Masters of Code: Todd Sukup 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. Todd Sukup, assistant director of Development Services for the city of Galveston, Texas, is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Todd to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Assistant Director of Development Services
Galveston, Texas, United States
International Code Council member for 14 years
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Sukup: Earning the MCP designation has been a goal of mine from the time I first learned of the certification.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Sukup: I read codebook, studied and completed the companions until I gained the confidence to take the exams.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Sukup: This has been a goal I’ve been working on for at least 12 years so, professionally, this is one of my proudest accomplishments.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Sukup: Gaining proficiency in such a wide range of related topics is extremely important for a building official. Through earning the MCP designation, I have gained a grasp for the material that makes decision-making much easier.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Sukup: Make preparing for examinations part of a routine. Taking long breaks between topics makes studying harder.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Sukup: 17 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Sukup: More cities are using combination inspectors as opposed to trade-specific inspectors, requiring the inspectors to become more knowledgeable than when I began inspecting.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Sukup: I like the way networking is becoming easier between jurisdictions. We are able to open-source our problem-solving and streamline operations based on what is effective elsewhere. This improves the level of service to the customer in the entire region as cities gravitate towards one another in terms of the services they offer.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Sukup: Take the certifications seriously and continue to earn more regardless of whether they are required for your current position. Better positions always come available.
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?
Sukup: Building safety is the most important part of my job. The International Code Council has helped me gain the knowledge required to identify and make decisions to protect the public.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Sukup: I will continue earning licenses and certifications through the Code Council and other organizations so long as I continue this career.
BSJ: Thank you, Todd, 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 Todd 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.