What is a Contractor?
Quality System No. 1 – Standard Procedure for Evaluating A Contractor’s Advanced Quality Management System
1.1 SSPC-QS 1 requires that a contractor implement and document more stringent quality control and record keeping procedures than those included in the requirements of standards such as SSPC-QP 1, SSPC-QP 3, or others. Owners and speciﬁers who require a higher level of quality control for their projects may require that a contractor qualiﬁed to standards such as QP 1, 3, 6, 8 or others also present evidence that its quality system meets the requirements of QS 1.
1.2 The objective of this procedure is to conﬁrm that a contractor has the personnel, organization, qualiﬁcations, procedures, knowledge, and capability to implement the quality standards described herein.
1.3 The procedure encompasses the in-process inspection of surface preparation and application of protective coatings and linings for new construction and maintenance for industrial, commercial, and marine service.
1.4 Meeting the requirements of this procedure does not guarantee the performance of individual inspectors employed or utilized by the contractor or the contracting company itself.
Auditor: 1) The person or persons performing audits on behalf of the qualifying agency. 2) The body possessing the necessary technical competence to review contractor submittals, conduct on site audits of applicants, and report results in compliance with the requirements of this procedure and the written requirements of the formal audit program.
Calibration: The set of operations that establish, under speciﬁed conditions, the relationship between values indicated by a measuring instrument and the corresponding known values of a measurement.
Inspection: Conﬁrmation by examination and provision of evidence that speciﬁed requirements have been met. The examination and determination of conformity with speciﬁc requirements on the basis of professional judgment, and general requirements according to published industry standards, as required in each project speciﬁcation.
Contractor: An individual or ﬁrm who provides surface preparation and coating application services in the industrial, marine, and heavy commercial markets.
Qualifying Agency: The body responsible for sponsorship and operation of a program to ensure uniform compliance with provisions of a standard.
Quality Control Manual: A document stating the contractor’s quality policy, quality system and quality practice.
Quality System: The organizational structure, responsibilities, procedures, processes, and resources utilized by the contractor for implementing quality management.
Procedure: The written sequence of steps taken to carry out a particular course of action.
Test: A technical operation that consists of the determination of one or more characteristics or performance of a given product, material, equipment, physical phenomenon, process or service, according to a speciﬁed procedure.
Test Method: A deﬁnitive, standardized set of instructions for the identiﬁcation or measurement or evaluation of one or more qualities, characteristics, or properties of a material.
Veriﬁcation: Conﬁrmation by examination and provision of evidence that speciﬁed requirements have been met.
3. SIGNIFICANCE AND USE
3.1 Contractors meeting the requirements of this standard procedure comply in practice and methods with generally accepted inspection criteria for coating inspection (including surface preparation) and ﬁeld testing activities normally required as a part of coating inspection work. Contractors meeting the requirements of this standard procedure provide and maintain the necessary quality systems required for each project.
4. REFERENCED STANDARDS
4.1 The latest issue, revision, or amendment of the referenced standards in effect on the date of invitation to bid shall govern, unless otherwise speciﬁed.
4.2 If there is a conﬂict between the requirements of any of the cited referenced standards and this procedure, the requirements of this procedure shall prevail.
4.3 SSPC STANDARDS:
QP 1 Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualiﬁcations of Painting Contractors (Field Application to Complex Structures)
QP 3 Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualiﬁcations of Shop Painting Contractors
QP 6 Standard Procedure for Evaluating Contractors Who Apply Thermal Spray (Metallizing) for Atmospheric Corrosion Protection of Steel and Concrete Structures
QP 8 Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualiﬁcations of Contracting Firms that Install Polymer Coatings or Surfacings on Concrete and Other Cementitious Surfaces
AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE (ANSI) STANDARD:
Q10013 Guidelines for Developing Quality Manuals
5. ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
5.1. The contractor shall demonstrate that its inspection function is identiﬁable within the company organization.
5.2 The contractor shall:
5.2.1 Demonstrate that managerial staff have the necessary expertise, authority and resources to review and verify work performed by ﬁeld personnel by supplying (1) an organizational chart clearly showing lines of authority within the company, (2) written documentation of training and experience of managerial staff, and (3) written evidence that management periodically reviews work performed by its ﬁeld inspection personnel.
5.2.2 Be organized in such a way that conﬁdence in its independence of judgment and integrity is maintained at all times. Provide written evidence that veriﬁcation of the inspection result is administered independently of the inspection operation.
5.2.3 Specify and document the responsibility, authority, and interrelation of all personnel who manage, perform or verify work affecting the system. Demonstrate that management personnel review work of ﬁeld inspection staff to ensure compliance with project speciﬁcations and any other contract documents.
5.2.4 Provide inspection, supervision, and management by persons familiar with the inspection or test methods and procedures, the objective of the inspection or test, and the assessment of the results. (See Section 6 for a description of qualiﬁcation requirements for inspectors.)
5.2.6 Employ a full-time QC manager with executive responsibility to ensure compliance with all company quality procedures and to monitor their implementation.
5.2.7 Appoint designated replacements in case of absence of the QC manager. The designated replacements shall demonstrate qualiﬁcations as required by Section 6, and in the absence of the QC manager shall report directly to an ofﬁcer of the company.
6. QUALITY SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
6.1 QUALITY CONTROL MANUAL: The contractor shall establish and maintain a quality system appropriate to the type, range, and volume of in-process inspection activities it undertakes. The elements of this system shall be documented. The quality documentation shall be available for use by contractor personnel. The contractor shall deﬁne and document policies, objectives for, and commitment to good quality management contractor practice. The contractor management shall ensure that these policies and objectives are documented in the quality control manual and communicated to, understood by, and implemented by all contractor personnel. The quality control manual shall be current.
6.1.1 Required Format: The quality control manual shall follow the format outlined in ANSI Q10013-Guidelines for Developing Quality Manuals.
6.2 System Procedures: In order to meet the requirements of this standard procedure, the quality control manual and related quality documentation shall state the contractor’s policies and operational procedures. The quality control manual and related quality documentation shall also contain:
6.2.1 A quality policy statement, including objectives and commitments, by top management.
6.2.2 The organization and management structure of the contractor, its place in any parent organization, and relevant organizational charts.
6.2.3 The reporting relationship between management, production operations, support services, and the quality system.
6.2.4 Procedures for control (including distribution) and maintenance of all quality control procedures and corporate record keeping and retention policies.
6.2.5 Job descriptions of key staff and reference to the job descriptions of other staff.
6.2.6 Identiﬁcation of the contractor’s approved signatories.
6.2.7The contractor’s procedures for achieving traceability of measurements.
6.2.8 The contractor’s general scope of inspections and tests. (The precise scope of an inspection will be determined by the terms of the individual contract or work order.)
6.2.9 Appropriate and clear references to the inspection and test procedures to be used.
6.2.10 Procedures for performing inspections and tests, and for veriﬁcation of inspections and tests.
6.2.11 Reference to any inspection equipment and reference measurement standards used.
6.2.12References to procedures for inspection, calibration, veriﬁcation, and maintenance of equipment as required.
6.2.13 Procedures for handling non-conforming materials or products.
6.3 Quality Planning
6.3.1 The contractor shall deﬁne and document how the requirements for quality will be met. Quality planning shall be consistent with all other requirements of a contractor’s quality system and shall be documented in a format to suit the contractor’s method of operation. The contractor shall give consideration to the following activities, as appropriate, in meeting the speciﬁed requirements for products, projects, or contracts:
- the preparation of quality plans the identiﬁcation and acquisition of any controls, processes, or equipment (including inspection and test equipment, ﬁxtures, resources, and skills) that are needed to achieve the required quality ensuring the compatibility of the production process, installation, servicing, inspection and test procedures, and the applicable documentation
- updating, as necessary, of quality control, inspection and testing techniques, including the development of new instrumentation
- the identiﬁcation of any measurement requirement involving capability that exceeds the known state of the art, in sufﬁcient time for the needed capability to be developed
6.3.2 A separate work plan, including an inspection and test plan shall be developed for each job phase, if they differ in scope of work. The plan shall be prepared for each task that requires performance of productive work prior to the start of work on that speciﬁc project. It shall be revised and updated as required to remain current and accurate, and shall be available on the job site at all times. The plan shall be the compilation of all individual processes that make up the prescribed work, in any format that is complete, accurate, and usable. Each individual process shall include:
Description of process, including critical factors which have direct bearing on the process quality and safety qualiﬁcation requirements for the personnel performing the work the method utilized to ensure personnel accomplishing the procedure have direct knowledge of the requirements prior to beginning work.
The method utilized to control the procedure, including but not limited to, reference to project speciﬁcation or other speciﬁc requirement acceptance and rejection criteria, referenced to project speciﬁcation or other speciﬁc requirements
6.4 Procedures for Project Document Review
6.4.1 The contractor shall establish and maintain documented procedures for project document review and for the coordination of these activities.
6.4.2 Review: Before submission of a bid, tender, or proposal, or at the acceptance of a contract or order (statement of requirement) the requirements shall be reviewed by the contractor to ensure that:
The requirements are adequately deﬁned and documented; where no written statement of requirement is available for an order received by verbal means, the contractor shall ensure that the order requirements are agreed upon and documented before their acceptance any differences between the contract or accepted order requirements and those in the bid or tender are resolved and documented the contractor has the capability to meet the contract or accepted order requirements.
6.4.3 Amendment to Contract: The contractor shall identify how an amendment to a contract is made and correctly transferred to the functions concerned within the contractor’s organization. Channels for communication and interfaces with the customer’s organization in these contract matters must be established.
6.4.4 Records: Records of contract reviews shall be maintained.
6.5 Document and Data Control
6.5.1 The contractor shall establish and maintain documented procedures to control all documents and data that relate to the requirements of this quality standard, including, to the extent applicable, documents of external origin such as standards and customer drawings. Various media are acceptable for these documents and data, including but not limited to: electronic documentation; photos; drawings, diagrams, and sketches; audio tapes and video tapes; product samples and defect samples; paint swatches; checklists; ﬂow diagrams; and hard copy correspondence or forms.
6.5.2 Document and Data Approval and Issue: The documents and data shall be reviewed and approved for adequacy by authorized personnel prior to issue. A master list or equivalent document control procedure identifying the current revision status of documents shall be established and be readily available to preclude the use of invalid and/or obsolete documents. This control shall ensure that:
The pertinent issues of appropriate documents are available at all locations where operations essential to the effective functioning of the quality system are performed.
Invalid and/or obsolete documents are promptly removed from all points of issue or use or otherwise assured against unintended use any obsolete documents retained for legal and/or knowledge preservation purposes are suitably identiﬁed.
6.5.3 Document and Data Changes: Changes to documents and data shall be reviewed and approved by the same personnel that performed the original review and approval, unless speciﬁcally designated otherwise. The designated personnel shall have access to pertinent background information upon which to base their review and approval. Where practical, the nature of the change shall be identiﬁed in the document or the appropriate attachments.
6.6 Internal Review: The QC manager or designated persons shall schedule internal reviews and samplings of its quality documentation at appropriate intervals to verify that its operations continue to comply with the requirements of the quality system. All internal review ﬁndings shall be documented in writing. Where the internal reviews cast doubt on the correctness or validity of the contractor’s inspections or test results, the contractor shall take immediate corrective action and shall notify, in writing, any customer whose work may have been affected.
6.7 The quality system adopted to satisfy the requirements of this standard procedure shall be reviewed at least once a year and the review shall be documented in writing by the management to ensure its continuing suitability and effectiveness and to introduce any necessary changes or improvements.
6.8 All internal review ﬁndings and any corrective actions that arise from them shall be documented in writing. The person responsible for quality shall ensure by written veriﬁcation that these actions are discharged within the agreed time.
6.9 In addition to periodic internal reviews, the contractor shall ensure the quality of work provided to customers by implementing periodic checks. These checks shall be reviewed by the president or CEO or COO who shall verify the following in writing:
· Internal quality control procedures are documented and followed.
· Use of certiﬁed reference materials or in-house quality control using secondary reference materials.
· Independent review of inspection results.
· Participation in proﬁciency testing or other qualiﬁcation programs.
7.1The contractor shall have personnel with the necessary education, training, physical capabilities, technical knowledge and experience for their assigned functions.
7.2 Quality Control Manager (QC Manager):
7.2.1 This manager shall report to an ofﬁcer of the company. This relationship must be accurately reﬂected on the organizational chart and be demonstrable in fact.
7.2.2 The contractor shall designate a replacement in a case of absence of the QC manager. The designated replacements shall demonstrate qualiﬁcations as required by Section 7.2.3, and in the absence of the QC manager shall report directly to an ofﬁcer of the company.
7.2.3 The QC manager shall 1) hold SSPC PCS certiﬁcation, or 2) be a NACE certiﬁed coating inspector, or 3) hold a B.S. degree in materials science or corrosion engineering.
7.3 QC inspection personnel shall have successfully completed NACE CIP Level I coating inspector training, or equivalent, as determined by the qualifying agency.
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS OF INSPECTORS
7.4.1 Each inspector shall have the physical ability to access all areas of a job, and to be able to perform the required inspections.
7.4.2 Each inspector shall show proof of being examined no less than every 10 years to ensure natural or corrected near-distance visual acuity in at least one eye. The individual shall read the J-1 letters on a Standard Jaeger Test Chart, or equivalent, at a distance of not less than 12 inches (30 cm) with one or both eyes, corrected or uncorrected.
7.4.3 Each inspector shall show proof of being examined at intervals not to exceed 10 years for color perception using the Ishihara Test or the Farnsworth D-15 Test. If a candidate does not pass the Red/Green Sensitive Ishihara Test, the candidate shall take the Farnsworth D-15 Test.
7.4.4 If an inspector does not pass the Farnsworth D-15 Test, the inspector must be evaluated by a licensed medical practitioner to provide the necessary data to determine the inspector’s color perception. Individuals certiﬁ ed after an evaluation by a licensed medical practitioner shall only be certiﬁed to perform inspection work that is within the inspector’s color perception capability.
7.4.5 The examinations required by 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 shall be administered by, or under the cognizance of, a licensed medical practitioner. The results of the vision test shall be documented on a Vision Test Record.
7.4.6 The responsible organization shall identify any other physical qualiﬁcations required to perform the assigned inspection duties. Inspectors requiring the identiﬁed physical qualiﬁcations shall have them conﬁrmed by examinations at intervals not to exceed one year, or as recommended by the attending healthcare professional.
8. EQUIPMENT AND EQUIPMENT REFERENCE MATERIALS
8.1 Contractor quality personnel shall be furnished all items and equipment, including reference materials, required for the performance of inspections and tests. If the contractor uses equipment outside its permanent control, it shall ensure that the equipment meets the requirements listed below.
8.2 All equipment shall be properly maintained. Maintenance procedures shall be documented. Instruments which have been subjected to mishandling, or which give suspect results, or have been shown by veriﬁcation or otherwise to be defective, shall be taken out of service, clearly identiﬁed and stored at a speciﬁed place until they have been repaired and shown by calibration, veriﬁcation or test to perform satisfactorily. The contractor shall examine the effect of this defect on previous inspections or tests.
8.3 Calibration records shall be maintained for each instrument. The records shall include:
8.3.1 The name of the instrument.
8.3.2 The manufacturer’s name, type identiﬁcation, and serial number or other unique identiﬁcation.
8.3.3 Date the instrument was received and date it was placed in service.
8.3.4 Current location of the instrument.
8.3.5 Condition of the instrument when received (e.g., new, used, reconditioned).
8.3.6 Manufacturer’s operating and calibrating instructions for the instrument.
8.3.7 Dates and results of the instrument’s calibration and date that the next calibration must be performed.
8.3.8 Details of maintenance procedures carried out to date and planned for the future.
8.3.9 History of any damage, malfunction, modiﬁcation, or repair.
9. MEASUREMENT TRACEABILITY AND CALIBRATION
9.1 All measuring and testing equipment having an effect on the accuracy or validity of inspections or tests shall be calibrated before being put into service. The contractor shall have an established procedure for the calibration and veriﬁcation of its measuring and test equipment.
9.2 The overall procedure of calibration shall be designed and operated so as to ensure that, wherever applicable, measurements made by the contractor are traceable to national standards of measurement. Calibration certiﬁ cates shall indicate the traceability to nationally recognized standards.
9.3 Where traceability to nationally recognized standards is not applicable, the contractor shall provide evidence of correlation of results.
9.4 Where relevant, reference standards and measuring and testing equipment shall be subjected to in-service checks between calibrations.
10. INSPECTION METHODS AND PRACTICES
10.1 All instructions, standards, manuals, and reference data relevant to the work of the contractor shall be up-to-date and readily available to management and users. The contractor shall maintain records demonstrating that individual inspectors have received and understand written instructions for the use and calibration of inspection equipment.
10.1.1 The individual inspectors shall have copies of and be familiar with speciﬁc job site speciﬁcations, speciﬁc product data sheets, material safety data sheets (MSDS) as appropriate, and applicable job site documents and standards for work being inspected for compliance.
10.2 The contractor shall use appropriate methods and procedures for all inspections, tests, and related activities within its responsibility (including sampling, handling, transport and storage, preparation of items, estimation of uncertainty of measurement, and analysis of inspection or test data). The methods and procedures shall be consistent with the accuracy required, and with any standard speciﬁcations relevant to the inspections or tests concerned.
10.3 Where methods are not speciﬁed, the contractor shall, wherever possible, select methods that have been published in nationally recognized standards, such as those published by reputable technical organizations (e.g., SSPC, NACE, ASTM) or in relevant scientiﬁc texts or journals.
10.4 Where it is necessary to employ methods that have not been established as standard, these shall be subject to agreement with the client and coating manufacturer, be fully documented and validated, and be available to the client and other recipients of the reports.
10.5 Where sampling is carried out as part of the test method, the contractor shall use documented procedures and appropriate statistical techniques to select samples.
10.6 Calculations and data transfers shall be subject to appropriate checks.
10.7 Where computers or automated equipment are used for the recording, processing, manipulation, reporting, storage or retrieval of calibration or inspection data, the contractor shall ensure that:
10.7.1 Procedures shall be established and implemented for protecting the integrity of data; such procedures shall include, but not be limited to, integrity of data entry or capture, data storage, data back-up and replication, data transmission and data processing.
10.7.2 Computer and automated equipment shall be maintained to ensure proper functioning and provided with the environmental and operating conditions necessary to maintain the integrity of calibration and test data.
11. TRACEABILITY OF RECORDS AND REPORTS
11.1 The contractor shall have a documented system for identifying the structure or equipment to be inspected or tested, to ensure that there will be no confusion regarding the identity of such items at any time.
11.2 The contractor shall give evidence of adequate procedures for ensuring quality of inspection and support activities, to include:
11.2.1 Inspection procedures and recording systems.
11.2.2 Procedures for receipt of speciﬁcations and revisions.
11.2.3 Records of standards and speciﬁcations or coating inspection work records and their utilization.
11.2.4 System for ﬁling, distribution, storing, and retrieving of inspection reports.
11.2.5 Availability of inspection equipment and calibration standards and procedures.
11.2.6 Procedures to ensure that each major signiﬁcant activity (e.g., surface preparation, coating application, and curing of primer, intermediate and topcoat application) is inspected and documented.
11.2.7 Procedures to verify that speciﬁed steps are taken in storing, handling, and applying coatings, in compliance with OSHA, EPA, state, and local regulations.
11.3 The contractor shall maintain a record system to suit particular circumstance and comply with any applicable regulations. It shall retain on record all original observations, calculations and derived data, calibration records and a copy of calibration certiﬁcates, or inspection reports, for an appropriate period. The records for each inspection and test shall contain sufﬁcient information to permit their repetition. The records shall include the identity of personnel involved in sampling, preparation, inspection, or testing.
11.4 All records (including those pertaining to calibration and test equipment), certiﬁcates, and reports shall be safely stored and held secure.
12. CERTIFICATES AND REPORTS
12.1The results of each inspection, test, or series of inspections or tests carried out by the contractor shall be recorded in a written report accurately and objectively, in accordance with any instructions in the inspection or test methods. The results shall be recorded in a report and include all the information necessary for the interpretation of the inspection or test results and all information required by the method used.
12.2 Reported information shall be traceable to a speciﬁc project and client, and shall contain a description and clear identiﬁcation of the structure or equipment inspected, to include at least the following information:
12.2.1 Identiﬁcation of the instrumentation (such as serial number).
12.2.2 Description of the test area and results of the inspection or test.
12.2.3 Date of inspection.
12.2.4 Identiﬁcation of the inspection or test method used, or clear description of any non-standard method used.
12.2.5 Reference to sampling procedure, where relevant.
12.2.6 Any deviations from, additions to, or exclusions from the inspection or test method, and any other information relevant to a speciﬁc inspection or test, such as environmental conditions.
12.2.7 Measurements, examinations and derived results, supported by tables, graphs, sketches and photographs as appropriate, and any failures identiﬁed.
12.2.8 A signature and title, or an equivalent identiﬁcation of the persons accepting responsibility for the content of the report and date of issue.
12.2.9 Where relevant, a statement to the effect that the results relate only to the items inspected or tested.
12.2.10Astatement that the report shall not be reproduced except in full, without the written approval of the contractor.
12.3 Where the report contains results of inspections or tests performed by sub-contractors, these results shall be clearly identiﬁed.
12.4 Particular care and attention shall be paid to the arrangement of the report, especially with regard to presentation of the inspection or test data and ease of use by the reader.
12.5 The contractor shall notify customers promptly, in writing, of any event that casts doubt on the quality of work performed.
13. SUB-CONTRACTING OF INSPECTION OR TESTING
13.1 Where a contractor subcontracts any part of its inspection or testing, this work shall be placed with a contractor fully complying with the requirements imposed in Sections 1-14 of this document. The contractor shall ensure and be able to demonstrate that its sub-contractor is competent to perform the activities in question and complies with the same criteria of competence as the contractor. The contractor shall advise the client in writing in advance of its intention to sub-contract any portion of inspection or testing to another party. Written client approval shall be obtained where required.
13.2 The contractor shall record and retain details of its investigation of the competence and compliance of its subcontractors and maintain a register of all sub-contracting.
14. OUTSIDE SUPPORT AND SUPPLIES
14.1 Where the contractor procures outside services and supplies, other than those referred to in this standard procedure, in support of inspections or tests, the contractor shall use only those outside support services and supplies that are of adequate quality to sustain conﬁdence in the contractor’s inspections or tests.
14.2 Where no independent assurance of the quality of outside support services or supplies is available, the contractor shall have procedures to ensure that purchased equipment, materials and services comply with speciﬁed requirements. The contractor shall ensure that purchased equipment and consumable materials are not used until they have been inspected, calibrated or otherwise veriﬁed as complying with any standard speciﬁcations relevant to the inspections or tests concerned.
14.3 The contractor shall maintain records of all suppliers from whom it obtains support services or supplies required for inspections or tests.
15.1 The contractor shall have documented policy and procedures for the resolution of complaints received from customers or other parties about the contractor’s work. A record shall be maintained of all complaints and of the actions taken by the contractor.
15.2 Where a complaint, or any other circumstance, raises doubt concerning the contractor’s compliance with its policies or procedures, or with the requirements of this standard or otherwise concerning the quality of its inspections or tests, the contractor shall ensure that those areas of activity and responsibility involved are promptly reviewed in accordance with Section 5.6 of this procedure.
16. SEQUENCE OF PROCEDURES
16.1 SUBMITTAL PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION: The initial step is to request an application form and instructions. The request, along with an application fee (when applicable), must be submitted to the qualifying agency.
The application process involves gathering required information about the contractor as described in the application form. This information and documentation will be submitted to the qualifying agency at the same time as the formal application for qualiﬁcation.
16.2 REVIEW WRITTEN MATERIAL SUBMITTED: The following steps shall be followed by the qualifying agency to determine the accuracy of written materials:
16.2.1 Compare applicant submittals with criteria listed in Sections 4 through 13 for the contractor’s written procedures for quality assurance, performance of inspection activities, education and qualiﬁcations of personnel, instrument maintenance and calibration, and reporting and record keeping.
16.2.2 Identify any criteria for which additional information is needed.
16.2.3 Obtain, or direct applicant to obtain, additional information on items identiﬁed in Section 16.2.2.
16.3 COMPUTE FINAL RATING: Based on criteria established in Sections 4 through 13 and evaluation in Section 16.2 (and 16.3 if this option is exercised), determine whether the contractor meets minimum ratings of the functions evaluated to achieve qualiﬁcation.
16.4 NOTIFY APPLICANT:Review the results of the evaluation with the contractor, including discussion of omissions. Inform the contractor whether the ﬁrm has met the qualifying agency’s qualiﬁcation requirements. If the contractor has not met requirements of this procedure, the qualifying agency will notify the contractor of the deﬁciencies cited and establish a time frame of 90 days for the contractor to submit corrective actions. The corrective actions shall be reviewed and accepted by the qualifying agency prior to implementation.
17. QUALIFICATION CATEGORIES
17.1 INTERIM QUALIFICATION: The qualifying agency shall conduct a thorough review of the contractor’s quality manual to verify conformance with Section 5 above. If the contractor meets the qualiﬁcation requirements, the qualifying agency shall issue a one-time interim qualiﬁcation, valid for 24 months from the date of the audit. The contractor must notify the qualifying agency within 15 days of receiving any contract award requiring QS 1 or equivalent quality program implementation in order to complete the jobsite audit required for full qualiﬁcation.
17.2 FULL QUALIFICATION: Upon notiﬁcation of a contract award requiring implementation of QS 1 or an equivalent quality program, the qualifying agency shall, at the contractor’s expense, visit at least one jobsite where the quality system has been fully implemented to verify that the contractor is in conformance with QS 1 requirements. The audit shall include examination of records and interviews with supervisory personnel and some subordinate employees about speciﬁc technical and quality assurance procedures, training, and inspection operations conducted by the contractor. If deemed necessary by the qualifying agency, the contractor’s ofﬁce may also be visited. Upon successful completion of the audit, the contractor will receive full qualiﬁcation to QS 1.
17.3 CONFIRMATION OF QUALIFICATION: Once the contractor achieves full qualiﬁcation, the certifying agency shall conduct an annual re-evaluation of the contractor to maintain the contractor’s full qualiﬁcation.
17.4 REVOCATION: Failure to pass the aforementioned periodic re-evaluation, submit required corrective actions from a previous evaluation in a timely manner, or submission of false or misleading information shall be cause for revocation of certiﬁcate of qualiﬁcation.
18.1 While every precaution is taken to ensure that all information furnished in SSPC standards and speciﬁcations is as accurate, complete, and useful as possible, SSPC cannot assume responsibility nor incur any obligation resulting from the use of any materials, coatings, or methods speciﬁ ed herein, or of the speciﬁcation or standard itself.
18.2 This speciﬁcation does not attempt to address problems concerning safety associated with its use. The user of this speciﬁcation, as well as the user of all products or practices described herein, is responsible for instituting appropriate health and safety practices and for ensuring compliance with all governmental regulations.
Standard Procedure for Evaluating A Contractor’s Advanced Quality Management System