Clients for whom quality work is important know that properly specified, suitable coatings applied over a properly prepared surface under specific conditions, and cured appropriately, offer long-term value and corrosion protection. Yet facility owners may not know how to make sure they get a good coating specification, or a competent team to apply high performance coatings, and the cost of coating failure and rework is high, from reduced profits to scheduling delays and even coating failure.
The SSPC Painting Contractor Certification Programs provide a way for facility owners to reduce their risk when hiring a coatings contractor, because SSPC Quality Program certified contractors have demonstrated they have the experience, knowledge, equipment and training to perform high quality work in the different areas the certifications cover. Using consensus standards set by industry professionals, these quality program certifications are nationally recognized as an independent contractor evaluation program—for facility owners, it can be a pre-qualification tool.
Vulcan Painters hold six QP certifications, having demonstrated competence in all of these areas of coatings application.
Society for Protective Coatings QP1 Certification
Field Application of Coatings to Complex Industrial and Marine Structures
This nationally recognized program evaluates the practices of industrial painting contractors in key areas of business, including technical capability, management procedures, quality control, and safety, health, and environmental compliance.
Complex coating systems and the specific surface preparations required for these systems, have made the QP 1 guidelines vital to the longevity of applied protective coatings. QP1 gives facility owners a way to evaluate whether the contractor has the capability to perform surface preparations and coating application in the field on complex industrial and marine structures.
Evaluations begin with submittals to SSPC concerning the contractor's business operations, and culminate with an impartial, on-site audit of a representative active job-site, and headquarters offices. The audit is performed to verify that the contractors programs and practices are in fact implemented and used.
QP1 continues to be periodically updated by the SSPC Standards Review Committee.
Society for Protective Coatings QP2 Certification
Field Removal of Hazardous Coatings
SSPC QP2 is a nationally recognized program that evaluates the capabilities of industrial paint contractors for their ability to safely remove and properly manage hazardous coating material in the field. These standards are considered to be the MINIMUM level of service and quality.
QP1 is a prerequisite for QP 2, which builds on the standards and guidelines of QP 1 to further qualify the industrial contracting company in hazardous paint removal operations.
QP 2 Certification requires demonstrated competence in four key areas:
- Management of Hazardous Paint Removal Projects
- Technical Capabilities Related to Hazardous Paint Removal
- Personnel Qualifications and Training
- Safety and Environmental Compliance Programs.
The Evaluation Process
The QP 2 evaluation process is based on submittals from the contractor, that describe the company's procedures, practices and programs. SSPC follows with an impartial audit of one of the company's active jobs on site, which must be a hazardous paint removal project. The audit must show that the contractor is practicing all the submitted protective measures and programs.
QP2 was developed to provide facility owners with the means to evaluate a painting contractor's capability in hazardous paint removal projects.
Vulcan Painters' other QP certifications
Vulcan is also certified to SSPC QP3, SSPC QP8, SSPC QP9 and SSPC QS1. Like QP1 and QP2, the certifications give facility owner a means to ensure that the contractor has the capability to complete a project skillfully.
QP 3 evaluates a contracting company's ability to perform surface preparation and protective coating application in a fixed shop facility. SSPC issues three categories of shop certification:
- Enclosed Shop
- Covered Shop
- Open Shop
SSPC QP 8 certification evaluates the qualifications of contractors hired to install polymer coatings or surfacings on concrete and other cementitious surfaces in commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities.
SSPC QP 9 contains requirements for evaluating the qualifications of painting contractors who apply architectural coatings on commercial or institutional structures, and defines a minimum standard for qualification.
SSPC-QS 1 is the standard procedure in the SSPC PCCP program that requires participating contractors to implement and document more stringent (ISO 9001 Compliant) quality control and record-keeping procedures than those included in SSPC-QP 1, SSPC QP2 or SSPC-QP 3.
Contractors who wish to add SSPC QP certification to their bid requirements can find the suggested language on the SSPC website and reproduced below.
How to Insert QP Certification Requirements in Bids
Owners can use these examples as models for their own documents.
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS:
This is to advise all concerned parties that projects advertised on or after _________ will require that any painting contractors engaged in surface preparation and coating application be certified according to SSPC-QP 1.
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS:
Please be advised that projects advertised on or after _________ will require that ANY contractor or subcontractor engaged in lead paint removal be certified by SSPC under SSPC-QP 2. This certification is in addition to the SSPC-QP 1 certification currently required for any contractor/subcontractor engaged in surface preparation and coating application on steel structures required in the contract. If only surface preparation and coating application are required by the contract (for new steel applications), then only SSPC-QP 1 certification will be required.
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS:
Please be advised that all shop painting of structural steel fabricated for projects advertised on or after _________, shall be done by companies that are certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) under its Sophisticated Paint Endorsement (SPE) quality program or by SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings under its QP 3 quality program. Shops shall be certified to category (choose one: enclosed shop, covered shop, or open shop). The companies shall be fully certified for the duration of time they are performing surface preparation and coating application. Optional statement for those requiring enclosed or covered shop: The complete coating system shall be applied in (designate type of shop) except for field touch up painting.
Placing Requirement for PCCP in Project Specification
Following is proposed wording that conveys the intent of PCCP implementation:
All contractors and subcontractors that perform surface preparation or coating application shall be certified by the Society for Protective Coatings (formerly Steel Structures Painting Council) (SSPC) to the requirements of SSPC QP 1 prior to contract award, and shall remain certified while accomplishing any surface preparation or coating application. The painting contractors and painting subcontractors must remain so certified for the duration of the project. If a contractor's or subcontractor's certification expires, the company will not be allowed to perform any work until the certification is reissued. Requests for extension of time for any delay to the completion of the project due to an inactive certification will not be considered and liquidated damages will apply. Notify the Owner of any change in contractor certification status.
This requirement should normally be placed in each specification section that requires surface preparation and paint application. A similar requirement should be placed in the specification section where removal or disturbance of paint containing hazardous materials is specified.