Coatings Connect

Change Brings Fresh Ideas & Perspectives

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Change is what is happening at SSPC. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the impending merger of SSPC and NACE, now is the time to embrace fresh ideas and unique perspectives. The objective of SSPC Training and Certification is to deliver and develop high-quality and original training and certification programs that are relevant and insightful. The courses are meant to be engaging and accessible, and at the same time integrative and challenging. SSPC has been adding more digital courses with a new content strategy to reflect feedback from members who tell us they desire a mix of in-person and online training.

During the pandemic, SSPC has opened new avenues in offering online options for members and professionals to maintain certifications and continue their training and education. Platforms like Microsoft Teams, GoTo Webinar, GoTo Meetings, Skype, and Google Duo have become essential tools in providing proctored exams and instructor-led courses. Certification exams like the Protective Coatings Specialist (PCS), Coating Applicator Specialist (CAS), and specialty inspector certification exams are now offered with a virtual proctor. Courses such as the Fundamentals of Protective Coatings (C1) and Planning and Specifying Industrial Projects (C2) have virtual instructor-led training options. Members have expressed gratitude and relief for being able to get and maintain training, certifications, and even retake exams.

Other progressive variations are in the works; one of which is how we administer in-person classes. In addition, SSPC staff has worked diligently to safely return students to an in-person class setting. We’ve developed a strict set of guidelines that hosts must follow when they hold classes at their facility. We have also limited class sizes to 10 or less students to ensure social distancing is being practiced.

My work across SSPC training and certification has a wide range, but my passion has always stood firmly with our members—our members have the potential to shape how both SSPC and NACE support and transform the industrial corrosion/protective coatings industry. Joyce Wright, SSPC’s current Board of Governor’s President agreed: “We are and will continue to be a nonprofit organization that will support the members needs while creating and utilizing new technical advantages through training, education, and certification.”

As we demand more of ourselves, I would ask our industry to demand more of us. Reach out to Joyce or myself directly to tell us about your struggles and brag about your successes. Tell us where we ought to pay closer attention, and if we have not met before, let’s start there. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many passionate and talented staff and members. We could not be where we are today without you. I don't think there is a more dynamic, engaged community anywhere in the world!

Jennifer Merck
Director of SSPC Training and Certification


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