30 YEARS OF DRIVING QUALITY & SAFETY
In 1989 coatings industry leaders decided it was time to create an innovative, adaptable, and effective program that would raise quality standards for projects in the industry and recognize the companies who operate at a higher level. Ultimately, this school of thought lead to the creation of the SSPC QP standards and the Painting Contractor Certification Program.
SSPC’s QP program is like no other. Our advisory committee elevates the quality of the QP program by using consensus methods to set and review standards, while our Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) holds QP certified contractors accountable for safety, quality, environmental, and ethical practice violation. If the standards are not met, our contractors are subject to the DAC’s penalties: warnings, probation, suspension, or revocation.
FIND A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
To apply for SSPC’s QP program, please comply with the following to ensure your business has the necessary experience and appropriate business license. Download the audit checklist that corresponds with your scope of work and perform an internal audit. Review the relevant QP standard and make sure you are performing work to that standard. Once you have reviewed and completed the previous two steps, complete the detailed application form and submit all necessary paperwork and documentation. You then must obtain acceptance of the submittal. After this, you will undergo an on-site visit by an SSPC auditor of both the company’s primary place of business and an active job site to demonstrate the company’s capabilities.
For pricing information or any questions, please contact Brent Miller.
The certification process can take up to 2 months. However, the time it takes to become QP Certified can vary depending on many factors, including the quality of your initial application package, your location, and scope of work.
For any QP questions, please contact Brent Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org, 412.288.6044 x2209 or Henry Arato | email@example.com.
Qualification depends on the program for which you are applying. Generally, to be eligible for certification, SSPC PCCP/QP programs require a company to have been in business under the same ownership for 18 months, with 12 months of successful production and implementation of quality programs. The SSPC-QP 2 standard requires 12 months of production history with removal of hazardous materials.
DAC, or the Disciplinary Action Criteria, was first released in January 1998. DAC is the consensus document that establishes criteria to discipline SSPC certified contractors who violate safety, quality, environmental, and ethical practice standards of performance as is outlined in the DAC standard via the audit program. The DAC also issues warnings to SSPC certified contractors, putting firms on probation, conducting special unannounced audits, and suspending and revoking the certification of contractors when critical faults have been reported and verified. SSPC lists out the recent actions taken against SSPC certified contractors found to be in violation of the DAC or other program requirements.
Once certified, each contractor must work within the rules and standards outlined in the program. If the standards are not met, the contractor is subject to the DAC’s penalties: warning, probation, suspension, or revocation.
Consensus Standards are standards that are developed by a process that involves the cooperation of people and groups who have an interest in participating in the development and/or use of the standards. A requirement of the consensus process is that all views and objections must be considered, and an effort be made toward their resolution. SSPC follows the ANSI process for all of the standards developed by the organization.
CAP or Corrective Action Plan is a program that consists of a CAP form and instructions that allow you to systematically respond to each major finding (rating of “1” and all minor findings on initial certification audits) and submit them to the SSPC Corporate Certification Program Manager for acceptance. If you have any major/minor findings, the auditor will notify you at the audit out brief and request Corrective Action Reports for each major/minor finding. When that happens, the first step is to review the SSPC form and instructions and use them to:
1. Describe how you corrected the immediate problem. This may also be referred to as the “fix” or “corrective measure” taken. For example, if the auditor finds inspection instruments out of calibration, the immediate fix or corrective measure is to either send the instruments to a qualified lab to have them recalibrated or discard any instrument that is broken and not worth fixing. In short, get the damaged or improperly operating instrument out of service.
2. The second step in the process is to do and document a “root cause analysis.” Simply put, this means “why” the deficiency occurred and your management needs to discuss what broke down in the system that you had previously set up that caused the finding in the first place. Once the “root cause” is determined, the next step is to install a permanent change or “preventive action” in your quality system to prevent the problem from recurring. Using the instrument example above, you might have discovered during the root cause analysis that the smooth operation of this component of your system depended upon one key person. And when that person was unavailable for an extended period of time due to an illness, there was no qualified person trained to perform back-up duties.
3. The third step or corrective action would be to train one or two qualified backup(s) to avoid recurrence of this problem. This might require training an existing staff member or outsourcing the work.
4. The last step in the overall “corrective action plan” would be for management to follow up to ensure that an effective backup plan is in place and working effectively to handle instrument calibrations when the key person is unavailable to direct the process. The entire process is called “Corrective Action.” “Corrective Action” is beneficial as it allows your company to identify problems and mistakes, conduct a detailed root cause analysis, implement corrective action, and install procedures that prevent them from happening again. Recurring problems in a quality system can increase rework, thus cutting into production and job profits. If safety is involved, recurring problems can lead to accidents and injuries. The more you and your organization are willing to recognize problems and address them, the less likely these problems will reoccur. Continually improving your operation allows your organization to operate more efficiently, cost-effectively, and keeps your customers satisfied.
For more information about how to implement a Corrective Action Plan, contact Henry Arato | firstname.lastname@example.org.
All certifications fall under a three year auditing period ranging from Annual to Full audits. To maintain certification on a yearly basis, maintenance applications and applicable fees are submitted annually.