Masters of Code: Daniel Azeff 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 900 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. Daniel Azeff is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Daniel to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Code Inspections Inc.
Horsham, Pennsylvania, United States
International Code Council member for 14 years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Azeff: I wanted to make my father proud. My father and grandfather founded Code Inspections Inc. in 1986 and as the third generation, I felt an obligation to prove myself. The more certifications I obtain the more valuable to the company I was and that was one way to prove myself. I took many ICC tests and it always seemed so far away, however, with each test it seemed more and more feasible.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Azeff: I took many practice tests and ICC courses. The key to passing the tests is time management, knowing how the codebook is laid out so you can zero in on the answer quickly and knowing how to read the question so you can narrow down what code section you need to find.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Azeff: It gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It is the Eagle Scout of the code world.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Azeff: Honestly you spend a lot of money on tests and invest a ton of time and they send you a nice certificate and a pin but otherwise, it is just another day.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Azeff: It can be very overwhelming when you are starting out and you first see that list of all the certifications you need but don’t let that deter you. Start with the core certifications and the ones that are recognized by your state and will help you advance your career. They have changed the requirements several times since I have started and people have been frustrated because they took a test that was of no value in their state and were no longer required for the MCP. When you pass a commercial inspector test you should move right onto the plan review test because you are fluent with that particular codebook and the plan review tests are pretty similar to the inspector test. If you are not a strong test taker take a class on test-taking and time management is critical. If you cannot find the answer, mark the question and move on because you may very well stumble across the answer while answering another question. If time permits come back at the end.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Azeff: 14 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Azeff: Ordinary construction has become a rarity. Today there is a heavy presence of engineered products, which has its pros and cons.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Azeff: I cannot wait to see what is next. This industry is constantly evolving and you need to keep moving with it.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Azeff: Remember this is a customer service industry. Your job is to keep people safe by making sure things are done right. Part of your job is telling someone that what this did is wrong and to educate them without designing it for them. Educating someone does not mean you talk down to them. The hard part is doing that in a way that they thank you for your help. Mastering this will make your career much more enjoyable.
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?
Azeff: As an inspector and plans examiner I see how things are built and what systems are put in place to save lives. As a volunteer fireman/
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Azeff: I am going to continue to learn. This industry is constantly changing and you need to keep learning to keep up. I hope to be able to help some new inspectors work to achieve their MCP.
BSJ: Thank you, Daniel, 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 Daniel on achieving this important and significant accomplishment,” said Autumn Saylor, program services manager of the Code Council’s Assessment Center. “I challenge and encourage all code professionals to strive for this level of achievement, and I look forward to congratulating more Master Code Professionals in the future.”
To learn more about how you can join this elite group and let us help you open the door to increased professional challenges and career advancement, click here.