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Protective Coatings Inspector Program (PCI) Level 1

Level 1- Basic Inspector - No prerequisites for this level

Level: Advanced
Duration: 5 days, Includes Course, Course Exam
Cost: SSPC Member $1095 / Non-Member $1295
Credits: 4.5 CEUs
Certification Term: 4 years
Prerequisites: No

Click here to see schedule (PDF)

Level 1 Course Exam Only:
Duration: 1 day, 4 Hours (Includes exam)
Cost: SSPC Member $250/Non-Member $450

Written Exam Retake Fee: $100 member; $200 non-member
Practial Exam Retake Fee: $200 member; $300 non-member

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

PCI Program Levels

How to Register:

Register for the Level 1 Exam Only

Click here to find a course & register online for Level 1

PCI Certification Term and Renewal

Click here for the PCI Level 1 Certification Terms and Renewal

Renew Your PCI Level 1 Certification:

Click here to purchase your renewal online

Course Description

The objective of this course is to thoroughly train individuals in the proper methods of inspecting surface preparation and installation of industrial and marine protective coatings and lining systems on an array of industrial structures and facilities. There are no prerequisites to attend the PCI Course. However, this course is not an entry level course. Candidates should be prepared for an intense and fast-paced week of training with evening homework and study in order to cover an extensive amount of information in 5 days. PCI meets the requirements of ASTM D 3276 and the IMO Performance Standard for Protective Coatings and IACS CSR.

Course Content

  • Module 1: Corrosion Prevention Using Coatings
  • Module 2: Quality Assurance/Control
  • Module 3: Surface Preparation & Inspection
  • Module 4: Practical Math
  • Module 5: Coating Application & Inspection
  • Module 6: Industrial Coatings & Coating Systems
  • Module 7: Specialty Inspection Projects
  • Module 8: Coating Failures & Methods of Prevention
  • Module 9: Inspector Safety
  • Module 10: Coating Specifications
  • Module 11: Simulated Pre-job Conference; Inspection Procedure Development
  • Module 12: Simulated Project Inspection
  • Module 13: IMO Inspector Training Requirements

Benefits of Attending

After attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the common duties, responsibilities, and the role of an industrial coatings inspector
  • Recognize the role of the coating manufacturer on a coatings project
  • Describe the authority of a coatings inspector
  • Explain the importance of thorough documentation
  • Identify the differences between quality assurance and quality control and the common duties of quality assurance and quality control personnel
  • Describe the purpose and content of a pre-job or preconstruction conference
  • Explain the importance of ethics of inspection personnel
  • Describe methods used to evaluate coating performance prior to full-scale installation
  • Describe the unique aspects of performing coatings inspection on an overcoating project, and on projects employing thermal spray coatings, powder coatings and duplex coating systems
  • Describe how coatings inspection can help prevent premature coating failure
  • List potential safety hazards associated with coatings inspection
  • Prepare an inspection plan/procedure
  • Perform coatings inspection on industrial projects
  • Compare inspection results to specification requirements

Course Format

The course provides participants five days of intensive training and includes multiple workshops and problem solving exercises so that participants may immediately apply the learning in a classroom setting, without the pressures of production and project schedules. In order to enhance the learning environment and illustrate the importance of teamwork, the workshops and exercises will be done in small teams. This course is completed with a comprehensive Level 1 written examination and a practical (instrument use) examination given on Day 5 of the class. To pass the Level 1 exams, candidates must get a 70% or higher on both exams. Students failing the Level 1 exam may take the program again to qualify for the Level 2 certification exam after a 6-month waiting period.

What is the Next Step After I Complete the PCI Level 1?

Students passing both components of the Level 1 course exam at 70% or higher and meeting the prerequisites for Level 2 Certification can take the written and hands-on Level 2 certification exams on Day 6.

Who Should Attend

Coatings project managers, quality managers, inspectors, contractor supervisory level personnel, coating specification writers or coatings or equipment suppliers, coating consultants, or technical service representatives involved in the steel protective coatings industry.

The program also employs a Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) and administrative procedures establishing rules for:

  • issuing warnings to inspectors;
  • placing inspectors on probation;
  • suspending, revoking, or denying certification of inspectors who are cited for critical faults in safety, workmanship, ethical practice, and criminal law, that have been reported and verified.


For more information contact