QP Programs

QP Programs

When You Specify QP, You Specify Quality

Driving quality & safety for 30 years

In 1986 coatings industry leaders decided it was time to create an innovative, adaptable, and effective program that would raise quality standards for projects in the industry and recognize the companies who operate at a higher level. Ultimately, this school of thought lead to the creation of the SSPC QP (Quality Procedures) standards and the Painting Contractor Certification Program (PCCP).

SSPC’s QP program leads the industry and is like no other. Our advisory committee elevates the quality of the QP program by using consensus methods to set and review standards, while our Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) holds QP accredited contractors accountable for safety, quality, environmental, and ethical practice violations. If the standards are not met, our contractors are subject to the DAC’s penalties: warnings, probation, suspension, or revocation.

Explore QP Programs

QP for Contractors

Join the elite group of dedicated contractors with industry-standard capabilities, and a commitment to exceptional quality. With your QP qualifications, you will be able to bid on QP-specified projects.

Benefits for Contractors:

  • Owner specified
  • Clear quality standards definition
  • Reduce your risks
  • Proves value to customers

Get Accredited

QP for Owners

Safeguard your assets and find the best contractors for all your coatings and lining projects and use QP as a pre-qualification for your selection process.

Benefits for Asset and Facility Owners:

  • Pre-qualification for coatings contractors
  • Risk reduction with properly trained personnel
  • Contractors have the experience needed
  • Asset longevity due to properly applied coatings

Protect Your Assets With QP

QP for Inspection Companies

Ensure a high level of quality inspection, and a higher level of unmatched coatings and linings.

Benefits for Inspection Companies:

  • Contractors have well-defined processes
  • Better adherence to specifications by contractors

Get Started on QP 5 Accreditation

QP Accreditation Programs Overview

Hear from Jim Kunkle and Dave Evans in this overview of the QP Program. They discuss the program’s mechanics and how it benefits industrial coatings contractors and asset and facility owners. Jim Kunkle is the Manager, Business Development for AMPP, and Dave Evans is the Director, QP and Coatings Credentialing for AMPP.

QP Programs

QP 1 - Field application to complex industrial and marine structures

The QP 1 accreditation is an internationally recognized program that evaluates the practices of industrial painting contractors in key areas of business related to field coating application.

Program overview

QP 2 - Field removal of hazardous coatings

This accreditation is a nationally recognized program that evaluates the capabilities of industrial/marine paint contractors on their ability to safely remove and properly manage hazardous coating material in the field.

Program overview

QP 3 - Shop painting

The requirements for QP 3 are similar to those for QP 1, except they are specifically focused on shop coating operations instead of field application.

Program overview

QP 5 - Accreditation for coating and lining inspection companies

The QP 5 accreditation program is for coating inspection companies that work in the industrial coating and lining industry.

Program overview

QP 6 - Contractor metallizing

Used by facility owners or their protective coating specialists or specifying engineers to ensure that contractors hired to perform metallizing work to protect bridge, industrial or marine structures, or miscellaneous metal parts have the primary technical capabilities and organizational structure to do the work.

Program overview

QP 7 - Painting contractor introductory program

This program’s objective is to determine if a painting contractor has the personnel, organization, qualifications, procedures, knowledge, and capability to produce quality surface preparation and coating application on industrial, marine, or commercial / institutional structures.

Program overview

QP 8 - Installation of polymer coatings and surfacings on concrete and other cementitious surfaces

This accreditation is for facility owners to ensure that contractors hired to install polymer coatings or surfacings on concrete and other cementitious surfaces in commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities have the technical capabilities and organizational structure necessary for the work.

Program overview

QP 9 - Field application of architectural coatings

This is a nationally recognized accreditation program that evaluates the practices of commercial painting contractors in key areas of business, setting forth the minimum level of service and quality required for today’s coatings industry.

Program overview

QS 1 - Quality management systems

QS 1 is the standard procedure in the PCCP program that requires participating contractors to implement and document more stringent (ISO 9001-compliant) quality control and record-keeping procedures.

Program overview

QN 1 - Nuclear coating supplement

This supplemental procedure describes a method for evaluating the primary qualifications of industrial coating contractors that perform work in nuclear power plant and shop facilities.

Program overview

QP frequently asked questions

To apply for SSPC’s QP program, please comply with the following to ensure your business has the necessary experience and appropriate business license. Download the audit checklist that corresponds with your scope of work and perform an internal audit. Review the relevant QP standard and make sure you are performing work to that standard. Once you have reviewed and completed the previous two steps, complete the detailed application form and submit all necessary paperwork and documentation. You then must obtain acceptance of the submittal. After this, you will undergo an on-site visit by an SSPC auditor of both the company’s primary place of business and an active job site to demonstrate the company’s capabilities.

For pricing information or any questions, please contact QPInfo@ampp.org.

The accreditation process can take up to 2 months. However, the time it takes to become QP Accredited can vary depending on many factors, including the quality of your initial application package, your location, and scope of work.

For any questions, please contact QPInfo@ampp.org.

Qualification depends on the program for which you are applying. Generally, to be eligible for accreditation, SSPC PCCP/QP programs require a company to have been in business under the same ownership for 18 months, with 12 months of successful production and implementation of quality programs. The SSPC-QP 2 standard requires 12 months of production history with removal of hazardous materials.

DAC, or the Disciplinary Action Criteria, was first released in January 1998. DAC 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 the DAC standard via the audit program. The DAC also issues warnings to SSPC accredited contractors, putting firms on probation, conducting special unannounced audits, and suspending and revoking the accreditation of contractors when critical faults have been reported and verified. SSPC lists out the recent actions taken against SSPC accredited contractors found to be in violation of the DAC or other program requirements.

Once accredited, 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.

Consensus Standards are standards that are developed by a process that involves the cooperation of people and groups who have an interest in participating in the development and/or use of the standards. A requirement of the consensus process is that all views and objections must be considered, and an effort be made toward their resolution. SSPC follows the ANSI process for all of the standards developed by the organization.

CAP or Corrective Action Plan is a program that consists of a CAP form and instructions that allow you to systematically respond to each major finding (rating of “1” and all minor findings on initial accreditation audits) and submit them to the SSPC Corporate Accreditation Program Manager for acceptance. If you have any major/minor findings, the auditor will notify you at the audit out brief and request Corrective Action Reports for each major/minor finding. When that happens, the first step is to review the SSPC form and instructions and use them to:

  1. Describe how you corrected the immediate problem. This may also be referred to as the “fix” or “corrective measure” taken. For example, if the auditor finds inspection instruments out of calibration, the immediate fix or corrective measure is to either send the instruments to a qualified lab to have them recalibrated or discard any instrument that is broken and not worth fixing. In short, get the damaged or improperly operating instrument out of service.
  2. The second step in the process is to do and document a “root cause analysis.” Simply put, this means “why” the deficiency occurred and your management needs to discuss what broke down in the system that you had previously set up that caused the finding in the first place. Once the “root cause” is determined, the next step is to install a permanent change or “preventive action” in your quality system to prevent the problem from recurring. Using the instrument example above, you might have discovered during the root cause analysis that the smooth operation of this component of your system depended upon one key person. And when that person was unavailable for an extended period of time due to an illness, there was no qualified person trained to perform back-up duties.
  3. The third step or corrective action would be to train one or two qualified backup(s) to avoid recurrence of this problem. This might require training an existing staff member or outsourcing the work.
  4. The last step in the overall “corrective action plan” would be for management to follow up to ensure that an effective backup plan is in place and working effectively to handle instrument calibrations when the key person is unavailable to direct the process. The entire process is called “Corrective Action.” “Corrective Action” is beneficial as it allows your company to identify problems and mistakes, conduct a detailed root cause analysis, implement corrective action, and install procedures that prevent them from happening again. Recurring problems in a quality system can increase rework, thus cutting into production and job profits. If safety is involved, recurring problems can lead to accidents and injuries. The more you and your organization are willing to recognize problems and address them, the less likely these problems will reoccur. Continually improving your operation allows your organization to operate more efficiently, cost-effectively, and keeps your customers satisfied.

For more information about how to implement a Corrective Action Plan, contact Dave Evans.

All accreditations fall under a three-year auditing period ranging from Annual to Full audits. To maintain accreditation on a yearly basis, maintenance applications and applicable fees are submitted annually.