Last updated March 6, 2020
These FAQs relating to the proposed combination are informational only and will be updated from time to time in connection with same.
Both NACE and SSPC have robust, longstanding and internationally recognized certification and accreditation programs. We recognize the value that professionals and employers place on the credentials, and the pride displayed by the people and companies who earn them. The NACE-SSPC Task Group is focused on minimizing the disruption to the industry while maintaining overall program quality and continuity. To that end, the task group has agreed to the following:
- All current certification and accreditation programs will continue to be recognized and supported throughout the combination process.
- Where there are certification or accreditation programs that overlap, a member task force will be created to evaluate the programs and make recommendations to a program committee.
- Existing certification holders will be allowed to recertify into the continuing program.
- Financial burden or economic impact to certified and accredited parties should be minimized
What will happen to my certification(s)?
The organizations are discussing the possibility of combining any overlapping certification programs, e.g. Protective Coatings Inspector (SSPC) and Coating Inspector Program (NACE Institute). Certified individuals will retain their certifications during the transition period, as long as the current renewal requirements are met; after the transition period, individuals will be allowed to recertify into the continuing certification. Both organizations agree there should be little to no cost impact to cardholders as a result of any program changes.
When will I renew my certification if it is being combined with another program?
The initial recertification date will remain consistent and be applicable within the continuing program. Your next recertification date won’t change. As the member teams work to combine the certification programs they will determine the recertification periods going forward.
What will happen to SSPC programs like CAS, PCI and QP or NACE Institute programs like CCA, CIP and NIICAP? Will they eventually be combined with the overlapping products from the other organization?
Each organization’s position as an innovator and market-driver is what sets us apart from competitors, and it’s one of the things that has attracted attention and spurred these discussions. As part of our due diligence, we will examine the products of both organizations and where there is overlap, bring together the best of both overlapping certifications. It’s too early to know what the result will be, but we’ll work to make it as easy as possible for certification holders and accredited companies to transition to whatever new format we develop. We’re in this to do what’s best for the member and customer, so we’re aiming for a result that is better for them.
The following programs have been identified as having overlap and will be reviewed by a member task force:
- Coatings Inspector Certification Program
- Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI) (SSPC)
- Coating Inspector Program (CIP) (NACE Institute)
- Coating Applicator Certification Program
- Coating Application Specialist (CAS) (SSPC)
- Certified Coating Applicator (CCA) (NACE Institute)
- Contractor Accreditation Program
- Qualification Procedure (QP/PCCP) (SSPC)
- Contractor Accreditation Program (NIICAP) (NACE Institute)
- Protective Coatings Specialist Certification[HS1]
- Protective Coatings Specialist (SSPC)
- Protective Coatings Specialist (NACE Institute)
The new organization would retain the same “hybrid” structure that both organizations currently have which includes the option of individual or corporate membership. Memberships would be rolled over into the new organization, and student and young professional discounts would remain.
How will a combined association be accessible and inclusive to all audiences, regardless of their level of education, training and experience?
The asset protection industry needs professionals of various levels of formal education, technical training, and practical experience. The combined association will exemplify the diversity of the industry and work to maintain it.
What happens to members who’ve been with one organization longer than the other?
Membership tenure of any individuals would be carried over and if a member has been involved with both organizations, the longer term of their two memberships would be applied.
What benefits would members stand to gain/lose?
No decisions have been made to discontinue existing member benefits, but both organizations agree that the best benefits of each organization will be carried over so members of each organization would stand to gain some new benefits.
What will happen to Sections & Areas?
Because NACE and SSPC have very different models and approaches to Sections and Chapters and there are emerging models within the association community that are appealing, the task force chose to leave it to the new boards to decide how these will be formed. In the meantime, the current chapters and sections will continue to serve our members and their local communities. In areas where we currently have both NACE Sections and SSPC chapters, we hope they will begin working together.
Please explain the proposed value-based approach and tiered options for membership in the combined organizations. *NOTE: “NewOrg” and “NewOrg Institute” are not proposed names for a combined organization, they are temporary placeholders.
- Members will become “NewOrg” members and will have full access to “NewOrg” and “NewOrg Institute” offerings, including equal voting and volunteer rights and privileges in both organizations. A hybrid structure will be maintained, thus including individual and corporate membership options. Both individual and corporate membership options will be value-based with members being able to choose a level of benefit and corresponding dues. Upon combination, all current NACE and SSPC individual members will become members of “NewOrg” at the highest tier level.
- There would be two tiers for individual members, Core and Premium. The Premium tiers would include more of the value-added offerings such as a select number of standards downloads, products from the Digital Library, and subscriptions to publications. Existing individual members of NACE and SSPC would be automatically added to “NewOrg” Premium Individual Membership for the remainder of their current membership term starting on January 1, 2021. At the end of their current membership term, individual members would be able to choose to renew at either the Premium or Core level of membership.
- There will be four membership categories for qualifying individuals:
1) Individual membership with a choice between a Premium or Core tier.
2) Students members will have access to a free Premium membership while in college, university, or trade school.
3) Young Professionals, new members that join under the age of 35 years old, will have access to Premium membership at a 50% discount for their first three years. Student and Young Professional membership options are intended to provide maximum exposure to the benefits of membership.
4) Lifetime membership for members 65 years of age or older with at least 15 years of continuous membership in NACE, SSPC, and/or “NewOrg.” Lifetime members will have the option of being Lifetime Core or Lifetime Premium members in exchange for a lump-sum fee structure.
- There will be a three-tiered, value-based corporate membership structure; thus, the higher the corporate membership, the more benefits and exposure the company will receive. Benefits include, but are not limited to, free individual memberships, conference registrations, and prominent marketing exposure at conferences, training workshops, and online.
If I am a dual member of NACE/SSPC, when will I have to renew my membership?
When a dual member is transferred to NewOrg, they will become a Premium individual member for the duration of whichever membership term is longer. (e.g. If the existing NACE membership ends February 1, 2021 and SSPC membership ends June 1, 2021. On January 1, 2021, they will be transferred over to be a NewOrg Premium member, and then they will renew June 1, 2021 as a NewOrg member)
What will happen to current initiatives related to updating and upgrading existing educational programs?
If the decision is made to combine NACE and SSPC, all current efforts focused on the improvement and advancement of courses and training will continue under each organization without interruption until the combination is complete. Once completed, these initiatives will continue within the new organizations.
How and when will courses be integrated and who will guide the process?
Changes to courses would not be made in the short-term. Member-led task groups composed of subject matter experts and staff will determine how overlapping programs will be affected and will be tasked with ensuring the best of both programs is incorporated into the final product.
Will existing training licenses and agreements continue to be in effect in a combined association?
The intent is to continue engaging with existing licensees and instructors to meet the anticipated growth in demand of training and education programs.
Will instructors have to go through any additional training if the organizations combine?
Yes. But this would occur whether the organizations are joined or not, as both NACE and SSPC are committed to regular updates and improvements to their education programs. As part of these efforts, ongoing instructor training is important. As to specific training required as a result of combined programs, it would not take place immediately, but once overlapping courses and training programs have been combined, instructors will receive training focused on any areas that did not previously overlap.
Will instructors still be able to teach the courses they currently teach?
Yes. Instructors will still be able to teach the courses that they’re currently approved to teach. If they want to become approved for additional courses, they will need training to address differences in course material.
What will happen to the training facilities used by both organizations?
The current expectation is that training facilities will remain operational, and the combined organizations will optimize the use of all the facilities.
What will happen to my certification?
All certifications will still be valid following the combination of the organizations. Member-led task groups will determine what, if any, changes would happen with regard to certifications, including renewals related to overlapping programs.
Standards and Committees
NACE and SSPC have developed industry-respected standards that are referenced worldwide. In fact, the organizations have worked together on multiple standards over the years, including 15 joint standards, 2 joint visual guides, and 6 joint technical papers.
In considering a combined organization, members leading these discussions have agreed that this is an opportunity to renew focus on developing standards that meet the needs of the entire international community of members, asset protection professionals and corporations. By working together the associations can streamline the process of standards development, adoption, and implementation for the entire industry.
How would the new organization combine overlapping standards?
In order to efficiently combine the best of any overlapping NACE and SSPC programs, a model has been considered which consists of the development of member-led program committees which would be responsible for providing recommendations and planning support to staff for distinct programmatic areas such as standards development.
Both NACE and SSPC standards and programs would have a board liaison responsible for providing strategic guidance to the program committee and reporting progress back to the board.
How will existing standards be treated with relation to maintenance and revisions?
If the decision is made to create a combined organization, existing standards will continue to be maintained according to current processes and procedures. There will be an opportunity to reconfigure the standards writing and revision process to make it more efficient, so standards development may be quicker, more efficient, and responsive to industry changes.
In order to advance the next generation of industry standards and best practices, top technical expertise needs a forum and framework to bring emerging theory in asset protection into practice. By joining forces both organizations would potentially create that forum.
Will there be information for the membership to review before the vote?
Yes. We will combine the information from the multiple communications that have been sent out and the information will be available on our website and a link to the information will be provided when members go to vote online.
How will the member vote take place and what are the requirements for the member vote?
The member vote will be hosted online through a company called Simply Voting. On April 3, all members of NACE and SSPC will receive an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” announcing the vote. Members will have until April 17 to vote. The requirement is for a simple majority of the NACE membership and the SSPC membership.
If members vote against any changes, what would happen next?
Both organizations have been working together and acting in good faith with the shared desire to do what is best for the members of both organizations and the industry at large. If the members choose not to combine, the transaction will not be implemented as proposed.
General Process and Future Plans
How will this process be conducted in a transparent and logical way, so that members understand the changes and their implications?
Unlike other mergers that you may know about or have been involved with, this combination is not necessarily about changing everything at one time. If approved, the main changes that will happen immediately will be related to governance and membership structure. As the combined association integrates, there will be other changes made that reflect the best interests of the membership. Similar to the decisions made thus far, members (with the support of staff) will lead the discussions and decision making on other potential changes as it becomes appropriate to do so.
What are the Growth Plans & Strategy in the Coatings area for the combined organizations from an international standpoint?
At this point the task group has not discussed future plans beyond designing the organization. This will be a primary responsibility of the new Boards once formed. It can be said that the third-party advisor has reviewed the current strategic plans of both NACE and SSPC and have found them to be very compatible. It is expected that the new Boards will be able to align very quickly in developing the plans to serve the entire corrosion industry.
What inspired the idea of combining organizations? What has been the process of discussing the idea?
For 70 years, NACE and SSPC have represented distinct parts of the asset protection industry. Both organizations have developed industry-respected standards, provided education and training to professionals serving many functions, and contributed to the advancement of the technical and practical knowledge critical to protecting the world’s infrastructure. In many instances, we have collaborated to the benefit of our industry.
Each organization’s leadership recognizes the value and importance of collaboration, and in 2018 brought together representatives to discuss the possibility of combining both organizations in an effort to better serve the industry and avoid duplication of effort.
Throughout 2019, representatives met several times for in-depth discussions to discover the feasibility of a combined association and the mutual benefits it would provide to the NACE and SSPC members, as well as the broader industry. A third-party consulting firm was hired to facilitate discussions, conduct research, and ensure a fair and balanced approach to discussions and decision-making. Stakeholders representing the diverse perspectives in each organization were interviewed to gain an understanding of their perceptions of each organization and the prospect of a combined association.
What have been the guiding principles of the task force as they’ve weighed these decisions?
With respect to membership, the following guiding principles have directed, and will continue to direct, these discussions:
- Ensure low impact and minimal disruption to the majority of current members
- Improve the ease of access to benefits
- Increase opportunities for engagement
- Grow access to knowledge and professional networks
- Maintain current dues levels, if possible
If the organizations combine how quickly will members see changes?
Should things move to a member vote and both SSPC’s and NACE’s members support the combination, most changes will not occur immediately. If SSPC’s and NACE’s members support the combination, we will move to combine and transition to the two new organizations with the new governance and membership structure by January 1, 2021. However, integrating the operations of the two organizations will extend well beyond January 1st of 2021. As the combined association integrates, there may be other changes made that reflect the best interests of the membership. Similar to the decisions made thus far, members (with the support of staff) will lead the discussions and decision making on other changes as it becomes appropriate to do so.
Will “NewOrg” and “NewOrg Institute” be the real names of the two new organizations? No. Those names are just temporary placeholders. No decision has been made with regard to any name change. If the decision is made to combine the organizations, a professional third party firm will help determine the names for the two new organizations and develop the branding.
Offices and Staff
What will happen to the staff of both organizations? And what will happen to both organizations’ offices?
The operations and staff of SSPC, NACE, and the NACE Institute would be absorbed into the two new entities. It makes good business sense to keep both offices as each are strategically located to serve our industry and members and have highly qualified and talented staff. The intent is to keep them both for the long term.
How will the different cultures be blended to ensure that the positive parts of both organizations are maintained?
Many stakeholders have expressed interest in maintaining the positive aspects of each organization’s culture. Among both organizations, stakeholders report that NACE and/or SSPC have superior member service, robust technical/educational programs, international engagement, among other strengths. The focus will be on maintaining and expanding these strengths within the combined association.
Who runs the New Organization?
The new Board of Directors will have the responsibility to lead the committees and volunteers. The CEO is hired by the Board to run the operations and staff of the organization.
Governance and Representation
What will happen to each organization’s board of directors?
Each new entity (“NewOrg” and “NewOrg Institute”) will have its own board and governance. Current members of the NACE and SSPC boards would be divided between the new boards so that there is balanced representation. Three Advisory Councils would be created to provide strategic input: Contractors, Owners, and Global Affairs.
How will my profession be represented in the combined organization?
The opportunity to integrate various professions within the asset protection industry means that members will have greater opportunity to connect with professionals in similar and different sectors of the industry. Advisory Councils for contractors, owners, international members, and other segments of the membership will be created to ensure each segment of the membership has a voice and the opportunity to provide strategic input to the decisions of the organization. Moreover, while integration provides the opportunity for more diverse conferences, there is still the opportunity to create spaces at these events for each segment of the membership to engage with others that come from the same part of the asset protection industry.
Who are the individuals on the NACE-SSPC Task Group?
NACE and SSPC representatives working together throughout these discussions include:
Vice President, NACE International
Corrosion Management Engineer, BP
Board Member - SSPC; Member, NACE International
CEO, TruQC, LLC
Interim Chair, NACE International Standards Board; Member, SSPC
President, Utility Service & Maintenance, Inc.
Director NACE International European Area
Director, Corrosion Research Center, Shamoon College of Engineering
Member, NACE International and SSPC
Instructor, NACE International
Coatings Consultant, Evans Industrial Coating Consultants
Past President, NACE International
President, NACE International
Principal Consultant, CONSULEX
Trustee, NACE International Philadelphia Section
Discipline Lead - Corrosion Control, LTK Engineering Services
Immediate Past President - SSPC
Vice President of Operations, Atsalis Brothers Painting
Member, NACE International and SSPC
Director - Global Product Line, Carboline Company
- Doni Riddle
Board Member - SSPC; Member, NACE International
Sr. Vice President of Sales, The Sherwin-Williams Company
Vice President - SSPC
President, Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors
Ex-Officio Board Member - SSPC; Member, NACE International
Owner, CLT, Inc
President - SSPC; Member, NACE International
Vice President, Elcometer, Inc.
CEO, NACE International
Executive Director, SSPC
Partner, Venable LLP
Legal Counsel to NACE
Director, Cohen & Grigsby, P.C
Legal Counsel to SSPC
Principal, McKinley Advisors
Third Party Advisor to NACE and SSPC
Senior Project Associate, McKinley Advisors
Third Party Advisor to NACE and SSPC
President & CEO, McKinley Advisors
Third Party Advisor to NACE and SSPC