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QP 9

SSPC QP 9 Certification
(Standard for Evaluating Qualifications of Painting Contractors Who Apply Architectural Paints and Coatings)

SSPC QP9SM contains requirements for evaluating the qualifications of painting contractors who apply architectural coatings on commercial or institutional structures, and defines a minimum standard for qualification.

The objective of this procedure is to determine if a painting contractor has the management structure; organization structure; qualified personnel; technical capability; quality management system; and safety and environmental compliance programs in order to perform surface preparation and architectural coating application of the required quality under the conditions and restrictions specified by the owner.

The procedure encompasses the application of architectural coatings in the commercial and institutional sectors only. Field industrial or marine protective coating applications on steel structures is covered by the requirements of SSPC-QP 1, "Standard Procedure for Evaluating Qualifications of Painting Contractors." SSPC-QP 3, "Standard Procedures for Evaluating the Qualifications of Shop Painting Applicators", covers painting of steel and miscellaneous metal parts in the shop. SSPC-QP 8, “Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualifications of Contracting Firms that Install Polymer Coatings and Surfacings on Concrete and Other Cementitious Substrates,” covers installation of resinous flooring and surfacings.

In SSPC QP 9, there are four functional areas that are evaluated:

  • Management Procedures
  • Technical Capabilities
  • Job Quality Procedures
  • Safety, Health and Environmental Compliance

These criteria are outlined in depth in Section 3 of the standard itself.

The standard defines four qualification categories. However, SSPC offers "full" certification for Category 1 only and qualification certificates for Categories 2 and 3 for those contractors who do not meet the requirements for full status certification but who wish to obtain "interim" qualification leading eventually to "full" certification (Category 1).

Category 1 - "Full Certification"
Contractor has demonstrated a minimum of five years of successful experience applying architectural paints and coatings in the commercial or institutional property markets and is found to be in compliance with all requirements of this procedure. Category 1 qualification requires both an office and a jobsite audit.

Category 2 - "Qualification"
Contractor has demonstrated a minimum of three years of successful experience applying architectural paints and coatings, in the commercial or institutional property markets and is found to be in compliance with all requirements of this procedure with the exception of full implementation of a Job Quality Monitoring System in the field. Category 2 qualification requires an office audit only.

Category 3
Contractor has a minimum of two years of successful experience applying architectural paints and coatings in the commercial or institutional property markets and is found to be in compliance with all requirements of this procedure with the exception of development and implementation of a Job Quality Monitoring System and an Environmental Compliance Program in accordance with requirements of Sections 3.3.3 and 3.4.2. A detailed submittal is required to achieve Category 3 qualification. No site audit is required to qualify for this Category.

The one-time qualification period for both Categories 3 and 2 expires after three years. Contractors entering the program at Categories 3 or 2 are expected to advance to the next higher category before the three-year period of their qualification expires. A contractor who has achieved Category 1 qualification is certified for a three-year period with annual audits as determined by SSPC. At the end of this three-year period, the certification term expires and the contractor re-applies for a new three-year term.

Additional Information can be Found in the QP Applications & Forms box on the left side of this page:

  • Applications / Program Rules for Certification
  • Audit Checklist
  • Auditor Evaluation Survey
  • Contractor Performance Form
  • DAC
  • Job Notification Form
  • List of Owners Known to Require Certified Contractors
  • Technical Standards Library Requirements