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Fundamentals of Protective Coatings (C1)

Level: Basic
Duration: 5 Days / 40 Hours, Includes Course Exam
Class Times: 8:00 - 5:00
Cost: Member $1020, Non-Member $1220
Credits: 3.8 CEUs
Certification Terms: N/A
Prerequisites: No

Written Exam Retake Fee: $100 member; $200 non-member

To contact SSPC or to schedule a retake exam, please click here.

How to Register for the C1 Course Exam Only (1 day):
SSPC Member $250/Non-Member $450

Click here to register for the C1 Course Exam ONLY

How to Register for the Full C1 Course:

Click here to find a course & register online

Available Online

Course Description

This course provides a practical and comprehensive overview for those who are new to the protective coatings industry. It is also an ideal refresher for reviewing the fundamentals of corrosion and the use of coatings as a protective mechanism against corrosion and deterioration of industrial structures.

Course Content

  • Corrosion and Corrosion Control
  • Coating Types and Their Mechanisms and Protection
  • Surface Preparation for Painting
  • Application of Coatings
  • Inspection and Quality Control
  • Coatings for Steel Structures
  • Coating Degradation, Defects, and Failures
  • Coating of Concrete Surfaces
  • Safety in Painting Operations

Benefits of Attending

After attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify types of corrosion and select coatings that meet project demands.
  • Recognize the different types of coatings available and the various mechanisms at work in the process of protection.
  • Discuss how proper surface preparation is critical to achieving the maximum level of protection available through protective coating systems.
  • Describe the inspection equipment and methods used to ensure that all specification requirements are met.
  • Classify coating selection and application by facility and service environment.
  • List the factors that accelerate coating deterioration and the techniques used to avoid common defects.
  • Distinguish the unique selection and application problems with coating concrete surfaces.
  • Recognize the safety hazards involved in coating operations and the responsibilities of management and workers in safety training and practices.

Course Format

Each participant will receive a comprehensive manual that includes a glossary of terms, references for additional reading, and copies of relevant handouts, standards, and regulations.

The written exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. To receive a certificate and CEUs, you must attend all 40 hours of the course and attain a 70% or better score on the exam.

Who Should Attend

Contractors, engineers, inspectors, consultants, facility owners, technical services and sales reps.

DoD Funded Training

Under the DoD Corrosion Prevention and Control Program, funding has been provided to train DoD, Army, Navy and Airforce personnel in SSPC’s C1 Course. For more information on how to take advantage of attending this course for free, contact Jennifer Merck at 877.281.7772, ext 2221 or merck@sspc.org.

SSPC C-1 Online

The Fundamentals of Protective Coatings (C1) eCourse starts on the 15th of each month throughout the year. Each semester is 20 weeks (5 months). Students can work at their own pace over the 20- week period to complete the units, workshops, and quizzes. The final exam is also completed online.


C1 fulfills part of your training requirement for SSPC Protective Coatings Specialist (PCS) Certification. All students interested in pursuing PCS Certification, having less than 15 years coatings experience, must take the C1 Exam and the C2 Course prior to applying to sit for PCS exam. Individuals who are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of coatings technology should consider taking C1 prior to C2.

License Providers

SSPC Training Courses are available through SSPC licensed training providers.


For more information contact merck@sspc.org