A Guide To Industrial Coating Contractor Certifications and Memberships

January 1, 2009

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In hiring industrial coating contractors, professional certification and membership lets building owners and facility managers know that the contractor is familiar with building codes and guidelines and has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to do the job right the first time. 

SSPC certification is the most important certification for industrial coating contractors. There are two different types of SSPC certification: Painting Contractor Certification Programs (PCCP) and Protective Coatings Specialist Certification (PCS). 

Painting Contractor Certification Programs

These tools evaluate an industrial coating contractor’s ability to provide quality work in compliance with safety, health, and environmental standards. There are five major PCCP divisions, QP1, QP2, QP3, QP6, and QP8, as well as two more divisions which fall under Painting & Lining Inspection Company Certification. 

QP1 evaluates surface preparation and industrial coating application on steel structures in field operations. 

QP2 evaluates hazardous paint removal in field operations. 

  • category A deals with negative air containment.
  • category B deals with no negative air containment.

QP3 is a shop designation which evaluates surface preparation and protective coating application in fixed shop facilities. It has three categories: 

  • enclosed shop
  • covered shop
  • open shop

QP6 evaluates application of industrial thermal spray and defines minimum metalizing standards. It covers aluminum and zinc alloy corrosion protection of steel and zinc anodes on steel-reinforced concrete. 

QP8 evaluates installation of polymer coatings and surfacing on concrete and other cementitious surfaces. 

Painting & Lining Inspection Company Certification

These two tools evaluate an industrial coating contractor’s quality control, record-keeping procedures, and ability to perform quality inspection. There are two major divisions: QP5 and SSPC-QS1. 

QP5 evaluates inspection of industrial coatings and linings. 

SSPC-QS1 evaluates implementation of ISO 9001 compliant quality control and record-keeping procedures. This is a more stringent level of quality than the basic PCCP certifications. 

Protective Coatings Specialist Certification

PCS certification recognizes in-depth knowledge of industrial coatings technology and the prevention and control of corrosion. A minimum of five years experience is required, much more if not supplemented by postsecondary education. Since the required courses and examinations include the management of protective coatings projects, this is often a supervisory certification. 

Hiring a SSPC-certified industrial coating contractor will save you time, aggravation, and money by ensuring that the contractor has the knowledge and tools to do a quality job on your project.

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