The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) is a professional association for the industrial protective and marine coatings industry. It was founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, a non-profit association concerned with the use of coatings to protect steel structures such as bridges, ships, water tanks, and locks and dams. Since the original mission of the organization evolved over the years to include structures built with materials other than steel (concrete, composite materials, etc.), the name was changed in 1997 to SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings.

In the 1990’s SSPC began a certification program for contractors. Paso Robles Tank, QP-3 Certified.

SSPC’s certification quality programs offer a proven way for facility owners to find the most qualified contractors for their coating and lining projects. An SSPC certified contractor will have the experience, knowledge, and equipment to produce high quality work in accordance with the local, state, and federal guidelines for safety, health, and environmental compliance.

SSPC certification is an asset to ISO 9000 facility owners. SSPC contractor certification quality programs provide an industry-specific adaptation of ISO Quality System Concepts and include many of the fundamental topics found in ISO 9001-2000. Both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard require SSPC certification for their coating projects. Many state and city Departments of Transportation use only certified contractors for bridge maintenance and other jobs. Numerous county governments require certification for the maintenance painting of bridges, water tanks, and waste and water treatment facilities. SSPC certification is also being specified by an increasing number of private facility owners who want to maximize the service life spans of their structures.

When you hire an SSPC certified contractor, you are hiring an experienced contractor who has demonstrated competence in key project areas. This increases the likelihood that your maintenance investment is sound and that your protective coating project will be completed within specifications. As a result, your asset can be protected and achieve its expected service life without premature failure. There is often a big difference between the lowest bidder and the lowest responsible bidder for a project. SSPC certifications take away the guess work in evaluating bidders. You can know from the start that certified contractors have demonstrated abilities and knowledge in their areas of expertise.

SSPC continuously works to ensure that certified contractors adhere to program standards. They regularly conduct thorough audits that focus on each contractor’s knowledge, organization, personnel, procedures, qualifications, and overall capability to provide high-quality work and service on complex coating and lining projects. In addition, SSPC maintains Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) that govern coating contractors and inspection companies. The DAC is a set of safety, health, environmental protection, quality, service, and ethical practice standards. These criteria are the basis for issuing warnings, placing firms on probation, conducting special unannounced audits, and suspending or revoking certification for severe program violations.

QP 3, Shop Painting

QP 3 evaluates a contractor’s ability to perform surface preparation and protective coating application in a fixed shop facility. PRT maintains an “Enclosed Shop” QP-3 Certification.