by Joseph C. Dean, P.E. for the Director, Corrosion Policy & Oversight (D, CPO) [OUSD (AT&L)]
Facilities assets affected by corrosion are extensive. Design and sustainment professionals must be prepared to address these challenges through education, training and experience. Engineers (i.e. civil, mechanical, electrical, structural, etc.) and Architects are engaged in a broad range of Corrosion Prevention and Control (CPC) design and problem-solving requirements at each installation. These may include structural failure analysis and design remediation, water treatment assessment for HVAC systems, material selection (e.g. coatings, waterfront features, roof and paving types, etc.), cathodic protection, and many others related to CPC. Construction, Design and Sustainment Professionals are tasked with design and design oversight, quality assurance and assessment of commissioning actions, and operation of facilities at DoD installations.
Background Perspectives on Knowledge and Professional Development
Competencies consist of abilities, skills, aptitudes, proficiencies, and experiences. There a both personal and professional perspectives on competencies. Some are developed in relation to a job or a goal and others are based upon a personal desire to expand one's knowledge and satisfy personal achievement in addition to advancement objectives. The job-related competencies for the sustainment professional will vary based upon many factors including the size and operational tempo of the installation, complexity of the facilities, and location specific environmental severity impacts. Figure 1 illustrates the complexity of balancing work related and individual knowledge requirements and development.
There are multiple aspects of knowledge development as it applies to satisfying job requirements, and individual advancement. Figure 2 illustrates some of the attributes of this relationship. Whether more education, training, certification or registration is needed, ultimately it is up to the individual to make the appropriate steps to expand their personal levels of understanding and knowledge.
Competencies Associated With CPC and Facilities Professionals
D, CPO has categorized CPC Competencies by Level (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced) and by Track (Basic Knowledge, Subject Matter Expert, Inspector/Construction Surveillance, Designer (Architect, Engineer, Other Design Professional), Sustainment (Engineer, Architect, Manager), Sustainment Field Professional (Tradesman, Planner, Estimator), Acquisition Professional, and Contractor. Pursuit of appropriate coursework to achieve these knowledge and professional levels can be found on the CPC Source Training web page.
It should be noted here that these competency levels and tracks are hypothetical to the extent that they provide an approach to framing the pursuit of CPC knowledge by a facilities professional and the organization that they support. These competencies are not mandated, but, given the large body of training and certifications available, this approach provides an analytic framework for the facilities professional to begin the quest for expanded CPC knowledge and better manage the cost and time associated with pursuing CPC coursework. Each organization should adjust their approach to this based upon mission, budget, time available, and complexity of the facilities work. One final thought, the phrases, "you do not know what you do not know," and "if you have not seen it before, you probably do not know what it is," are prescient in the context of competencies and knowledge. It is hoped that this construct will serve to reduce the knowledge gap and improve job and mission performance.
The Basic Knowledge Track is the fundamental knowledge and proficiency level. This Track should provide an understanding of basic principles and procedures in the various areas of corrosion, prevention and control. The person selecting this Track might be in the early CPC learning stage to improve project or mission support. This also is where "just-in-time" knowledge might be gained. An example might be a sustainment manager that has inherited a facility with cathodic protection system that needs repair or updating. Basic knowledge would assist the manager in determining an approach and asking the right questions to gain assistance to solve the problem.
Basic or General Knowledge Level: Entry-level knowledge development often focused on a specific interest or subject area. At this level, courses should assist in establishing learning needs at the next Intermediate and Advanced levels. Planners and Program Managers should be pursuing the CPC knowledge in this category to ensure that corrosion related features are addressed in planning documents.
Intermediate Level: Consistent with the non-specific knowledge needs at this level, more advanced learning opportunities should be pursued. Planners and program managers whose project workload includes specific CPC requirements should achieve this level of knowledge. In addition, available courses offer a practical, in-depth overview of a content area for specialists new to a particular industry.
Advanced Level: Development of an advanced level of expertise that is less specific than is described in the other Tracks. This knowledge level would be invaluable to a facilities professional in being competitive for more advanced technical roles.
Subject Matter Expert
This Track provides opportunities for the facilities professional who needs to have an established job-related certification level in a specific subject matter area such as Coatings Inspection or Cathodic Protection.
Basic Level: Targeted at the developmental Engineer/Architect who is learning how various aspects of the design process fit together with that individual's specialty area of expertise. Includes CPC coordination with disciplines, gathering analytic and design data, researching and recommending criteria, codes, WBDG, Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Control (QC), Commissioning (Cx), and Life Cycle Cost Analysis. The SME develops CPC knowledge to establish how it best fits into the design process to achieve life-cycle expectations. This level will identify relevant certifications required to move to the Intermediate level.
Intermediate Level: The SME develops professional competencies beyond the Basic Level and can apply intermediate level CPC knowledge assessment and problem solving along with making contributions to the development of the facility design. Includes identification of the CPC requirement, selection/editing of the appropriate criteria (e.g. UFC, UFGS, etc.) to achieve life-cycle expectations. Continued certifications will be expected to ensure enhanced support to the field in meeting mission requirements.
Advanced Level: Consistent with employee development goals and requirements, this level might include the requirement to be a PE/RA, Acquisition Professional, and become an established "SME" in their discipline area. CPC knowledge should be commensurate with the level of expertise required for certification/registration. An SME provides field support, problem-solving recommendations, and collaborates with other disciplines to achieve required levels of CPC consistent with life-cycle expectations.
Inspector, Construction Surveillance
The government construction representative must have certain skills in CPC to be able to perform effective Quality Assurance and Commissioning oversight. Additionally, the contractor's Construction Quality Control person must be proficient in these areas as well. Successfully executed QA, CQC, and Commissioning plans are dependent upon this knowledge.
Basic Level: Entry-level knowledge development of CPC skills for construction QA/QC/Cx oversight, safety and technical support. Extensive training required to develop how CPC relates to building systems to include design geometrics. Beginner knowledge of coating application, cathodic protection, design geometrics and surface preparation is required.
Intermediate Level: Works more independently on projects and issues of greater scope and complexity. Builds upon knowledge gained at the basic level. Develops ability to interpret plans and specifications, RFP, and construction cost issues. Knowledge of Building Systems and associated CPC vulnerabilities and best practices. Must translate standard construction practice and evaluate and perform QA on various contract delivery methods to ensure that CPC is addressed in the completed design and project.
Advanced Level: Expected to function at the journeyman level and to fully function independently on assigned projects leveraging specialized expertise gained through years of experience and knowledge development. CPC knowledge and skills application for the advanced level employee is key to successful provision of QA/QC/Cx and technical oversight of construction projects. Supervision and management oversight, as well as various CPC-related certifications, may be required at this level.
Designer (Architect, Engineer, Other Design Professional)
In order for the design professional to determine the appropriate CPC requirement, knowledge in these areas is essential. Establishing the requirement and articulating that requirement in the Plans and Specifications is critical to achieving both the desired life cycle and associated quality in the finished project. The Designer should be aware of new technology and how it can be best leveraged to improve CPC and lengthen the life cycle.
Basic or General Knowledge: Developmental Designer who is learning various aspects of the design process. Includes coordination with other disciplines, gathering design data, researching criteria, codes, WBDG and other sources of information from the WBDG. Develops CPC knowledge to establish how best to fit into the design process for life-cycle expectations.
Intermediate Level: At this level, the Designer can apply intermediate-level CPC knowledge to the development of the facility design to include identification of the CPC requirement, selection/editing of the appropriate criteria (e.g. UFC, UFGS, etc.) to achieve life-cycle expectations.
Advanced Level: Consistent with employee development goals and requirements, this level might include the requirement to be a PE/RA and or an Acquisition Professional, and become an "expert" in their discipline area. CPC knowledge should be commensurate with that level of expertise and is required to collaborate project design elements with other disciplines to accurately achieve required levels of CPC consistent with life-cycle expectations.
Sustainment Engineer, Architect, Manager
The Sustainment Engineer and Manager is faced with the daily task of CPC problem identification and solving. This Track provides insights into the types of resources that are available in order for the Sustainment Engineer and Manager to be more successful in identifying and resolving CPC deficiencies, as well as implementing improvements. If the Sustainment Engineer and Manager is a government employee, this level of knowledge will provide insights into managing CPC for both the government and contract maintainers.
Basic or General Knowledge: Developmental Sustainment Engineer/Architect Manager who is learning how various aspects of the facilities management process fit together. This includes developing an appreciation and understanding of the building trades as well as engineering disciplines. The sustainment engineer/architect researches job orders, maintenance processes, CPC techniques, and scheduling of projects; gathers maintenance and design data, researches criteria, codes, WBDG and other sources of sustainment information. The sustainment engineer/architect develops CPC knowledge to contribute to the maintenance process to achieve life-cycle expectations.
Intermediate Level: At this level, the Sustainment Engineer/Architect Manager can apply intermediate level CPC knowledge to the sustainment and maintenance management of the facility to include identification of the CPC deficiencies and requirement and development of solutions. Coordinates contract requirements with acquisition professionals to include recommending the appropriate criteria (e.g. UFC, UFGS, etc.) and industry best practices to achieve life-cycle expectations.
Advanced Level: Consistent with employee development goals and requirements, this level might include the requirement to be a PE/RA and or Acquisition Professional and become an "expert" in their discipline area. CPC knowledge should be commensurate with that level of expertise and is required to collaborate sustainment actions with engineering and architectural disciplines, acquisition professionals and construction and project oversight to accurately achieve required levels of CPC consistent with desired life-cycle expectations.
Sustainment Field Professional (Tradesman, Planner, Estimator)
The Sustainment Field Professional is faced with the daily task of CPC problem identification, solution development, and, in many cases, actually accomplishing corrective actions. This Track provides insights into what types of specific knowledge are available to assist in making the Sustainment Field Professional more successful. If the Sustainment Field Professional is a government employee, this level of knowledge will provide insights into CPC for both government and contract maintainers through making recommendations in the development of the RFP and in contract management.
Basic or General Knowledge Level: Targeted at the entry level/basic knowledge development of CPC skills. Extensive training is required to develop how CPC relates to building elements such as HVAC, plumbing, structural, coatings, electrical, concrete and re-enforcing steel, roofing, waterproofing, insulation, moisture protection systems, and associated CPC design geometrics. Specific beginner knowledge of coating application, cathodic protection, design geometrics and surface preparation is required. The field professional researches job orders, maintenance processes, CPC techniques, and scheduling of projects, researches criteria, codes, WBDG and other sources of CPC sustainment information. Develops CPC knowledge to establish how it best fits into the maintenance process to achieve life-cycle expectations.
Intermediate Level: The field professional is working more independently on projects and issues of greater scope and complexity. Builds upon knowledge gained at the basic level. Can apply intermediate level CPC knowledge to the sustainment and maintenance management of the facility to include identification of the CPC deficiencies and requirement and development of solutions. Develop ability to interpret plans and specifications, RFP, time requirements, construction cost issues and construction trades interaction. At this level, the field professional has knowledge of Building Systems (e.g. waterfront structures, building envelopes, utilities and force protection, etc.) and the appropriate CPC interfaces.
Advanced Level: The field professional is expected to function at the journeyman level and to fully function in an independent manner on assigned projects, leveraging special expertise gained through years of experience and knowledge development. CPC knowledge and skills application for the advanced level employee is key to successful creation of CPC solutions, project planning and estimating to ensure the delivery of quality, timely and accurate project work. Supervision and management oversight as well as various CPC related certifications might be required at this level.
Suggested proficiencies for the Acquisition Professional will vary based upon many factors including the size of the project and availability of personnel to support the procurement. The following thoughts are provided to assist in establishing suggested knowledge levels for acquisition professionals engaged in CPC procurement actions. Pursuit of appropriate coursework to assist in achieving these knowledge and professional levels can be found on the CPC Source Training web page.
Basic or General Knowledge Level: Foundational understanding and knowledge of how and why CPC fits into the acquisition, RFP and project specifications; basic knowledge of contract divisions, UFC, UFGS, WBDG, and their CPC applicability.
Intermediate Level: Ability to apply intermediate level CPC knowledge into acquisition documents to include editing of UFGS and selection and leveraging of criteria to achieve desired levels of CPC for the life cycle.
Advanced Level: In-depth knowledge level of CPC to include critical thinking, problem solving, and ability to apply CPC requirements to various scenarios to ensure strong performance-based contract results in the completed facility to achieve life-cycle expectations.
Contractor Providing Facilities Management Support Services
Suggested basic proficiency levels for the Contractor and employees must be commensurate with the work complexity, expertise and level of responsibility delineated in the contract documents. In many scenarios the contractor maintains, designs, delivers solutions, manages and ultimately sustains DoD infrastructure. For the contractor to deliver the specified level of quality in the contract, contractor employees must function at various levels of competency delivering products and services consistent with contract requirements. CPC is an essential part of most sustainment and construction solutions and deliverables. The contractor is urged to review available knowledge development resources and proficiency recommendations to ensure that appropriate levels of CPC and quality are delivered via their contracts on DoD Installations. See the CPC Source Training Page for training ideas, resources including industry and certification programs.
Training Associated With the Competencies Described Above
The D, CPO has provided access to a broad range of CPC education and training opportunities for DoD personnel. Limited funds are available for DoD employees seeking to enroll in most of these courses each year. The D, CPO Recommended Facilities Corrosion Training Summary has been developed for DoD organizations and individuals to assist in identifying and achieving knowledge levels and specific training appropriate for the requirement.
- AIA Continuing Education
- Air Conditioning Contractors of America Learning Center
- The Army Corps of Engineers Learning Center in Huntsville, Alabama has the Proponent-Sponsored Engineer Corps Training (PROSPECT) program and provides job-related training through technical and professional courses to meet the unique needs of the Corps and other government agencies. Courses offered at PROSPECT reach several of the audiences targeted in the FICES study, including: contracting, facilities planners, design, HVAC, electrical, DPW personnel, etc. Find out more at the link to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Training Center
- ASCE Continuing Education
- ASHRAE Education and Certification
- Defense Acquisition University
- IFMA Professional Development