Coatings Inspection & Qualifications

Painting Qualification Test (PQT)

Before any actual coating work happens all of the chosen coating/painting systems shall be applied on test plates which represent the substrate to be coated. To make the tests valid the coatings used shall be taken from the same batches as the coatings that’ll be eventually applied in the works.

The coating systems shall be applied in the presence of the Supplier and a Representative of the Client Organisation, in climatic conditions similar to those foreseen will be the case during the normal works. The application shall be done by the Coatings Specialist (Coatings Application Company, such as Northpoint Ltd) who’ll be responsible for the application during the normal works, using the same equipment as will be used during the normal works.

Once fully cured the coating systems shall be visually inspected and adhesion tested to confirm the applied coating systems meet the specifications required.

Inspection Test Plan (ITP)

An Inspection Test Plan, including all the checkpoints shall be prepared and submitted for review and approval by the Client.

The ITP shall clearly state the frequency for each of the tests to be conducted.

During the normal works the Coatings Application Company Quality Control people shall make checks and record the results in a daily report:

  1. Characteristics of the substrate, e.g. any broken welds, level of corrosion…
  2. Surface Preparation quality e.g. blast profile, blast cleanliness…
  3. Levels of contamination e.g. level of dust contamination, surface salts…
  4. Climatic Conditions e.g. relative humidity, steel temperature, dew point…
  5. Wet or Dry film thickness of the uncured coating, e.g. use a wet film gauge…
  6. Number of coating layers e.g. record the thickness of each coating layer applied…
  7. Appearance e.g. when viewed in natural day light at a specified distance (1 m, 3 m)…
  8. Adhesion, e.g. cross cut on a repairable area of the product…
  9. Continuity e.g. using a DC Holiday detector to find defects in the coating film…
  10. Visual Inspection e.g. orange peel effect, continuity of colour…
Coating Application Test & Painter Qualification

Pre-qualification of coating and paint products is an essential factor when it comes to construction industries and it’s important to note that the application tests are carried out on 5 mm panels in accordance with ISO 1514, with reference to ASTM D 823 and ISO 1513. These tests should be completed prior to application of the coatings in normal works.

Coatings and Paint applicators as well as the Blast Cleaning operatives and the Coatings Inspectors should be qualified to undertake the work to recognised Nation and/or International Standards.

Coatings and Paint applicators should have the knowledge and skill to select paint, mix and use the appropriate equipment to apply the coatings in line with the contract and/or other requirements such as the manufacturer’s recommendations or legislative requirements.

Blast Cleaning operatives shall be able to assess contamination levels in the blast media and achieve cleanliness and consistency standards.

In both cases the operatives and applicators shall be able to comply with any Health and Safety requirements, again these could be contractual, determined by the Applicators Organisation (Northpoint) and at the very minimum meet National Legal Standards.

Coatings Inspectors will have achieved an internationally recognised level of competence such as NACE II or even NACE III if they’re to manage other inspectors.

In all cases applicators, operators and inspectors shall make reference to the coating materials technical and safety data sheets as well as the acceptance criteria outlined in the ITP.

How does this work at Northpoint?

Northpoint employs a number of people who work as a team to understand the customer needs and build an auditable system of work that eventually winds up as an ITP.

Philip Dawson MBA

Philip is the on-site Technical Advisor and as part of his role works as the conduit between the customer and the team to develop the ITP. Philip will help the customer to define their requirements, build a commercial offer and then build the initial ITP for review. He’ll then revise the ITP to reflect requirements and eventually hand it over to the team to manage. Philip will also engage with the customer when they want to view and audit the ITP.

Philip has almost 30 years’ experience in building and running all manner of management systems (full ISO 9001/14001/45001/27001 compliant, Project Quality Plans, Inspection Test Plans, Safe Systems of Work, Permits to Work…) and has a wide range of experiences to draw on when specifically building ITP’s.

Philip has many qualifications which include PG Dip. In Health & Safety Management, Executive Coaching and Mentoring and is an ISO 9001/14001/45001/27001 Lead Auditor.

Tracey Rawlinson BSc

Tracey is the business manager/lead for the functional coatings team and is often the primary contact for the customer when processing and progressing their purchase orders. Tracey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and a background in finance as well as over 10 years’ experience of managing the functional coatings part of Northpoint’s business.

As well as her Business Management Degree Tracey is also an ISO 9001 Internal Auditor.

Andrew Savill NACE III

Andrew has extensive knowledge when it comes to inspection activities and management of other inspectors, Northpoint has two NACE II Inspectors and SPC Silver Coatings Applicator on staff and Andrew is more than up to the task of manging this team who are supported by wider team of motivated factory operatives.

Like Philip, Andrew is also an ISO 9001/14001/45001/27001 Lead Auditor.

Andrew also has over 10 years’ experience of project management around coatings application. He’s familiar with NORSOK M-501 and National Rail M24 as well as DEF-STAN paint standards.


Get in touch at:

Tel:      0161 330 4551 (+44 161 330 4551)


Blog Author – Philip Dawson, Technical Advisor, for technical and specification enquiries