CAS for QP 1 Contractors
CAS & SSPC QP 1 Contractor Certification
As of Jan. 1, 2013, SSPC QP-1 contractors are required, as part of their worker assessment programs, to have at least one CAS certified craftsperson on eligible industrial painting job sites.
The long-range implementation plan calls for increasing the ratio of CAS Certified Applicators to non-certified applicators for eligible jobs as more craft-workers have the opportunity to achieve CAS certification.
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 $50,000 USD. In addition, CAS certification is not intended for every member of the industrial painting workforce. SSPC recognizes that there are good crafts-persons who specialize and perform well in one aspect of the trade and who are working on coating projects today. These crafts-persons will continue to be an important part of the 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 2 certified applicator be on the job working only during abrasive blast cleaning and spray-painting operations.
Exemptions from CAS Requirement on Eligible Jobs
SSPC allows exemptions 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. Owners also have the option to waive the CAS requirement.
CAS does not apply to the following projects or tasks:
- 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
Getting Painters CAS Certified
An industrial painter has two tracks to become eligible to take the “interim” Level II certification exam:
Track one - have at least 2000 hours of documented practical experience and a minimum of 150 hours of classroom training
Track two – have at least 3000 hours of documented practical experience and no formal classroom training.
Once determined eligible by SSPC, the painter must pass a written, closed-book 100-question multiple-choice exam and a hands-on skills assessment in order to achieve 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 certified 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
SSPC allows 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 SSPC C-7 or C-12 certifications in order 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
SSPC will also consider giving credit toward CAS Level 2 certification for those trades-people 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
SSPC will consider requests for credit toward CAS certification provided the information submitted for consideration clearly indentifies the assessment process achieved and clearly documents that the candidate achieved the qualification or certification through a reputable independent assessment organization acceptable to SSPC.
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.
Scheduling a CAS Exam
To schedule a CAS Exam for one or more of your craft-workers, contact Jennifer Merck at SSPC. Jennifer can be reached by phone at: 1-877-281-7772 Ext 2221 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 charged by SSPC average from $600-800 per person depending upon the location of the exam and the number of exam segments that have to 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 through SSPC, 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.
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
SSPC established the Coating Application Specialist (CAS) Certification Program for industrial painters in 2008 in order 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.
SSPC believes 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 in order to qualify to be assessed for certification.
PCCP Advisory Committee Role
SSPC developed the implementation plan with input and recommendations from the SSPC PCCP Advisory 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 SSPC Web site at: