In 1988, the Legislature was concerned that many small towns did not have code officers and many more did not have the training and knowledge to effectively administer state and local codes and land use regulations. The Legislature decided that, if state goals were to be achieved, there was a need to not only train, but to test and certify code officers for specific competencies. It established, as part of the Growth Management Act, a state-administered program to train and certify code officers. Today, the purpose of the program remains to build and strengthen local capabilities to administer and enforce land use and building ordinances.
A Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) is defined under 30-A MRSA § 4451 as a person employed by a municipality to enforce all enabling state laws and local ordinances in the following areas: shoreland zoning, land use regulation, internal plumbing, subsurface waste water disposal, and building standards. CEOs must be certified in each area for which they have responsibility within 12 months of their initial appointment date or of the date they assume responsibility for a given area. The Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Program provides the basic courses needed for certification.
The statute also requires code officers to maintain their certification and be recertified every six years.
The Municipal CEO Information Guide provides a comprehensive explanation of the state’s training and certification program.
Building Code Implementation FAQs
The State Planning Office began training and certifying code officers and third-party inspectors this fall. 370 code officers and third-party inspectors will have been trained by year’s end. Find answers to some frequently-asked questions, such as: what are the certification requirements, what is the status of training and certifying code officers and third-party inspectors, and what are the grandfathering provisions.
SPO Adopts New Certification Standards for CEOs and Third-party Inspectors
SPO’s new rules incorporate statutory changes and will help CEOs become certified in the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. Key rule changes include:
- An increase in the recertification cycle from five to six years;
- New provisions that allow work experience, education, professional licensure, and professional activity to count towards recertification;
- A new honorary certification process;
- Establishing the training and testing requirements for existing CEOs to be recertified in the new building code;
- A year’s grace period for CEOs become recertified in the new building code; and
- Grandfathering provisions that exempt some municipal building officials from the recertification examination for the new building code.
Read the new rule: Chapter 300 Certification Standards for Code Enforcement Officers and Third-party Inspectors
Read public comments and responses: Responses to Public Comments
FAQ on the new certification standards for CEOs.
2009 Law Changes
The 124th Legislature made changes to the Code Enforcement Officer Training and Certification Program.
The amendment sets up a Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Fund to receive funds from plumbing fees for training and certifying local plumbing inspectors, and building construction fees for training and certifying municipal building officials.
It adds code enforcement professional associations as consultants to the State Planning Office on code enforcement training and certification.
It deletes the requirement for the State Planning Office to offer advanced training in code enforcement and describes the elements of the basic training requirement.
It increases the number of years that a certification is valid for from 5 years to 6 years.
It eliminates the CEO program manager position.
It provides for the State Planning Office to suspend code enforcement training and certification activities if state plumbing and building fees are not sufficient to cover program costs and allows the Office to temporarily extend the certification for code enforcement officers if the office does suspend program activities.
For more information: PL 2009, Chapter 213, Part M