SSPC actually has two levels of CAS – Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 is for the inexperienced / new hires. DC 17 isn’t against Level 1, but its value is limited. CAS “Level 2” is the CAS of interest. So, when we say “CAS”, we mean SSPC CAS Level 2. This is the applicator certification that owners are interested in.
“Interim” refers to SSPC’s rollout and implementation of their CAS program; recall, CAS (Level 2) is SSPC’s written and practical exam effort to test the minimum requirements for applicators as described in the Joint Standard SSPC ACS 1 / NACE No. 13. There is nothing inadequate about “interim” certification.
New “interim” certifications will likely phase out in 2020. In which case, all [new] CAS Level 2 certifications will be “full”. The CAS Level 2 Full written exam is a bit more difficult, covering a broader range of themes (e.g., thermal spray, electrostatic spray). The practical is unchanged.