The professional association for the industrial protective and marine coatings industry has passed a surveillance audit by the accreditation body responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of goods and services, according to a recent announcement.
In a Dec. 21 statement, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings said it had successfully completed its ISO/IEC 17020:2012 Surveillance Assessment by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).
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After successfully completing an ISO/IEC 17020:2012 Surveillance Assessment by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, SSPC said “owners, contractors, and other asset protection professionals can go forward with confidence knowing that their work will be performed by SSPC certified companies with highly trained employees.”
Joe Berish, SSPC Corporate Certification Program Manager, noted that passing the ANAB audit is not a simple task.
“ANAB is a very thorough organization and their audits run much like an SSPC QP audit. It’s a difficult and humbling process to go through since we’re usually on the other side,” he said.
“Having our own programs successfully measured against industry standards is an important validation for us and should provide certainty to the industry that SSPC practices what it preaches.”
SSPC QP Programs
In recognition of the strong foundation of its QP programs, and after years of preparation refining procedures and processes, SSPC received initial accreditation by ANAB to this standard in December 2015, it said. Led by the QP 1 Contractor Certification Program, the 17020 accreditation achieved by SSPC also applies to the QP 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 programs, it added.
First launched in 1989, SSPC’s QP programs have been widely recognized by contractors, facility owners and coatings professionals as the industry benchmark for quality, according to the association.
Based on true consensus standards actually developed and ratified by the industry, and managed by a diverse committee representing all facets of the protective coatings community, the QP programs are reportedly used by hundreds of contractors and thousands of facility owners worldwide to assure reliable results in coating projects and help to extend asset life.
To highlight the strength of the QP programs and why they garner such respect in the industry, SSPC shared this explanation of management expectations from the ANAB website: “ISO/IEC 17020 incorporates same level of requirements for the organizational quality management system as ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 17000 series standards such as ISO/IEC 17021, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, and ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. ISO/IEC 17020, however, puts greater emphasis on organizational ability to manage impartiality and conflicts of interest as well as the technical competence of people, inspection processes, and equipment.”
It placed particular emphasis on the last sentence, adding that, “Over the course of 27 years, committee members change, industry professionals change and experts come and go, but the processes established by the program continue to provide results by ensuring impartiality and technical competence.”
That’s a source of pride for SSPC, because QP is an industry-driven program and the organization is simply the caretaker, it explained.
“It's good to know that our programs meet the high standards set by ISO, a worldwide certification organization,” said Rich Capalupo, chairman of the Painting Contractor Certification Program Advisory Committee and president of Prime Coatings in Salisbury, MA, a QP 1/QP 2 certified contractor.
“Owners, contractors, and other asset protection professionals can go forward with confidence knowing that their work will be performed by SSPC-certified companies with highly trained employees. I think it is safe to say that contractors certified by SSPC are the weapon of choice if corrosion control is the target.“