Masters of Code: Michael Moreno 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. Michael Moreno is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Michael to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Senior Construction Inspector
Environmental & Construction Solutions
San Francisco, California, United States
International Code Council member for three years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Moreno: It’s the flagship certification in the Building Safety Industry. It’s always been my target. I’m a huge proponent of personal development. Achieving MCP has broadened my horizons and I’ve proved to myself that I’m capable of even bigger things. I believe improving oneself leads to greater opportunities. A quote I live by, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Moreno: For different exams, I used different resources. The ICC study companion and flashcards were helpful in navigating through the dense subject material. For some of the later exams I took, I used the online ICC study guides. There’s a practice exam at the end of each guide. These are great for actual exam preparation. Take time to learn how to navigate the various textbooks with the table of contents and indices. The more time you spend looking at the content, the more you’ll understand it.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Moreno: It means a lot. I look at it as a milestone in my career and development as a code professional. When I first started pursuing the MCP certification I looked at it as the peak of my code education. But after achieving it, it feels like a solid foundation for even further learning. There are still many more certifications to go after and a lifelong amount of education and experience to pursue.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Moreno: The personal value comes from the cumulative work and time that I put into earning MCP status. That’s where the development happens after all. I can honestly say I’m much better in my profession having put in the time and work. The career value comes from being recognized by peers as a well-rounded and knowledgeable code professional.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Moreno: Be consistent and be relentless with your studies. Make time whether its 30 minutes before work, before bed, on your work lunch break, or a six-hour study session on Saturday and Sunday. Whatever time you can squeeze in is valuable. Keep yourself motivated by having a goal and it will make it easier to follow through with your studies. Hold yourself accountable. You can do it!
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Moreno: 11 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Moreno: The outreach of building and fire safety. There are just so many resources and programs that are geared towards educating the general public and schools that emphasize the importance of building and fire safety and garner interest of potential future code professionals.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Moreno: I’m particularly excited about virtual inspections and how far that branch of the industry will evolve. We’re in an ever-changing world and it’s interesting to see how our industry will grow. I’m also excited about the International Code Council gaining momentum in other countries. It’s great to see a high level of building and fire and life safety standards spread across the globe.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Moreno: Be dependable, be willing to listen to good advice, never stop learning, and always have a goal to pursue.
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?
Moreno: Building safety is my main goal. ICC has provided educational resources and helped me gain the tools necessary to better perform my job, keep structures built to a safe standard and ultimately keep people safe from harm.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Moreno: I’m always diversifying my knowledge by learning new things. Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is where the real growth is. I’m going to continue learning and welcome the opportunities life sends my way. Anybody that is pursuing the Master Code Professional certification, stay positive and put in the effort. You will achieve your goal.
BSJ: Thank you, Michael, 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 Michael 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.