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.
Certification Standards for CEOs and Third-party Inspectors
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 DECD on code enforcement training and certification.
It deletes the requirement for the DECD 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 DECD 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
The Code Enforcement Training and Certification Program has two primary functions:
- Provide a program of professional training to prepare individuals to work as municipal code officials; and
- Conduct examinations for state certification in the areas of land use, shoreland zoning, internal plumbing, external plumbing, building standards, and legal issues.
The Municipal CEO Information Guide (2009 ed.) provides a comprehensive explanation of the state's training and certification program for code officers and local plumbing inspectors. It is available to download or simply read on line.
Complete Information Guide - 2009 (PDF 480KB).
Meet the Staff
The CEO Training and Certification Program has been moved to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. To contact via e-mail, click on a staff name below.
Richard McCarthy, Office of the State Fire Marshal
Phone: (207) 626-3886
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
52 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333