Coating Inspector Program – Level 1

Basic Coatings Inspector / CIP Level 1 Certification

CIP Level 1 Course

Completing the Coating Inspector Program (CIP) Level 1 Course is the first step to earning the Basic Coatings Inspector Certification. The CIP Level 1 Course provides entry level knowledge of coating materials, techniques for surface preparation and application, and inspection testing and documentation.

After successfully obtaining your Basic Coatings Inspector certification you will be able to perform basic coating inspections on steel substrates using nondestructive testing and instrumentation.

Who should pursue and apply?

Although specifically designed for coating inspector trainees, this program benefits anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of coatings and inspection including:

  • Project managers, supervisors/foreman and engineers
  • Maintenance and quality assurance/control (QA/QC) personnel
  • Contractors and specification writers
  • Coating manufacturers and technical sales representatives
  • Fabricators and welders
  • Paint applicators and blasters
Upcoming Courses Recertification Information Exam Preparation Guide

Course description  |  Certification information  |  Job roles, credentials, and supervisory guidelines

CIP Level 1 Course

Classroom instruction is comprised of lectures, group exercises, case studies and hands-on practical labs. Students will also participate in real-life inspection projects that are designed to apply course concepts to the job site by focusing on inspection procedures and proper instrument use, situation problem solving, inaccurate specifications and strengthening the relationship between the inspector and other team members.

Learning objectives

  • Recognize how corrosion forms and the role protective coatings play in preventing corrosion
  • Describe the role of the inspector as it applies to responsibilities, authority, safety, ethics, communication, and decision-making
  • Differentiate surface preparation equipment, methods, and standards for solvent cleaning, hand/power tool cleaning, wet/dry abrasive blasting, and waterjetting
  • Identify quality control issues, recognizing design and fabrication defects and coating failure modes
  • Compare and contrast different generic coating types, modes of protection and curing mechanisms
  • Differentiate coating application by type, including brush, roller, airless, conventional, and plural component spray
  • Utilize job specifications, safety/product data sheets and a variety of inspection report documentation including NCRs, daily reports and inspection test plans
  • Perform non-destructive inspection procedures for environmental conditions, visible/nonvisible contaminants, surface profile, film thickness, and holiday detection under the supervision of a qualified inspector
  • Comply with the AMPP Coating Inspector Code of Conduct

Course completion

To receive a training Certificate of Completion and continuing education units (CEUs) students must attend the entire course and successfully pass each learning assessment, including the hands-on practical exam given on the last day of class.

Take the Course
5 or 6 Day Course*
English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese*
5.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

*Please note that the language and length of the course may vary based on geographic location.


There are no required prerequisites for this course.

Related courses

Coating Inspector - Level 1 Blended Program
Math for the Coatings Professional eCourse
Basic Corrosion or Basic Corrosion eCourse

How to achieve the Basic Coatings Inspector Certification

  1. Enroll and complete course requirements

    Successful completion of CIP Level 1 Course

    Successful completion of the Ethics for the Corrosion Professional course or an equivalent training

  2. Take required exams

    Certification Exam - Basic Coating Inspector Practical exam administered in the classroom.

    Practical Exam Preparation Guide

    Note: This exam is delivered as part of the AMPP CIP Level 1 course

    Certification Exam - Basic Coating Inspector Written Exam NACE-CIP1-001 scheduled through Pearson VUE.

    Note: This exam is available on Computer Based Testing (CBT) at Pearson Virtual University Enterprises (VUE). AMPP offers exam preparation guides to help you prepare for your written exam.

  3. Agree to AMPP terms of service

    AMPP Terms of Service, Candidate Agreement, and Code of Professional Conduct

Start Your Journey

Certification candidates have four (4) years to complete all requirements, including successful completion of the exam, and an approved application with the required work experience and education requirements.

*Please note that the CIP Level 1 course and the Basic Coatings Inspector Certification reflect the best of both the SSPC PCI Level 1 and NACE CIP Level 1 legacy programs.

Renewal requirements

An approved recertification application is required every 3 years. The work experience requirement for renewals for all certifications is one and half (1.5) years for the most recent three (3) year period. Additionally, some certifications have other requirements related to responsibility in charge.

As you prepare for renewal, please visit My Certification Portal to log and manage your work experience and Professional Development Hours (PDH's) needed. Your work experience and PDH's will be submitted as part of your renewal application but you can input PDH's at any time. See the certification renewal guide for PDH's requirements, our sample training PDH guide, and our PDH how-to videos.

Certification holders are required to pay a non-refundable processing fee for renewal.

NOTE: AMPP reserves the right to return any incomplete applications or those that do not meet the requirements. All application fees are non-refundable. To avoid processing delays or forfeiture of fees, please ensure that the application is complete, meets all the requirements and payment has been received.