SSPC Revises 2 Standards


Two standards—one for the coating of metals and one for qualifying and certifying industrial coating and lining application specialists—have been updated under the direction of SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings.


SSPC-PA 1, “Shop, Field and Maintenance Coating of Metals,” provides basic requirements for best practices for application of industrial/marine protective coatings to coated or uncoated metallic substrates.

Written by SSPC’s Application Methods Committee (C.3.1), the guide is intended as a reference for specifiers and contractors in regard to the coating application and process control procedures. The scope of this standard includes specific as well as general requirements for the application of liquid coatings applied by brush, spray or roller.

Revisions include:

  • Editorial and organizational amendments that shorten and streamline the standard itself, with commentary and supplementary information moved into the Notes section; 
  • An expanded scope that includes coated or uncoated metallic substrates in addition to steel;
  • A brief discussion of the importance of a contractor’s work plan as a method of project oversight and quality assurance, with supplementary resource information;
  • An example of language that may be used to invoke requirements of PA-1; and
  • The removal of discussion of application requirements for specific types of generic coatings, which is usually addressed more specifically in manufacturers’ application instructions.

Additionally, a section has been added to address pre-application requirements clarifying that the contractor is responsible for documenting resolution of ambiguous or conflicting requirements prior to beginning the application process, verifying that the prepared surface meets project requirements for cleanliness and surface profile prior to coating application, and ensuring that ambient conditions comply with project requirements prior to coating application.


SSPC ACS-1 Standard Practice/NACE No. 13, “Industrial Coating and Lining Application Specialist Qualification and Certification,” can be used to validate or assess a candidate’s or employee’s knowledge and skills level based on qualification in a certification program. It was designed for use by personnel involved in developing such education and certification programs.

The standard, written by the 2015 Revision SSPC-ACS 1/NACE No. 13 Committee (C.3.15), recognizes and records in outline form the competency requirements or minimum Body of Knowledge for each qualification level.

Steel frame under Sydney Harbour Bridge
© / Ida Jarosova
SSPC ACS-1 Standard Practice/NACE No. 13, “Industrial Coating and Lining Application Specialist Qualification and Certification,” can be used to validate or assess knowledge and skills level based on qualification in a certification program operated under this standard.

Revisions include:

  • Terminology updates;
  • Adjustments to Level I, II and III qualifications requirements, including demonstration of abilities, work experience and training options, and exam completion;
  • Requirements to maintain qualification status;
  • Reduction of levels of competency from six to three, with changes to definitions;
  • A streamlined Body of Knowledge with revisions to competency levels that reflect new definitions; and
  • A nonmandatory appendix providing examples of acceptable training programs.

More detail on these revisions is available here.

According to SSPC, the updated SSPC-ACS 1 is relevant to the following SSPC Training and Certification Programs:

  • Abrasive Blasting Program (C7);
  • Aerospace Coating Application Specialist Certification Program (ACAS);
  • Applicator Training - Specialty Module CD Series;
  • Applicator Training Basics (online);
  • Applicator Train-the-Trainer Program;
  • Basics of Concrete Surface Preparation (online);
  • Basics of Nonferrous Surface Preparation (online);
  • Basics of Steel Surface Preparation (online);
  • Coating Application Specialist Certification (CAS);
  • Concrete Coating Basics;
  • Floor Coating Basics;
  • Marine Plural Component Program (MPCAC, C14);
  • Plural Component Application for Polyureas and High Solid Coatings;
  • Spray Application Program (C12);
  • Thermal Spray; and
  • Water Jetting Program (C13).

It is also relevant to these other standards:

  • SSPC-QP 1 - Standard for Evaluating Painting Contractors (Field Application);
  • AISC-420-10/SPE-QP3;
  • SSPC-QP 6 - Standard for Evaluating Contractors (Thermal Spray Coatings); and
  • SSPC-QP 8 – Standard for Evaluating Contractors Coating Concrete.

More information:


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Certifications and standards; Coating Application; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Metal coatings; Metals; North America; Paint application; Protective Coatings; Qualification programs; SSPC; Steel; Worker training

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