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Joe Berish, SSPC Corporate Certification Program Manager

Who is SSPC?
The Society for Protective Coatings
Founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures
Painting Council
A not for profit 501 (c) (3) – spun off of
Carnegie Mellon University
SSPC Mission
“Advance the technology and promote the
use of protective coatings to preserve
industrial, marine, and commercial
structures, components, and substrates.”
SSPC at a Glance

• Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• Staff of 41 employees
• ~12,000 individual members worldwide
• >950 corporate members worldwide
• Global Reach
SSPC Core Products & Services

• Coatings industry standards

• Technical publications
• Training and certification courses
• Painting contractor certification programs
• Conferences, events, and webinars
SSPC Market Verticals
• Oil / Gas / Pipeline
• Water / Waste Water / Concrete
• Civilian Marine
• Department of Defense / Military Services
• Power Transmission / Generation
• Nuclear
• Department of Transportation (Bridges / Civil
What Does SSPC Do?
• Develop technically sound protective
coatings standards.
• Provide HIGH QUALITY certification and
training programs for both organizations and
• Offer a comprehensive and compete online
resource for standards, information, virtual
educational courses, and publications.
y Fundamentals of Protective Coatings
y SSPC Surface Preparation Standards
y Coating Selection and Application
y Coating Assessment & Inspection
y Latest Technologies
y SSPC Training and Certifications for individuals
y PCCP Overview
What you need for a successful protective coatings project:
• For a maintenance project, perform a condition assessment or 
survey of the structure (e.g., piping, storage tanks) based on 
SSPC‐PA 5, in order to determine what substrate repairs are 
required prior to coating and what coating system should be 
selected to best protect the structure in its service environment.

• Once funding is procured, based on the results of the condition 
assessment, write a clear and concise coating specification, citing 
industry standards as often as possible. It is essential that the 
specification be designed for the specific project to be 
undertaken. The specification should be written by an 
experienced and qualified (e.g., SSPC or NACE Protective 
Coatings Specialist) familiar with oil & gas structures to be coated
A good specification must include, at a minimum:
• Clear surface preparation (SP), coating application (CA) and curing 
requirements, stated once, citing industry standards
• Clear definition of what materials (e.g., caulking; coating; thinners, if 
allowed; abrasive; water quality for water cleaning, etc) are allowed
• What’s to be coated and what’s not to be coated, including protection of 
what’s not to be cleaned and coated and protection of surroundings during 
SP & CA operations
• Quality Control and Quality Assurance requirements including Inspection 
hold points and required reports and submission
• Qualifications of contractors and subcontractors
• Qualifications of personnel (e.g., craft‐workers; inspectors)
• Job site restrictions (e.g., where to work and stage equipment; the time of 
day and days work is allowed; utilities
NY DOT sec 573
The Contractor shall clean and paint all structural steel 
members, railings, downspouts, and other miscellaneous steel 
items as indicated in the contract documents. The Contractor 
shall provide adequate access, suitable lighting, and time for 
inspections to be made. Any work done while the Engineer has 
been restricted from access, shall be recleaned and repainted, at 
no additional cost to the State to the State.
NY Dot specification for 
E.  Lighting. 
Light intensity by natural or artificial means inside the 
containment enclosure shall be maintained at a minimum of 
50 foot‐candles on the steel surface. During inspection 
activities, light shall be maintained at a minimum of 100 foot‐
candles Auxiliary lighting shall be provided as necessary. The 
Contractor shall provide the Engineer with one portable light 
meter with a scale of 0 to 100 foot‐candles.  This meter will be 
returned to the Contractor at the completion of work. All 
lighting used in the containment shall be explosion‐proof.
Required submittals & approvals
• before starting work (e.g., safety, health and environmental 
compliance plans, including confined space plans if 
applicable; work process plans (how the contractor is going 
to clean and coat); inspection and test plans 
• during production (adjustments to pre‐work plans submitted 
based on approved changes; daily inspection reporting or 
other daily reports; accident or injury reports; notification of 
changes in key personnel; schedule changes)
• after work or phases are completed (punch list; waste 
disposal reports; required documentation needed for 
Workshop #1

Open discussion of NY State 
Specifications, Questions‐
discrepancies‐ experiences
• For new construction (e.g., painting in the shop before 
delivery to the field or touch up painting or top‐
coating after field erection), require much of what’s 
been described above with the exception of 
performance of a condition survey
• Field touch up or top‐coating of new construction; 
include requirements for:
• cure in the shop before delivery to the field
• handling transportation and erection damage that 
will affect touch up and top‐coating
• Conducting condition assessments, writing good specifications and 
contracts based on sound condition assessment, lessons learned 
from similar projects performed in the past and enforcement of 
requirements are essential for effective coating projects
• Conducting best fundamental practices result in higher installation 
costs but makes your coating projects overall less expensive by 
• More efficiently run coating projects from both the owner’s and 
contractor’s side
• Greater likelihood that the coating system applied will meet or 
exceed its expected service life
Surface Preparation
• Types of Surface Preparation used 
in industrial painting

• SSPC Industry Standards
Types of Surface 

• Dry Abrasive Blast Cleaning
• Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning (e.g., slurry blasting; 
vapor blasting)
• Water Cleaning and Water Jetting
• Hand and Power Tool Cleaning
• Solvent Cleaning (Required for all SSPC cleaning 
• Chemical Stripping
Dry Abrasive Standards 

• SSPC/NACE Joint Standards
• SP 5/NACE 1 (White Metal)
• SP 10/NACE 2 (Near White Metal)
• SP 6/NACE 3 (Commercial)
• SP 14/NACE 4 (Industrial Blast)
• SP 7/NACE 5 (Brush Off Blast)
Wet Abrasive Standards 

• SP‐5/NACE 1 (WAB) – White Metal
• SP‐10/NACE 2 (WAB) – Near White
• SP‐6/NACE 3 (WAB) – Commercial
• SP‐14/NACE 4 (WAB) – Industrial
• SP‐7/NACE 5 (WAB) – Brush Off
• Includes:  Wet Slurry Blasting; Vapor 
Blasting; Water Ring Blasting
• Vapor Blasting is the up and coming 
Hand and Power Tool 
Cleaning (SSPC)

• SSPC‐SP 3 – Power Tool Cleaning (PTC) (Removal of 
Loose Material)
• SSPC‐SP 15 – Commercial Grade PTC (Removal of all 
material except traces in pits; some staining (33%) 
allowed; 1 mil profile minimum)
• SSPC‐SP 11 – PTC to Bare Metal (Removal of all material 
except traces in pits; no staining allowed; 1 mil profile 
Water Cleaning/Jetting 

• SSPC‐SP WJ‐1/NACE‐Clean to Bare Substrate
• SSPC‐SP WJ‐2/NACE‐Very Thorough Cleaning
• SSPC‐SP WJ‐3/NACE‐Thorough Cleaning
• SSPC‐SP WJ 4/NACE‐Light Cleaning

• The above cleaning levels may be achieved using low‐pressure 
water cleaning or high‐pressure water cleaning, high pressure 
waterjetting or ultra high pressure waterjetting methods

• Surface Preparation of Non‐ferrous Metals (Galvanized Steel; 
Stainless Steels; Non‐ferrous Metals) by Brush off Blast Cleaning

• Removes loose material using low‐pressure dry abrasive blast 

• Minimum Surface Profile (19 micrometers‐0.75 mils)

• SP 1 – Solvent Cleaning

• Removal of all “visible” deposits of oil and grease prior to 
beginning the surface preparation process (e.g., blast cleaning; 
power tool cleaning; water jetting)

• Required process by all SSPC and SSPC/NACE Surface Preparation 

• Some specifications waive SP 1 for Water Jetting
Abrasive Qualification Standards

• AB 1* – Mineral Abrasives

• AB 2 – Cleanliness of Recycled Abrasive

• AB 3 – Ferrous Metallic Abrasives

• AB 4 – Encapsulated Media (“sponge”) Abrasives

*SSPC has developed an AB 1 abrasive qualification program
SSPC Surface Preparation Commentary 
(SP Com)

• Provides guidance and supplemental information useful to 
specifying agencies
• Media  
• Techniques/Equipment
• Standards available
• Focus is on surface preparation of steel substrates
• Updated in 2015
• Free download for SSPC Members

Questions / Comments on SSPC Surface Preparation 
Standards and related documents
Coating Selection and Application‐
• Selection of Coatings
• Considerations:
• Expected Service Life (extent of surface preparation needed)
• Service Environment/Operating Temperatures
• Access to work site (if in situ)
• Can the coating work be done in a shop environment (e.g., 
inorganic zinc vs organic zinc)?
• To be done with in‐house crews vs contractor
• Availability of qualified applicators (Contractors and craft‐
workers) at the location
• Availability of equipment and materials for the project
• Regulatory restrictions (high VOC vs. high solids)
Coating Selection and Application‐
Considerations (Cont’d)

• Time constraints (e.g., outage period; pressure to place asset back 
into service; limitations on times you can prepare surface and coat)
• Risks (Overcoat vs. spot repair vs. zone painting vs full removal and 
• Appearance concerns (Color, gloss, texture)
• Ease and cost of maintenance after installation
• Painting over bare substrate or galvanized or thermal sprayed steel
• Buried steel with Cathodic Protection
SSPC Environmental Zones

• 0 ‐ Dry interiors where structural steel is embedded in concrete, 
encased in masonry, or protected by membrane or non‐corrosive 
contact type fireproofing
• 1A ‐ Interior, normally dry (or temporary protection). Very mild. 
• 1B ‐ Exterior, normally dry. Coatings may be subject to exposure to 
• 2A Frequently wet by fresh water. Coating may be subject to 
condensation, splash, spray or frequent immersion. 
Environmental Zones (Cont’d)

• 2C ‐ Fresh water immersion. Coating is constantly submerged. 

• 2D ‐ Saltwater immersion. Coating is constantly submerged. 

• 3A ‐ Chemical atmospheric exposure, acidic (pH 2.0 to 5.0) 

• 3B ‐ Chemical atmospheric exposure, neutral (pH 5.0 to 10.0) 
Environmental Zones (Cont’d)

• 3C ‐ Chemical atmospheric exposure, alkaline (pH 10.0 to 12.0) 
• 3D ‐ Chemical atmospheric exposure, presence of mild solvent 
Intermittent contact with aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents (e.g., 
mineral spirits), lower alcohols, glycols, etc. 
• 3E ‐ Chemical atmospheric exposure, severe.
Includes oxidizing chemicals, fumes from strong solvents, extreme 
pHs, or combinations of these with high temperatures. 
• 4A ‐ Extremely high temperatures, e.g., 650° F (330° C) and higher 
Coating Material Selection

• What has worked previously on similar projects?

• If new situation, what is published performance history (e.g., JPCL; 
SSPC Conference Proceedings)?

• If trying new coating, has there been a test patch trial?

• What are the results of accelerated testing (e.g., flexibility; abrasion 
resistance; weathering; chemical resistance?
Coating Material Selection Cont’d

• What are other organizations using successfully?

• What do reliable coating manufacturer technical reps recommend?
Coating Application

• Methods
• Brush
• Roll
• Mitt
• Spray
• HVLP, Conventional Spray, Airless, Air Assisted;
• Plural Component
Coating Application

• Brush – slow but simple method; uneven paint application; good for 
stripe coating and touch up; use brush type recommended by 
Coating Mfr.
• Roller – good for large flat areas; slow; minimum thickness 2 mils; 
roller nap can leave contamination; use roller type recommended 
by Coating Mfr.
• Mitt – uneven application; used for difficult to access areas or 
piping to get coverage 
Coating Application
• Spray
• Most productive method
• Airless Spray (high fluid pressure)
• Typical for industrial application
• High production capability
• Good for heavy coating
• Low overspray potential
• Safety concerns due to high fluid pressure

• Conventional (uses air); good operator control
• Good for fine applications
• Safer, low pressure spraying
• Not suitable for heavy, industrial coatings
• Potential for Overspray
Coating Application

High Volume/Low Pressure
Good control
Good transfer efficiency – low overspray potential
Slower production rate than other spray methods

Air‐Assisted Airless
Combines features of Conventional and Airless
Not as productive as airless
Not recommended for high solids materials
Coating Application

Plural Component Spray
Used to apply large quantities of high solvent, viscous (thick), 2K 
materials (e.g., epoxies or urethanes) with short pot lives
Material mixed at manifold in field or at gun
Can keep material heated to reduce viscosity
Reduces paint waste
Skilled operator required
High equipment cost
Application Practices (Mixing)

• Mixing‐one of the most important steps for a successful installation
• Must be done in accordance with Coating Manufacturer’s 
• Mix ratios of multi‐part coatings critical for effective application and 
• Mixing of partial kits usually not recommended‐partial kit mixing 
increases chance of error
• Coating (material temp) can be important
• Thinning must be done carefully, if permitted. Thinner type and 
amount used should be documented
Application Conditions

• It is critical that coating be applied during acceptable environmental 
conditions and surface temperature at the work site location

• Ambient conditions (e.g., air temperature; relative humidity; 
surface temperature; dew point; wind speed) must be measured 
using calibrated and correctly operating inspection equipment
SSPC‐PA 1(2016)

• All coating must be performed in accordance with SSPC‐PA 1, Shop, 
Field and Maintenance Coatings of Metals

• SSPC‐PA 1 is the industry standard for best industrial paint 
application processes

• PA‐1 should be written into every industrial coating specification
Coating Assessment & Inspection

• Assess Condition of Aged Coating
• Conduct Survey per SSPC‐PA 5
• Rust Assessment tool – SSPC‐VIS 2
• Coating Condition Assessment and Structural integrity & defect 
assessment go hand in hand
• Draft coating specification upon analysis of structure (needed 
structural repairs) and coating condition
Coating Inspection

Quality Control Inspection
Performed by Shop or Coating Contractor
Required minimum qualifications for QC inspectors‐minimum 
SSPC Level 1 with 2 years experience
Require separation from production
Require submission of completed & and signed inspection reports 
to owner or owner’s rep within 24 hours of inspection
Inspection (cont’d.)

Quality Assurance
Performed by the owner or third party owner’s rep
Quality Assurance can include: witnessing of QC inspection; 
reviewing/auditing of QC inspection documentation; performing 
and documenting inspections and tests to confirm conforming/non 
conforming work
Quality Assurance inspector should be qualified (SSPC Level 3 or 
QA inspections should be fair and reasonable
Inspection (cont’d.)

Best Practices
Require contractor/shop to prepare I & TP (Inspection and Test 
Plan) prior to project start
Require hold point inspections at various intervals 
Pre‐surface preparation
Completion of Surface Preparation
Just prior to prime coat application
After each stripe or top coat
Cure/Dry to Touch
Inspection (cont’d.)

Workshop 2

Review of the NY DOT 
inspection report
Contractor Work Plan

• If work is contracted, require pre‐construction submittal of Work 
• Work Plan tells you how the contractor plans to perform the work
• Owner’s obligation – review and comment on Work Plan – never 
approve as Contractor must always be responsible for quality of 
the work
• Work Plan, in addition to production processes to be used, can also 
include QC Plan and Safety Plan
Latest Technologies

• High Solids Coatings (Epoxies and Urethanes)

• Vapor Blasting‐alternative to dry blast cleaning

• Emergence of Polysiloxanes

• 2 coat systems instead of 3 coat systems (to reduce costs) – jury 
still out with regard to durability of 2 coat systems vs. 3 coat 
Benefits of Training
• Improves Standards of Safety 

• Improves Workmanship

• Helps You Develop and Refine Your Skills

• Helps You get Promoted 

• Potential to Make More Money

• Helps You Stay Competitive in the Job Market

• It Keeps You Motivated
Craft worker Training & Certification

SSPC has many training & certification programs. Programs 
appropriate for Oil and Gas include
C‐6 (Power Tool Cleaning & Brush and Roll Applicator)
C‐7 (Nozzle and Centrifugal Dry Blast Operator)
C‐12 (Industrial Spray Painter)
C‐14/C‐15 (Plural Component Operator/Sprayer)
C‐13 (High Pressure Water Jetter)
CAS (Coating Application Specialist) per ACS‐1/NACE

Application Specialist Certification Standard
First published in 2008; updated in 2016
Defines qualifications of a Coating Application Specialist
Level 1 – Trainee
Level 2 – Certified (General knowledge; assessment of hands on 
ability to abrasive blast clean and mix and correctly spray a two 
component industrial coating
Level 2 + Specialty Endorsements (e.g., Waterjetting; Thermal 
Spray; Coating Concrete; Pipeline; Plural Component Spray)
Level 3 – Lead/Supervisory Applicator
SSPC CAS Program

Developed in 2008
Qualification Process based on ACS‐1/NACE 13 Standard
SSPC conducts Interim and Full Status Certification
Currently ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Level 1 Certified
….....Level 2 Certified
Level 3 – not yet available
SSPC‐QP 1 contractor certification requires contractor to have 
ratios of CAS qualfieid craft‐workers on eligible projects as a 
requirement to maintain QP‐1 certification
SSPC Training & Certification 

Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI)
The Inspector Certification Program from SSPC
Independently audited and approved by ABS, Lloyd’s, RINA and Bureau 
Veritas as equivalent to NACE Level 2 in accordance with the IMO PSPC.
PCI Coating Inspector

PCI (Protective Coating Inspector)‐Recognized world wide‐
Classification Society Accredited for IMO‐Applicable to pipeline, 
storage tanks, refinery works and other Oil & Gas facilities 
Level 1* – Training
Level 2 – Certified Coating Inspector
Level 3 – Lead Coating Inspector

Documented experience required to qualify for Level 2 & 3 
*SSPC does not grant certification at Level 1‐must achieve Level 2 
with inspection experience to become PCI certified
CCI Coating Inspector

Concrete Coating Inspector (CCI)
Advanced certification to train individuals in the proper methods of 
inspecting surface preparation and installation of industrial protective 
coatings on concrete industrial structures and facilities.
SSPC Training & Certification Programs

Protective Coatings Specialist (PCS)
Premier industry certification for individuals who have in‐
depth knowledge in the principles and practices of industrial 
coatings technology.
What is a SSPC QP Certification?
• SSPC QP is an industry specific and internationally
recognized Quality Management System.
• Quality Management System (QMS) is a system of
specific policies and procedures intended to improve
and control various processes which will ultimately
lead to improved business performance.
What is the QP Program?

• Programs that provide tools for

evaluating a contractor’s primary
capabilities to perform the specified

• Evaluation provided by SSPC using

trained auditors familiar with coating
SSPC Quality Program History
• DAC – Disciplinary Action Criteria (1998)
• QS 1 Certification Introduced (2003)
• QP 8 Certification Introduced (2006)
• QN 1 Certification Introduced (2012)
Benefits of QP Certification
• FREE to the facility owner 3rd party evaluation tool,
based on industry accepted coating standards.
• Contractors are capable of a higher quality
• Aids in extending coating system service life.
• QP certification is an industry-specific adaption of
ISO Quality Systems concepts.
Benefits of QP Certification
• Helps reduce risk management and corporate
• Confirms the contractor has an established
safety and quality program.
• Shows commitment to worker safety,
protection of the environment, and public
• Allows facility owners and specifiers to require
current coating technologies.
Process for QP Certification
• Information Review
> Application
> Written programs and procedures

• On-Site Audit
> Office
> Active job site (field)
Eligibility for QP Certification
• Industrial Painting Contractor OR General
Contractor with an established industrial
painting capability + actively working.
• Quality Program in place for a minimum of
one year with successful completion of at
least two (2) industrial projects + six (6)
production months of program
The Job Site Certification Audit
• Certification requires an annual audit on an
active contractor job site.
Verify contractor application
Confirm program implementation:
Quality control
Safety / Environmental
Maintain technical capabilities
The On-Site Certification Audit
• Annual maintenance audits
Example: QP 1 has 33 total audit and
evaluation points.
• Unannounced and complaint audits
Initiated as per QP program rules
Initiated by facility owner deficiency
Technical Capabilities
• Personal Qualifications
Training and Evaluation is recorded
• Technical Resources and References
• Technical Procedures
Receipt of specs and revisions
Clear definition of Q.A. methods/criteria
Safety and Health compliance program
Management Procedures
• Written descriptions outlining:
Company Policy – quality, health, safety
Organization and Personnel (org chart)
Administration and Management:
Method of financial record keeping
Procedures for spec/bid review
Plan – federal, state, local regulations
Types of SSPC QP Certification
• QP 1 – Field Application of Coatings
• QP 2 – Field Removal of Hazardous Coatings
• QP 3 – Shop/Fixed Coating Operations
• QP 5 – Coatings Inspection Company
• QP 6 – Metalizing Operations in Shop/Field
• QP 7- Introductory Qualification program
• QP 8 – Coating/Surfacing to Concrete
• QP 9 – Architectural Paints and Coatings
Types of SSPC QP Certification
• QN 1 – Supplement to QP 1, QP 3, QP 8
Certification, related to coatings work in or
coatings of items for installation in a Nuclear
Power Plant.
• QS 1 – Supplement to contractor QP dealing
with “Advanced Quality Management System”
for coatings processes.
Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC)
>The DAC was developed as a tool to maintain
certification quality and address violations of program
standards. Facility owners and the SSPC work together
to maintain the quality of QP Certification.

Areas of investigation: Penalties issued:

Safety Warning (1 year)
Environmental Probation
Quality/Service Suspension (6 mo
Ethical practices MIN)
Revoke (2 yrs MIN)
SSPC Mobile App
Thank You!
Joe Berish
Certification Program Manager
(877) 281-7772 Ext. 2235