The following letter is being sent on behalf of Tom Higginbotham, chair of the Education Committee at the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP). His remarks are addressing the Coating Inspector Program (CIP)relaunch under the AMPP umbrella, formed by the 2021 merger of NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings.
I am proud to have been involved, over the last several years, with the organization now called AMPP. My involvement started with achieving my Level 3 Coating Inspection certification and moving to becoming a NACE CIP instructor, getting involved with various committees and task groups, involvement with the transition teams of NACE and SSPC, and now currently serving as chair of the Education Committee.
Along the way, my life has been enriched greatly because of the outstanding leadership, staff, volunteers, and industry leaders involved with AMPP. On a personal level, I have connected with many mentors and have made many excellent friends within this organization.
The primary purpose of this post is to announce that I am pleased and excited over the launch of our new Coating Inspection Level 1 course! The pre-existing CIP Level 1 had been a mainstay for the coating industry over the last 20+ years, and the basic structure of the course had not changed significantly in several years. This course, throughout its lifespan, has enhanced the careers of thousands of professionals around the world seeking to better themselves, their communities, and the coatings industry, and has changed lives as a result.
Every training course has a lifecycle and must go through changes over time to upgrade, update, or otherwise improve the delivery tools and methods to create better results.
I am proud to share that the new CIP Level 1 course (six days) has been completely rewritten, resulting in the best version ever of this course. The beginning of this rewrite started over two years ago with the idea that we would not just update the course, but that we would look to industry to guide the content of the course. We started this effort with a task group of industry professionals of various backgrounds, many of whom hire inspectors regularly, to determine what a “Level 1” inspector should know upon course completion. In addition to hours of meetings, two job task analyses were performed and a thorough review, including surveys with all active AMPP instructors and manufacturers, was conducted.
The result of the rewrite, which involved more than 40 individuals from industry, including representatives from manufacturers, contractors, and active industry professionals, is that we have the best coatings inspector course we’ve ever produced.
In addition to doubling the amount of and including new equipment in the course, we’ve introduced 4 new workshops. Nothing improves learning better than interactive exercises for students and those in this new course will have more hands-on time than they’ve ever had. The new CIP 1 course requires students to participate in over 50 interactive learning exercises to reinforce important content. Students taking the new CIP 1 will be challenged by interactive exercises and homework which will result in better understanding, retention of information, and ultimately, better inspectors.
There has been quite a bit of chatter of late on how AMPP receives feedback on courses. Did you know that AMPP has a formal feedback system to ensure that every piece of feedback is acted upon? Your and my peers vote on each piece of feedback submitted and those which reach consensus move forward for future inclusion in courses. In the case of the Inspector program rewrite we had thousands of pieces of feedback, as well as two existing courses to work from (PCI and CIP). When the course was completed, the pilots began. The course has been through nine pilots, with at least 15 different instructors, over 150 students involved, and multiple instructional designers auditing each course.
In closing, let me stress how incredibly proud I am of the work done by the Education Committee and AMPP staff on these courses. Despite all of the work so far, there remains much to be done. If you’d like to get involved in the committee and help contribute to courses from within, those opportunities are posted regularly on the AMPP website. We are always striving to improve and stay up-to-date, and there are always openings for more volunteers to help our programs continue to evolve.