April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
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.

25 Jan 2017

Appraisal Examiner Course

Professional DevelopmentThe National Inventory Certification Association has recently released the course, Appraisal Examiner. This is the foundation course for the Appraisal Examiner Certification Program (CAE). 

To enable our members and other personal property inventory professionals to achieve their desired education for this industry, this course and all courses provided by NICA, are online and self-directed. This allows the participants to complete their courses all in one sitting or take one module at a time, depending on their time constraints. Associate Member Ray Nugent of Nugent Appraisal Services, co-wrote this Continuing Education course.

When completing an inventory service for residential and commercial clients, the home inventory professional is often asked if they know the value of items, or if they can refer a professional appraiser. Developing a working relationship between appraisers and inventory service providers will help both professionals serve the other.

This course presents the many benefits for a personal property inventory professional to become an appraisal examiner, the examiner’s responsibilities, and appraisal industry terms. Also included are the specifics required by appraisers to enable them to complete a thorough appraisal of each item.

The participant will also learn how to market their examiner service directly to the client and to a variety of professionals who could become referral sources for a continued revenue stream.

Module 1: Why Become An Appraisal Examiner

  • Reasons for Appraisals
  • Value Added Service
  • Additional Revenue Stream

Module 2: Understanding Your Role As An Examiner

  • Terms
  • Remote Appraisals
  • The Examiner’s Responsibilities

Module 3:  Processes Of The Examiner

  • Documenting the Items
  • Descriptions and Images
  • Information Delivery

Module 4:  Marketing Your Examiner Service

  • Direct Marketing
  • Referral Sources

The information that the home inventory professional will be required to collect when serving as an appraisal examiner is provided in great detail in this course. Once you complete the course, you will have ongoing access to this information so you can review and reference the material as necessary.

To register for this course, visit the Professional Development page of the NICA website.

17 Jun 2015

Gaining New Knowledge – It Should Never End

professional devI recently read an article on PickTheBrain.com that talked about the importance of life-long learning. Being out of school, whether that be after high school graduation or upon completion of your post-graduate degree(s), there is a necessity to continue to learn. Think about what you know now, after years of employment or owning your own business (or both), and compare your current knowledge to when you “finished” school. Whether you gain new information through reading, attending seminars and webinars, taking courses at your local university, or enjoying the convenience of online courses, continuing to expand your knowledge is essential to your continued growth as an individual and as a professional.

The various opportunities to gain new knowledge offered through the National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is focused on this exact premise – the need to continue to expand your knowledge not only of the asset inventory industry, but also areas of that benefit all small business owners.

Read a book

When I was a young girl, my summers were filled with weekly visits to the library. I checked out as many books that I was allowed to have at one time and devoured them. One of the fond memories of my childhood are those of sitting under a tree in the back yard reading about anything and everything I was interested in. Now we don’t need to even leave the house to read a book. Ebooks are available everywhere!

The NICA bookstore provides a variety of business topics, and not just for inventory professionals. Specific to the industry, there are ebooks for the do-it-yourselfer to learn how to complete home, business, and RV inventories. For the business professional, downloadable products include networking, goal-setting, and achieving success. And anyone who owns a computer knows the importance of keeping your computer running well and clear of malware. We even have a book for that!

Take a course

There are a plethora options to enrich your knowledge on just about any subject of interest. Local universities and community colleges are a great source, and you don’t have to be earning a degree to attend. Many schools also offer online courses if you prefer the convenience of learning from home.

The courses developed for NICA are downloadable for immediate access. These Continuing Professional Education courses are self-paced, so you can fit them into your schedule no matter how busy you are. We provide courses written to meet the needs of the asset inventory professional. However, our association acknowledges that there is more to being a professional than just having industry knowledge. Therefore, our current list of business courses includes the topics of time management, customer service, and social media.

Achieve certification

Some choose to pick and choose their topics. For example, you might want to take a cooking class, one on photography, or learn more about a hobby in which you have just developed an interest. If you just started your business, an accounting course might be in your best interest.

Some, however, do seek their first college degree. There are a variety of reasons for this. Many see it as a need to enhance their resume to find a better job or to get a promotion. Others – many entrepreneurs and business owners – find this formal education as a way to achieve growth to help them gain an all-around business knowledge. Earning a degree isn’t reserved just for the young. As an adult student, I am proud to have achieved my bachelor’s degree when I was in my 40’s and my MBA in my early 50’s.

A college degree isn’t for everyone. Many prefer to focus on exhibiting their expertise in their professional field (accountants, insurance agents, realtors, etc.) by achieving certifications. This helps them stand out from the others in their industry and to show their clients and prospective clients that they value being one of the best. In our industry, NICA offers a program to earn a Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation.

All forms of continuing education for self-improvement are excellent. The key is to keep learning, keep your skills sharp, and your areas of interest growing. This creates a well-rounded  individual – one who is knowledgeable, interesting – and just as important – interested in others.