Masters of Code: Damian Jorge achieves 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. Damian Jorge is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Damian Jorge to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Combination Commercial & Residential Inspector/Owner
Core Inspection Services LLC/Washington D.C.
Bryantown, Maryland, United States
International Code Council member for 16 years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Jorge: I found my love for new construction building codes and the importance of fire life safety design codes required for the health, safety, and well-being for all occupants to safely enjoy. ICC really did a great job transitioning from CABO & BOCA codes to create the I-code publications. I attended code hearings and quickly realized ICC is the future of building construction and I wanted to be a part of this prestigious organization. MCP was at the highest level and I always strive to be the best version of myself I can be. MCP is it.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Jorge: One chapter at a time! I would highlight deciding key words, “and, or, shall, shall not, over, under, with, or without” which are really important. When taking a timed exam, you can easily overlook those keywords. Also, review the scope and sections provided in the outline of each exam for studying purposes. Get to know those sections.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Jorge: Achieving my MCP provides a very high sense of accomplishment in knowing I am among the 800+ worldwide Master Code Professionals. It shows the hard work and dedication is recognized within the industry.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Jorge: Everyone within the industry knows what the MCP certification achievement entails. MCP certification speaks for itself! It is like being a third-degree black belt as a Code Official!
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Jorge: Perseverance, hard work, and dedication are required. Start with one discipline at a time. Attend training pertaining to that discipline and learn it inside and out. Remember to keep studying even after you get your certification.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Jorge: 28 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Jorge: ICC publication of the I-codes has continuously improved over the years. During the CABO, BOCA, & early 2000’s we had a saying” the codes provide a minimum requirement for the worse building legally allowed to construct!” Today’s I-codes have provided a very high level pertaining to the structure, seismic, wind, snow, fire, energy efficiency, health, egress, and life safety for all people to safely enjoy.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Jorge: As construction technology and products evolve to produce renewable energies and lower the carbon footprint. ICC will continue to be the lead enforcement group of professionals to produce the codes enforcing that level of safety for all families and occupants to enjoy! I look forward to providing my knowledge and expertise in achieving those goals.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Jorge: Remain dedicated to the craft and always open to learning. The I-codes were created based on a history of historical fire and life safety disasters that resulted in the loss of life. The I-codes provide the minimum standards to prevent a repeat of these historical disasters! Unfortunately, we cannot change the past; but we can prevent loss of life by enforcement of the I-codes moving forward!
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?
Jorge: Enforcement of the I-codes during the designed and plan review phase does eliminate major fire and life safety hazards from coming into fruition. We can agree not all hazards and design flaws are caught on paper! Staying active in the I-codes training and continuously studying provides me the skills to identify, notify(site code), and verify the corrections required are completed. I will continuously contribute towards the success of the code council, as they have provided so much for me as a professional in this industry. Look forward to seeing a lot of my peers in Pittsburgh!
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Jorge: I will continue to attend training, seek new certifications, and attend ICC hearings for years to come!
BSJ: Thank you, Damian, and congratulations. You have definitely been an encouragement to us all in your pursuit of excellence.
To earn the Code Council’s elite MCP 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 Damian 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.