Masters of Code: James Wright 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. James Wright, building inspector of the License and Inspection Department for the city of Philadelphia, is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked James to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
License & Inspection / City of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
International Code Council member for one year
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Wright: My whole life I’ve always strived to be the best at whatever I do.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Wright: I studied by knowing and understanding where every word was located in the index.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Wright: The feeling of pride and professionalism knowing that I have achieved something only a small percentage of individuals in this industry has accomplished.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Wright: The municipality I work for offers a yearly bonus to hold and maintain the MCP certification.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Wright: You have to put the time and effort into studying and knowing each codebook.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Wright: One and a half years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Wright: I have only been in the field for a short period of time but I have been impressed by the number of contractors that are up to date and familiar with the codes.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Wright: Knowing that life safety codes are being implemented.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Wright: Find an experienced building inspector that’s willing to teach you and take notes.
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?
Wright: Building safety means to me that if I do my job correctly nothing will ever happen. The Code Council helps by setting the blueprint in the form of codes that I enforce to help keep the public safe.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Wright: Keep on testing. I’m studying now for the CBO certification.
BSJ: Thank you, James, 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 James 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.