"Control your own destiny or someone else will." - Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
For 30 years, Canadians have led the world in collision repair innovation. We launched franchise-based MSOs (multi-store owners) which have become global front-runners. We implemented provincial insurance programs with first-rank collision research and development capabilities. We changed CCIF (Canadian Collision Industry Forum) from a loosely-organized industry gathering into a collaborative engine which brings together, unlike anywhere else on the planet, insurers, OEs, suppliers and educators. Through that consensus we have produced an insurer-repairer agreement on ‘First Notice of Loss’ templates which is a unique prototype for the future. We have tailored an international collision repair training program to Canadian needs, generating innovative solutions which are admired and emulated world-wide.
It’s time to bring the same Canadian energy to collision shop accreditation.
Let us be clear that the emergence of shop accreditation is inevitable. The increasing complexity of vehicle repair, with the requisite training and equipment advances, demand that all partners have evidence of shop capabilities. Insurers need to protect their customers against poor quality, and even life-threatening, repair deficiencies. Vehicle manufacturers need to assure their customers that innovative designs can be fixed in the event of an accident, and that post-repair vehicles continue to deserve brand loyalty. For repairers themselves, demonstrating a capability for safe and effective repairs is the only sure path to growth and profit.
So shop accreditation is here to stay. The next question is critical – do we want to be in control of our “shop accreditation destiny”?
The American Option?
We are currently being offered several shop accreditation options from the U.S. These have been developed for the American collision repair industry. They take no account of Canadian realities, including geography, language and history. They do not recognize a vastly different industry structure. They ignore the phenomenal success we’ve had in building CCIF as a world-leading industry consensus builder. And most importantly, they leave the control of future rules, future guidelines, future requirements – and future fees - in American hands.
Shop Accreditation – a Canadian Approach
The Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP), set to launch in the fall of 2016, puts the critical control of standards and recognition in Canadian hands. The program establishes a core shop standard for equipment, training, procedures and general business requirements. This standard matches those developed by the vast majority of Canadian OEs. It audits Canadian repair facilities against these items as well as any unique standards from participating OEs.
The CCIAP is a program which is distinctively ours:
- CCIAP is run by the Canadian collision repair industry. The program is delivered by AIA Canada, a not-for-profit industry association. Oversight is provided by Canadian industry stakeholders with direct input from OEs, insurers and all CCIF stakeholders.
- CCIAP is designed to fit Canadian needs. It will synchronize with provincial accreditation systems (e.g. BC and Manitoba). It will serve equally in both official languages.
- CCIAP meets Canadian OE requirements, constantly updating to serve the Canadian context, and providing OE certified repair network administrators with on-demand views of shop performance against standards.
- CCIAP meets Canadian repair facility needs, providing instant on-line access to your shop status against OE requirements.
- CCIAP is affordable – as a not-for-profit association AIA Canada must deliver the program at cost-recovery fee levels – not generating profits for an American company.
There is no doubt that many shop accreditation programs can and will run in the Canadian marketplace – but it is critical that one of these be Canadian-owned and Canadian-led. Only then can our shop accreditation destiny remain in our hands.
For more information on the Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program, please contact Andrew Shepherd, Senior Director Industry Program, AIA Canada at 1-800-808-2920 x 229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.