Matching Application Sectors with the Work You Will Do

In the first article in this series discussing cathodic protection certification, we looked at the five levels of certification as defined by BS EN ISO 15257:2017. With this certification becoming increasingly compulsory if you work in cathodic protection, ICorr has redesigned its CP Certification & Training Scheme including new training material and a brand new training facility.

You’ll find that all European and ISO Standards for CP require personnel to demonstrate their experience and expertise at the appropriate level. Our scheme is breaking new ground.

The question now is, which of these courses is right for you?

Which application sector do you work in?

The standard covers the four application sectors of:

  1. On-land metallic structures
  2. Marine metallic structures
  3. Reinforced concrete structures
  4. Inner surfaces of metallic container structures

While the core of CP knowledge is common for all sectors, each is different from the other. Chris Wozencroft, Principal Engineer at Corrosion Engineering Solutions Ltd. and member of ICorr’s CP Governing Board (CPGB), explains why different training is needed for each sector as follows:

I describe the sectors roughly as concrete, buried pipelines, marine structures, and the inside of storage tanks. As you’ll appreciate, the skills required to protect an oil rig are completely different from those required to protect a motorway bridge.

When deciding which course is right for you, you should consider which sector you work in and what work you do.

On-land metallic structures

This sector covers installations such as:

  • Underground, buried onshore pipelines
  • Parts of onshore pipelines that cross rivers, lakes, or sections of sea
  • Buried tanks
  • The external bottoms of above-ground tanks
  • Well casings
  • Buried plant modules

Sector-specific topics include:

  • Protection against corrosion by stray current from direct current systems
  • Interference from alternating and direct current
  • The relevance of touch potentials

Marine metallic structures

This sector includes examples such as:

  • External hulls and ballast tanks of ships
  • Fixed offshore structures (e.g. platforms, jackets, monopiles, offshore windfarms, etc.)
  • Floating structures (e.g., buoys, semi-submersible platforms, floating production storage and offloading structures)
  • Underwater structures (well heads, manifolds, and piping)
  • Coastal and offshore pipelines, risers
  • Landfall of offshore pipelines protected by an offshore CP system
  • Harbour facilities, piers, jetties and lock gates

Sector-specific topics include:

  • Specific applications in seawater and marine sediments

Reinforced concrete structures

Examples of installations within this sector include:

  • Atmospherically exposed, steel-reinforced (both post-tensioned and pre-stressed) concrete
  • Onshore structures such as bridges, walls, piles, and buildings
  • Buried, steel-reinforced concrete structures, including pipelines, tunnels, and foundations
  • Steel-reinforced concrete structures immersed in fresh water
  • Steel-reinforced concrete structures immersed in sea water

Sector-specific topics include:

  • Specific applications of steel in concrete
  • Other electrochemical techniques that are also aimed at mitigating corrosion of steel embedded in concrete

Inner surfaces of metallic container structures

Within this application sector, we include:

  • Fresh water-containing equipment (storage tanks, condensers, filters, cooling water systems, etc.)
  • Sea water-containing equipment (ballast tanks, flooded dock gates, flooded compartments, flooded) piles, cooling water systems, etc.)
  • Oil field production water storage tanks
  • Offshore immersed pumps and the internals of their caissons
  • Inside offshore windfarm monopiles
  • Other electrolyte-containing equipment (tanks and piping)

Sector-specific topics include:

  • Specific applications of inner surfaces

What cathodic protection work will you do?

To obtained certification, those at Levels 1, 2, and 3 must complete a training course, pass an exam and then apply for certification.

At Levels 4 and 5, certification is assessed on your work, details of your career to date, and, for Level 4 certification,  an exam and professional review.

Which course is appropriate for you? It depends on the work you do.

Level 1: Data Collector/Tester

You may have no experience in cathodic protection. Your work requires you to accurately measure and record data. This certification is a requirement for National Grid and other employers.

Level 2: Cathodic Protection Technician

As per for Level 1, you don’t require cathodic protection experience, though you will need to have a minimum of one year of approved experience. Typically, your work may involve conducting CP measurements, inspection, and supervisory activities. However, you will be working to instructions provided to you by persons certified at Levels 3, 4, or 5.

Level 3: Cathodic Protection Senior Technician

To obtain certification at this level, you must hold either the ICorr Level 2 certification, or have at least one year of approved experience and have attended a Level 2 training course.

You may be carrying out all the duties and tasks of Levels 1 and 2 persons, and you may also be preparing technical instructions for Levels 2 and 3 persons to work from, including risk assessments and method statements.

Sector and role-specific CP certification

The methodology of training, examination, and certification ensures that you become certified according to the type of work you do and the applications on which you work. This means that the industry recognises the highly-specialised nature of work in cathodic protection, and ensures that personnel employed have the specific knowledge, experience, and expertise that is required by clients who seek the highest standards of professionalism in the industry.

In our next article, we delve a little deeper into how ICorr’s Cathodic Protection Certification Scheme charts your career progression.

In the meantime, to learn more about our ground-breaking CP Certification Scheme and our comprehensive Cathodic Protection Certification Courses – and discuss which is right for you – email the Institute of Corrosion at