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My first major complaint to the ICC

Discussion in 'Talk to the ICC Board' started by jar546, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    I have to say that the certification process has become manipulated to generate revenue in my opinion. Whoever sits on these committees figuring out what people need, may themselves need a dose of reality.
    Let's look at a few items, shall we?

    The MCP is somewhat reasonable for it "core" requirements but then it requires Residential Energy Inspector / Plans Examiner which, is relatively new. For those of us with Residential Building Inspector which had energy questions and Commercial Energy Inspector / Plans Examiner, it is a slap in the face. I have both yet have to take a test for residential yet again, regardless of the fact that I have Combination Plans Examiner which is residential driven and Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical inspector and plans examiner certifications along with Accessibility Inspector / Plans Examiner? Yes I understand the need for the legal module which is no big deal and of course Fire Plans Examiner but seriously, you need us to have Residential Energy when we already have Commercial Energy Inspector AND Plans Examiner which is 2 separate tests? I call total BS.

    Compliant #2: The Building Codes and Standards Module. So I have to to into an exam room with 9 separate books? The fact that I have every single Residential and Commercial Inspector and Plans Examiner certification means nothing? You really want us to buy books, don't you? This is absolutely pathetic.

    Let me present complaint #2 in a different way. If I have zero experience with inspecting and NO inspector certifications, I can take the legal module, management module and building codes and standards module but if I already have 18 ICC inspector/plans examiner certifications, I still need to take the building codes and standards module AND take 9 books into the testing facility?

    In my case I live in Florida and we use the FBC which, for the most part is ICC books with a twist based on the ICC codes. I have access to them but have absolutely NO REASON to own an IBC or IRC yet find myself buying them just for the sake of taking ICC tests. I don't mind buying one to take a test but 9?!!!!!!!

    Seriously, get a grip on this unrealistic, expensive system. And we wonder why the industry is losing people.
     
  2. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    But look at it from a PR perspective ... they can put on their website that all the inspectors are now fully qualified in residential energy savings, and the world will be a better place. Want to bet that there were several lobbyists involved?
     
    jar546 likes this.
  3. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Jeff, I hear you. Let me check into this and I'll get back to you. One thing worth noting is that the ICC training and education outfit consistently lost money in years past. It's not a mismanagement issue. Nowadays they generally break even and depending on the month of the year generate a very modest net revenue. Hey guys & gals, I watch the numbers. I receive monthly financial statements from all the ICC business lines plus it's that time of the year to go over the numbers for the 2020 / 2021 budget. Also, please note that I cannot and will not share specific numbers because of my fiduciary responsibilities to ICC. ICC is far from perfect but I can tell you that there are some really excellent people steering the ship. Hope this helps.
     
    Glenn and jar546 like this.
  4. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    I can see both sides but this is not about making money, it is about serving your members. If you lose money in one area but make some in the other and it evens out, you are serving your members. I have 23 ICC certifications so basically I know how to read the books. I don't think it is necessary for someone with all of the residential certs and then commercial energy inspector and plans examiner to have to take a residential energy test. I know I will eventually have no choice but to take it but come on already. Really?
     
    Inspector Gift likes this.
  5. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Jeff, you are right on target with your point that some departments or programs create revenue and some do not with one or more supporting the other. I also hear you loud & clear about the energy exams being required for MCP. I don't think it would be wise of me to express an opinion about that requirement but know exactly where your coming from. :)
     
    jar546 likes this.
  6. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    I hope this doesn't rub too many the wrong way but you just hit a hot button for me. I try to withhold my personal opinions on this site and I mean no disrespect towards any individual.

    I was a little irked recently when I saw a profile in the Building Safety Journal of a person who in one year made MCP. WHAT? I say congratulations to her but WHAT? She was a permit technician and by her own admission had no construction experience, has an accounting degree and got into the business by accident. WHAT? I sincerely applaud her commitment and intelligence but IMHO it diminishes the years if not decades of experience, education and commitment that many career inspectors, contractors and building officials have spent doing the job on purpose, whether they take a test or not. (Many, many BO's and others I LEARN from have few "certifications") I have heard snarky comments about being an MCP before, I try not to take them personally, I know I have paid my dues and spent my time to get here. But a one year "accidental" MCP is a bit much. I certainly don't hold any ill will towards her, she is just taking what is available to her, But ICC, do you really want to market the idea that you can be an accountant, have no experience and in one year achieve the pinnacle of your measurement for professional and technical knowledge? To me this was an obvious, if ill conceived plan to encourage people to take the required exams but I think it may have the opposite affect. I have wondered before if a time and experience component should be considered for some of the certifications. Now I am almost sure of it.

    End of rant.
     
    jar546 and Ty J. like this.
  7. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Sifu, good comment and no your post was not a rant. I have experienced just what you described except it was not MCP. A person (no names) passed the commercial plans examiner test and applied for a plans examiner position. That person had zero construction experience. Zero... We both applied for the position and I won the day on that one... or so I thought. That person ended up a few years later to be my immediate supervisor and made my life a living hell. It all worked out well in the end but it was a very tough time. The point in recalling all this??? I have known people that can pass exams the very first time. I'm not one of them. So the question is the credibility and value of the certification? I have often thought that there should be a program such as apprentice, journeyman, ect... leading up to the upper tier certifications. Please note that this is only my personal thoughts plus nothing. Just an old man rambling.... on...
     
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  8. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    I might be one of those people that can pass a test, I don't really know because I choose to not try. I don't ever want to be one of the "test-takers" people grumble about. Do I ever think I know everything before I take a test? NEVER. But even if I think I could pass I still study my #$% off because I never want to fail, and even though they never tell you your score if you pass, I want a 100%, and I don't want to donate an additional 180.00 to the process (most of my testing has been on my dime).
     
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  9. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Go back to the legacy codes before computers. Under the SBCCI you only had 4 times a year you could take a test. Some where 3 hours some where two part 3 hours each. If I remember right they where open book. UBC building was two part. One part open book one part closed book. They where more difficult then I believe today's ICC exams are. I felt it was quite an accomplishment to get my CBO cert. I don't know what ICC uses but SBCCI had a 60/40 ratio to determine the validity of there test. If more than 60% pass the 1st time they believe it was to easy of a test. If less than 40% pass the 1st time then it is to difficult.
     
  10. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Take a step back and look at the ICC empire. It is focused on making money

    ICC keeps the membership fees low compared to other professional organizations in order to provide legitimacy but a driving force is the desire by management to maintain and expand the empire to pay their salaries.
     
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  11. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    I have seen this with many organizations that were started to advocate for a certain group then after growing and needing a large infrastructure to do what they set out, it then became more about maintaining the organization than it did serving their members.
     
  12. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Just speaking for myself here but the day we as an organization loose sight of our mission and the legs we stand on Ie. our membership will be the day I will quit.
     
  13. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    I have to rethink my position. What I have to realize and maybe many of us have to realize is that the ICC is not an association that advocates for building officials, inspectors or plan reviewers. The ICC was started to create codes. In order to enforce the codes properly, they need building officials, inspectors and plan reviewers, so, in effect, we are just a byproduct of their focus, not the main focus like the AIA is an advocate for their members. I mean right in the about page of the ICC is says this:

    The International Code Council is a nonprofit association that provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification and training. It develops model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.

    It is about developing codes and then training people to keep the engine running. Nowhere does the ICC say it is or ever was an advocate for those in the field. Here is the mission of the ICC:

    To provide the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for all concerned with the safety and performance of the built environment.

    You see, again, not even in the mission of the ICC does it even remotely come close to saying anything about advocating for those that it needs in order to carry out its mission.

    Then there is the AIA for architects. One of the main reasons they exist is for their members and they tell you that in their values:

    We advocate for the value of architecture and give architects the resources they need to do their best work. Our work drives positive change through the power of design.

    They clearly advocate for their members. There is a big difference between the two organizations. The ICC is not advocate for the inspector community, just for the codes that inspectors have to enforce. Although developing codes is the driving force of the industry, training and certifying inspectors and others is a necessity. So it is not surprise that the focus is not on the members as much as it is code development. I suppose I should not complain and if I want some advocacy, I need to joint a organization that advocates for the profession I am in.
     
  14. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    ICC and all the legacy codes started out as a code publishing company. ICC is evolving, one of the "services" ICC provides is training and certification of the people employed by AHJ's to enforce the codes that have been adopted.
     

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