QP 3 – Shop Coating Application


Shop painting accreditation program

The requirements for QP 3 are similar to those for QP 1, except they are specifically focused on shop coating operations. The QP 3 accreditation is an internationally recognized program that evaluates the practices of shop painting facilities in key areas of business. These standards are considered to be the MINIMUM level of service and quality for today’s coatings industry. The complex nature of coating systems, the specific conditions and surface preparation required by these systems, have made the QP 3 guidelines vital to the longevity of protective coatings applied in the shop.

QP 3 is segmented according to the type of shop:

  • Enclosed Shop – A permanent facility, enclosure or building (four walls to grade and a roof) where surface preparation and coating activities are normally conducted in an environment not subject to outdoor weather conditions and/or blowing dust.
  • Covered Shop – A permanent facility, enclosure or building having a roof beneath where surface preparation and coating activities are normally conducted out of direct exposure to outdoor weather.
  • Open Shop – A permanent area or facility with no roof or walls where surface preparation and coating activities are normally conducted. The area or facility is exposed to outdoor weather conditions and blowing dust.

Get the QP 3 Standard

To be QP 3 accredited, blast and coat shops must demonstrate competence in several key areas:

  • Management Procedures
  • Management Responsibility
  • Technical Capabilities
  • Quality Control
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance
  • Contract and project specification review
  • Document and data control
  • Control of quality records
  • Purchasing
  • Process control
  • Inspection and testing
  • M&TE

Blast and coat shops are evaluated through a series of submittals to AMPP, which describe business operations. Then an impartial, on-site audit is performed at the contractor’s headquarters and shop locations to verify the information provided in the application submittals.

More on-site audit information can be found in both the QP 3 Application and the Internal Audit Checklist. AMPP suggests that the shop perform a self-evaluation using the checklist to be sure all areas are addressed prior to an audit.

This joint standard for accreditation of paint shops merges the requirements of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Sophisticated Paint Endorsement (SPE) and the SSPC-QP 3 standard into a single qualification standard that is used by AISC and by AMPP.

Each organization will continue to manage its own qualification program, auditing shops against the joint standard and using the same audit criteria. AISC will certify shops currently qualified as AISC Certified fabrication or manufacturing facilities. AMPP will certify all other paint shop facilities.

Owners should be aware that there is a signed Memorandum of Understanding with AISC from June of 2016 to continue joint development and use of AISC-420-10/SPE-SSPC-QP 3 Accreditation Standard for Shop Application of Complex Protective Systems.