What are Shop Painting Applicators?
Qualification Procedure No. 3 – Standard Procedure for Evaluating Qualifications of Shop Painting Applicators
1.1 This standard procedure describes a method for evaluating the qualification of shop painting applicators whose primary function is to provide surface preparation and protective coating application services. However, the procedure may be applicable to a fabricating shop, shipyard, or other entity that applies coatings in the shop, even though providing coating application services is not its primary function.
1.2 The procedure encompasses shop application of coatings in the industrial and light industrial/commercial market.
1.3 In addition to the evaluation criteria outlined in this procedure, the qualifying agency should review the applicant’s financial status, performance history, and ability to do a specific project in more detail than required by this procedure.
1.4 This standard is intended for work at fixed, permanent facilities. For field painting work that involves the use of a temporary structure, evaluating contractors using SSPC-QP 1, “Standard Procedure for Evaluating Qualifications of Painting Contractors,” or an equivalent procedure, is more appropriate.
Applicator: A firm that provides the complete range of protective coating application services (surface preparation through coating application) in a shop facility for the industrial and light industrial/ commercial markets.
Auditor: 1) The person or persons who perform audits on behalf of the auditing agency or qualifying agency. 2) The body possessing the necessary technical competence to review applicant submittals, conduct on-site audits of applicants, and report results to the qualifying agency in compliance with the requirements of this procedure and the written requirements of the formal audit program.
Field: An open yard area, parking lot, or field where the environment is determined by ambient weather conditions.
Owner: The person, company or organization that owns the material upon which the shop facility is performing surface preparation and coating application.
Procedure: The sequence of steps taken to carry out a particular course of action.
Qualification: The objective evidence by which written assurance is given that an applicant conforms to the prescribed set of conditions or requirements of this standard procedure.
Qualifying Agency: The body responsible for development, maintenance, sponsorship, and operation of a program to ensure uniform compliance with the provisions of this standard procedure.
Shop Painting: Conducting surface preparation and protective coating applications within a shop facility.
2.2 FUNCTIONS TO BE EVALUATED: The program has four function areas to be evaluated: Management Procedures, Technical Capabilities, Quality Control, and Safety, Health and Environmental Compliance. General requirements for each of these function areas are presented in Section 3.
2.3 EVALUATION CRITERIA: The qualifying agency shall develop criteria or rating plans to evaluate each applicant and painting applicators against this standard. The qualifying agency shall also determine which of the specific critical items within the four function areas are to be evaluated during follow-up audits, ensuring the items evaluated are the same for all applicants. The sequence of steps for conducting an evaluation within a certification program is outlined in Section 4. The evaluation, in each instance, will be performed by the auditor.
2.4 QUALIFICATION CATEGORIES: This standard establishes three qualification categories and two qualification classes for shop painting.
Enclosed Shop qualification covers shops that are located in permanent, non-movable building facilities,
having built-in controlled heating and humidity control, built-in ventilation for blast booths and coating bays or booths, and indoor, climate-controlled areas for paint storage, and drying and curing of coated items. The qualification covers shops that have either fixed or portable enclosures, have either fixed or portable controlled heating and air conditioning, fixed or portable ventilation systems for blast and paint booths, indoor, climate controlled areas for drying and curing, and fixed or portable heating and cooling systems for paint storage areas.
Category 2: Covered Shop: A covered shop is located at a permanent site but is not required to have walls, heating, or humidity control. Ventilation systems for the blast booth or wheel blast areas and for the coating bay or booth are either fixed or portable. Drying and curing of coated items takes place under ambient conditions. Paint storage areas have either fixed or portable heating or cooling equipment.
Category 3: Open Shop: An open shop is a permanent site open to all ambient conditions. There are no requirements for controls of temperature, humidity, or ventilation in the blast or coating areas. Drying and curing of coated items takes place under ambient conditions. Paint storage areas have either fixed or portable heating or cooling equipment.
All categories shall provide evidence of proper operating procedures and maintenance records of equipment, and evidence of proper coating storage, handling, and storage of waste material. Where no Category is specified, requirements for Category 1 shops shall apply.
2.5 CERTIFICATION CLASSES: This standard establishes two certification classes for each of the three qualification categories described in Section 2.4. If SSPC-QP 3 qualification is required, and no QP 3 Certification Class is specified, the shop shall meet Class A requirements. If qualification to either SSPC-QP 3 or American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Sophisticated Paint Endorsement (SPE) is required, the shop shall meet Certification Class B requirements if it is not already qualified to Class
A. A shop qualified to Certification Class A is considered qualified to Class B.
Certification Class A: A shop certified to Class A shall comply with the requirements of
Section 3.1 and all subsections
Sections 188.8.131.52, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, and all subsections
Sections 3.3, 3.3.1, 3.3.3, and all subsections, and
Section 3.4 and all subsections.
Certification Class B: A shop certified to Class B shall comply with the requirements of
Section 3.1 and all subsections
Sections 184.108.40.206, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, and all subsections
Section 3.3.2 and all subsections, and
Section 3.3.3 and all subsections
3. General Qualification Requirements
3.1 MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES: The applicant shall demonstrate adequate procedures for disseminating company policy to workers, administrative and financial management as follows:
3.1.1 Company Policy
a. General mission statement with separate declarations on quality, safety, and environmental protection goals and commitments.
b. Description of procedures for disseminating company policies within the organization and to any workers under its direction.
3.1.2 Organization and Personnel
a. Organizational chart showing division of responsibility within the company.
b. List of names, titles, duties, and job descriptions for key personnel (management, technical, quality control, safety) involved in purchasing and handling of materials related to coatings or surface preparation, as well as those involved in surface preparation and coating operations, such as inspection and testing.
c. List of in-house or external training courses and written career advancement programs attended by key personnel.
3.1.3 Administrative and Management Procedures
a. Brief description of company method of financial recordkeeping.
b. Procedures used to review job specifications and other related bid documentation.
c. Formal procedures for complying with federal, state, and local environmental, health, and safety regulations.
3.2 TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES: The applicant shall show evidence of having qualified personnel, adequate technical resources, suitable job conversion procedures, and appropriate equipment, facilities, and experience as follows:
3.2.1 Production Personnel Qualifications
220.127.116.11 Certification Class A: The shop shall provide documented evidence that workers are trained and qualified and their performance is evaluated according to the requirements of Annex A or equivalent.
18.104.22.168 Certification Class B: The shop shall provide evidence that personnel involved in application and surface preparation receive initial and continuing documented training appropriate for their job functions. Proficiency of personnel shall be monitored.
3.2.2 Technical Resources (Certification Classes A and B):
a. List of technical societies, trade associations, or other industry groups (e.g., universities, major manufacturers, consultants) with which shop is associated.
b. Verifiable evidence that the shop has current or specified versions of technical standards and references (e.g., product data sheets and manufacturer’s safety data sheets) applicable to the work it performs. These references and standards shall be available to production personnel.
3.2.3 Procedures (Certification Classes A and B): Description of procedures that are used to convert job specifications into shop work orders, job plans, etc., including:
a. Written records of receipt and processing of job specifications and revisions.
b. Procedures for receipt of specifications and revisions.
c. Procedures for clarifying ambiguous, erroneous, omitted, or conflicting specification requirements.
d. Procedures for communicating specifications and shop procedures to quality control personnel on the floor and production supervisors.
e. Procedures for requesting and obtaining appropriate approval from the owner for deviations from contract requirements.
3.2.4 Experience, Equipment, and Facilities (Certification Classes A and B): Listing of current and recently completed jobs and work experience which support company’s capabilities to perform work at the class of certification sought. List shall include the following:
a. Facility name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and principal contact.
b. Description of work performed, including: materials applied with name and address of manufacturers; equipment used; project and shift supervisor’s name(s) and number of painters required per shift; special safety or environmental requirements or provisions; approximate volume of product applied; and delivery method of the completed work.
c. List of equipment used for cleaning, surface preparation, coating application, curing, and material handling and delivery.
d. Written maintenance and repair procedures for equipment and vehicles, as well as maintenance records.
e. Provide written preventive maintenance plans for major equipment (e.g., air make up units, centrifugal blast equipment, blast cabinets, dust collectors, compressors, pollution control equipment) and evidence of use of such plans.
f. Description of the shop’s capability to control environmental conditions and pollutants. This would include describing each area with environmental or pollution controls, the nature of these controls, and functions carried out in the specific area. Such areas include (1) prior-to-cleaning material storage, (2) pre-cleaning, (3) preparation, (4) equipment maintenance,
(5) application of coating, and (6) curing. The description of the areas would include ventilation, lighting, dust control, and physical dimensions depending upon qualification category sought.
g. Shop shall maintain area adequate for storage of coating materials in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements and governing safety regulations. At a minimum, flammable materials shall be stored in approved containers; storage area temperature shall be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or overriding safety regulations; paint and solvent shall be stored under cover and out of direct sunlight; storage area shall have operable fire extinguishers and explosion-proof lighting; smoking shall be prohibited; mixing of paints shall be prohibited in the storage area; paint with expired shelf life shall be segregated from current material; storage area is to be kept neat and orderly, free of accumulation of empty paint cans, combustibles, and other debris.
3.3 QUALITY CONTROL: The applicant shall demonstrate that it has qualified personnel, inspection equipment, and proper inspection and recording procedures for job quality control.
3.3.1 Personnel Qualifications–Certification Class A:
a. Quality Control Supervisors shall have documented proof of satisfactory completion of training acceptable to the qualifying agency.1 In addition, Quality Control Managers shall have a minimum of 3 years experience in coating quality control or related functions.
b. Coating Inspectors shall have satisfactorily completed training acceptable to the qualifying agency.2 In addition, inspectors shall have a minimum of 2 years shop coating experience.
3.3.2 Personnel Qualifications–Certification Class B:
a. Quality Control Supervisor/Coating Inspectors shall have documented formal training based on the applicable guidance in ASTM D 3276, Standard Guide for Painting Inspectors (Metal Substrates).3
b. Coatings Inspectors shall have one year of shop coating experience. Inspectors who have less experience shall work under the guidance of an inspector having these qualifications.
3.3.3 Inspection Procedures and Recording Systems (Certification Classes A and B):
The shop shall possess:
a. Standards and specifications for coating inspection work and their utilization.
b. A system for maintaining and filing in-process and final inspection reports.
c. Properly operating inspection equipment to monitor surface preparation, application, and curing.
d. Documentation that quality control personnel report inspection results (especially nonconformities) directly to the designated level of authority in a timely manner.
e. Demonstration that procedures are available and used for:
• calibration and verification of accuracy of inspection instruments
• consistent inspection of each major operation (i.e., coating materials receipt, materials inspection, materials storage; pre-surface preparation condition assessment, surface preparation; application of primer, intermediate and topcoat; pre-shipping and shipping damage)
• providing adequate light for workers and inspection as well as adequate access to all items being inspected
• stopping work not conforming to specification
• identifying, isolating, and documenting non-conforming material
• identifying and correcting problems with inspection equipment, procedures, and personnel
3.4 SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE (Certification Class A only):
The submitted application shall document proper safety and environmental compliance procedures and record-keeping systems and access to resource material as follows:
3.4.1 Safety Procedures
a. Documentation of safety education, safety meetings, regular safety inspections, and other relevant activities. Verification that shop has adequate written safety program that is reviewed annually by executive management for effectiveness and accuracy and updated by a safety professional as processes used and regulations change, and that program rules are consistently monitored and enforced.
b. Pre-job safety planning.
c. Documentation of accident reports, including investigation to determine cause as well as actions taken to prevent recurrence.
d. Procedure for determining proficiency of safety and loss control measures shop utilizes.
e. Safety procedures for specialized equipment.
f. Verification that controls and procedures are in place to ensure sufficient ventilation according to National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) guidelines during surface preparation and coating operations.4
g. Verification that controls and procedures are in place to avoid encroachment of other operations in surface preparation and coating areas.
h. Verification that housekeeping measures are in place to control hazards.
i. Verification that procedures for safe wiring, adequate grounding and proper general electrical practices according to NFPA guidelines are in place.
j. Verification that appropriate respirators and other personal protective equipment are provided, properly used, and properly maintained.
k. Availability of first-aid trained employees.
3.4.2 Environmental Compliance: Verification that shop has an adequate, current, written environmental compliance program to handle processing and proper disposal of hazardous waste and that program rules are consistently monitored and enforced.
3.4.3 Resource Materials
a. List of available resource materials.
b. Sources of information on safety requirements.
c. Procedures used for acquiring safety information and materials.
d. Availability of safety information referenced in submittals.
e. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
4. Application and Qualification Procedures (All Categories, All Classes)
4.1 SUBMITTAL OF WRITTEN APPLICATION PACKAGE: The initial step is to request an application form and instructions. The request, along with an application fee (when applicable) shall be submitted to the qualifying agency.
The application process involves gathering required information on the firm as described in the application form. This information and documentation will be submitted at the same time as the formal application for qualification. All reports and certification documents shall include a date and actual signature of the person preparing or authorizing the document.
4.2 REVIEW OF APPLICATION PACKAGE: The applicant’s application package is reviewed by the qualifying agency using guidelines for evaluation that have been established by that agency. The evaluation items are based on Section 3 of this document.
4.3 ON-SITE AUDIT OF APPLICANT: Subject to satisfactory evaluation of the application package referred to in 4.2 and on a date mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the qualifying agency, an auditor representing the qualifying agency will visit the applicant’s premises to investigate and rate the following areas directly and indirectly affecting quality of work provided: Management Procedures, Technical Capabilities, Quality Control, and Safety, Health, and Environmental Compliance. The auditor will perform the following:
a. Confirm data submitted with the application for qualification.
b. Conduct interviews with key supervisory personnel.
c. Observe and rate the organization and operation, including management procedures; technical capabilities; quality control; and safety, health, and environmental compliance procedures based on established audit criteria.
d. Examine and rate equipment and facilities.
The on-site audit will usually require from one to two days to complete.
4.4 EXIT INTERVIEW: Following the site audit, the auditor will hold an exit interview with a cognizant member of management. At the exit interview, the auditor will review observations and the evaluation, including discussions of deficiencies and omissions, if any. A written schedule of deficiencies and omissions will be provided to the cognizant member of management, who will be asked to confirm receipt of the schedule.
4.5 EVALUATION OF APPLICATION AND DETERMINATION OF STATUS: At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the auditor will submit findings to the qualifying agency, which will make the final decision regarding applicant status:
4.5.1 Qualification: The qualifying agency will make final determination of the applicant’s qualification status based on the findings of the auditor and disciplinary or other evaluation criteria defined in the application materials. Upon acceptance of this recommendation, the qualifying agency will issue a certificate identifying the applicant by name and by location of the applicant’s shop. Subsequent annual reconfirmation is subject to the qualifying agency’s requirements.
4.5.2 Withhold Qualification: The qualifying agency has determined that the applicant has not met the requirements of Section 3 of this standard. If qualification is withheld, the qualifying agency shall submit to the applicant an itemization of deficiencies that resulted in the decision to withhold qualification. The applicant will be allowed 90 days after notification to submit corrective actions and request an on-site re-audit.
4.6 METHOD OF APPEAL: If an applicant disputes the qualifying agency’s decision, the applicant may appeal, utilizing the following steps of recourse:
• Notifying the qualifying agency within 10 working days after notification of audit findings at the exit interview, specifically identifying reasons for the appeal.
• The applicant may arrange with the qualifying agency to have a second independent auditor acceptable to both parties brought in at the applicant’s expense to inspect and re-evaluate the applicant for compliance with the standard’s requirements.
In the event the foregoing steps fail to resolve the dispute, a mutually agreed-upon arbitration panel, consisting of three persons familiar with shop application operations in the coatings industry, will convene to hear evidence and make a final decision. If the arbitration panel finds for the applicant, the cost of all fees and expenses of the arbitration panel, the representative of the evaluation team, and the qualifying agency will be shared (50:50 split) by the applicant and the qualifying agency. If the arbitration panel does not find for the applicant, the applicant will be responsible for payment of all fees and expenses. Any other costs incurred by any party to the dispute will be borne by that party.
4.7 RECONFIRMATION OF QUALIFICATION:
4.7.1 Internal Audit: The applicant shall at his own expense perform an annual internal audit, based on the requirements of Section 3 above, following initial qualification. The results of this audit will be forwarded to the qualifying agency, with a copy retained on file by the applicant, and will be made available to the auditor during any announced or unannounced audits.
4.7.2 Owner Comments: Owners for whom the applicant performs work will have an opportunity to comment on the qualified applicator’s performance by completing an owner comment form available from the qualifying agency. Comments will be in the form of replies to specific questions asked of owners regarding performance on specific jobs. Owner comments will be treated as confidential information.
Failure to satisfactorily complete and submit the annual internal audit or pass an audit to maintain
qualification following initial qualification, or failure to meet disciplinary or other evaluation criteria established by the qualifying agency, will be cause for suspension or revocation of certification. Audits conducted to determine continued qualification will be announced or unannounced and performed annually, unless otherwise determined by the qualifying agency.
4.9. QUALIFICATION PERIOD: Qualification is for three years with annual reviews as determined by the qualifying agency.
4.10 QUALIFYING AGENCY FILES: The qualifying agency will maintain a list of certified applicators, as well as pertinent information submitted by owners and users who have utilized the applicator’s services. This information will assist in the validation process during the qualification period.
All information gathered will be used only for purposes intended. Information determined to be proprietary in nature will be treated as confidential.
While every precaution is taken to ensure that all information furnished in SSPC guides and standards is as accurate, complete, and useful as possible, SSPC cannot assume any responsibility, nor incur any obligation, resulting from the use of any materials or methods specified therein, or of the procedure itself.
ANNEX A: GENERAL TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CRAFT WORKERS
A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION: In order to meet the requirements of QP 3 section 22.214.171.124, the contractor shall implement a written program to:
(1) Assess the skills and general training needs of newly hired craft workers and qualify them for their assigned tasks;
(2) Verify the qualifications of existing craft workers;
(3) Train inexperienced craft workers (trainees) as necessary
(4) Evaluate the performance of craft workers at least once per calendar year and provide additional training as necessary
(5) Ensure compliance with contract specific worker training/qualification requirements
B. CONTENTS OF THE PROGRAM–GENERAL TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
NEWLY HIRED EXPERIENCED CRAFT WORKERS: The program shall contain provisions to administer written tests and/or a hands-on evaluation to assess the skills of new hires that claim to have previous experience, or verify previous qualifications through a formal training or qualification program.
(1) When written tests are used, they shall include information that the contractor determines to be necessary to verify the general knowledge of the trade and the qualifications of the individual tested to perform work assigned. While it is left to the contractor to create or use the test that works best for its business, the contractor shall show that the questions and answers are based on training materials, or standards or publications developed by SSPC, ASTM International, PDCA6, the IUPAT7 or its affiliates; NCCER,8 or materials developed by another organization that are acceptable to the qualifying agency.
(2) Hands on Skill Evaluation – At a minimum abrasive blasters shall be qualified using the SSPC C-7 hands-on skill assessment protocol for testing blasters or an equivalent hands-on evaluation acceptable to the qualifying agency. The hands-on evaluation can be done in a controlled qualification session in the shop or yard or in the field at an actual production site.
(3) Spray painters shall be qualified per the contractor’s quality control procedures manual using industry accepted qualification procedures from one or more of the sources listed in B(1) above.
(4) Specialty skill qualifications for such processes as UHP water-jetting, thermal spray metallizing, or plural component spray shall be developed in house (or outsourced) based on material or equipment supplier best practices when industry standard training or training materials do not exist.
(5) Craft workers previously trained or qualified by the applicant who have been laid off or who have left to work for another contractor only to return to work to the applicant within a two year period need not be re-qualified to update assessment of their skills.
TRAINEES: General training for trainees shall be based on training materials developed by SSPC, PDCA, the IUPAT or its affiliates; NCCER, or equivalent training materials acceptable to the qualifying agency.
C. QUALIFICATION TO APPLY SPECIFIC MATERIAL AND USE NEW EQUIPMENT
The program shall contain procedures to qualify craft workers to apply materials or use equipment unfamiliar to the craft worker. The program shall also document that those workers have been qualified/trained.
Each contractor shall designate a “Supervisor” to be responsible for implementation of the company’s craft worker training and qualification program and monitoring its effective use in the field.
The “Supervisor” shall have sufficient technical knowledge and documented training in the use of specific materials and equipment.
E. PROJECT OR WORK PLAN (Optional unless required by contract):
The contractor’s job specific work plan or process procedures shall state how the work is to be done in order to meet customer requirements and define the qualifications of the craft workers performing that work.
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
The contractor shall have implemented procedures and documentation to show that the production supervisor evaluates each craft worker’s performance at least annually. Annual performance evaluation will be changed from a non-critical “minor” evaluation item to a “major” critical item.
NON-MANDATORY APPENDIX B: SUMMARY OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CERTIFICATION CLASS A AND CERTIFICATION CLASS B
The significant differences between Certification Class A and Certification Class B are the requirements for training of quality control personnel and the requirements for environmental health and safety compliance.
Certification Class A : Shops meeting Certification Class A shall employ a QC supervisor who has satisfactorily completed the SSPC Quality Control Supervisor Training Course (QCS) or equivalent training acceptable to the qualifying agency and a coating inspection training course, or who has accreditation as an SSPC Protective Coating Specialist or equivalent accreditation acceptable to the qualifying agency. A minimum of 3 years experience in coating quality control is required.
Shops meeting Certification Class A requirements shall employ inspectors who have satisfactorily completed an inspector training course acceptable to the qualifying agency and have a minimum of 2 years experience in coating inspection.
The shop shall have a detailed worker assessment program and evidence of availability and use of worker craft training programs
The shop shall have a written environmental health and safety program.
Certification Class A should be specified when the facility owner or specifier intends to hire a paint shop or fabricating shop that monitors the proficiency of its paint crew, uses an inspector who has specific training and experience in coatings inspection, and is capable of meeting all applicable health, safety, and environmental regulations.
Certification Class B: Certification Class B does not require a QC supervisor.
Shops qualified to Class B shall have inspectors who have completed documented formal training based on the applicable guidance in ASTM D 3276 and have a minimum of 1 year experience in surface preparation and painting inspection. Inspectors having less than one year of experience shall work under the guidance of an inspector who has the required experience.
Class B requires a less formal worker assessment program, in which the shop may use inspection reports as a means of monitoring worker proficiency.
Class B does not require an environmental health and safety program.
1 Examples of quality control supervisor training acceptable for SSPC-QP 3 qualification include accreditation to SSPC Protective Coating Specialist, satisfactory completion of the SSPC Quality Control Supervisor Training, or equivalent training acceptable to the qualifying agency.
2 Examples of coating inspector training acceptable for SSPC-QP 3 qualification include Bridge Coating Inspector Training or equivalent alternative training acceptable to the qualifying agency.
3 ASTM International standards are available online from http://www.astm.org.
4 Examples of NFPA Guidelines relevant to paint shops include the latest editions of the following:
NFPA 1: Uniform Fire Code
NFPA 33: Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
NFPA 34: Dipping and Coating Processes Using Flammable or Combustible Liquids
NFPA 230: Standard for the Fire Protection of Storage
NFPA 70: National Electrical Code
NFPA 91: Standard for Exhaust Systems for Air Conveying of Vapors, Gases, Mists, and Noncombustible Particulate Solids
NFPA guidelines and standards are available online from http://webstore/ansi.org, the online standards store for the American National Standards Institute.
5 A craft worker is one who performs surface preparation and/or applies coating materials.
6 Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, 11960 Westline Industrial Drive, Suite 201, St. Louis, MO 63146-3209 Phone: 800-332-7322 (PDCA), 314-514-7322, online at http://www.pdca.org
7 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, 1750 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, 202-637-0700, or online at http://www.iupat.org
8 National Center for Construction Engineering and Research, 3600 NW 43rd Street, Bldg. G Gainesville, FL. 32606, 888-622-3720 or online at http://www.nccer.org
Qualification Procedure No. 3 – Standard Procedure for Evaluating Qualifications of Shop Painting Applicators