Masters of Code: David Heard 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. David Heard, plans reviewer for Forsyth County, is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked David to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Forsyth County Planning & Community Development
Cumming, Georgia, United States
International Code Council member for five years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Heard: I was initially trying to gain certifications in my position as an electrical/mechanical inspector. As I progressed, it became a goal to achieve this certification.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Heard: As an inspector/plan reviewer a lot of my work is study time. I just put my head in all the books needed.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Heard: It is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, so it is a feeling of pride.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Heard: It’s early in the process but I hope it brings many opportunities.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Heard: Be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and effort to this goal.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Heard: 24 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Heard: Building safety has improved greatly over the years.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Heard: How new technologies are making buildings safer.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Heard: Don’t be afraid to fail, just keep trying.
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?
Heard: Just the knowledge gained by study and hard work.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Heard: Continue to be a student in the industry, because the trade keeps evolving.
BSJ: Thank you, David, 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 David 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.