What Certifications Earn Abatement Contractors More Projects?

Commercial coatings specialists involved in deleading and are yearning for larger contracts might find themselves looking to become more highly certified. Increasingly, large public and private entities (including oil companies, departments of transportation, and public utilities) insist contract bidders possess additional certifications from organizations such as SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings). SSPC certifies both companies and individuals, verifying contractor organizations with defined knowledge and procedures.

SSPC QP-1 evaluates the practices of industrial coatings contractors in key areas of business: management procedures; quality control; safety; and health and environmental compliance. These areas are first evaluated through submittals to SSPC describing the contractor's business operations. SSPC then conducts an on-site audit of an active jobsite and visits company offices to verify said programs and practices are in place.

SSPC QP-2 evaluates industrial coatings contractors’ ability to safely remove and properly manage hazardous coating material in the field. Certification shows demonstrated competence in four key areas: management of hazardous paint removal projects; technical capabilities related to hazardous paint removal; personnel qualifications and training; and safety and environmental compliance programs. Similar to QP-1 (which is a QP-2 requisite), companies are evaluated through a series of submittals and an on-site audit of an active jobsite with lead abatement in progress. 

SSPC also offers C-3, a training program for deleading/hazardous coating removal on industrial and marine structures. C-3 focuses on training individuals (typically management personnel) on the required Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE), teaches the risk of these hazardous materials, and many other areas specific to abatement contractors. Successful completion of C-3 allows the individual to serve as a “Competent Person” which is a requirement for QP-2 Organizations.

Sponge-Jet occasionally hosts C-3 at the Newington NH based Global Technology and Training Center. Scholarships are available for this course. To be considered, fill out the form on this page :

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Outside the United States, contractors may encounter different certifying organizations but nevertheless find it useful to understand the structure of SSPC’s QP-1 and QP-2 programs as they relate to landing larger lead abatement projects. More information can be found by visiting or searching out an equivalent organization in other regions of the world.

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Chris Lovelace, Technical Contributor.

Founder of The Lovelace Group, Chris has more than 25 years’ experience and is a nationally recognized leader, educator, and curriculum developer in the field of hazardous materials handling (lead, asbestos, etc.). For more information contact Chris at or phone (678) 764-8963.

This blog is part of a Sponge-Jet Series on Lead Abatement and Deleading. It should be noted that in the strictest sense, the term “lead abatement” in the U.S. refers to activities performed at child-occupied facilities. Although the common definition of lead abatement has expanded greatly over the years and varies worldwide, the preferred term for such activities performed industrially (such as surface preparation and recoating of bridges) is “deleading.”

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