By Barett Poley
Courtenay, British Columbia -- February 16, 2017 -- Fix Auto Courtenay has become the second collision repair business to receive Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP) accreditation. The facility is located in British Columbia, so the shop actually qualified under the Certified Collision Repair (CCR) program administered by the Automotive Retailers Association of BC (ARA).
There is a memorandum of understanding between ARA and AIA regarding their respective programs. In essence, qualifying under one means a shop would also be considered qualified under the other. Accreditation under the CCR program is proceeding at a rapid pace.
"We’ve been aggressively promoting certification in BC," says David Ribeiro, Industry Relations Advisor for ARA. "We have a second shop undergoing an audit and anticipate that shop qualifying within the month. There's also a repairer that was certified prior to our harmonizing the program with the CCIAP. They're currently upgrading to meet the modifications to the program brought about jointly with the AIA."
The Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program is a certification program set up by the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada.
According to the program guide for the CCIAP, “Canadian insurers have long sought to improve the quality and performance of their Direct Repair Programs with a view of better customer service, lowered costs and enhanced efficiency. Within this context Canadian collision repairers are seeking to establish and publicize their credentials as world-leading repair facilities and their ability to meet the exacting requirements of industry partners and the public at large … The objective is to create an industry-driven, not-for-profit program to accredit Canadian collision repair facilities against OE, insurer and other standards.”
For Jason Borth, President and co-owner of Fix Auto Courtenay, being a part of the program was a worthy investment. In a lot of ways, the investment actually began when the facility started down the road to achieving Honda ProFirst recognition.
“The process actually started last year when we became Honda ProFirst. We upgraded all of our equipment, purchased a new 3D measuring system, etc.,” said Borth in a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine. “We needed to be I-CAR Platinum certified, so we spent all of last year training to meet that mark.”
Andrew Shepherd administrates the CCIAP program on behalf of AIA Canada. Borth’s words are reminiscent of something Shepherd said in a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine regarding the qualifications for CCIAP recognition and their similarity to OEM programs.
“I would call it almost identical from an operational standpoint,” Shepherd said at the time. “All of these programs build a set of business, equipment and training standards for the shop to meet—the shop is audited in-person each year—and once accredited the shop receives marketing material to show to insurers and the public that they are fully qualified to undertake modern vehicle repairs.”
According to Borth, the system for CCR/CCIAP audits and accreditation is set up very well, especially if the shop has already been through the process for an OEM program. “It was a very easy process, because we’d already done all of the audits, and upgraded all of our equipment,” says Borth.
Borth says he and his team are incredibly proud to be part of the accreditation program. He believes that how they set up their training schedule may have helped them the most.
“Equipment wise, it was quite an investment, then on top of that there’s the level of training, getting everybody on the Platinum training level for I-CAR.
We found that the three-month training window was too long for some of the courses, so we just started bringing people in every Friday to get as much training done as possible. This was great for the apprentices, too, as they got to receive some extra training that colleges or trade schools wouldn’t give them,” he says.