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SSPC, NACE Announce Fifth Update

Monday, February 10, 2020

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On Friday (Feb. 7), SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, The Corrosion Society announced their fifth update regarding an SSPC board meeting and annual conference updates.

Prior to kicking off SSPC’s Coatings+ 2020 conference in Long Beach, California, the organization’s Board of Governors met on Feb. 1 to review all details and framework developed by the SSPC-NACE Task Group.

Exploratory Talks

SSPC, founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, is focused on the use of protective coatings in the industry. SSPC’s name was changed in 1997 to mark progress in coatings technology, as well as the addition of new types of construction materials. SSPC is based in Pittsburgh, and has offices in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and China. Currently, more than 16,000 professionals and 420 companies across the globe carry SSPC certifications.

NACE, founded in 1943 and now with more than 38,000 members in 130 countries, is the world’s largest nonprofit of its kind, according to the organization. NACE is based in Houston, with other offices across the U.S., the U.K., China, Malaysia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as a training center in Dubai. Membership with NACE includes specified technical training and certification programs, industry standards, reports, conferences and publications focused on corrosion prevention and mitigation.

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On Friday (Feb. 7), SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, The Corrosion Society announced their fifth update regarding an SSPC board meeting and annual conference updates.

In March, the two organizations announced the beginning of merger talks. The following month, PaintSquare Daily News took a closer look at each organization’s history, structure and offerings for the protective coatings and corrosion control industries.

On Aug. 6, the organizations announced the mutual decision to bring McKinley Advisors on board as a guiding entity for the two organizations’ merger discussions, in addition to advising the organizations through considerations related to strategic, financial and cultural barriers, among others.

Moving forward, the organizations have announced that both existing brands will continue to be protected as seperate entities in the marketplace and have agreed that the best model will involve a hybrid structure that includes both corporate and individual membership options and combines the best of both organizations’ value propositions.

Ongoing Update Schedule

On Jan. 10, SSPC and NACE announced their first update, which gave a future overview of both update schedules and a timeline of upcoming discussion-related milestones.

The following week (Jan. 17), the associations announced a second update regarding certificate considerations and answers to some of the bigger questions involving this particular aspect of the merger efforts.

According to the update, the SSPC-NACE Task Group was focusing on minimizing disturbance to the industry and wished to maintain overall program quality and continuity. In order to achieve these goals, the group agreed that:

  • All current certification and accreditation programs will continue to be recognized and supported throughout the combination process;
  • Where there are certification or accreditation programs that overlap, a member task force will be created to evaluate the programs and make recommendations to a program committee;
  • Existing certification holders will be allowed to recertify into the continuing program; and
  • Financial burden or economic impact to certified and accredited parties should be minimized.

This means that certified individuals with existing certifications will retain their certifications throughout the transition period, so long as current renewal requirements are met. After the transition period is complete, individuals will be allowed to recertify into the continuing certification, as both organizations agree there should be little to no cost impact to cardholders as a result of program changes.

As for SSPC programs like CAS, PCI and QP or NACE Institute programs like CCA, CIP and NIICAP, the organizations report that the products of both entities will be examined and where there is overlap, bring together the best of both overlapping certifications.

Members are asked to share their opinions about the discussions either through email, comment or through participation in the Town Hall meetings that both organizations will be hosting that the upcoming Coatings+2020 conference in Long Beach, California, next month, and the CORROSION 2020 conference in Houston this March.

On Jan. 24, SSPC and NACE announced that although no definitive decisions were made regarding membership concerns, a compromise was reached, detailing that new memberships would be value-based and provide tiered options with differing values and prices.

According to the organizations, “individual members of both SSPC and NACE would automatically enter at the highest value level for the remaining portion of their current membership term at no additional cost, and upon renewal, would have the option of selecting the tier that best meets their needs.”

A second email regarding the membership component of the agreement is expected to be released sometime in February.

At the end of January, the organizations released a fourth update regarding their standards used by industry professionals worldwide. In the past, the organizations have worked together on 15 joint standards, two joint visual guides and six joint technical papers, among other standards.

In shifting the focus through a merged lens, members have been voicing throughout the discussions that in combining the organizations, it would become an opportunity to renew focus on developing standards that meet the needs of the entire international community of members, asset protection professionals and corporations.

To achieve this goal efficiently, the organizations intend to develop member-led program committees who would be responsible for providing recommendations and planning support to staff regarding the combination of any overlapping SSPC and NACE programs.

Additionally, last week during SSPC’s Coatings+ 2020 conference, the organization held an annual business meeting and three town hall meetings where industry professionals were welcomed to ask questions regarding the possible merger and solicit feedback.

The next opportunity to participate in the ongoing discussions will be at NACE’s Corrosion 2020 town hall meetings, which will take place March 16-18 in Houston. Prior to the event, NACE will also host a Board of Directors update meeting on Feb. 24 and March 14.

SSPC Board Meeting and Annual Conference Update

According to an SSPC press release, after several hours of reviewing the prepared materials and questioning, the Board of Governors unanimously voted to continue discussions and bring the creation of NewOrg and NewOrg Institute—both developments have yet to be named—to a member vote.

More specifically, NewOrg is slated to be a 501(c)(6) organization, while NewOrg Institute would meet 501(c)(3) requirements. Each organization will serve specific functions, but members will have access to both entities, and several functions will be conducted by both entities.

Following the decision, SSPC Vice President Sam Scaturro, SSPC Executive Director Bill Worms, NACE President Terry Greenfield and NACE CEO Bob Chalker, along with other members of the SSPC-NACE task group attended the three town hall meetings over the duration of the SSPC Coatings+ conference to answer member questions and provide perspective on the next steps.

Other highlights of the presentations included:

  • The operations and staff of SSPC, NACE and the NACE Institute would be absorbed into the two entities;
  • All existing members of both SSPC and NACE would become members of NewOrg;
  • NewOrg would be the sole member of NewOrg Institute, but all members of NewOrg would have access to the programs and resources of both;
  • Each new entity requires its own board and governance;
  • Current members of the SSPC and NACE boards would be divided evenly among each of the new boards so that there is equal representation;
  • Three advisory councils would be created to provide strategic input: contractors, owners and global affairs;
  • Overlapping programs that have been identified, such as PCI/CIP, QP/NIICAP, CAS/CCA and PCS/PCS, will be analyzed by special member-led task forces to determine the path forward for each; and
  • If the NACE board also approves moving forward, a member vote would take place sometime between Apr. 3-17.

Speakers of the presentation also added that overlapping programs are to evolve through the efforts completed by subject matter experts within the memberships and not the task group currently working on organizational framework.

While discussions were engaged, popular questions and concerns by attending members included: contractors maintaining a voice in NewOrg; representation in smaller demographics, details of how overlapping programs will be affected; membership details and benefits; board member selection; voting processes; and a timeline for the combination completion.

While live broadcasts of the meetings were published on Facebook during the conference, SSPC adds that the organization will be making the recorded materials available on its website as well.

Moving forward, the task group intends to post a list of frequently asked questions and answers on both the SSPC and NACE websites in the coming weeks and intends to share them in email update No. 9 on March 6.

The next slated update is expected to be posted on NACE on Feb. 14 and will cover the next steps in the discussion process and will be followed by a Feb. 24 NACE Board of Directors meeting.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Business operations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Mergers; NACE; NACE; NACE; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; SSPC; SSPC Board of Governors; SSPC Coatings+ 2020; SSPC NACE Merger; Z-Continents

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