The VBRS Steering Committee, Left to right, Barry Ashmore, Ashmore Ryder, Sean Rafferty, Northbrook Motors, Nigel Pratt, Pratts Auto Bodyshop, Aurbrey Armstrong, Armstrong Body Repairs, Liam Denning, Dennings Garage, Joe Donnelly, Crofton Motors
The SIMI has launched its Certified Steel Standard (CSS) which it hopes will become a common standard adopted by accident repair centres in Ireland involved in structural body repairs. The new standard will detail minimum requirements for repairers in terms infrastructure, personnel and methods, with these subject to a fully independent audit.
The draft standard was presented at a very well attended meeting at the Killashee House Hotel, Naas and is the result of two years work by the VBRS Steering Committee. At the meeting it was stressed that the standard was required to maintain control within the industry and to avoid the costly imposition of a PAS 125 type standard as used in the UK.
The CSS standard has already been endorsed by the Road Safety Authority and as such it is anticipated that it can gain wide acceptance both within the industry and with the motoring public. It will be an independent standard, open to both SIMI members and other bodyshops. The CSS Structural repair standard will be the initial launch platform, but it is anticipated that a standard for non-structural repairs will also be introduced.
The meeting herd that CSS is set to be a comprehensive and robust standard based broadly on the ISO principles of continuous quality improvement. The standard involves an initial checklist covering areas such as infrastructure, processes, people and training, repair methods, tooling, compliance, documentation and traceability
The cost of joining the standard will be a € 595 + vat independent audit fee, plus any associated equipment, infrastructure improvement or training costs. It is also hoped that in the future the cost of the environmental AIC License can be incorporated into this. This fee has been kept to a minimum in order to make the standard attainable by even the smallest professional bodyshops.
The SIMI has called for all body repairers in Ireland and any other interested parties to familiarise themselves with the new standard, work through the CSS check list and provide feedback and comments to them as soon as possible. After a short review period of 10 days, agreed amendments will be made and a finalised document will be published.
The VBRS committee say that initial consultations with insurers on this issue have been very positive and the indications are that the insurance industry would be supportive of a common structural repair standard endorsed by the Road Safety Authority.