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The Five Steps to NIICAP Accreditation

nace niicap Jul 23, 2019


This post will walk you through the NIICAP application and audit timeline and some insight on each step.

The NIICAP Website provides the following timeline:

  1. Submit Part 1 of the Application - (1 week)
  2. Submit Part 2 of the Application - (approximate timeframe 3-6 weeks)
  3. Participate in an on-site audit - (2 1/2 - 7 days, depending on accreditation, location, size of company, etc.)
  4. Receive and address results - (approximately 2-3 weeks)
  5. Accreditation  and Maintenance



Let's dig in: Part 1 of the application is comprehensive and in-depth, but not a lot of information required. Here's how it's laid out:

  • Contractor Information Sheet - contractor’s address, point of contact, what combination of accreditations the contractor is applying for. 
  • NIICAP Fee Schedule - the contractor selects the combination of accreditations desired and the appropriate cost for the audit based on the audit cycle described above.
  • NIICAP Code of Professional Conduct - contractor attestation of professional and honest conduct.
  • NIICAP Agreement - a concise but detailed agreement designed to ensure only coating contractors with successful work histories and sufficient time in operation apply for the program.

Download the forms here (includes cost information) if you want to review:

So really, if you have a checkbook in your desk drawer and attorney to review the agreement, you can, realistically, get Part 1 submitted in a day or so.


Part 2 -   Here's the big boy:  

Depending on which Accreditation or combination you are applying - 

will determine the number of forms you have to complete.

For example, AS-1 & AF-1 applications are 14 pages, covering 125 items around 

  • Contractor Information
  • Business Structure
  • Safety, Environmental and Health Responsibilities
  • Quality Assurance Responsibilities
  • Planning & Estimating Processes
  • Communications
  • Cost & Schedule Management
  • Hazardous Material - Hazardous Waste Management
  • Discrepancy Identification, Reporting, and Resolution Practices
  • Training and Skills Development
  • Use of In-house or Sub-contracted resources
  • Plus submitting 
    • Appendix A – Contractor Facility Information Sheet for Each Facility
    • Appendix B – Company Officers’ Information Sheet for Each Title Listed in Appendix B
    • Appendix C – List of Attached Documents
    • All Documents Listed in Appendix C
    • Appendix D – Comment Sheet to Explain any “N/A” Entries or to add Information on a Specific Element

This is the part where you would submit your policy and procedure manuals referenced in your answers. At a minimum, you should be prepared to submit items such as your

  • Health and Safety Plan
  • Compliance Plan
  • Hazardous Material Manual and the Hazardous Waste Management Manual
  • Hazardous Waste Accumulation Area Plan
  • Formal Quality Assurance Program
  • Calibration Program
  • In-House Surveillance/Audit Program
  • evidence of effective communication
  • example of work breakdown structure used to verify completion of specific tasks
  • evidence of the ability to retrieve historical files
  • evidence that the process review identifies tasking and sequencing to reduce or prevent rework
  • evidence of a process to ensure that the proposed surface preparation and coating/lining application processes and materials are appropriate for the job
  • evidence of a program, database, or spreadsheet for tracking material delivery, segregation, use, and disposal
  • evidence of a method or program for discrepancy identification, tracking, reporting, and analyzing for root cause for all contractor caused discrepancies
  • evidence of a formal documented training program (Training Manual or Instruction
  • Training Plan for all training required
  • evidence of a tracking system to ensure employee training and certifications are kept current prior to an assignment requiring the training or certification
  • evidence of a written policy or program for managing the decision on when and how to use sub-contracted surface preparation or coating/lining application labor
  • evidence of Contractor’s quality oversight of sub-contractors, among others.

If you do not currently have the processes and procedures in place, this process can take months to complete - and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears along the way.  And here's the kicker - if you're writing it from scratch you won't know if it's acceptable until you submit it. 


For the AS-2 Accreditation - Hazardous Waste Removal and Management Program, Part 2 is an additional thirty-six (36) items.

For the AS-3 Accreditation - Employer Coating Applicator Training Program, Part 2 is an additional sixty-two (62) items.

To review the Part 2 Application requirements for each  

  • Part 2 - Collection of detailed technical information, processes and documentation.


The on-site audit

"The in-depth audit will include a thorough assessment of the contractor’s business and administrative practices as well as practices in the field or the shop. A NIICAP auditor will arrive at the contractor’s business location or project site location to audit quality processes, observe performance and assess capabilities."

If you've done your homework on the Quality Control and you've actually been following your procedures for 6 months or more, and can provide evidence of that, your audit will be smooth sailing.  If not, they do give you the option to drop back and try again.



The 2-3 week waiting period

Most of the time you'll know what happened before the auditor leaves your facility.  But you get the Audit report within 3 weeks, and the opportunity, If necessary, to correct any misses and resubmit the documentation for approval.

If you fail, you will receive "clearly stated reasons for the decision and have the ability to correct the deficiencies, appeal the results, or reapply at a later date."



 An annual maintenance audit is required to maintain your accreditation status. Renewal information will be sent 90 days prior to expiration and you will have to provide evidence the policies and procedures required have been followed as required.


If you have questions about the NICCAP Accreditation or would like to explore how to gain Accreditation without the headaches, contact us for a complimentary Discovery Call for all the details.


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Download your free PDF highlighting the exact steps required to gain Accreditation, a process checklist, and how our team may help close any gaps.