QP Frequently Asked Questions

QP frequently asked questions

Have questions about how or where to get started with your QP accreditation? See some of our most frequently asked questions about achieving accreditation below:

To apply for QP Accreditation, we recommend that you review the associated QP standard and audit document(s) 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 AMPP 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 [email protected].

The accreditation process can take up to 2 months. However, the time it takes to become QP Accredited can vary depending on many factors, including the quality of your initial application package, your location, and scope of work.

For any questions, please contact [email protected].

Qualification depends on the program for which you are applying. Generally, to be eligible for accreditation, 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 accredited 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 accredited contractors, putting firms on probation, conducting special unannounced audits, and suspending and revoking the accreditation of contractors when critical faults have been reported and verified. We list recent actions taken against QP accredited contractors found to be in violation of the DAC or other program requirements.

Once accredited, 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. AMPP 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 accreditation audits) and submit them to the AMPP Accreditation 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 form along with the 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 [email protected].

All accreditations fall under a three-year auditing period ranging from Annual to Full audits. To maintain accreditation on a yearly basis, maintenance applications and applicable fees are submitted annually.

The QP standards can be located on the associated page for each QP Program, please visit here for a list of all QP Programs.

  1. Review the QP standard and application to ensure that you have the proper work history, processes/procedures, and documentation.
  2. Self-audit using the Checklist
  3. The various QP Program applications and checklists can be found on the associated QP Program page

At the conclusion of your audit, you will receive a Customer Summary Report (CSR). If you have deficiency findings during your audit, they will appear on the CSR. You will have 45 days to report the reason for the finding(s) and provide documentation of steps that you made to resolve the issue now and prevent reoccurrences in the future. This includes an analysis to identify the root cause of the deficiency. Refer to the CAPs process below.

Verification can be made by searching the List of Accredited Contractors - Search AMPP Accredited Contractors.

  1. Review the QP Program Standard for requirements
  2. Review the application for required documentation of your processes/procedures
  3. Perform a self-audit using the Checklist for the QP Program
  4. Complete a detailed application form describing your company and its work history
  5. Submit the application and documentation on quality control, safety, and environmental compliance programs and procedures on paper or PDF format (preferred) to “Pittsburgh office address” or [email protected] along with payment
  • We will review and provide acceptance of the completion of the submittals
  • An on-site audit by an AMPP Technical Auditor of both your primary place of business and an active job site to demonstrate the company’s capabilities*
  • Comply with a rigorously enforced Disciplinary Action Code (DAC)

*Due to Covid 19 travel restrictions and protocols, these may take place in person, virtually or a combination of both. Field virtual audits are only used during extenuating circumstances and will not be repeated virtually in the subsequent year.

If you pass your audit with no deficiency findings, you will be notified via email and receive an electronic certificate. You will also be given a graphic seal that can be used to display on your website, in your marketing materials, and your email signature that should be linked back to the AMPP website for verification.

Accredited coatings contractors must maintain program guidelines on all projects. This applies even when the contract or project specifications do not name QP accreditation as a requirement.

If you would like a physical plaque to display a certificate, please contact us at [email protected]. They can be provided for a small fee to cover shipping and handling.

If deficiencies are found during your audit, a Corrective Action Plan Form (CAP) for each finding must be individually submitted based on the criteria provided in the CAP Form. Once your CAP submission is reviewed and approved, you will then receive your accreditation.

If deficiencies are found during your auditA contractor or inspection company is responsible for creating a Corrective Action Request (CAR) for each finding based on the criteria below using the Corrective Action Plan Form (CAP) form.

Each deficiency finding must be individually submitted on a separate CAP Form. If you have documentation updates or proof of compliance, please attach and submit them for review along with the CAP form.

CAPs are due 45 days from the audit date for the following:

  • Any Major finding
  • 5 or more Minor findings
  • A combination of any Major and Minor findings – all require CAPs - Majors and Minors
  • Or at the discretion of the QP Accreditation Program Manager by request

Note: If there are 4 or fewer minor findings, no CAP is required. However, you are welcome to send your resolution as documentation as these will be reviewed at your next annual audit to avoid the possibility of overlooking a minor finding and having it become a major deficiency in the future. Addressing it at the time will help you avoid quality issues, rework, safety risks, etc.

Attached are some steps to help you understand and properly fill out the root cause analysis on your CAP form. 90% of rejected Correction Action Plans (CAPs) are due to inadequate root causes.