Masters of Code: John Doherty 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. John Doherty, construction compliance supervisor 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 John to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Construction Compliance Supervisor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
International Code Council member for 17 years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Doherty: I wanted more knowledge and the professional recolonization that comes with obtaining this certification.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Doherty: I would try to spend at least two hours a night for two weeks then I would take a test.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Doherty: It is a feeling of satisfaction that all the hard work has paid off and a goal has been achieved.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Doherty: My employer offers a bonus for obtaining the MCP and the MCP designation shows my commitment to becoming a more knowledgeable and better inspector.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Doherty: Just keep studying and don’t become discouraged if you fail a test the first time.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Doherty: 15 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Doherty: We went from handwritten notes to computer permit and inspection software.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Doherty: Online learning, video inspections, drone inspections, permits obtained online and electronic plan reviews as well as new building techniques and products.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Doherty: There is a lot to learn and it takes a while to become a good inspector. You will learn something new each day about construction and the products used. Just keep studying and learning as much as you can about the industry.
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?
Doherty: The importance of building safety to me is the main goal when I do inspections or plan reviews. I always ask myself: ‘Is the building safe to occupy?’ and ‘Can the occupants evacuate safely in the event of an emergency?’ The ICC has helped me learn how to do inspections and plan reviews through courses and books. It has provided me knowledge of proposed code changes and lobbied for safer buildings and gives me knowledge of new construction products through the ICC Evaluation Service and newsletters.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Doherty: Try to obtain the fire marshall certification next.
BSJ: Thank you, John, 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 John 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.