Masters of Code: Donald Olivieri 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. Donald Olivieri, architect at Olivieri Brother Architects in Mokena, Ill., is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Donald to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Olivieri Brothers Architects
International Code Council member for 17 years
South Suburban Building Officials Association
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Olivieri: I knew it was the highest level of certification for plan reviewers and inspectors.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Olivieri: Initially, only reviewing the codebooks prior to taking the tests. However, for the legal test and the electrical test, I did take a few online webinars.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Olivieri: Proof of knowledge of all the various codes involved in the construction industry.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Olivieri: Most (but not all) authorities having jurisdiction that we deal with are aware of the requirements to become an MCP and therefore respect any individual who has obtained it.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Olivieri: Join the International Code Council and then use its resources — not only webinars and seminars but the website has a lot of information.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Olivieri: 36 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Olivieri: The expanding requirements that are required by authorities having jurisdiction through the adopting current codes, and the expanding knowledge and ability of local inspectors.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Olivieri: New products and incorporating them in the industry, and building resiliency, how this is now being demanded by developers and authorities having jurisdiction alike.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Olivieri: Join organizations like the Code Council as well as a local chapter. Also, read outside of work to keep up with changes in the codes and building technology.
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?
Olivieri: Concepts I learned in school seemed abstract. The Code Council helps put them in the context of the real world by implementing them.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Olivieri: Passing along my knowledge to some of the younger people in our firm and making sure they know the importance of building codes. Also taking the Fire Alarm Certification Test.
BSJ: Thank you, Donald, 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 Donald 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.