John Delesandro: Upholding the high standards of professionalism in the building safety community
Whether you are new to the construction profession, an experienced tradesperson or an accomplished code professional looking to enhance your knowledge, advance your career or earn certification, you need a variety of education and certification options to help you reach your professional goals. Dedicated to strengthening the credibility of the International Code Council’s certification and education programs, the Professional Development Council (PDC) advises the Board of Directors on coordinated career path resources for Code Council members. The Professional Development Council is comprised of the Education Committee — that provides strategic direction and facilitates the development and delivery of comprehensive code-related courses to help code officials, inspectors and design professionals elevate their qualifications, advance and grow in their profession — and the Certification Committee, which promotes the professionalism of individuals in the built environment by providing professional examinations and certification services worldwide.
It takes the time and expertise of many individuals working through the numerous Code Council committees to shape it into the world-class membership association that exists today. Volunteers, one of the most important assets of the Code Council, play a key role in the day-to-day work of the Professional Development Council and are integral to helping develop the certification and education avenues that help building safety professionals to be effective in U.S. and global communities.
In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked John Delesandro to share his experience serving on the Code Council’s Professional Development Council, his professional career, and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Supervisor of Enforcement
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Trenton, New Jersey, United States
International Code Council member for 20 years
How long have you been in the industry?
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
I started as a license examiner for New Jersey’s code officials pretty much right out of school and was fascinated by the work our code officials do to protect the safety and health of so many that likely don’t even know it because of the great job they do.
What major changes have you seen?
In New Jersey, I’d say the first major shift was from the regional codes to the ICC family of codes, but really, the complexity of construction and the need to address that in the codes would have to be the largest change I’ve seen over the years.
What excites you about the future of your industry?
Frankly, the excellent adaption of work during the pandemic among everyone in our profession to keep construction moving along while keeping everyone safe has been most impressive. Knowing that we can all work together and meet any challenge is very exciting and knowing that makes me feel that much better for the future.
What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
I would have to say that the most surprising thing about my work would have to be the almost constant change. For an industry that some see as pretty black and white, there are always new challenges to encounter and overcome.
What led you to apply to become a member of the Professional Development Council?
A large part of my job is the education and continuing training of our code officials here in New Jersey. That, along with the ICC’s report about the future of code enforcement and the need to attract new code officials, led me to want to be part of the changes to attract new people and try and shape the direction of the effort.
What do you see as your role on the Professional Development Council/Education Committee/Certification Committee?
I’ve been the chairman of the Education Committee for a number of years now and I see my primary role as someone to bring together the diverse backgrounds of our members to achieve a cohesive and comprehensive educational program for the ICC’s members.
Being a part of the Professional Development Council provides you with an overarching view of the education and certification offerings provided by the Code Council. With that knowledge, what would you recommend to individuals who are entering the industry?
I suppose overall, my recommendation would be to never stop learning! As I’ve said in a number of my responses, the industry is always changing and there are so many different stakeholders involved that you can never know everything and can always learn from someone new.
What has been your most satisfying accomplishment with your work on the Professional Development Council?
I’d have to say that the first major accomplishment is probably the best; helping the board and staff create and refine the Preferred Provider Program. Aside from that, I look forward to helping create new educational programs to bring new folks into code enforcement.
And finally, this last question is a fun one we ask for our Building Safety Journal readers. If you could have any superhero power, what power would you have and why?
If I had a superpower, I guess it would be the ability to fly since my work and responsibilities have grown to cover a pretty large area and it would save on travel time!
Thank you for your work on the Professional Development Council. Your dedication to strengthening the Code Council’s certification and education programs is impressive and we appreciate your commitment to upholding the high standards of professionalism in the building safety community.
About the Professional Development Council
The Professional Development Council recommends initiatives identified by the Education Committee and the Certification Committee to better serve the needs of the membership, coordinates the goals and objectives of the Education Committee and the Certification Committee, and identifies certification and education issues arising from Code Council policies that will improve or enhance the position of the association.
The Education Committee is committed to providing strategic direction and facilitating the development and delivery of the most comprehensive portfolio of code-related courses available to meet the needs of code officials, inspectors and design professionals to elevate their qualifications as well as help them advance and grow in their profession. The Education Committee is responsible for advising Code Council staff and the Board of Directors on matters related to the ICC Education Program and the Learning Center, reviewing and selecting the topics and presenters for the annual business meeting, providing a review and recommendation for the Educator of the Year award, serving as a resource for review of potential learning initiatives and curriculums within the Learning Center, providing new topics and concepts for learning initiatives within the Learning Center, promoting and encouraging members to take advantage of the training offered by the Learning Center, and relaying information provided by the membership to staff in order to improve programs.
“The insight and guidance the Education Committee provides the Code Council is beyond measure,” said Tracy Lendi, vice president of Training & Education for the International Code Council. “While not only offering a myriad of educational ideas, the committee offers a safe place to discuss and debate these ideas so we can provide comprehensive and effective training solutions to the building industry. Being a part of the Educational Committee is truly my honor and privilege.”
The Certification Committee is dedicated to promoting the professionalism of individuals in the built environment by providing professional examinations and certification services worldwide. It has sole authority over the rules and procedures of the ICC Certification Program, including such topics as the renewals process, examination security policies and disciplinary action. The Certification Committee is responsible for advising Code Council staff and the Board of Directors on all matters related to the Certification Program, maintaining the International Registry of current ICC Certified professionals, supporting international recognition of ICC Certifications, direction and oversight of the Examination Development Committees, and serving as a disciplinary board.
“It is a privilege to work with the members of the Certification Committee,” said Autumn Saylor, director of the International Code Council’s Assessment Center. “The Code Council appreciates the committee’s commitment to upholding the high standards of professionalism in the building safety community.”
From an array of training options for every individual to the ICC Assessment Center, the Career Center, the signature Safety 2.0 initiative, or its Scholarship Program, the Code Council is committed to supporting the education and certification of existing and future code officials.