Industrial coatings applicators play a key role in protecting the nation’s infrastructure from deterioration. The role involves preparing the surface of new or existing steel structures to remove any contamination, mill scale, rust, or unsound existing coatings, and applying the appropriate corrosion protection coatings to specified standards.
The cost and complexity of modern high-performance coatings has resulted in a high demand for skilled industrial coatings applicators to ensure correct preparation and application, reducing the risk of coating failures and defects which can be extremely costly for businesses to rectify.
Many organisations require industrial coatings professionals to be ICATS qualified to undertake work onsite, including Highways England, Network Rail, the Environment Agency, Oil & Gas companies and Power Generators (nuclear).
The ICA course is broken down into 12 chapters covering:
- Health and safety in painting
- Corrosion protection
- Standards and normative documents
- Working processes
- Adhesion and paint service
- Paint application
- Access options
- Tools and equipment maintenance
- Specific industries
- Environment (aspects and impacts)
- Painting Inspection
Upon successful completion of the course, candidates will be awarded Industrial Coatings Applicator certification which is accredited by the Institute of Corrosion (ICorr). Newly qualified ICATS Industrial Coatings Applicators will receive an ICATS card, which also shows the CSCS logo, and be able to competently prepare surfaces and apply coatings.
Candidates with less than one year’s experience will receive a trainee ICATS card upon course completion. They will need to be mentored for a period of 12 months by an ICATS trained person. In the absence of an ICATS trained person, mentoring can be carried out by a suitably trained health and safety person, experienced company owner/director or other suitably competent person.
ICATS certification is valid for 3 years. At the point of renewal the qualification holder must reapply for the ICATS card.
Candidates will also be able to progress to the Blaster Specialist and/or Sprayer Specialist course upon successful completion.
Candidates are not required to have any previous experience of industrial coatings application; however, if they have less than one year’s industrial coatings experience, they will be required to be mentored by a qualified ICATS operative in the workplace for a period of one year after successful completion of ICATS ICA training.
Upon successful completion of the course, such candidates will receive a trainee card until the relevant experience is gained.
The course usually consists of four days’ theory and one day’s practical training and assessment; however, the course may be shortened to four days if the candidate holds sufficient relevant experience.
Assessment comprises of multiple-choice tests in addition to practical exercises.