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QP/AB Programs

Disciplinary Action Criteria

The Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) is a set of safety, health, environmental protection, quality and service, and ethical practice standards that govern QP 1, QP 2, QP 3, QP 6 and QP 8. It is the criterion for issuing warnings; placing firms on probation; conducting special unannounced audits; and suspending or revoking certification if program violation(s) are severe enough. SSPC-QP 5 has a unique set of Disciplinary Action Criteria.

Five critical areas are evaluated in disciplinary action investigations:

  1. Environmental compliance
  2. Ethical practices
  3. Quality of work/service
  4. SSPC information submittals (as required by certification)
  5. Worker safety

Disciplinary Actions

Four levels of action can be taken based on the severity of the contractor violation(s):

1. Warning

  • Contractor is notified of confirmed critical faults/violations
  • May be subjected to an unannounced audit(s) (1st audit is contractor paid)
  • Warning status will remain for one year (it may be lifted if the unannounced audit is passed)
  • Further action will be taken if additional critical faults/violations are verified

2. Probation

  • Contractor is notified of multiple confirmed critical faults/violations
  • Mandatory unannounced audit (fees are contractor paid.
  • Probation is lifted with successful unannounced audit(s)
  • A failure to pass the unannounced audit leads to immediate Suspension of certification
    NOTE: If Suspension lasts six months, procedures for Suspension reinstatement must be followed

3. Suspension

  • Critical faults/violations are verified
  • Contractor is notified of Suspension
  • Minimum Suspension of six (6) months
  • Reinstatement requires maintenance application and passing an unannounced audit (fees are contractor paid)
  • Contractor pays penalty that is equal to the initial application administration fee

4. Revocation

  • Critical faults/violations are confirmed
  • Contractor is notified that it's certification is Revoked
  • Minimum of two (2) year loss of certification
  • Reinstatement requires an initial application and passing an unannounced audit (contractor's expense)
  • Additional fee equal to the annual administration fee
  • During the first year of renewed certification the contractor must pass an additional unannounced audit (fee is contractor paid)

Notification of Disciplinary Actions

Listed below the disciplinary action is the type and extent of notification

Warning: Contractor, SSPC administration, SSPC auditing staff


  • Contractor
  • SSPC administration and auditing staff
  • SSPC Board of Governors
  • PCCP Advisory Committee Chair
  • * General announcement in JPCL
  • * General announcement on the SSPC web site and newsletter
    Special Note:
    * Contractor name not provided. General announcement provided to show an action was taken.

Suspension and Revocation Levels:

  • Contractor
  • SSPC administration and auditing staff
  • SSPC Board of Governors
  • PCCP Advisory Committee Chair
  • Facility owners known to be currently using the contractor
  • Contractor specifically named in the JPCL
  • Contractor specifically named on the SSPC web site and newsletter

DAC Background

At a meeting on March 12, 1996, the Painting Contractor Certification Program (PCCP) Advisory Committee voted to organize a Task Group to draft rules for maintaining quality and discipline in the certification programs. The committee members believed that new and more stringent criteria and administrative procedures were needed to supplement the annual and unannounced technical audits, which to that point, had been the sole method for determining a contractor's ability to achieve and maintain certification.

Over time, and after much debate, all agreed to the set of standards that are now named the Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC). It was released in January of 1998.

Quality and Integrity within the Industry

The over all quality and integrity of the certification programs relies upon open communication between facility owners, contractors, inspectors and SSPC. It is in everyone's best interest to promote and maintain quality within the industrial painting community. Contact SSPC to learn what you can do to help.


  • Contractors in all QP certification programs are responsible for maintaining the program's guidelines on all of their coatings projects. This applies even when the contract or project specifications do not name SSPC certification as a requirement.
  • All disciplinary actions are posted on the SSPC web site here
  • Disciplinary actions can escalate with additional violations. Example: A warning will become a probation, suspension, or revocationif the contractor has additional violations during the warning period.
  • Contractors can have a disciplinary action brought against them for not filing their Job Notification forms. SSPC advises all contractors to read the information on the form to determine when a job must be reported.
  • All contractors notified of a disciplinary action have the right to appeal the decision within 10 business days of official notification.