Is lightning protection required to be inspected every3 to 5 years?
It should be inspected yearly or after a known lightning event. Certification typically lasts 3 - 5 years, or until the structure or system is modified. Any "shall" statements exceed the minimum requirements of NFPA 780.
While NFPA 780 Annex D goes over the Inspection/Maintenance requirements, it's "not part of the requirements" however, there's a lot of good practical guidance. This brings up the question; why are you asking? Was there an issue? Were there changes? Is the Insurance Company requesting re-Certification?
If for instance, a nearby Church (up the hill) has taken down its Steeple (as nearly every Church has done now-a-days), then a change has occurred and you may want to reconsider revising the Risk Assessment (Annex L).
Have you had Equipment "taken-out" after a storm? If Computer Equipment is occasionally failing after Storms, it may not be the Lightning Protection System but your Grounding System. Remember, it doesn't necessarily have to be a Lightning Strike to take-out sensitive Equipment. 'Static Charges' are reduced by Lightning Rods as well as the top most Wire(s) on Utility Power Poles which mitigate Charge build-up before a Strike occurs.
One thing I have picked up over the last year on this Forum (and thru these other Experts) is that the Lightning Rod 'Down Conductor' has its own Ground Rod AND every Ground Rod is bonded to the Power Supply Ground Rod. Do a search for "Lightning" at the top to get a list of the questions presented on this Forum in reference to Lightning Protection.
NFPA 780 is available to view for free:
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