QP For Facility Owners

Why specify QP as an asset or facility owner?

As a facility owner, you recognize the importance of protective coatings when it comes to safeguarding valuable facilities and other corporate or government assets. Coatings do much more than just improve appearance. To preserve and maintain structures, nothing can match the long-term value and protection offered by coatings and linings.

But the selection of suitable materials is just one aspect of a successful coating project. It is critical that work is done according to sound specifications, with correct surface preparation and proper application techniques. Facility owners need to find top quality people to provide these services—trained people who know the current standards and practices and have a proven track record of success.

The QP accreditation programs offer asset and facility owners the advantage of knowing that the industrial painting contractor who is working on their project has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to produce quality work in accordance with the local, state and federal guidelines for safety, health and environmental compliance.

QP Asset Owners

General program information:

Painting Contractor Accreditation Programs

The painting contractor accreditation programs are based on consensus standards developed by a diverse committee of industry professionals. It is a nationally recognized independent contractor evaluation program, as well as a pre-qualification tool developed for asset and facility owners and others who hire industrial painting contractors.

Each program reviews the industrial painting contractor’s primary ability to provide quality work in accordance with applicable safety, health, and environmental compliance standards. The program is divided into the following categories:

QP 1 evaluates contractors who perform surface preparation and industrial coating application on steel structures in the field.

QP 2 is a supplement to QP 1 that evaluates the contractor’s ability to perform industrial hazardous paint removal in a field operation. Two QP 2 categories are available based on the type of equipment and containment

  • Category A – Negative Air Containment
  • Category B – No Negative Air Containment

QP 3 evaluates a contracting company’s ability to perform surface preparation and protective coating application in a fixed shop facility. SSPC issues three categories of shop accreditation:

  • Enclosed Shop
  • Covered Shop
  • Open Shop

QP 6 evaluates the qualifications of industrial thermal spray (metallizing) contractors and defines a minimum standard to evaluate the contractor’s capability to evaluate and accept the preparation of the surface to be metallized and to thermally spray:

  • (1) coatings of aluminum, zinc, and their alloys for corrosion protection of steel and/or
  • (2) zinc anodes on steel reinforced concrete.

QP 7 is the Painting Contractor Introductory Program, which is designed to verify the capabilities of contractors with less than 6 months experience performing industrial surface preparation and coating application in the field.

QP 8 evaluates the qualifications of contractors hired to install polymer coatings or surfacings on concrete and other cementitious surfaces in commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities.

Hear from a specifying facility owner:

How has QP helped you select and hire contractors?

What was your experience using non-accredited contractors?

What was the cost to your business using non-accredited contractors?

“We had a lot of failures because the contractors that we were using in the past weren’t accredited and they were cutting corners and it ended up costing us close to $17M.”
Kenny Jaros, – Tank Maintenance Coordinator, New Jersey American Water

Sample Specification Language

The below language can be used as a guide to communicate your requirement for QP to your contractors as well as language to include in your specifications.

Notice to Contractors for Field or Shop Application:
This is to advise all concerned parties that projects advertised on or after ________ will require that any painting contractors engaged in surface preparation and coating application be accredited according to SSPC-QP 1 for field application and SSPC-QP 3 for shop application.

Notice to Contractors for Field Removal of Hazardous Coatings:
Please be advised that projects advertised on or after ________ will require that ANY contractor or subcontractor engaged in lead paint removal be accredited by SSPC under SSPC-QP 2. This accreditation is in addition to the SSPC-QP 1 accreditation currently required for any contractor/subcontractor engaged in surface preparation and coating application on steel structures required in the contract. If only surface preparation and coating application are required by the contract (for new steel applications) then only SSPC-QP 1 accreditation will be required.

For Project Specifications Related to Field of Shop Coating Application:
All contractors and subcontractors that perform surface preparation or coating application shall be accredited by the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) to the requirements of SSPC QP 1 for field application and SSPC-QP 3 for shop application prior to contract award and shall remain accredited while accomplishing any surface preparation or coating application. The painting contractors and painting subcontractors must remain so accredited for the duration of the project. If a contractor’s or subcontractor’s accreditation expires, the company will not be allowed to perform any work until the accreditation is reissued. Requests for extension of time for any delay to the completion of the project due to an inactive accreditation will not be considered and liquidated damages will apply. Notify the Owner of any change in contractor accreditation status.

Coating & Lining Inspection Company Accreditation

QP 5 is an accreditation for Inspection Companies whose focus is the industrial coating and lining industry. QP 5 evaluates an inspection company’s ability to provide consistent quality inspection of coatings & linings for its clients.

QS 1 is the standard procedure in the SSPC PCCP program that requires participating contractors to implement and document more stringent (ISO 9001 Compliant) quality control and record-keeping procedures than those included SSPC-QP 1, SSPC-QP 3, etc. Owners and specifiers who require a higher level of quality control for their projects may request that contractors already qualified to standards such as SSPC-QP 1, QP 3, QP 6, QP 8 or others also present evidence that their quality systems meet the requirements of QS 1.

Painting Contractors Who Apply Architectural Paints and Coatings

QP 9 contains requirements for evaluating the qualifications of painting contractors who apply architectural coatings on commercial or institutional structures, and defines a minimum standard for qualification.

Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC)

The Disciplinary Action Criteria, first released in January 1998, is the consensus document that establishes criteria to discipline SSPC accredited contractors who violate safety, quality, environmental, and ethical practice standards of performance as is outlined in SSPC’s contractor accreditation programs (QP 1, QP 2, QP 3, QP 6, QP 8, QP 9, QN 1, and QS 1).

Once certified, each contractor must work within the rules and standards outlined in the program. If the standards are not met, the contractor is subject to the DAC’s penalties: warning, probation, suspension, or revocation.

DAC Violations Page