CAS for QP 1

CAS certification & QP 1 contractor accreditation

Eligible jobs

CAS QP 1 implementation applies only to projects where blast cleaning and spray-painting are performed on metal surfaces and the contract amount for coating work exceeds $100,000 USD. In addition, CAS certification is not intended for every member of the industrial painting workforce. We recognize that there are good crafts-persons who specialize and perform well in one aspect of the trade and who are successfully working on coating projects today. These crafts-persons will continue to be an important part of a contractor’s workforce but will not be required to hold CAS certification unless CAS is called out in the project specification.

CAS QP 1 implementation requires that the CAS Level II certified applicator be on the job working only during abrasive blast cleaning and spray-painting operations.

Exemptions from CAS requirement on eligible jobs

Exemptions are allowed from the CAS requirement on eligible jobs for projects that call out different requirements for craft-worker qualification or certification. For example, coating contractors performing work on certain US Navy projects or working for nuclear power plants, or the Army Corps of Engineers may have project-specific worker qualification requirements. Owner-specified craft-worker requirements supersede any CAS QP 1 requirement.

Exempt projects

CAS QP 1 Implementation does not apply to the following projects or tasks when QP 1 accreditation is specified unless required by contract:

  • Water cleaning, chemical stripping or hand and power tool cleaning surface preparation operations
  • Brush, roller or mitt coating application
  • Coating of concrete or other non-metallic surfaces
  • Commercial/Architectural coating projects

CAS Implementation Schedule CAS parallel path

Getting painters CAS certified

Eligibility requirements

An industrial painter has two tracks to become eligible to take the “interim” Level II certification exam:

  • Track one – have at least 2,000 hours of documented practical experience and a minimum of 150 hours of classroom training
  • Track two – have at least 3,000 hours of documented practical experience and no formal classroom training.

The exam

Once determined eligible, the painter must pass a written, closed-book 100-question multiple-choice exam and a hands-on skills assessment to achieve the CAS certification.

The written exam covers the fundamentals of surface preparation of steel, coating application, blast cleaning and spray-painting equipment, and safety. The hands-on exam requires the painter to demonstrate competence in blast cleaning and spray application.

After achieving certification under the CAS program, the painter does not have to retake any segments of the exam during his or her career, unless the certification expires.

Applying other industry certifications toward CAS

We allow tradespersons who have already achieved other industry certifications to get credit toward CAS Level 2 Certification.

C-7 (Blaster Certification) & C-12 (Spray Painter Certification)

Many blasters and painters have achieved C-7 or C-12 certifications to perform work for facility owners who specify these certifications.

A craft worker who has achieved C-7 certification can apply that certification toward CAS certification. Having a valid C-7 certification exempts someone applying for CAS from having to take the hands-on abrasive blast-cleaning segment of the CAS exam.

Similarly, spray painters who have achieved C-12 certification can apply that certification to get an exemption from having to take the hands-on spray-painting segment of the CAS exam.

Other industry certifications

We will also consider giving credit toward CAS Level 2 certification for those tradespeople who have achieved other industry certifications administered independently by reputable 3rd parties.

Examples include painter certifications achieved for nuclear power plant coating work or U.S. Army Corp of Engineers coating work.

Obtaining credit toward CAS

We will consider requests for credit toward CAS certification provided the information submitted for consideration clearly identifies the assessment process achieved and clearly documents that the candidate achieved the qualification or certification through a reputable independent assessment organization approved by AMPP.

Those wishing to apply other industry qualifications and certifications toward CAS certification must still submit a complete application for CAS certification and sit for the CAS written exam as well as any equivalent hands-on segment not previously accomplished, and meet CAS work experience requirements.

Scheduling a CAS exam

To schedule a CAS Exam for one or more of your craft-workers, contact Jennifer Merck. Jennifer can be reached by phone at: 1 (877) 281-7772 Ext 2221 or by email at

Exams can be scheduled at your place of business, at times that are most convenient for your organization, so your CAS candidates do not have to travel out-of-town. Before you schedule an exam at your facility it is important that your proposed exam location meets the facility requirements to hold both the written and hands-on segments. You can obtain a copy of the CAS facility requirements from Jennifer Merck upon request.

If you are affiliated with the IUPAT, you can schedule your CAS exam through the FTI by calling (410) 564-5850.


CAS certification fees average from $900 to $1,100 per person depending upon the location of the exam and the number of exam segments that must be administered at a given exam session. The fee covers the cost to independently proctor the written and hands on segments of the certification exam. Other administrative expenses include the cost to process applications, administer and grade exams and issue certificates.

When budgeting for CAS, be sure to include your cost to train and prepare a person for the exam as well as the cost to have someone take the exam.

The full CAS exam, including the written and hands on segments, takes close to 4 hours or one-half day to complete. There’s no limit to how many persons can sit for the written exam at one time, but a proctor can only review 3-4 persons at a time during the hands-on segments, assuming the facility allows for more than one person to blast and spray paint safely at the same time where they can be easily observed by the proctor.

Staying certified

The painter is required to recertify every three years. Recertification consists of reporting that the painter is still practicing in the trade and has had a minimum of 20 hours of “refresher” training each year during the 3-year certification term. No additional examinations are required.

Goal of CAS

The Coating Application Specialist (CAS) Certification Program for industrial painters was established in 2008 to strengthen the qualifications of the current workforce and lay the groundwork for development of a strong industrial painter work force for the decades to follow.

The CAS program offers the highest level of professional recognition for all industrial painters. It accomplishes this by independently assessing the unique skills of individual industrial painters by evaluating their ability to successfully perform abrasive blast cleaning and spray-painting operations.

We believe that the development of a strong industrial painter workforce will go a long way toward improving the quality of surface preparation and protective coating application and promote safe work practices. CAS helps contractors retain a qualified workforce and provides craftworkers with opportunities for advancement.

The CAS program is based on the requirements of SSPC ACS-1/NACE 13, a standard published jointly in 2008 by SSPC and NACE International. ACS-1 defines training and experience requirements that a tradesperson must have to qualify to be assessed for certification.

AMPP QP Program Committee role

The implementation plan was developed with input and recommendations from the Program Accreditation Committee.

A record of the proceedings leading up to the development of the CAS QP 1 Implementation Plan as well as the details of that plan can be found on the Program Committee page.