Masters of Code: Phillip Clark 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. Phillip Clark, fire marshal for Evans, Ga., is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Phillip to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Development Services Division
Evans, Georgia, United States
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Clark: I wanted to better myself professionally and the MCP designation was the perfect challenge for me.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Clark: I stayed in the books. I attended ICC training classes and online courses.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Clark: It’s rewarding, especially knowing how much effort is required.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Clark: It’s a display of my commitment to our community.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Clark: Take steps to avoid study burnout. Keep a steady pace and remember to take breaks.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Clark: 17 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Clark: Advancement in workplace technology, including electronic plan review and inspection software.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Clark: Seeing how it will evolve and knowing that there are many new things to learn.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Clark: Network to build relationships early.
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?
Clark: It provides the community with a safer environment to live our lives. The Code Council provides a well-written code, great training opportunities and technical support.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Clark: Keep up with the training to stay proficient.
BSJ: Thank you, Phillip, 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 Phillip 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.