Masters of Code: Jose Rodriguez 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. Jose Rodriguez is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Jose to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Building Director/Building Official
Tequesta, Florida, United States
International Code Council member for five years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Rodriguez: I work for a small municipality, the Village of Tequesta, as the Building Official. I am also the Building Inspector, Plans Examiner in all trades, and the head of Code Enforcement. Obtaining the MCP Certification was my ultimate goal when I began ICC.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Rodriguez: I currently hold 40 ICC certifications. It took a lot of self-discipline and motivation. For each exam, I would study the book and make sure that I had a full understanding of the content before I took the exam. It is important to know where and how to locate the specific codes.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Rodriguez: It is a high honor to receive this level of certification in the Code Councils program. It was definitely worth the hard work.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Rodriguez: The biggest benefit is the personal knowledge of what it took to achieve the MCP Certification. It is also nice to be recognized by your peers. I have been fortunate to have the support and recognition from Mayor Brennan, the Council members and the Village Manager, throughout the process.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Rodriguez: Hold yourself accountable! It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Study hard and be consistent.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Rodriguez: 34 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Rodriguez: I live in South Florida, so the major changes I have seen in the code have been after Hurricane Andrew. I personally saw how the construction that had not been built to code was demolished. There were many changes to the Building Code after Andrew. This is why it is so important for the Building Code to be updated every three years.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Rodriguez: We saw a lot of changes implemented due to COVID-19. All of our inspections, plan reviews, etc went entirely virtual. I am excited about the additional technology that will be incorporated in the future.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Rodriguez: It is important to empower the future generation to step in our shoes when we retire. I actually gave my son, Nestor, a codebook and an ICC membership for his 18th birthday. He is currently in the Urban Design & Development program at Florida Atlantic University. I encourage him, and others to gain as much education and experience as possible.
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?
Rodriguez: The three legs of safety are Police, Fire, and Building. Building Safety is of the utmost importance for the safety of our citizens. ICC has provided me with the tools that help me perform my job and implement the proper safety elements.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Rodriguez: I plan to continue working as the Building Official. I am certain there will be more ICC courses in the future. There are always changes and always more you can learn.
BSJ: Thank you, Jose, 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 Jose 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 look forward to congratulating more Master Code Professionals in the future.”
To learn more on how you can join this elite group and let us help you open the door to increased professional challenges and career advancement, click here.