The Preferred Provider Program will focus on training opportunities offered by various categories of ICC-approved education providers which collectively form the ICC Preferred Provider Network (PPN). The Program recognizes and promotes ICC-approved educational programs offered by a variety of providers as they relate to codes, standards and guidelines, as well as building construction materials, products and methods. The ICC Preferred Provider Program is intended to accomplish several goals:
- Create an easily accessible network of extensive training opportunities from a variety of educational resources
- Provide access to quality training on specialty topics and building products that are beyond the ICC core training programs
- Provide increased quality and support for educational renewal requirements of the ICC Certification Program
- Enhance the relationship between ICC and educational providers in support of building safety and innovation in building products and construction practices
Educational providers will become a part of the Preferred Provider Network upon application to ICC and approval. The following four primary categories recognize the various types of provider status:
- ICC Chapters: ICC Chapters include all chapters of the International Code Council that have obtained and maintain ICC Chapter eligibility.
- Governmental and Nonprofit: Governmental units include municipalities, county, state and other jurisdictional units or agencies; nonprofit providers include associations, public education institutions and similar nonprofit organizations.
- For-Profit Educators: Private for-profit education providers include individuals, companies and private educational institutions.
- Industry: Providers from industry include building product manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and others related to the industry.
There are many important reasons why ICC Preferred Provider (PP) status is of benefit to ICC Chapters, including:
- Support of ICC Certification Renewal Program. The use of Preferred Provider or ICC training is now required as a condition of all certification renewals. ICC certificate holders must obtain a specified number of CEUs every three years in order to maintain their certifications and a portion of these CEUs must be obtained through Preferred Provider or ICC training. As a Preferred Provider, an ICC chapter can have their chapter training activities approved for 100% of the required CEUs needed for certification renewal purposes.
- Participation in ICC Chapter Education Benefit Program. Eligible ICC chapters are awarded education benefits that have historically been limited to ICC-provided training. Now such chapters can choose to use Preferred Provider training as the chapter benefit with a significant voucher reimbursement from ICC. Chapters may use their voucher to continue to select ICC training as their Chapter Education Benefit, or may now select the option of purchasing educational services from a Preferred Provider.
Individual Chapter members also benefit from the Preferred Provider Program, including:
- A comprehensive listing of available and relevant educational programs: Expanded access will be available to educational offerings, both on-site and online, and will be identified through a live training schedule.
- Opportunity to learn about products and services of PP: Users will have access to gain information about products and services of Preferred Providers.
- Utilize PP educational programs to gain ICC CEUs as required for renewal of ICC certifications: ICC certificate holders are required to obtain a specified number of CEUs through Preferred Providers or ICC training every three years to maintain their ICC certifications. Certificate holders can utilize chapter training and other educational courses offered by Preferred Providers to gain 100% of their required CEUs.
Education offered by an ICC Chapter with Preferred Provider status can be on-site, online, or both. On-site training is training that takes place face to face classroom style, as well as in other forms such as site visits and tours, that are led by one or more instructors or presenters. Online training is training that is conducted through the internet in the form of online courses, eLearning or webinars. Online training can be live or on-demand.
The training courses approved for ICC CEUs, both on-site and online, will be limited to the following topic areas:
- Building construction related: Training on subjects related to construction of buildings
- Building products related: Training on subjects related building products
- Code related: Training on subjects related to technical content of building construction codes
- Administrative, legal and management related: Training on subjects related to the administration of building construction codes and associated legal and management topics.
To become a Preferred Provider and maintain Provider status, an ICC chapter must register on the ICC website. Once approved, Provider status is active for a one year period. Preferred Providers can remain on active status through an annual renewal provided the PP remains in good standing with ICC.
In addition, each course must be approved and assigned a course number that will designate it as approved for ICC CEUs. Where a program is intended to be presented more than one time, there is no requirement for resubmitting the program for approval. However, the presentation date of every program shall be provided to ICC to 1) allow for publication in the live schedule, and 2) provide a mechanism for certificates of completion to be awarded to the participants.