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George Avery Charges CIC Committee With Final Standards Research

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April 3, 2013—The Collision Industry Conference’s (CIC) Standards Committee will make one final effort to research and present possible solutions for the development of OEM-based industry repair standards before the committee is permanently shut down in November, CIC Chairman George Avery said Wednesday during the organization’s meeting in Phoenix.

Avery said CIC’s Standards Committee has invested a great deal of time and effort into studying the repair standards issue for the past several years. Although roughly 90 percent of CIC participants believe OEM repair procedures should be recognized as the industry’s standard, huge amounts of confusion regarding repair standards remain because the concept lumps many different issues together. Repair standards discussions tend to raise more questions than answers, which has prevented progress toward the development of solutions, Avery said.

Avery created a two-part plan to give the Standards Committee clear direction to investigate how the industry could move forward with repair standards. First, Avery charged the committee with finding answers to six main questions associated with using OEM repair procedures as the industry’s standard. Those questions include the following:

1. Should standards include OEM repair recommendations, bulletins and position statements as well as required OEM procedures?
2. Should OEM standards apply to both body repairs and paint procedures?
3. Should standards include OEM parts replacement procedures?
4. How should the industry handle requests to deviate from OEM procedures for less intrusive repairs?
5. How should situations be handled when OEM procedures are not available?
6. What resources are available for shops to obtain OEM procedures?

Avery said the Standards Committee will present its findings to those questions during the CIC meeting in July.

Second, Avery asked the Standards Committee to provide information and possible solutions for the inspection and verification of repair facilities for standards compliance. He said there needs to be a process for inspecting shops to ensure they have the necessary tools, equipment and training, as well as a process to verify that they’re adhering to the proper OEM procedures.

According to a poll taken during the January CIC meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., more than 79 percent of attendees agreed that repair shops should be inspected for standards compliance.

Avery said the Standards Committee will provide feedback for possible solutions regarding shop inspections and verification during the CIC’s meeting in November.

“I don’t know what that will look like, but this committee has one chance in November to provide some findings relative to inspection and verification,” Avery said, noting he plans to appoint a new Standards Committee chair and vice chair to oversee the initiative. “I’m not going to saw sawdust anymore with standards.”

The Standards Committee will be permanently shut down following that presentation. Avery said the committee will have done everything it can to push the effort forward once the research and information is presented. It will be up to other industry stakeholders to spearhead any additional, formalized standards process from there.

“I want to be very clear. CIC comes up to a point and stops. CIC doesn’t go to the next step. CIC provides findings and possible solutions. CIC is not in a position to actually create something; that’s not CIC’s role,” Avery said. “If companies want to take the information from there to create inspections, verifications and set programs, that’s for the entrepreneurs in the world to figure out and offer to the repair industry. If there is a need for an entity to actually develop standards and do the inspections and verifications, we would let other [businesspeople] handle that. The industry’s stakeholders need to take that information and do what they think is right.”

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