Cathodic Protection, Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme
The Institute of Corrosion (ICorr) Cathodic Protection, Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme is an International Certification Scheme that evaluates the competence levels of cathodic protection personnel in accordance with BS EN ISO 15257:2017. This scheme is designed for the competence assessment and certification of cathodic protection technicians, engineers and specialists performing inspection, testing, performance assessment, investigation and design in various cathodic protection fields and is operated and administered by ICorr. ICorr is responsible for developing, enhancing and distributing knowledge relating to corrosion and its control.
ICorr offers the following courses (Level 1-3) to provide the necessary training for the Certification Levels. The Award of Certification is based on both the training and the experience of the candidate. Successfully completing the courses and passing examinations is insufficient. Candidates must complete the ICorr Certification Application Forms below and submit them directly to the Institute of Corrosion. For CP Level 4 please see the information below.
Cathodic Protection Scheme Information
Why work in Cathodic Protection?
Specialising in cathodic protection offers a career path that could take you around the world, working for diverse companies in locations that stretch from pole to pole. The structure of ICorr’s Certification Scheme for Cathodic Protection Personnel is designed to be an enabler of career progression in this specialisation. Effectively, your career advancement can be charted by each level of certification.
The new CP scheme has been developed based on ISO 15257:2017 and has three elements: Training / Examination / Certification.
In all of the execution of the CP Scheme, ICorr ensures impartiality in the Assessment and Certification process. This impartiality is ultimately maintained and monitored by the Trustees of the Institute of Corrosion and the Council. Council delegates this obligation to its Professional Assessment Committee (PAC) which has sole responsibility for the Assessment and Certification process.
All courses are delivered only by ICorr approved tutors who are themselves Certificated to Level 4 or higher in the Sector of the courses that they deliver. The courses are only delivered in locations and with equipment that are able to effectively represent real field conditions for CP systems in that sector. At all Levels, training days include both practical and theory components.
Which course is right for me?
When deciding which course is right for you, you should consider which sector you work in and what work you do. See Competence Levels below.
The Competence Levels and the associated Assessment and the Certification of them apply to the following Application Sectors:
- on-land metallic structures;
- marine metallic structures;
- reinforced concrete structures;
BS EN ISO 15257:2017 defines the following five Competence Levels of personnel acting in the field of cathodic protection.
- Level 1: Cathodic Protection Data Collector or Tester
- Level 2: Cathodic Protection Technician
- Level 3: Cathodic Protection Senior Technician
- Level 4: Cathodic Protection Specialist or Engineer
- Level 5: Cathodic Protection Expert
Level: 1 Cathodic Protection Data Collector or Tester
- Level 1 certificated personnel shall not be responsible for the choice of test method or technique to be used, nor for preparing the written technical instructions, nor for the interpretation of test results.
- Level 1 personnel are qualified to carry out operations according to written instructions prepared by Level 3-5 certified CP personnel.
- It is anticipated that Level 1 CP personnel may not be full time employed in cathodic protection activities.
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, Level 1 CP personnel shall be competent to collect CP performance data of simple CP systems and perform other basic CP tasks in accordance with technical instructions and procedures produced by Level 3-5 certified CP personnel.
- They shall be competent to record the data to a format produced by Level 3, or higher Certificated personnel and under their responsibility.
- Level 1 persons shall not be responsible for analysing the data.
- Level 1 persons shall understand the fundamentals of the measurements that they are required to undertake, the common causes of errors in these measurements and the related safety issues. The measurements shall include routine system function measurements, as
- well as a limited number of specific measurements for others to determine the performance effectiveness of CP systems.
Level 2: Cathodic Protection Technician
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, Level 2 certificated personnel shall not be responsible for the choice of test method or technique to be used, nor for preparing the written technical instructions, nor for the interpretation of test results.
- Level 2 personnel are qualified to carry out operations according to written instructions prepared by Level 3-5 certificated CP personnel.
- In addition to the competencies for Level 1 CP personnel, Level 2 CP personnel shall be competent to undertake a range of CP measurement, inspection and supervisory activities in accordance with technical instructions and procedures produced by Level 3 or higher personnel, and to collate and classify the data under their responsibility.
- An individual certificated to Level 2 shall have demonstrated outline knowledge of:
- the fundamentals of electricity, corrosion and coatings;
- cathodic protection and measurement techniques;
- safety issues and applicable standards related to cathodic protection.
- They shall be competent to carry out cathodic protection tasks according to written technical instructions and under the supervision of Level 3-5 Level personnel.
- Within the scope of the competence Level 2 personnel shall be competent to:
- set up and check the calibration validity of the cathodic protection testing equipment;
- perform tests as instructed;
- record and classify the results of the tests;
- report the results in a comprehensible format;
- supervise and perform inspection and testing during installation of cathodic protection systems;
- carry out routine maintenance work on cathodic protection systems.
- Note: Some installation works may be carried out by the Level 2 personnel in accordance with written instructions prepared by Level 3-5 certificated CP personnel. If installation is undertaken by these personnel it is understood that their supervision, inspection and testing tasks shall not be reduced.
- Level 2 personnel have not demonstrated competence in selecting the extent of inspection or testing required, appropriate inspection or test methods to be used, nor for the interpretation of specification requirements. They have not demonstrated competence in any design function.
Level 3: Cathodic Protection Senior Technician
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, Level 3 personnel are qualified to perform and direct inspection or testing operations according to established or recognised procedures.
- In addition to the competences for Level 1 and Level 2 personnel, an individual certificated to Level 3 shall have demonstrated competence in:
- general principles of corrosion, electricity and cathodic protection;
- the principles of electricity
- the significance of coatings and their influence on cathodic protection;
- a detailed knowledge of cathodic protection test procedures and safety issues.
- Level 3 personnel shall understand and be competent to perform cathodic protection tasks according to established or recognised procedures.
- Within the scope of the competence, Level 3 personnel shall be competent to:
- carry out and supervise all Level 1 and 2 duties;
- provide guidance for personnel at Level 1 and 2;
- select the cathodic protection testing technique for the purpose required;
- define the limitations of application of the testing method according to established procedures;
- translate cathodic protection testing standards and specifications into written technical instructions for cathodic protection testing, routine maintenance, and installations procedures;
- set up and verify equipment settings;
- organise and report the results of cathodic protection testing;
- interpret and evaluate results according to applicable standards, codes or specifications;
- undertake cathodic protection design work under the supervision of an individual certificated to Level 4 or 5. Subject to local regulations, an individual certificated to Level 3 may undertake simple cathodic protection design work, according to established procedures in a known and stable environment, without supervision;
- supervise and test the installation of cathodic protection systems;
- commission cathodic protection systems under the responsibility of an individual certificated to Level 4 or 5. Subject to local regulations, an individual certificated to Level 3 may undertake simple cathodic protection commissioning according to established procedures in a known and stable environment, without supervision;
- undertake maintenance of cathodic protection system.
Level 4: Cathodic Protection Engineer or Specialist
- In addition to the competences for Level 1, 2 and 3 personnel, Level 4 personnel shall have detailed knowledge of corrosion theory, principles of electricity, CP design, installation, commissioning, testing and performance evaluation, including systems affected by interfering conditions.
- They shall have competence in establishing testing and performance criteria where none are otherwise available.
- They shall have a general familiarity with CP in all application sectors.
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, they shall be competent to design CP systems including those where no pre-set parameters or procedural steps exist.
- They shall be competent to define the guidelines for specifying, designing and monitoring CP systems.
- They shall be competent to consider technical and safety aspects.
- They shall be competent to prepare technical instructions for all CP persons of lower-Level competence and assess all data collected from these tasks.
- In all of these activities, Level 4 personnel are not required to be supervised by Level 5 or other persons and they may operate in environments where Level 5 personnel do not exist.
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, an individual certificated to Level 4 shall be competent to:
- design cathodic protection systems;
- establish and validate cathodic protection testing procedures;
- interpret standards, codes, specifications and procedures;
- designate the particular cathodic protection test methods and procedures to be used,
- interpret the reported results of cathodic protection testing and use them in performance verification;
- determine any remedial actions;
- carry out and supervise all Level 1-3 duties;
- assume full technical responsibility for a training centre or examination centre and staff.
- Within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent, Level 4 personnel shall have demonstrated:
- detailed knowledge of corrosion theory, cathodic protection design, installation, commissioning, testing and performance evaluation including safety in at least one application sector:
- competence to undertake without supervision the design of cathodic protection systems in at least one application sector;
- sufficient theoretical knowledge and practical experience of cathodic protection to select cathodic protection testing methods, survey requirements and performance criteria;
- competence to evaluate and interpret results of cathodic protection performance in accordance with existing standards, codes and specifications;
- competence to assist in establishing testing and performance criteria where none are otherwise available;
- a general familiarity with cathodic protection in other application sectors.
- Level 4 personnel may, if authorised by the Institute of Corrosion, manage and supervise training and examinations to Levels 1, 2 and Level 3 on its behalf, within the Application sector(s) for which they are certificated as competent. Not all Level 4 personnel are anticipated to be so authorised.
How To Apply For Level 4 Exam In All Sectors
There are no training courses for Senior Cathodic Protection Engineer Level 4, training is by experience, in particular of detailed design and complex field work, which is expected to be directed by existing Level 4 personnel. Certification is by Peer Review and Interview.
ICorr now offer a Level 4 exam for the On-land, Marine and Concrete sectors. The exams are held in Northampton at the Institute of Corrosion HQ, Corrosion House; and are held 4 times per year. Please apply directly to ICorr using the booking form. Once the exam has been passed, the applicant can then progress to the formal application and peer review stages for Certification by ICorr PAC in accordance with BS EN ISO 12696.
Where are the courses delivered?
Most of our trainings in the reinforced concrete, on-land (buried) and marine metallic structures sectors are delivered in the Gary McKenzie Training and Examination Centre in Telford, Shropshire. The training centre is equipped with ‘real-life’ testing grounds so attendees can work on pipes and structures in settings that replicate being in the field.
We also have a secondary location at the IMechE Argyll Ruane Engineering Training Centre in Sheffield.
What is the examination like?
For each Level, the examination shall comprise three examination sessions.
1. “common-core examination session”, applicable to CP generally,
2. “sectoral theoretical examination session”, specific to each application sector,
3. “sectoral practical examination session” specific to each application sector.
The common-core and the sectoral examinations shall comprise both multi-choice and essay type questions all of which are set by the ICorr CPGB and approved by both PDTC and PAC. If common core is taken in one sector, it is not necessary to repeat the common core for other sectors at the same Level.
How long does the examination take?
Level 1 – ca. 3 hours
Level 2 – ca. 6 hours
Level 3 – ca. 6.5 hours
Level 4 – ca. 6.5 hours.
What happens after the course?
ICorr will send the following notifications:
1. Examination Pass Notification or Failure Notification. This is not a Certification of any sort.
2. Course attendance Notification
Upon successful completion of Level 1-3 courses and exams candidates should apply for Certification. For more information please see section ‘Eligibility for Certification’ and ‘Cathodic Protection Certification & Recertification Application Forms’ below.
What if I fail the exam?
A candidate who fails an examination part shall wait at least 10 days or provide evidence of further training in the areas of weakness before reapplying. Any failed examination part must be successfully completed by a candidate within 90 days of the initial examination otherwise, unless specific circumstances justify a dispensation being granted, the candidate will be required to sit the full (common-core, sectoral and practical) examination again.
To book your exam resit please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I book to retake a failed examination part?
To rebook a particular part of an exam please email email@example.com. Full exam fees apply.
What if I only want to attend the course, do I need to pay for the exam too?
ICorr strongly recommends that candidates take both the course and exam at any chosen level however, if you are only interested in attending a particular course and not take the exam please email firstname.lastname@example.org. In this case only the course fees apply.
Eligibility for Certification
Eligibility for Certification
The applicant shall document to the Institute of Corrosion using the approved ICorr application forms, personal information, which includes a declaration of the applicant’s education, training and experience. This shall contain sufficient detail to demonstrate the eligibility of the applicant for Certification.
All CP personnel are required to provide documentary evidence of training, experience, theoretical knowledge, continued professional development and practical skills in CP to enable.
Assessment of Competence.
To be eligible for Certification, the applicant shall fulfil the requirements for cathodic protection training and practical experience as defined here and shall pass the relevant examination or assessments detailed below.
Please note that the Institute of Corrosion, may issue an Examination Pass Notification confirming satisfactory completion of the examination, however full Certification of the applicant will not be issued by ICorr until satisfactory completion of the industrial experience and the full Competence Assessment by ICorr PAC.
- Training Requirements
Levels 1, 2 and 3
- CP persons shall provide documentary proof that they have completed a period of training in the application sector and Level.
- Training may be by the employer or through recognised course(s) at a training centre or by self-study.
- All training shall be delivered by Level 4 or 5 personnel.
- The minimum duration of training undertaken by the candidate for certification shall be as defined in the following table.
|Application sectors||Level 1 (hours) a||Level 2 (hours) a||Level 3 (hours) a,b|
Underground or submerged metallic structures
|Metallic marine structures||15||40||40|
|Reinforced concrete structures||15||40||40|
- Training hours include both practical and theory components.
- CP persons without Level 2 competences shall have suitable experience prior to undertaking the course.
The 15 hour training shall be delivered over a minimum of 2 days.
The 40 hour training shall be delivered over a minimum of 4 days.
Some of the training may be by pre-course study
Taking into account the required scientific and technical competence of applicants for Level 4 certification as described under the “Level 4: Cathodic Protection Engineer or Specialist” section, preparation for certification at Level 4 may be by, for example:
- completing a relevant engineering or scientific degree or period of post graduate education at a reputable school of higher education, attending training courses, conferences or seminars (such as those organised by established industrial or independent associations including in-house courses), studying scientific or engineering text books, periodicals, and other specialised materials, completing a period of supervised training and work experience in the relevant Sector(s) of Cathodic Protection
Level 4 CP personnel shall keep documentary evidence of training, experience, theoretical knowledge, continued professional development and practical skills in CP to enable an assessment of competence.
The applicant shall submit documentary evidence of training, experience, theoretical knowledge and practical skills in Cathodic Protection, using approved forms and guidance notes, to enable the Institute of Corrosion to assess the competence of the applicant.
- Industrial Experience Requirements
Industrial practical experience in Cathodic Protection shall be acquired and shall be subject to assessment prior to certification. Documentary evidence of industrial experience, using approved forms, shall be confirmed by the employer and/or independent referees and submitted to the Institute of Corrosion.
The minimum requirements for the duration of CP experience to be gained prior to Certification shall not be less than that indicated in Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4.
The minimum experience durations (years) in the following tables require that the applicants have been active in the specific sector of cathodic protection and fully dedicated to cathodic protection survey, design or performance assessment to the relevant Level for a minimum of 48 days per year.
For Level 1 no prior experience is required.
- Minimum education and experience requirements for each Level for candidates with no previous certification for the specific application sector (new applicants) (Table 2)
- Minimum education and additional experience requirements for each Level for candidates with existing certification in the same application sector wishing to apply for a higher Level. (Table 3)
- Minimum education and experience requirements for each Level for candidates with previous certification in a different application sector of the same Level. (Table 4)
Cathodic Protection Certification & Recertification Application Forms
Why should I get Certified?
To maximise the benefits of a career in CP, you should gain certification as you progress. We have developed CP certification to an internationally recognised standard (ISO 1527:2017). Your certification validates that you have the minimum skills, knowledge, and experience to be certified as competent across all the disciplines within the CP field, including survey, design, installation, testing, maintenance, and the science of cathodic protection, at each successive rung of the career ladder.
At each level you must apply to the Institute of Corrosion for certification. Successfully completing the course and passing the exam is not enough on its own. Please note that it can take up to 8-12 weeks for the CP Assessment to be carried out, which is then followed by the final interview.
How often do I need to recertify?
Certification is an essential part of your career profile and must be kept up to date. In order to ensure your continued competence, your Certification Level needs to be re-assessed at 5-year periods. Your Cathodic Protection Level 1, 2 or 3 (BS EN15257:2006 Scheme) or CP Level 1 to 5 (BS EN ISO 15257:2017) Cathodic Protection Certification expires after 5 years and therefore requires to be renewed. If it is not renewed by the expiry date, the Certification becomes invalid, and you will no longer be Certified.
In order to avoid disappointment and to maintain a continued status of being certified, it is highly recommended that you apply for recertification 6 months ahead of your original certification’s expiry date.
Levels 1-3: Recertification shall be every 5 years by completion of the sector specific recertification form. (See section below). Every 10 years from initial certification applicants shall successfully complete a sectoral practical examination. To arrange the examination please email email@example.com. Refresher sessions are available upon request.
Level 4: Personnel certified prior to March 2019 are required to complete full recertification and a Professional Review Interview. This is regardless of whether this is a 5 or 10 year recertification.
Applicants for re-certification shall:
1. Provide details of their continued and successful work activity
2. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their Training activities, either external courses or in-house training
3. Seek to ensure that their training has benefited the quality of their practice
4. Seek to ensure that their training has benefited the users of their work (employee, customer, student, etc.) Undertake to comply with the Code of Ethics for Institute of Corrosion Certification of Inspection and Cathodic Protection Personnel
Level 1 Application Forms for Certification and Recertification
Level 2 Application Forms for Certification and Recertification
Level 3 Application Forms for Certification and Recertification
Application Form for Certification and Recertification All Sectors ISO 15257 Level 4
Preparation For Certification At Level 4
- completing a relevant engineering or scientific degree or period of post graduate education at a reputable school of higher education.
- attending training courses, conferences or seminars (such as those organised by established industrial or independent associations including in-house courses).
- studying scientific or engineering text books, periodicals, and other specialised materials.
The applicant shall take an exam, submit documentary evidence of training, experience, theoretical knowledge and practical skills in cathodic protection and attend a professional review interview to enable assessment to be made.