Standard for Shop Application of Complex Protective Coating Systems [SPE] 

This Standard is used by the AISC Certification program to help owners and specifiers select structural steel fabricators and manufacturers of bridge and highway metal components that are able to provide the special project quality needs for complex protective coating systems, such as zincs, epoxies, urethanes, and multi-coat systems.

The SPE is part of AISC’s program to certify steel fabricating shops and manufacturing facilities for bridge and highway metal components. AISC Certification supports a system-based approach to quality management and communicates to project owners and specifiers exactly what the Certification program provides. AISC recommends that facility owners require all shops hired for the fabrication of structural steel or manufacture of bridge and highway components with these requirements as outlined above be certified to the AISC SPE program. This helps ensure that the owner’s contracts are awarded to capable shops that have been evaluated independently to industry supported standards.

For the Standard or applicable fees, please visit

For a list of Quality Certified Fabricators and Manufacturers, visit

For more information on this certification program, call 312.670.7520 or e-mail [email protected].

An AISC and SSPC Joint Standard

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) were pleased to announce a joint certification standard for shop application of protective coatings on april 5, 2011.  The standard, “Certification Standard for Shop Application of Complex Protective Coating Systems,” was the culmination of several years of work by a joint committee of coatings and steel industry professionals representing both organizations. The standard describes requirements for certification of firms that shop apply complex painting systems.

According to Michael Damiano, Director of Product Development at SSPC, “The strength of this standard is that it enables paint shops and steel fabricators to meet the qualification criteria of two major organizations at one time, while giving owners and specifiers a single governing document to reference.”

Jacques Cattan, VP of Certification for AISC added, “The jointly sponsored certification will confirm to owners, the design community, and the construction industry that a firm has knowledgeable personnel and the organization, experience, procedures, and equipment to provide surface preparation and application of complex painting systems in a shop facility according to contract specifications.”

Support for Shop Painting Certification

“The AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration heartily applauds and endorses the reciprocity between the AISC and SSPC certification programs,” said Ronnie Medlock, chairman of the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration and Vice President - Technical Services for High Steel Structures, LLC.  The Collaboration, which represents the national steel bridge community, recommends that facility owners specify that fabrication shops contracted to paint be certified to meet the AISC SPE program and that dedicated paint facilities working with structural steel be certified to SSPC QP 3. This provides the owner with confidence that contracts are awarded to capable shops that have been evaluated independently to industry supported standards.

For information on the AISC SPE program, contact:

AISC Certification
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL, 60601-1802
Telephone: 312.670.2400
Email: [email protected]
or visit the AISC web site at

For information on SSPC QP 3, contact:

SSPC Shop Certification Program
40 24th Street, 6th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222
Telephone: 412.281.2331
Email: [email protected]
or visit the SSPC Online at