused

2QuestionsTwo terms that are often confused, which results in incorrect usage, are “certification” and “designation.” We take this blog post as an opportunity to share the distinctions.


From BusinessDictionary.com: Formal procedure by which an accredited or authorized person or agency assesses and verifies (and attests in writing by issuing a certificate) the attributes, characteristics, quality, qualification, or status of individuals or organizations, goods or services, procedures or processes, or events or situations, in accordance with established requirements or standards.

The Certification program for Certified Inventory Specialists, created jointly with the Inventory Institute, refers to the confirmation that you have completed the stated requirements. The association management standards are to confirm this accomplishment through either an external review, assessment, or education. This standard is met through the achievement of a stated number of CEUs along with passing the specified courses and the Certification Exam.


This is simply the letters you use after your name to indicate that you have successfully completed your certification. Doctors add MD and PhD after their name; nurses include RN, accountants proudly include CPA; the inventory professional earns the letters CIS, stating that they are a Certified Inventory Specialist.

So, in a nutshell, you use your designation letters (CIS) to tell your prospects, clients, other professionals, and fellow industry members that you have taken a leadership role and have achieved your certification, that you have achieved the designation of being a Certified Inventory Specialist.

19 Nov 2014

Why Achieve Certification?

CertifiedCertifications serve a variety of purposes for a plethora of industries.  Some professions require designation to perform the chosen services, while others are elective. The asset inventory industry provides an elective process to achieve this status.

During the time you devote to accomplish your designation, you might begin to think that you’d prefer to spend the required time with family and friends, relaxing, or being involved in a multitude of other activities that are much more inviting than taking courses and tests.

So why achieve certification? For the asset inventory industry, there are some key things to consider when you are deciding whether to “bother” becoming certified:

  • The initials after your name tell current and potential clients that you are serious about your business – serious enough that you’ve taken the extra step to prove your knowledge and expertise.
  • Having a designation allows you to stand out among others in your industry. When someone is deciding who to call, the company with a certification will most likely be the one they choose to hire.
  • Putting forth the effort shows that you have chosen to be a leader in the industry.
  • Certification indicates that you are one of the best in the industry and that you care about excellence.
  • It states that you invested time on professional development, a key element of a quality asset inventory professional.

When others in your industry are not certified, you have taken the steps top place yourself in a very good position to be viewed at the leader in your service area.

26 Feb 2014

The Value of Industry Certification

Blue Ribbon-Gold MiddleCertifications are become more prevalent today, especially in the home-based business sector. There are certification programs for home organizers, pet sitting, photograph restoration and organizing, even for creating pet fashions.

The asset inventory industry also has a certification; inventory professionals can achieve designation as a Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) through the National Inventory Certification Association.

Some professionals are required to achieve certification, and maintain it with continuing education (accountants and insurance agents, for example). If your industry does not require certification to perform your services, why should you spend your time and money?


Being considered a leader in your industry comes with certification, especially when it is not a prerequisite to being in business. You have chosen to go above and beyond what is required of you.


A Code of Ethics is often included with membership in many industries. This gives a comfort level to your clients. Additionally, by achieving your designation, you are making a statement to others in the industry that they can trust you, and thus refer business to you, without hesitation.

Professional and personal development

Most certification programs include or offer continuing education. By always learning, you are growing your knowledge level. This extra effort again makes the statement that you are serious about your business, and choose to be among the top in your industry.


Often a prospective client will be considering other service providers in addition to you or your company. Your certification can be the detail that encourages them to choose you.


When all is said and done, there is one key reason to be certified. Pride in yourself! No matter the profession, knowing you achieved a goal, knowing that you stand out from the crowd, knowing that you strive to excel, brings a sense of pride that will show in your attitude, your work, and the way you interact with others.

Certification sets you apart from those who are not certified. You show your fellow professionals and your prospective and current clients that you are a leader in your industry. And that is value!