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PaintSquare Readers Optimistic About Talks

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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In response to the March 18 announcement that SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International have opened discussions regarding potential collaboration between to the organizations, PaintSquare Daily News surveyed its readers to gauge their response to this news and the direction in which they wish to see these talks go.

Some stats from the survey include:

  • Membership - 46% of respondents indicated that they were members of both SSPC and NACE, while 23% were only SSPC members; 17% were only NACE members. 21% of respondents were not active members of either association.
  • Demographics - Of the respondents, 34% identified as engineers, while 26% were coating suppliers, 17% were painting contractors, 9% represented equipment suppliers and the remaining 14% selected “other.”
  • Conference Attendance - 23% of respondents said that they generally attend both SSPC’s and NACE’s annual conferences. 25% said they attend the annual SSPC Coatings+ show, while 15% said that they attend NACE’s annual CORROSION conference. The majority of respondents (37%) said that they did not typically attend either association’s annual conference. 


When asked for their opinion on a potential merger between SSPC and NACE, the vast majority of respondents replied positively.

69% said they were for it, with only 11% opposing and 20% voting that they were undecided at this time.

While some have expressed concern that the coatings industry could lose its voice if a merger were to go through, survey respondents were for the most part unconcerned. 77% said that they feel that the coatings industry would be adequately represented in a merger.

68% said that they felt that painting contractors in particular would be adequately represented.


Many of those surveyed left questions and comments of their own.

Overall, most comments reflected the positive numbers mentioned above.

“This should benefit companies across the board: contractors, specifiers and inspection companies,” replied one commenter.

“I was for this in the '90s when proposed. Should have been done then. Don't let short-term revenue goals sabotage good long term strategy,” said another.

“This will unify the protective coating[s] industry and increase respect and dialog between engineers and contractors," suggested one more.

Other commenters were more interested in discussing the details behind a potential merger.

“This must be a fair and equivalent merger, not a takeover by NACE that is the much larger organization,” said one. “There are programs that each organization has strengths over the other and that must be evaluated and the most effective program that benefits the membership must continue. The membership must win for these two associations to merge.”

Some cited logistical concerns—specifically with how training and certification would be carried out—as a potential stumbling block to a merger.

“Who would take the lead on certification, training and education? Both organizations go about it totally differently,” said a commenter. “Would there be grandfathering of coatings education such as coatings inspection if coatings certs are merged? Would NACE instructors be able to teach SSPC courses and vice versa?”

Others expressed outright that they felt that having two separate associations was better.

“Two sources of information are better than one because they view the same subject from a different vantage point,” said one commenter.

Several respondents echoed the concern about the coatings industry losing its voice in a much larger organization.

“I believe that we would lose SSPC, it would disappear into NACE. SSPC is much easier and simpler to work with than NACE,” said a commenter.

“I think the coatings portion would get lost. I've been to the NACE show, and although full of info, most does not translate to the SSPC show's needs,” said another.

Many felt that they still needed more information before making a decision.

One respondent commented, “I have many opinions and hear many things ... I think everyone is waiting to see what's being considered.”

One final commonality was that respondents were curious to learn about developments and eager to be kept in the loop regarding updates on the SSPC and NACE discussions.

“Interested in knowing the time frame and curious as to the certification program,” said one.

“Keep us informed on the progress of the initiative,” said another.

The Survey

We'd love to hear from you! If you have yet to participate, please give us your feedback by taking the survey here and be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Associations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; Mergers; NACE; North America; SSPC; Z-Continents

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