Masters of Code: Joseph Hanes 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. Joseph Hanes is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Joseph to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Charles Abbott Associates
Griffin, Georgia, United States
International Code Council member for two-and-a-half years
ICC Region VIII, Building Officials Association of Georgia, Middle Georgia Inspectors Association
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Hanes: In our profession, the CBO and MCP designations carry an immeasurable amount of respect; not in the manner that those certified individuals know everything within each code, but that these individuals have continuously pursued furthering themselves with knowledge of our industry. Contractors are expected to provide their customers with the best and safest product possible, so this way, we can provide contractors with the most thorough inspection possible — to ensure the best product and safety for their customers.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Hanes: The digital book and tools provided by the ICC were crucial throughout the exam processes. In addition, I found tools such as online quizzes and permanent tabs for codebooks very beneficial. Lastly, the advice from experienced colleagues in this profession was always invaluable.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Hanes: This is a great achievement, but it also means that there are more challenges ahead. There are still more certifications and paths to take from an ICC perspective, but there are also ever-evolving methods of construction with the advancements in technology.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Hanes: I don’t believe that anyone achieves this status for the benefits associated with this status.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Hanes: I would advise those code professionals to use all the tools available through the ICC and other available code resources.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Hanes: 4.5 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Hanes: With the continuing advancements in the construction industry, there are evolving methods, materials, and uses seemingly every day.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Hanes: As mentioned in the changes, every passing day brings new challenges with new methods in our industry, new materials and exciting ideas. Due to the ever-changing environment, there is always room to grow and learn!
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Hanes: For those starting out, I would tell them to follow the advice of their code professional colleagues. With a large amount of information in each book and for each respective trade, having a good teacher is always beneficial.
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?
Hanes: The importance of building safety is to know that during our plan review and inspection processes, we are ensuring that the public is safe, can enjoy efficient structures and environments, and can enjoy all of this from a code affordability perspective.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Hanes: Complacency is the greatest enemy of success. There are always learning opportunities and additional fields of discipline to further my knowledge in order to assist the public in this profession.
BSJ: Thank you, Joseph, 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 Joseph 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.