Training & Certification

Protective Coatings Inspector Program (PCI) Level 3

Duration: 1/2 Day (4 Hours)
Includes: Certification exam
Cost: Member - $500, NonMember - $700
Certification Term:
4 Years
Prerequisites: Yes

How to Register for PCI Level 3 Course or PCI Level 3 Exam Only:

Click here to find a course & register online


Click here for prerequisites for the PCI Program.

PCI Certification Term and Renewal

Click Here for the PCI Level 3 Certification Term and Renewal

Exam Description

The Protective Coatings Inspector Level 3 Certification Program identifies and awards recognition to individuals who have in-depth knowledge in the principles and practices of inspection of industrial coatings. The PCI Level 3 Certification attests to the professional credibility of the coatings inspector and raises the standard of inspection in the protective coatings industry.

PCI Level 3 Certification demonstrates mastery in:

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

Exam Format

Students passing the PCI Level 2 Exams at 80% or higher and meeting the prerequisites for PCI Level 3 Certification can take the PCI Level 3 certification exams on Day 7. A passing grade of 80% or higher on the written PCI Level 3 certification exam is required to become an SSPC PCI Level 3 Certified Coating Inspector.

The PCI Level 3 exam consists of:
Each candidate selects five essay questions to answer. Each essay is worth 20 points.

PCI Program Levels

DoD Funded Training

Under the DoD Corrosion Prevention and Control Program, funding has been provided to train DoD, Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel in this course. For more information on how to take advantage of attending this course for free, click here.

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

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


Click here to learn more about the agencies that recognize SSPC training and certification.


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