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American Bureau of Shipping approves SSPC Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI) program

By Tim Wright

Published March 19, 2008
The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) has announced that effective February 11, 2008, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the world's 2nd largest commercial shipping classification society, has approved SSPC's Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI) program as equivalent to NACE Coating Inspector Level 2 and FROSIO Inspector Level III.

According to SSPC, this approval is a milestone for the PCI program, which was launched by SSPC in 2007. "It lends credibility to our program, for sure," said Bill Shoup, executive director of SSPC. "Our goal during development of the program was to serve our members' needs and ensure that it stacked up to existing programs on the market. This approval is an independent validation of that and proof that we have met one of our important benchmarks." 

"We have  had plenty of positive feedback from PCI students and the coatings industry at large, but to gain such quick approval from ABS is really a powerful endorsement of the program," added Doni Riddle, president of SSPC and vice president and director, industrial and marine marketing, The Sherwin-Williams Company.

The PCI program is an intensive one-week program designed to thoroughly train individuals in the proper methods of inspecting surface preparation and the installation of industrial and marine protective coatings and lining systems on a wide variety of steel structures. It is the fourth inspector program offered by SSPC and joins the Bridge Coatings Inspector (BCI) program, Concrete Coatings Inspector (CCI) program, and NAVSEA Basic Paint Inspector (NBPI) course in SSPC's comprehensive set of coatings inspector certification programs.

In order to achieve this status, the PCI program needed to meet the stringent criteria of Section 2.3 of IACS Procedural Requirement No. 34 Rev. January 1, 2008.  Procedural Requirement (PR) 34 addresses "Application of the IMO Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC)."  Section 2 focuses on the procedure for assessment of coating inspectors' qualifications, with 2.3 specifically covering equivalent qualifications.

In addition to ABS, SSPC training and professional development programs have been certified by other agencies such as The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

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