The New Oxford American, 2nd edition defines the word inspect this way: To look at (someone or something) closely to assess their condition or to discover any shortcoming.
This applies to much of what a TREC home inspector does.
Here is how the same dictionary defines the term: investigations: to carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts of so as to establish the truth.
The Texas Board of Professional Engineers considers a foundation performance evaluation to be an investigation. In a foundation performance evaluation, the truth searched for are several items:
Is there any visible distress or damage consistent with foundation distortion?
Is the house livable and safe?
Are there any indications of structural integrity issues?
Is there evidence of a continuing problem?
How is the performance as compared to houses the same approximate age, location, and construction?
Is the foundation a good candidate for foundation repair? If not, why not and if so, why?
Is there other remedial work that could be done to improve future performance?