Master Code Professional Mark Berg
Mark Berg achieves the Master Code Professional designation, the gold standard of code certification
It’s considered the Ph.D. of building safety codes certification. The Master Code Professional (MCP) is the highest level of designation the International Code Council offers and is the “gold standard” for demonstrating proficiency in the code profession. The Code Council has certified thousands of individuals, but only a small select number have attained this high level of achievement: just over 800 MCP professionals worldwide. Their achievements are a benefit to the code enforcement profession as well as their communities.
To obtain this level of certification requires and demonstrates a commitment to the profession, diverse knowledge of codes and a high level of self-initiative. Mark Berg, building official, BPR Consulting Group — City of Gardena, is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Mark to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
BPR Consulting Group — City of Gardena
Gardena, California, United States
International Code Council member for 33 years
Citrus Belt, Foothill and Coachella Valley Chapters
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Berg: Once I heard about the MCP certification and looked at the certifications that I already had, it only made sense to me that I obtain the other certifications required to obtain the MCP designation. Pursuing the MCP was something that I felt would set me up to serve the public better. I would say make sure to push yourself to be better each day, keep a positive attitude and take steps out of your comfort zone and you will succeed! to be honest, I feel like I should be the one taking advice rather than giving it, but if there is anyone out there that I can help achieve their dreams, I am here to help!
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Berg: Over my 30-plus years, I have utilized the ICC study material that is available to me along with spending many nights and weekends studying them. Getting my nose into every book, chapter of various disciplines took time and serious commitment over the course of all the different learning.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Berg: Obtaining the MCP designation not only serves my personal ambitions to achieve this monumental goal but also truly reflects my desire to continue learning and be able to share that knowledge with others along the way. This effort was neither easy or without sacrifice, my family alone knows the time dedicated to studying and obtaining each certification was not easy and required the dedication to study and take each certification along the way. If it was easy, everyone would do it!
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Berg: The MCP designation is not only a gold standard credential, but it also brings with it a great responsibility to raise up those around us and I feel I’m trying to lead by example. One of the greatest benefits to both myself and my organization is the enhanced knowledge I have gained along the way and the ability to better serve my community with the highest level of confidence and professionalism.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Berg: My advice would be to set personal goals and timelines to complete each certification. Use the training material available to you and try to keep to a schedule to study and take the certification test when you can.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Berg: Thrity-three years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Berg: The codes. When I started in the building and safety profession, we were using the 1988 UBC and since then, I have seen the three main code groups throughout the nation come together and create the ICC. The has been a vast improvement in the life/safety of each code discipline and the way it is administered. I was able to have the honor and privilege to sit on the code development committee and witness the dedication of these other volunteers and ICC staff that work on these committees.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Berg: The continued dedication of our industry to make sure buildings are a safer place to live and work along with the need to help the public feel safe. I see ICC as a leader in the building industry and I am proud to be able to contribute. I am so thankful to have had such amazing support and help from others in the industry that were willing to share their time with me. I really look forward to being able to give back and hopefully help others be even better.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Berg: Find a mentor that you can ask many questions you will have along the way, as you continue to pursue your MCP classification. Be involved, ask questions, and set goals. Be committed to always being willing to learn from others. The most valuable resource you can develop is the network of colleagues and peers you can develop through involvement and engagement in organizations such as ICC (and local chapters), NFPA, IAPMO, and other industry members.
BSJ: Building safety is the focal point of our mission here at the Code Council. What is the importance of building safety to you? How has ICC helped you in your career and commitment to public safety?
Berg: ICC has helped my career by providing all of the educational tools and resources to build my knowledge. These tools have also given me the ability to obtain my certifications which have tested my knowledge and understanding.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Berg: I hope at some point to be able to share what I have learned with others. Also, never stop learning, because with the codes changing every three years there is always something new to learn in the various codes. Everyone should always take some time for studying.
BSJ: Thank you, Mark, and congratulations. You have definitely been an encouragement to us all in your pursuit of excellence.
To earn the Code Council’s elite Master Code Professional designation, a candidate must first pass 10 core Code Council exams plus a number of elective Code Council exams. Typical Master Code Professionals hold 17 or more Code Council certifications. The Master Code Professional designation requires certified individuals to complete an additional 60 hours of Continuing Education Units every three years to maintain active status.
“The Master Code Professional certification is the pinnacle of all Code Council certifications, representing a level of effort, knowledge, and dedication that elevates not only the individual achieving it but the code official profession as a whole,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO.
Master Code Professionals are typically responsible for all technical and management aspects of code enforcement with duties that range from the management of a code enforcement department to the supervision of inspectors and plan reviewers.
“Congratulations to Mark on achieving this important and significant accomplishment,” said Autumn Saylor, Director of the Code Council’s Assessment Center. “I challenge and encourage all code professionals to strive for this level of achievement, and look forward to congratulating more Master Code Professionals in the future.”
To learn more on how you can join this elite group and let us help you open the door to increased professional challenges and career advancement, click here.